May demand pre-merger status: UCM

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 20: The United Committee Manipur (UCM) has categorically stated that the people of Manipur have every right to demand the pre-merger status of Manipur if India is scheming to break the State apart.
A North East cultural exchange programme and handloom mela jointly organised by UCM, Puthiba Welfare and Cultural Society Agartala and Berimura Manipuri Youth Association, Bemusia Tripura concluded on Sunday at Berimura community hall.
Speaking at the closing function, UCM president Konthoujam Joychandra stressed on the urgent need to revive the vibrant work culture of Meitei’s past generations.
“Let us stop selling and living off properties, particularly land, inherited from our forefathers”, he said.
“Our rich culture and traditions must be preserved and promoted before the whole world”, he continued.
The UCM president also called upon the Meitei people to show their calibre and raise the population.
He pointed out that Manipur achieved independence before India.
Even if the Chin-Kuki people distort the history as much as they want, the identity of Manipur can never be obliterated, he asserted.  
“If the Government of India works in such a manner which can lead to disintegration of Manipur, our people have every right to demand the pre-merger status”, the UCM president said.
India is made up of a number of States and the Government of India must understand how Manipur existed before its merger into the Indian Union.
Manipur existed as an independent country for thousands of years and it has its own language, culture and religious practice, Joychandra said.
Saying that Manipur was forcibly merged into the Indian Union, he asked why the Government of India is now scheming to divide Manipur.
The Government of India    ought to respect every decision taken by Manipur.
The violent crisis besieging Manipur for more than one year has its roots in the attempts to check rampant deforestation, extensive poppy plantation, large scale drug business and continuous influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar, he said.
He also called upon all the people to stand united and firm against any challenge to the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial boundary.
Tribal Welfare and Handloom & Handicraft Minister of Tripura Bikash Debbarma, Tripura University (Central) Vice-Chancellor Ganga Prasad Prasain, UCM vice-president YK Dhiren and WMC Tripura unit president N Naobi attended the function as presidium members.
The closing function also featured several cultural programmes.