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PC Dangles Carrots For Peace At ZRA’s Camp

Experiencing the hospitality of the Zomis : A woman cadre of ZRA attending to PC

CAMP MUVANLAI, (CCpur)   Dec 15: The Union Home Minister who, early today spent a good fifty minutes of his time at the ZRA’s Camp Muvanlai on the outskirt of Singngat sub-divisional headquarters appealed to the insurgent leaders to stop bloodshed and assured that the Government will do any- thing for them in return.

Landing well ahead of his initial schedule, P Chidambaram arrived with Chief Minister O Ibobi and other officials at the ZRA’s camp at 9.45 am. He was given a befitting salute by the cadres upon his arrival while the ‘˜Cabinet members’ of the outfit flooded him with traditional gifts.

The Home Minister and his entourage then engaged the insurgent leaders on a close-door meeting for over forty-minutes.

It is understood that the Zomi Re-unification Organization (ZRO), the political wing of the ZRA submitted memorandum on two counts; one pertaining to the designated camps and the other on the political aspiration of the Zomis.

Though he refused to respond to queries from this correspondent, sources said, he had requested participants of the close-door meeting to learn from the past and to also move forward.

‘˜I came here with an open mind, all your problem will be solved and we will do anything for you provided you move forward and live in peace,’ a source quoted the Union Minister as telling the insurgent leaders.

A statement of the ZRO’s Information and Public Relations department issued moments after the Home Minister left their camp said the organization is extremely grateful to Chidambaram for his exceptional efforts to understand the political aspiration of Zomi and other tribes in Manipur.

‘His (the Home Minister) personal visit to Camp Muvanlai is historic in more ways than one. He came to us with an open heart, sat and discussed our political aspiration for over forty minutes,’ it said adding, his physical presence at their camp raised new hope and aspiration for a glorious future ahead.

Meanwhile, the apex body of the Zomi, the Zomi Council proposed before the Union Minister an autonomous tribal State within the State of Manipur and an independent commission to study the feasibility of their proposition.

The Zomi Council proposition said the existing HAC under Article 371C should be replaced with Autonomous Tribal State (ATS) within Manipur as enshrined in Article 244A of the Indian Constitution with improvements on the words, ‘˜in the State of Assam’ and the ‘˜State of Meghalaya’ on Manipur’s perspective. It also suggested that powers and functions of the Autonomous State be amended to cater to the present and future needs of the State’s tribal besides extending Sixth Schedule provision to the existing ADCs.

Meanwhile the Kuki National Front, a party to the SoO agreement submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister stating that a Kuki homeland or Statehood must be created for the Kukis to live in peace and harmony among themselves.

The memorandum not only gave a historical background of the Kukis and the land where they have settled for years but also showed a map showing the Kuki inhabited areas in Manipur. Other than some parts of Senapati and Ukhrul district, as well as the valley areas, the KNF identified the rest/hill districts as Kuki inhabited areas in the memorandum submitted to the Union Home Minister.

*Reported by S Singlianmang Guite.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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