COCOMI urged pending final pact with NSCN (IM) People should be informed in advance
The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has categorically asserted that the people of Manipur (Kangleipak) should be informed in advance and taken into confidence if the much anticipated solution to the Naga issue is likely to impinge upon the State’s interest in any manner.
A statement issued by COCOMI Assistant Coordinator (Media) YK Dhiren remarked that recent news reports about sealing a final solution to the Naga issue has created a sense of anxiety among the people of Manipur.
At different occasions in the past, many leaders and officials of the Government of India directly or indirectly fed reports of possible Naga solution to the media and these reports kept the people on tenterhook for days.
Like in the past, there are numerous reports of the possibility of sealing a solution to the Naga issue before the Nagaland Assembly election which is due early next year.
The people of Nagaland have even warned that they would boycott the election if no solution is finalised before the election, the COCOMI noted.
Quoting officials of the Government of India, many newspapers had reported that the Government of India is fully prepared to ink a final solution and the ball is now in the court of Naga militant groups.
If a solution is really imminent and if it is likely to affect the territory of Manipur and the interest of her people, the people should be informed in advance and taken into confidence before any solution is finalised, it said.
The same matter was put before Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the presence of Chief Minister N Biren when COCOMI representatives met him at Delhi.
Throughout the course of the 25 years old political dialogue, the people of Manipur have been living under a tense and anxious atmosphere. If the Government of India signs a solution with the Naga militant groups without informing the people in advance, it may create misunderstanding and enrage the mass which can only complicate the situation, the COCOMI cautioned.
COCOMI welcomes any attempt to a find a solution to the protracted Naga peace talk. But the negotiating parties must understand, and honour the absolute history of Manipur, its integrity and the necessity of co-existence, and act accordingly while working out any solution, it asserted.
COCOMI is always committed to peaceful co-existence and collective development through mutual respect. The committee is also of the firm belief that it is essential to accept the natural environment of co-existence and shed communal outlooks.
It is a fervent appeal to all the Nagas, Kukis, Pangals and Meiteis to shed ethno-exclusive outlooks but join hands to form a united State/Nation which is home to all the indigenous people, it said.
Reacting to a memorandum submitted by the Global Naga Forum to the Prime Minister of India which talked about rights guaranteed to the Nagas under Article 371(A) of the Constitution, the COCOMI pointed out that there is an issue of jurisdiction and it can potentially lead the people of Manipur to view the Global Naga Forum in a different light. It pointed out that Article 371(A) is an exclusive provision for the State of Nagaland and it is applicable neither to the Tangkhuls settled in Manipur nor to the whole State.
By asserting rights under Article 371(A) in Ukhrul district Manipur, the Global Naga Forum seemed to be making a deliberate attempt to mislead the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, the COCOMI remarked. The term ‘Naga’ is clearly defined in the Constitution of India and it denotes only the 14 tribes which originated from and are settled in Nagaland. Attempts by some organisations/communities to change the definition of the term ‘Naga’ would only create confusion among the masses, it said. It nonetheless welcomed the joint declaration made by NSCN-IM and NNPGs that they would set aside their differences and work collectively towards a solution. However, it is essential for all the negotiating parties to ensure that any solution they are working on does not impinge upon the interests of different communities settled in the region and future generations can live together with mutual love and respect, it added.