`UTLA (SK) in process to sign peace pact`

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LAMKA, May 23: Interacting with a select group of the media, SK Thadou Chairman of UTLA (SK)  talked about the aims and steps that had been taken by his group who are yet to sign the Government’s offer of SoO which has been signed by most underground outfits in the  hills of Manipur.

SK Thadou disclosed that the group are in the process to sign the SoO. “The result will however depend on the positive response from the Government on their promises,” he said.

He continued that on May 20, he had a talk with Sambu Singh Joint Secretary of  Ministry of Home Affairs North East at Massimpur in Assam where, he had listed the UTLA (SK)’s condition on signing the SoO in writing.

He elaborated that the conditions include to make a clubbing of the Barrak valley/Tuilang area of Manipur into one administrative unit with CCpur district or to Tamenglong or to Jiribam whichever is suitable for the Government; to grant two sub divisions for which the Governemnt should constitute one MLA constituency for Tuilang area plus one more parliament constituency for the tribals.

He added that the place of Barrack valley/Tuilang had been facing hardships on many fronts including communication and administration where the people had to tread more than 200 km journey to get proper treatment.

He continued that to get even a tribe certificate or any other document, people have to undertake the 200 km plus distance above the red tapism in the sub division center.

SK Thadou said that in this regard he had met all the concerned tribal bodies which are supporting his claim.

SK said that the group stands for unification of all major tribes of the hills and appealed that they should not misinterpret the cause propounded by the UTLA(SK) and further elaborated that the area has more than 200 villages with a population that almost reached the ten thousand mark.

On being asked of the numerical disadvantage of having his demands met, he said that “Parliament is empowered to amend any existing rule and Act”.

On being asked by IFP, if he will consider the fulfillment of the said demand as the liberation of his group, he replied, “Yes but on the condition that the promises given by the Government]t through the Joint secretary of Home NE is actually fulfilled”.

He retaliated at claims from other factions of him being in collusion with the security forces of India and said, “the opposite is the fact”.

The chairman further said that right now, the UTLA (SK) has more than 70 cadres with more than 50 widows who will soon be rehabilitated with the promise of Government being fulfilled.

He continued that bloodshed had no place in our society and movement. The UTLA will sign a pact with the govt soon and the people will be the witness and assured that there will be transparency in their dealings, the decision to sign this peace pact with the govt is based on the will of the people who are for development, he concluded.

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