AMUCO Hosts Unity Day In Remembrance

IMPHAL, Jun 18: As in the previous years, the 10th Unity Day was observed here at THAU Ground under the aegis of All Manipur United Clubs’ Organization (AMUCO) in memory of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Manipur’s integrity during the historic mass movement of June 2001.

Before opening the main function at THAU Ground, a large number of people led by AMUCO functionaries went to Kekrupat and paid floral tributes at the memorial tombs of the martyrs.

The function held at THAU Ground was graced by AMUCO president KT Rehman, president of Thadou Tribe Council Manipur Genkhomang Khongsai, president of Irabot Foundation Manipur Thounaojam Iboyaima, president of the Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Manipur L Memchoubi, United Manipur (Assam) president Kunjamohon, president of the Senior Citizens for Society Manipur N Binoy and president of the All Manipur Muslim Development Organization Md Ayub Khan as presidium members.

The massive gathering was addressed by Naharolgi Thoudang Editor Khoirom Loyalakpa, social activist Dhanabir Laishram, United Mongoloid Khunmi Organization (Manipur) president Sekham Kipgen and general secretary of the Senior Citizens for Society Manipur Prof Sadananda.

The Unity Day observance commenced by observing silence for two minutes in honor of the June 18 martyrs.

Giving key-note address of the function, AMUCO secretary general Ph Deban noted that the age-old fraternity between the hill people and plain people has not been fully restored.

One basic factor for this delay in realizing unity among the people of Manipur is the alleged divisive policies being pursued by the Government of India which they inherited from the British imperialists.

The historic event of June 18 is highly significant and is still needed to fight the Government of India’s divisive policies, Deban asserted.

He stated that the June 18 Unity  Day is being observed every year in memory of all those martyrs  who died after August 4, 1997 and June 2001 with a commitment to build up collective strength of the mass and mould common political interest.

Many of the speakers who addressed the mammoth gathering pointed out that the history of Manipur is history of both the hill people and plain people.  At different periods of history, the Manipuri people collectively fought against external forces and were successful in keeping intact the sovereignty and unity of the people.  Against all adversary external forces who threatened the unity of Manipur and its territorial boundary, the indigenous people of the State always stood firmly and collectively, they stated.    The battles fought by the indigenous against Burmese forces during the Seven Years’ Devastation and the numerous revolts made against British rule were all undeniable testimonies of the Manipuri people’s collective struggle against external forces.  They cautioned that the Naga people who have filial relationship with other indigenous people of Manipur should not fall in the trap laid down by New Delhi which is allegedly not different from British imperialists. There can be differences of opinions and ideology but conflict can never be a means in resolving these differences. Such differences can be sorted out only through dialogue, the speakers asserted.

It is a tragedy for the people of both the hills and valley that the NSCN-IM and UNC leaders seemed to be unaware of the fact that unity and cordiality among the Manipuri people which were the mainstay for the existence of Manipur as a sovereign kingdom for thousands of years were shaken only after the advent of British colonial rule in the State.  Elaborating on the concept behind observing the June 18 anniversary as Unity Day, AMUCO president KT Rehman asserted that it is natural for any unpopular regime to keep the people suppressed and divided.

Even as Naga Council/Naga Club was formed as early as November 4, 1947 at Kohima with the demand to integrate Mao, Tangkhul, Tuensang and Mon into Nagaland.

Despite repeated ultimatums submitted by Naga Club to the Government of India urging the same demand together with another demand for ‘self rule’ in Nagaland for 10 years, the State of Manipur never broke apart.

Nevertheless, Naga leaders have been consistently pursuing their agenda and the Manipur people have been tackling these challenges all along. This conflict dates back to the period of Lamyanba Irabot, Rehman asserted.

The prevailing situation marked by loss of precious time and lives, economic blockades, ethnic clash and sense of insecurity felt by one community when going to a place of another community is now more than 20 years old.

Stating that it is time for all the communities to understand who is behind this situation of distrust and conflict, the AMUCO president asserted that unity is the only elixir at such critical juncture.  Only unity can neutralize all sinister ploys of the alien rule, he asserted.

Noting that some Naga leaders who have fallen into the Government of India’s trap have been plotting continuously by poisoning the minds of common people with a sinister design to divide the Manipuri people into multiple camps, KT Rehman said that Unity Day has no boundary nor has it reached its goal. Under this principle, AMUCO has been sharing and seeking solutions to different problems happening in different parts of the hills as well as the valley.  He further exuded that unity would reign in Manipur one day and there would be a common political aspiration by then. In connection with the Unity Day, a blood donation was also organized at RIMS under the joint aegis of RIMS authority and AMUCO.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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