University Teachers' Association Press Release
Manipur University Teachers' Association (MUTA) has organized a
one day open debate on the "Implications of the GOI-NSCN(IM)
Cease fire Extension without Territorial Limits" chaired by
a presidium comprising of Prof. N. Khagendra Singh, Prof. N.
Mohendra Singh and Dr. Th. Ratankumar Singh,President MUTA on
July 5, 2001 at 10:00 a.m. in the Centenary Hall of the
Centenary Hall of the University, which normally can accommodate
about one thousand people at a time, was not able to accommodate
all the people who turned up to participate in the debate.
the outset the participants observed a two-minutes’ silent
observation as a mark of paying homage to those fourteen
persons who had died and those who had suffered injuries on the
18th June 2001.
President, MUTA, gave a brief note on the recent developments
following the cease-fire agreement and the imperatives of
organizing such an open public Debate. The President also made
an appeal to all the Debaters to confine their opinions purely
on academic perspectives devoid of any emotions or sentiments.
than thirty participants including eminent personalities from a
cross-section of Manipuri Society deliberated on various aspects
relating to the implications of the GOI- NSCN(IM) cease-fire
extension without territorial limits as well as the various
issues resulting therefrom. All the speakers took serious note
of the public resentment against the extension of cease-fire.
N. Khelchandra, while referring to archival and historical
records, spoke of the historical territorial size of Manipur,
which was much larger than the present size. In doing so, he
strongly refuted the territorial claims made by NSCN(IM). He
also appealed that all the communities in Manipur should shun
violence and find an amicable solution through peaceful and
N. Sanajaoba appreciated the role-played by AMSU and other
organisations. He appealed to the general public in general and
the media in particular to refrain from confusing the public by
using the term 'Indo - Naga' talks. The agreement was in fact
signed between the Government of India and the National
Socialist Council of Nagaland. The word 'IM' was not even
mentioned in the Bangkok Agreement. He expressed that the GOI
should not be carried away by the wishes of the minority section
of the population on issues involving the general population.
Since the State of Manipur was not a signatory to the cease-fire
agreement, he asserted that the agreement cannot be made
operational in Manipur.
T. S. Gangte questioned the wisdom of the GOI in giving the
recognition to the NSCN(IM) as a separate entity while signing
the cease-fire agreement. He emphasized that Kukis constitute
almost half of the total population of the three districts being
claimed by NSCN(IM) in Manipur and in fact the Kukis have been
more significant politically. He also pointed out that the GOI
entering into agreement when an outlawed organisation like the
NSCN(IM) reduces India to a terrorist state.
Advocate A. Nilamani termed the GOI-NSCN(IM) cease-fire
extension as a gameplan of pitting one community against
another. While expressing fear that cease-fire without
territorial limits may not be immediately withdrawn he suggested
that the boundary of the State of Manipur can be safeguarded
only through a process of amendment of Article 3 of the Indian
Constitution. A proper strategy needs to be adopted to achieve
this, he concluded.
R.K. Ranendrajit expressed that it was time to chalk out an
action plan and the time for debate or discussion was over. He
suggested that there should be a united effort to counter the
GOI policy of divide and rule. He concluded with the statement,
'They have so far seen our humanity and they have not seen our
enmity'. Therefore, we should not succumb to the bait of the GOI.
Ksh. Bimola termed the cease-fire as full of duplicity and
contradiction and therefore difficult to implement.
Amar Yumnam opined that the ceasefire extension need to be
viewed from the perspective of (a) the failure of the GOI to
evolve any integrative policy relevant for a multi-ethnic and
multi-regional context, and (b) the recent resurgence of the
North East as a force to reckon with in different fields and the
increasing interaction among the different groups of the region
through various civil society organisations. The ceasefire
extension is a ploy to nib in the bud the burgeoning strength of
the North East, he asserted. While appreciating the demand for
constitutional amendment to ensure territorial integrity of
Manipur, he expressed apprehensions on this score given the rich
tract record of India regarding constitutional amendments. In
this connection, he emphasised the need for inserting a clause
in the Merger Agreement to provide for periodic review and right
K. Ibo Singh suggested moderation while reacting to the
cease-fire extension by all the communities. He also said that
the age of ‘diktat’, domination is over. We should think in
terms of interdependence and mutual co-operation so that we can
live in peace, he said.
N. Lokendra categorized the cease-fire as anti people, ahistoric,
undemocratic, anachronistic and a process of colonization by
vested interest. He suggested that 'social federalism' must be
Riyajuddin Chaudhury, Padmasri M.K. Binodini, M.Ibohal Singh, A.
Brajakumar Sharma, Dr. Y. Mohendra, Y. Tijendra, L. Sadananda
also participated in the debate. All the other speakers
expressed their strong objection to the extension of the
cease-fire without territorial limits.They all expressed that
the cease-fire extension without territorial limits must be
immediately withdrawn and the territorial integrity of Manipur
must not be allowed to alter at any cost.
S. Dorendrajit Singh)
General Secretary, MUTA