Zomi Council hails stand to withhold assent to Bills

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IMPHAL, Jun 18 : The Zomi Council, the apex body of the Zomi tribes – Gangte Tribe Council (GTC), Kom Union Manipur (KUM), Mate Tribe Council (MTC), Paite Tribe Council (PTC), Simte Tribe Council (STC), Tedim Chin Union (TCU), Thangkhal Peoples’ Organization (TPO), United Zou Organization (UZO), and Vaiphei Peoples’ Council (VPC), has welcomed the decision of the President of India not to give assent to the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, most commonly known as PMP Bill.
The same was conveyed to the Government of Manipur on May 11, 2016.
In a statement, Zomi Council said that the decision of the President clearly shows beyond a shadow of doubt that the Government of India, specifically the Ministry of Home Affairs, has meticulously and minutely examined the Bills purely based on the merit of its legal and Constitutional validity and viability.
The Council repose its full faith and confidence in the Ministry of Home Affairs that it would scrutinise the other two pending Bills, namely Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Shops and Establishment (2nd Amend- ment) Bill, 2015 on their merit, legality, procedural nature and Constitutional provisions taking into consideration the concerns of the tribal people and not to be swayed by emotional appeal and the pressure tactics adopted by political parties operating in the State of Manipur, added the statement.
The Zomi Council is also delighted that the Government of India is aware of the immense hardship faced by the tribal people of Manipur and as a step towards “solution to our long-standing problems had initiated political talks with the United People’s Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organization (KNO), which are under Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact since August 2008.”
The preliminary round of talks held in New Delhi on June 15 at the initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs was a manifestation of the sincerity and seriousness of the National Democratic Alliance Government under the dynamic leadership of Narendra Modi to solve the protracted tribal issue in the interest of peace and development, it added.
The Council also expressed its hope that the tripartite talks involving Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government of Manipur with the Hmar, Kuki and Zomi armed groups under the umbrella of United People’s Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organization (KNO) would continue till an honourable and logical conclusion is reached.
The Zomi Council also appreciated the keen sense of wisdom, maturity and far sightedness demonstrated by the United People’s Front (UPF) leadership in placing an all-inclusive, issue-based, non-communal agenda before the Government of India, taking into account the enormity, sensitivity and susceptibility of the issue.
The statement further said that the Council understands that the United People’s Front’s agenda was taken in the larger interest of the tribal populace, especially the Hmar, Kuki, Mizo and Zomi ethnic group and endorsed the demand placed by the United People’s Front (UPF).
It also appealed to the Government of India to work out a durable and workable political solution at the earliest.
The Council also appealed to the people to be united.

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