CIRCA bats for pre-merger status
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Oct 18: The Coalition of Indigenes’ Rights Campaign (CIRCA) has reiterated that the pre-merger political status of Manipur should be restored under the framework of the Instrument of Accession (IOA) in order to find a political solution to the protracted armed conflict prevalent in Manipur.
As observed every year since 2015, CIRCA observed Manipur National Day at the State Guest House, Sanjenthong here today in commemoration of the first sitting of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on October 18, 1948.
Deliberation on the rights of indigenous people on education, natural resources, environment, culture, sports and pre-merger political status marked the Manipur National Day observance.
Dr K Sanatomba of MU, Senior Advocate Sanasam Sarat, political analyst Leihaothabam Saratchandra, former Assistant Registrar MU Dr O Kulabidhu, Ningthouja Lancha and Somorendro Thokchom spoke at the discussion programme which was moderated by Prof W Nabakumar.
Five resolutions were adopted at the end of the deliberation.
India should recognize the distinct history and distinct political status of Manipur as a step towards finding a peaceful political solution to the protracted armed conflict prevalent in Manipur. Restoration of the pre-merger political status to Manipur under the framework of the Instrument of Accession should be the basis of any such political solution, read the first resolution.
The second resolution said, “ The exploration and exploitation of natural resources should cease until the restoration of the pre-merger political status of Manipur or until a satisfactory resolution to the prevailing armed conflict in Manipur is achieved. A free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous people of Manipur as mandated by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007 should be taken before initiating any development activities”.
The United Kingdom has the moral responsibility to intervene in finding a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Manipur since it was partly responsible for the controversies and confusions surrounding the political status of Manipur in the post-empire period. In this respect, Manipur may be accorded a separate membership of the British Commonwealth in recognition of the fact that it was under the suzerainty of the British crown thereby allowing Manipur to participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Games as a separate entity, read the third resolution.
History of pre-merger Manipur should be included in the educational syllabus and curriculum from the grass-root level up to University level so as to promote communal harmony among different indigenous communities settled in Manipur, asserted the fourth resolution.
The fifth and last resolution said, “A People’s Council be instituted representing all the indigenous ethnic communities of Manipur as the Upper House of the State’s Legislature will ensure peaceful co- existence.”
All the five resolutions would be discussed again with all sections of people including trade unions and people related with films, culture and sports, informed a press release issued by CIRCA.