UNC's 5-day ultimatum to PM; Hints at resumption of economic blockade
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, July 27, 2010: The United Naga Council today submitted an ultimatum to Government of India, address to the Prime Minister, to solicit with the position and situation of "Naga people in Manipur state for honouring the commitment for peace and justice.

In the ultimatum signed by its president Samson Remei made available to the Media houses stated that Naga people in Manipur have been patiently awaiting for the response of the Government of India (GoI) to the urgent demands for intervention from the Prime Minister's Office on several occasions for irredeemably vitiated situation prevailing in the present state of Manipur.

"The UNC is constrained to submit this ultimatum whereby the GoI's intervention within five days on the following issues should take place, failing which, having no other option but to resume the temporarily suspended agitation till the aspiration of the people is fulfilled," the ultimatum stated recalling the demands of the body.

It recalled that the economic blockade which was enforced by the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) in protest against the imposition of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (3rd Amendment) Act 2008 on the tribals and later on compounded with the insult on the Naga Students' Federation by the Manipur State Armed Forces and the killing of 2 students at Mao on 6th May, 2010 by the Manipur State Armed Forces, was temporarily suspended on the 18th June, 2010. It was suspended after a joint meeting of the Naga Hoho(NH), United Naga Council(UNC), Naga Students' Federation(NSF), ANSAM, Naga Women's' Union Manipur(NWUM) and the Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights(NPMHR-S) was held and in response to the request of the Prime Minister, Home Minister and leader of the Opposition at the centre.

They conveyed the request through the Naga Students' Federation during their visit to Delhi in the second week of June last, it stated.

"Even in the face of extreme provocation and total disregard for our existence as a people" by state government of Manipur, the Nagas in the state had been hopeful that the GoI will intervene and address the issues that had been repeatedly brought before the GoI, Samson drew the attention of the Prime Minister.

The Naga People have always cherished peace and good sense in approaching issues and the forbearance this far will bear testimony to this.

However, their earnest request for intervention of the GoI on the "urgent and grave situation" that has been created by the state government in the Naga areas are till ignored and left unaddressed, the ultimatum lamented recalling the demands placed to the Prime Minister's office May 6 last in a joint memorandum submitted by the UNC, ANSAM, NWUM and the NPMHR(S) through the Sub-Divisional Officer, Mao - Maram Sub-Division and another reminder May 17. The UNC again on June 15 last wrote a letter to the PM registering its strong protest against militarization of Naga areas by state armed forces and the continuing brutal atrocities by them.

It also alleged the state government of responding the agitation of the people by declaring presidents of the UNC and ANSAM as "wanted" and fixing of rewards on them by the state government, equating the Nagas demand for their democratic rights with a criminal act.

The lengthy ultimatum also charged that the external force of the state government is continuing its intrusion and aggression with the continued militarization of the Naga areas in the state with the state's armed forces, continued to hunt for the Naga leaders as criminals and instituted the ADCs for the tribals and the hills at Imphal Valley, making a mockery of democracy and insulting the sentiments of the Nagas.

In the light of the above, it said, the UNC is constrained to submit this ultimatum whereby the GoI's intervention within five days on the following issues should take place, failing which, having no other option but to resume the temporarily suspended agitation till the aspiration of the people is fulfilled.

The demands included institution of a judicial enquiry into the May 6 incident at Mao Gate, where two students were shot dead and more than a hundred peaceful protestors wounded by the state armed forces, immediate withdrawal of the imposed section of 144 CrPC and demilitarization of Naga areas by removal of the Indian Reserve Battalion and Manipur Police Commandos, removal of "wanted" tag and fixing of rewards imposed on Naga leaders, dissolution of the "undemocratically" instituted Autonomous District Councils.

The ultimatum also makes it clear that the expression of democratic rights will be intensified in different forms and at different level till the issues are addressed in the right perspective drawing the attention of the Prime Minister its strong commitment and support to the Indo-Naga Peace process to its logical conclusion.

The copy of the ultimatum to the Prime Minister is also forwarded to the Union home minister, Chief Minister of Nagaland, Governor of Manipur, interlocutor RS Pandey, secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, president of Naga Hoho, Naga students' Federation, All Naga Students' Association Manipur, Naga Women's' Union Manipur and convenor if Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (South).