IMPHAL, Nov 14 : Reacting to a news report published in The Sangai Express on November 13 in which United Naga Council (UNC) president Gaidon Kamei claimed that the hill areas of Manipur were inhabited by Nagas, the Kuki Students Organisation (KSO), Ghqs had asserted that Kukis are not immigrants.
“As overlords of the land stretching from the hill ranges south of Naga Hills in the north, and upper Chindwin and Chin Hills in the east, Chittagong Hill Tracts in the south, and the plains of Sylhet in the west, they only move about within their own sphere of domination in search of fertile land and rich hunting grounds”, claimed a statement jointly signed KSO Ghqs president Paotinthang Lupheng and general secretary Seiboi Haokip.
The long and protracted issue of Sadar Hills District was never regarded as an issue of the Kuki people but that of administrative conveniences and equitable development for the inhabitants of Sadar Hills irrespective of whether they are Kukis, Nagas or Meiteis.
As such the apex Kuki civil bodies, be it the Kuki Inpi Manipur or the KSO General Headquarters never tried to interfere with the demand of the JAC for it is purely the legitimate rights of the denizens of Sadar Hills to have the benefit of a full-fledged district.
“The hostile attitude shown by UNC by proclaiming that inaugurating Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district is an act of sedition against the Naga people has led us to wonder whether all the districts in the State had been created on ethnic basis”, it remarked.
No district in the State has ever been created on ethnic line. The UNC has finally let its guard down showing its true colours as a communal, immature, and hawkish organisation when it deems the inauguration of Sadar Hills district is a ‘Naga issue’.
It has instructed all Naga civil bodies everywhere to enforce this unethical act of protest and hold the Government and the people of the State to ransom by imposing economic blockade in order to bring the State Government to its knees.
Gaidon Kamei needs to go back to learning lessons of history well if he wants to get the facts. As a leader he must not indulge in rhetoric and cheap propaganda, said the statement.
By portraying the Kuki community of Sadar Hills as outsiders in his talk with a staff reporter of The Sangai Express, he has revealed his naivety on matters of history.
The whole rhetoric was uttered only to serve his big ego. It is unbecoming of a president of UNC to crave such cheap publicity. No UNC president in the past had ever resorted to such an undignified approach, it added.
He ought to know that he is living in a land which was protected and defended by the Kukis from British colonial rulers. If the Kukis were not ‘owners’ of the land, they would not have defended the land and the realm with their blood in the face of British imperialism. The Kukis are not immigrant, it asserted.
The UNC is trying to depict the hill areas of Manipur as Naga areas. Ever since the advent of the movement for Southern Nagaland, the NSCN started ‘Naganization’ of Old Kuki tribes in the guise of spreading Christianity and forced assimilation through militaristic occupation.
In this way they brought the Old Kuki tribes into the Naga fold and claimed the land of Kukis and Old Kukis as land of the Nagas. They still resort to this cheap trick even today, trying to drive a wedge among the Kuki tribes.
The UNC and the NSCN-IM waged ethnic cleansing war against the Kukis from 1992 to 1995. They destroyed more than 360 Kuki villages in Tamenglong, Senapati and Ukhrul districts and seized the ancestral lands of the Kukis to claim it as the ancestral lands of the Nagas, claimed the statement.
Now they are trying to seize the ancestral lands of the Kukis in Sadar Hills by claiming it as their ancestral lands in the backdrop of the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM.
The Kuki people have been striving for peaceful coexistence with other communities under the guidance of the Kuki Inpi.
The UNC tirade and propaganda against the Kukis will not help their cause in any way. The UNC is well understood to be a stooge of a higher power which is bent on destroying the history and existence of the Kukis. The statement of Gaidon Kamei will only bring misunderstanding between the two communities in which there will be no winners but only losers, it added.
Source: The Sangai Express