LAMKA, June 5: The chairman of the United Tribal Liberation Army (SK) SK Thadou today called a select group of the media at New Lamka, CCpur to talk on the impending actions, policies of the group.
He said he was ambushed by cadres of a rival faction in January this year, even leading to rumours of his death.
Expressing that he was glad to be able to meet the press again, he said it was providence that help him take forward his ‘crusade for justice around the Jiribam area of Manipur.’
Terming the area to be the most backward area in the State, he said that there is no administrative centre in the area.
People, particularly in Longpi sub-division and Vangaichungpau sub-division in Tamenglong District, have to spend around Rs 1000 for obtaining a simple document which could cost not more than just Rs 10 at a proper SDO office, which is very much unfortunate, he said.
Thadou continued that he has submitted a memorandum both to the Centre and the State to club together the two sub-divisions and form a separate sub-division with one MLA and two sub-divisional centres/SDO offices.
“This will solve the problem of the indigenous people of different communities namely Kuki, Thadou, Paite, Hmar, Gangte, Khasi, Meitei, etc comprising 49 villages with an approximate population of about 8000,” he said before adding this is why their demand is not based on community aspect but according to geographical area.
The demands of UTLA (SK) also include inland waterways from the Barak River and Irang River, water supply tanks or reservoirs at Old Kaiphundai Village to feed the surrounding villages.
The chairman was joined by the gen secy of the outfit, Robert Singson in lamenting the neglect of the region which has a great repercussion on the economy of the two sub divisions.
“India has seen and celebrated more than 60 Independence Day observations but we are yet to have even one celebration” they complained.
He said that the different indigenous communities of the area are united by the common hardships they face.
The chairman promised that with the support from the Centre, State and the public, the outfit will create a ‘model district,’ while adding that the demands are pragmatic and can easily be considered by the government.
He said that they are now looking after more than 50 widows of the outfit’s cadres, who had lost their life for a cause, by giving them stipends and had accommodated as many as they could in their Paniel designated camp at Jaisangphai village of Jiribam.