Imphal, May 19, 2023 (SPN) | A joint statement emphasizes that singling out and targeting the Meitei for the state government’s initiatives to combat issues such as poppy cultivation and deforestation is unwarranted and unfortunate.
It asserts that the eruption of violence in Churachandpur has resulted in losses for all communities in the state and will only serve to weaken the fabric of society.
Several organizations, including All Club Organisation Association & Meira Paibi Lup (ACOAM-Lup), Indigenous People’s Association of Kangleipak (IPAK), People’s Action for National Democratic Movement (PANDM), Kanglamei, Kanglei Ima Lup (KIL), and Chanura Lamchinglel Kangleipak (CLK), have issued a joint statement expressing their concerns and denouncing the violence and unrest in Manipur.
The joint statement criticizes the lack of foresight by leaders who organized the Tribal Solidarity March, stating that the controversy surrounding the Scheduled Tribe (ST) demand raised by the Meitei community should have been resolved through legal means rather than inciting unrest and communal tensions.
The organizations call for the organizers of the peace rally to come forward and take concrete measures to restore peaceful coexistence.
They argue that while the Kuki community may have grievances against the state government on various issues, it is unfair for them to turn against the Meiteis, suggesting hidden conspiracies at play.
The statement highlights the cultivation of poppy in the hill areas and opposition to the state government’s ban on poppy plantations, the ‘War on Drugs’ campaign, and forest conservation as evidence of attempts by foreigners and their supporters to create divisions among the communities.
The organizations stress that the measures to ban poppy cultivation and protect forests are not meant for the benefit of a single community but for the entire state. They caution against disruptive forces and emphasize the need for open communication and efforts to restore peace.
The joint statement asserts that Manipur belongs to both the hill and valley people and that the violence instigated by outsiders threatens the longstanding bond between the Kuki and Meitei communities, resulting in significant losses for both parties.
The organizations also criticized the state government for its failure to control the situation in a timely manner and call for collective action involving the government, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the public to bring an end to the civil unrest.
Additionally, the organizations urge the state government to ensure that students who have recently received their Class X and XII CBSE results face no obstacles in pursuing further studies.
The joint statement was signed by the respective presidents of ACOAM-Lup, IPAK, PANDM, Kanglamei, KIL, and CLK, namely Sanjit Soraisam, Ksh Somorendro, Yumnamcha Dilipkumar, Y Leirik Leima, RK Sanahanbi, and Ch Pakpi Chanu.