Intellectuals call for common voice to forge common future

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IMPHAL, October 10: The inaugural function of the `Peoples`™ Movement for the Common Future of Manipur` was held today at Sangai Conference Hall, Hotel Imphal.

The public meeting was jointly organized by All Manipur United Clubs Organization (AMUCO), Committee of Civil Societies, Kangleipak (CCSK) and United Committee, Manipur (UCM).

The function was attended by UCM president Elangbam Johnson, AMUCO vice president Ph Deban Sharma and CCSK secretary general Jitendra Ningombam as presidium members.

The inaugural session was moderated by Retd Director of AVRC, Manipur University Prof Arambam Lokendrajit where academicians, intellectuals and renowned personalities gave their views regarding the issue in Manipur and especially on the controversial `Naga Peace Accord`™ signed between Government of India and NSCN-IM.

Dr RK Ranjan, a academician turn politician, speaking at the programme observed that almost all the infrastructural development works are carried out in the valley when compared with the hills, though a huge amount has been sanctioned for the hills development.

`We need to discuss how much fund has actually reached the hills from the administrators, public leaders and the executive officers,` he urges.

Lien Gangte, a Politician, said development works never reaches the hill is a common refrain however the people of the hills and their leaders are equally responsible for it.

`We cannot blame the valley people for it. It is our failure that there is no development works happening in the hills,` he maintained.

Senior Advocate Khaidem Mani while observing the people of Manipur`™s attitude of simply rejecting whatever proposal NSCN-IM leadership makes be it the `Supra State`™, `Sixth Schedule`™, `Alternative Arrangement`™, `Cultural Integration,`™ etc; said it wouldn`™t be right to simply object in whatever they (NSCN-IM) ask for but instead we (people of Manipur) should find a common way out to solve the issue by discussing it in higher levels.

Prof Rose Mangshi Haokip said `it is time for the Meiteis to also stand up for their rights as they have been idle for too long already fearing that other smaller communities like Naga or Kuki wouldn`™t be happy if they speak up as they are the majority community here.`

Prof Dr Dhanabir Laishram said when the British came to Manipur they play the divide and rule policy and that policy is still being continued by India since the time Manipur was annexed into India.

Senior journalist Irengbam Arun said in human history it has happened that people living in the plains climb to the hills to stay there, so the fear of the hill people that valley people of the State will take away their lands will never come true.

Muivah has no future in Nagaland and he is well aware of this fact. Instead of only discouraging him we (people of Manipur) should invite him and tell him to `Come dream with us` in building a Manipur, where every tribe and every community residing here whether big or small contribute their share in the governance of the State with equal status, he added.

AMUCO vice president Ph Deban Sharma said the meeting today is the first of the meetings and interaction programmes which they will be organising in the days to come.

After collecting the suggestions and ideas from today`™s meeting we will further continue to organize in large scale, he said.

Under this moto we will organize public meetings and interaction programs in various levels from political parties to transporters and drivers, teachers and people in other professions and so on.

`We will collect ideas from different sections of the society for the common future of Manipur,` he said.

`As we are well aware that every year Manipur has been facing different kinds of issues, but above all, the most worrying issue is the talks held between NSCN-IM and Government of India.`

`After Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister it has been announced that within three months a final settle will be brought to the Indo-Naga issue.`

When this issue is being discussed the civil society organizations and Mothers`™ organisation concern is whether this generation will be able to save Manipur or will be simply let it break, he said.

Peoples from different communities, who love Manipur and who want to safeguard it, needs to be united and join hands to safeguard it for a common future and this is the main aim of organizing this programme, he said.

To bring a settle to the Naga issue, India government needs to hear what the majority Meiteis, Meitei Pangals and Kukis have to say on the issue, he said.

`We have already submitted a memorandum to RN Ravi demanding to produce a white paper regarding the talks held between NSCN-IM and GOI since 1997 and its possible outcomes.`

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