Uncertainty hangs over SoO extension

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NEW DELHI/IMPHAL, August 10 (NNN): Just 12 days before the expiry of the present term of Suspension of Operation (SoO) of the United People’s Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) with the government, uncertainty hangs whether the two umbrella organisations of tribal underground groups will sign for extension of SoO for another term. 

“So far nothing positive has developed in this regard,” KNO leader Dr Seilen Haokip informed Newmai News Network this evening. 

“We will however continue to observe the situation for the next 10 more days,” he added. 

Dr Seilen Haokip had told NNN on several occasions earlier that ‘there is no point extending the Suspension of Operation (SoO) every time it expires if there is not going to be political dialogues. 

Similar view has been expressed by another umbrella body of the tribal underground group UPF. 

It said that there should be a meaning to the signing of SoO. The UPF leaders are also not happy the way things are happening. 

The current SoO term ends on August 22 for both UPF and KNO. 

Meanwhile, the civil society leaders camping in New Delhi since August 4 to press for the early commencing of political dialogue with the United People’s Front (UPF), are returning to Manipur on August 11. 

The UPF along with the civil society leaders will begin series of consultative meetings from August 12 whether to extend the current SoO term after its expiry. 

“There is no point extending the Suspension of Operation (SoO) every time it expires when political dialogue is not held,” said a prominent leader of the community when Newmai News Network enquired on the development. 

It can be recalled here that a leader of the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) had told NNN earlier that they were still observing the situation.

“We have not decided whether to extend the SoO term or not,” the top KNO source disclosed Newmai News Network, adding, “We are closely observing the situation and we are also observing what the Government of India’s initiative is regarding our position.” The source also said that the KNO is yet to fix a date for the outfit’s meeting in connection with the SoO expiry issue. “Signing the SoO pact just for the sake of signing every time it expires is a futile exercise,” stated the KNO source. The KNO however, expressed hope that the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be better than the previous Congress led UPA government. 

Both UPF and KNO are engaging in political struggle with similar ideologies. The KNO, however, in recent time is widening its political advocacy and perspective. 

Early this year, KNO president PS Haokip had mentioned it in his message on the KNO Raising Day on February 24 in Churachandpur district of Manipur that stretching from Kachin state of Burma covering up to Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh and Tuensang and Mon districts of the Konyak and Khimniungan region in the present day Nagaland in India, as well as the land of the Heimi people in Myanmar (Burma) to which tribe SS Khaplang, leader of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), including Upper Chindwin and Kale Kabow valley in Sagaing Division are entirely ethnic Kachin-Kuki inhabited.The Kachins have always maintained their link through folklore connections with the Kukis, the KNO chief had added. 

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