SPT/IMP, Feb 7 : Clearly reflecting that the tripartite talk held between the State Government, Central Government and the United Naga Council on February 3 at New Delhi failed to break the deadlock, the presidential council meeting of the UNC held today at Senapati has decided to continue with their staunch opposition to the decision of the State Government to create seven new districts, without consulting all the stakeholders.
This means that the indefinite economic blockade, picketing of Government offices and the ban of the ongoing National projects in ‘Naga areas’ in Manipur will continue, according to UNC general secretary S Milan. He asserted that the Naga people will never give up their fight to protect their land and rights.
In a statement issued to the press today, UNC said that the emergency presidential council meeting reiterated the rejection of the creation of the 7 new districts and resolved to continue to fight against the insidious design of “grabbing our land on the pretext of administrative convenience till the same is withdrawn.”
The UNC also resolved that Nagas would fight against any “other moves that would affect our land and identity.”
Today’s meeting was convened to critically explore the tripartite talk, said UNC and added “The declaration of 7 new districts by the Government of Manipur on December 8, 2016 without consulting the stake holders in utter disrespect of the 4 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) signed with Naga organizations and assurance given by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India was the core issue to be discussed in the tripartite talk.”
According to the UNC, the Government of Manipur only pleaded its helplessness on taking up the core issue in the talk as the election code of conduct, which came into effect from January 4, 2017, prohibits any political decision for roll back or otherwise either by the Government of Manipur or the Government of India.
The next tripartite talk for taking up the core issue was then scheduled for March 25, 2017, it added.
“The Government of Manipur and the Government of India moved for creating a conducive atmosphere for the next tripartite meeting and it was agreed that none of the parties would go to the press on sensitive matters discussed in the talk. But the Chief Minister of Manipur triumphantly stated in the media that the core issue has not been put on the agenda and that the UNC protest would be called off,” UNC stated.
“The presidential council reaffirmed that the Nagas and their land are inseparable. The land gives us our identity, tradition and culture. In the land lies our future as a people”, the UNC said. It also stated that the Nagas have rejected the declaration of 7 new districts on December 12, 2016 and strongly demonstrated the rejection with the mass rally held in Naga district headquarters on December 15, 2016.
According to the UNC, “there is Constitutional safeguard and protection for the tribal people in Manipur under the Constitution of India – Article 371 C (2) which states that ‘the Governor shall annually, or whenever so required by the President, make a report to the President regarding administration of the Hill areas in the State of Manipur and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of direction to the State as to the administration of the said areas’”.
The UNC claimed that the Nagas have submitted representations to the President of India and Governor of Manipur on the declaration of 7 new districts on December 22, 2016 through the President’s Secretariat Central Registry Section. It also claimed that a representation was also submitted to the President of India by the Women for Just Peace on January 19, 2017 through the President’s Secretariat Central Registry Section. The Nagas had also submitted a representation to the Governor of Manipur through the UNC on December 15, 2016. The Women for Just Peace also submitted a representation to the Governor of Manipur on January 11, 2017.
“In the given circumstances, the presidential council after thorough deliberation concluded that the code of conduct cannot limit the Union of India nor the Governor of the State of Manipur from intervening and fulfilling their Constitutional obligation to safeguard and protect land of the tribals as enshrined in the Constitution,” it stated.
“The Presidential Council therefore reiterates the rejection of the creation of 7 new districts and resolved to continue to fight against the insidious design of grabbing our land on the pretext of administrative convenience till the same is withdrawn. It was further resolved that Nagas would also reject and fight against any other moves that would affect our land and identity,” the UNC added.
Source: The Sangai Express