European Manipuris urge PM to diffuse crisis
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 02 2010: The European Manipuri Assocition (EMA), London, United Kingdom has urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps to diffuse the humanitarian crisis prevailing in Manipur.

In a letter, the EMA drew the attention of the Prime Minister to "the profound humanitarian crisis continuing in the state of Manipur due to the ongoing economic blockade, enforced by the All Naga Student Association Manipur (ANSAM) and others since 11th April 2010" .

The letter said, "As you are aware, the two national highways, NH 39 and NH 53, are the only proper conduits linking Manipur to mainland India.

They are the lifelines on which millions of Manipuris depend for all their essential supplies" .

"The blockade of the national highways, in particular, has effectively choked the entire population of Manipur resulting in acute shortages of food, medicine and other essential commodities in the state.

The price of food grains and other household supplies has escalated to such a level that ordinary people are being driven to starvation" .

The EMA further said that school children have been denied the most basic rights to education as school vans and buses have halted service due to fuel shortage.

Many hospitals have closed down emergency services due to shortage of essential supplies including medicines and oxygen.

If the situation continues unabated the entire infrastructure and support system in the state would collapse.

"The tragedy is that it is not the first time Manipur has faced a crisis of such magnitude.

Time and again, various groups have blockaded NH 39 and NH 53 as a form of collective punishment taking the entire population of Manipur to ransom.

Every time the end results are untold miseries and suffering of the innocent public of Manipur" .

The EMA said that it feels strongly that these blockades amount to the worst form of human rights violations and need urgent attention to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

The Association urged the Prime Minister to take up immediate measures to end the present crisis and prevent the repetition of such inhuman acts in the future.

The Association also requested the Prime Minster to look into corrective steps in the form of appropriate security and infrastructure development of the national highways so that they are kept open at the worst of times.

Under these circumstances, the completion of the railway project connecting Manipur to Mainland India becomes an urgent necessity.

Therefore, the government would like to draw the PM's attention to take a prioritized and appropriate action regarding the matter.

The EMA urged Dr Manmohan Singh to respond expeditiously to this situation in accordance with the mandate to uphold human rights as enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.