Lobby group from Manipur pulling the right strings in corridors of power
Delhi advises Muivah to abort proposed trip

Source: The Sangai Express / Ninglun H

Imphal, May 27 2010: In perhaps the first visible step taken up by the Centre to defuse the crisis besetting Manipur, the Union Home Ministry has reportedly advised Th Muivah to cancel his proposed trip to Somdal village in Manipur and leave Viswema village.

This message was conveyed to a group of prominent citizens from Manipur, led by Lt Colonel (Retd) Laishram Lokendra Singh, by the Union Home Secretary GK Pillai at New Delhi.

Speaking to this reporter over the phone from Delhi today, the former Army officer said that the Union Home Secretary categorically said that the territory of Manipur would not be compromised at all, during a meeting held yesterday.

Pulling the right strings, the team from Manipur launched a series of campaign cum discussion sessions with Central leaders in Delhi, over the highly tense situation in Manipur for the last one week, said Lokendra.

Th Muivah

The team comprises Lt Col (Retd) L Lokendra, Lt Col (Retd) Haobam Bhuban Singh, S Rupachandra, Amrik Singh Pahwa, Major (Retd) Y Angamba Singh, Bhabananda and Premananda Sharma.

Considering the volatile situation in Manipur as well as the inconveniences posed by the presence of a large number of armed cadres of the NSCN (IM) at Viswema, which has posed a hurdle in their daily agricultural activities, the Centre has advised Muivah to either return to Amsterdam or Bangkok, said Lokendra quoting the Union Home Secretary GK Pillai.

The advise of the Centre was relayed to Muivah through the new interlocutor RS Pandey, said Lokendra.

Reiterating the assurance given by Pillai, Lokendra said, 'The Union Home Secretary has given a firm commitment that Muivah will not be allowed to visit Somdal in Ukhrul district and the territorial integrity of Manipur would not be compromised at any cost' .

On the ongoing total blockade imposed on NH-39 and NH-53 by several Naga civil societies since April 12, Pillai was agreeable to the idea of formulating National policy to ensure that highways are always open for vehicular movement.

Speaking to our correspondent at New Delhi today, Lokendra, said blocking National Highways is not the answer to anything and may give rise to tension and animosity.

"If the Darjeeling based GJMM cut off the National Highways leading to the North East region at Siliguri, will we silently accept it ?" he asked.

The retired army officer opined that Chief Minister O Ibobi should at least try to initiate a dialogue with the blockade sponsors or else find an alternative route.

That NH-53 can be the alternative to NH-39 is borne by the ferrying of goods laden trucks by Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Y Erabot a few days back, he observed.

Major (Retd) Y Angamba said, "The peace agreement between the NSCN (IM) and the GoI is only on paper and is legal only between the two parties concerned" .

Sounding a word of caution, Angamba said that if the Centre persists on allowing Muivah to visit his birth place at this juncture, the possibility of a communal riot erupting in the North East region cannot be ruled out.

The team met a number of political leaders in Delhi including Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat of the CPI (M), Prakash Javedkar and Arun Jaitley of the BJP as well as Karan Singh of the Congress.

"Other than meeting with the leaders of Vivekananda International Foundation, we also discussed the prevailing situation with media persons including Tehelka," said Lokendra.

"We are also trying to meet Rahul Gandhi," said Lokendra further.

The team at Delhi presently has no political affiliations, said Lokendra and asserted that the primary reason is to give a detailed report on the situation in Manipur to people who matter in Delhi.