KNO turns down SoO extension demanding assurance of political talks

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NEW DELHI/IMPHAL, Dec 5 (Newmai News Network): While the United People`s Front (UPF) could come to terms with the condition given by the government but for the Kuki National Organisation (KNO), today`s talks with the government in New Delhi has concluded in a sour note.

However, today`s talks were not that of `political dialogues`.

The talks involving the two umbrella organisations of the Kuki militant outfits–KNO and UPF–and the reprentatives from the Central and Manipur governments were held today at Asoka Hotel, New Delhi.

The meetings were held separately, one with the KNO and the other with the UPF.

First, it was with the KNO which was held at around 3 pm.

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in charge of North East, Sambhu Singh led the Central government team and the Manipur government team was led by chief secretary DS Poonia in the meeting with both the KNO and the UOF leaders.

“We will wait till tomorrow (Thursday) for the positive response from the government side. Otherwise, things may not be that fine,” informed Seilen Haokip, spokesman of the KNO to Newmai News Network after the talks.

The KNO leader said the government representatives had requested the outfit for the one year extension of Suspension of Operation (SoO) but the outfit turned down on the ground that without any written assurance from the government side to begin a political dialogue, the KNO will not agree for the extension of the SoO.

“Even if any written assurance comes forth from the government side, that too we will sign only for three months with regard to the SoO extension,” confided Seilen Haokip.

“We have waited for seven long years to begin the political dialogue and for how many more years should we wait. We will not ask again to hold political dialogue. Let it be but we can wait for another one more day for the government to respond to our approach,” the KNO leader added.

On the other hand, convenor of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) of the UPF, Mr Sanga Hmar informed Newmai News Network that they had agreed to the terms given by the government. “And so we have agreed for the one year extension of the SoO effective from August 21, 2012 till August 21, 2013,” said Sanga Hmar.

Confiding reasons why the UPF agreed to the term, Sanga Hmar said that the government had “promised” the outfit that from December 30 the first ever political dialogue will begin involving the UPF, Central Government and the State government.

“We will wait and see how sincere the government is till December 30,” added the UPF leader.

Sanga Hmar then disclosed that the ZRF has officially come to the UPF fold today.

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