Dialogue with insurgents

(contd from previous issue)

Once again I appeal to the youth of today to come forward and take part in the peace talk within its possible core. Particularly it is necessary for the insurgents of the valley areas to shun violence.”

R.K. Dorendro Government could not turn its policies into action as regards the insurgency problem since the congress prime minister Narashimha Rao had dethroned R.K. Dorendra Singh, the Congress Chief Minister on the last day of 1993.

Another development of the Government policies to deal with the insurgents was seen during the period of Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam from 15.2.01 to 01.06.01. The Chief Minister had declared a policy on unilateral ceasefire to make a conducive atmosphere for dialogue with the insurgent outfits. But the period of R.B. Koijam as a chief minister was too short to make his policy effective.

Now the people are looking forward the effectiveness of the policies of chief minister O. Ibobi Singh in dealing with the insurgency issue. Commemorating the state’s 34th anniversary of statehood on Jan 21, 2005. Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh made an impassioned appeal to all insurgent groups to eschew violence and sit for talks with government. 

“Bloodshed will not bring about solutions to the problems we are facing today. We should sit together and hammer out solutions to these problems and accelerate the pace of development,” said the chief minister. He further stated, “We all are citizens of this great country. We enjoy all the rights being enjoyed by the people of other states. If we approach and present our cases with justification before the centre, it will listen and redress all our grievances.”

It is the hope of the people that Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh is gearing up his utmost effort to be careful if the assurance of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will fall through as a traditional rhetoric. Replying to the supplementary question posed by the opposition Federal Party of Manipur MLA, S. Ibohal Singh in the State Assembly, March 21, 2005 on what about the proposed peace-talks with the underground outfits including banned UNLF, PLA, PREPAK, KYKL, etc. the Chief Minister O. Ibobi singh reiterated his appeals to the insurgents for peace-talks with the Center stating that he was ready to resign from his present post if he were the stumbling block in the initiation of the proposed talks.

He further said that meaningful dialogue for restoration of peace was the only way for prosperity of this insurgency infested state and the insurgent outfits could have expressed their views and options in the peace-talks which would be made with the government at the centre for which his government was ready to arrange the initiatives. He also called for unification of all underground organizations under one umbrella so as to strengthen the outfits in pressing the Central Government in the talks.

Speaking on November 20, 2004 while laying a foundation stone of the multi crore Jiribam-Imphal railway and addressing on the same day the public meeting at the historic Kangla, prime minister Manmohan Singh had assured, “Doors are always opened for meaningful dialogues with all insurgent groups. 

The existing problem could not be solved through military action and a solution will come only through political dialogue within the framework of the Indian Constitution.”

After the brutal assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, India takes time to restore the committed leadership which was built up by the two great leaders. The people of the state are also growing seasoned with the experiences of India’s commitments in the Shillong Accord, the Assam Accord, the Punjab Accord and the Mizo Accord as well as India’s manoeuvring towards the peace-talks with the NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) and India’s attitude to ULFA.

In the peace making process the urgent task facing the Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh is to secure the cooperation of the people who are the natural leaders of state. He must keep full trust to them. Because these people are bound to put aside their selfish aims in the larger cause of the state’s interest. Moreover they must start trusting each other, communicating with each other and working together.

We may remember an eventful fact that when the American president Lyndon Baines Johnson assumed office after the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, there were a few former high Government officials, elder statesmen, and long time advisors to presidents who only wanted to offer their services. Among them were three former presidents, two of whom belonged to another party. Each pledged his loyalty, his support, and his help in any way he could give it. Herbert Hoover, although ailing sent word to president Baines Johnson through the mutual friend Richard Berlin of Hearst newspapers, “I am ready to serve our country in any capacity from office boy up.”

Baines Johnosn intended to continue the Government’s established foreign policies and maintain the alliances of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. President Truman gave him many good suggestions and wise counsel from his own experience of being suddenly thrust into the presidency. He said that his confrontation of those international challenges, particularly in Korea had been horrors for him politically, bringing his popularity down from a high of 87 percent to a low of 23 percent. But he said it represented one of his proudest achievements in office. He told Baines Johnson always to bear in mind that he was the voice of all the people.

—to be contd.