Longest economic blockade Stage set for tripartite talk

IMPHAL, Mar 18: Another round of tripartite talk involving the State Govern-ment, the United Naga Council (UNC) and the Central Government would be held tomorrow afternoon at Senapati DC office.
Ministry of Home Affairs, North East in-charge Satyendra Garg who would represent the Government of India has already arrived here today.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Suresh Babu and Works Commissioner K Radhakumar would represent the State Government at the tripartite meeting scheduled at 1 pm.
All UNC leaders with the exception of president Gaidon Kamei who took part meeting in the previous round of tripartite meeting held at Delhi would take part in tomorrow’s meeting, informed a source.
The UNC team would be led by general secretary S Milan. The team would also include three former presidents, the president of the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) and the president of the Naga Women Union (NWU).
The UNC imposed the indefinite economic blockade since November 1 last year in protest against the State Government’s plan to create new districts and subsequent creation of seven new districts.
Apart from imposing economic blockade, the UNC has been banning National projects in Naga dominated areas.
The UNC has been demanding revocation of the order issued by the previous State Government led by O Ibobi whereby seven new districts were created.
Two rounds of meeting were already held regarding suspension or lifting of the economic blockade but without any success. The State Government and the UNC would be holding another round of meeting for the third time tomorrow in the presence of a Central Government representative.
Meanwhile speaking to media persons today at the conference hall of Old Secretariat this afternoon, Chief  Minister N Biren reiterated that his Government’s foremost task was to get the economic blockade lifted and relieve the suffering people.
He also exuded that the tomorrow’s meeting would turn out to be positive.
Earlier, the tripartite meeting was scheduled on March 25 but it has been preponed to March 19 after the State Government sent feelers to the UNC, informed the Chief Minister.
Pointing out that the UNC leaders are brothers, Government spokesman and Cabinet Minister Th Biswajit stated that it seemed the UNC felt neglected.  The issue is an internal matter of Manipur and there is not much importance for outsiders in any effort to resolve it. The issue can be resolved through dialogue, he asserted. Biswajit further pointed out that Manipur is home to a number of ethnic groups.
On the other hand, the UNC has been facing a predicament as far as lifting the economic blockade is concerned without addressing their core demand of revoking the previous State Government’s order which  created seven new districts which, according to them, was passed after by-passing the Hill Areas Committee. Notably, ex-Chief Minister repeatedly clarified that the new districts were created for administrative convenience, not in favour or against any community.

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