End impasse: ANSAM
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, January 29 2009: EXPRESSING concern over the tumultuous situation prevailing in and around Shirui village under Ukhrul district regarding the stand off between the NSCN (IM) and 17 Assam Rifles, the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and its constituent bodies have appealed to the concerned authorities to immediately intervene in order to amicably resolve the 'war like situation'.

David Adani Choro, president of ANSAM, Reisangpem Shaiza, general secretary of ANSAM, Kuba Peter, president, Senapati District Students' Association (SDSA), GH.

Newmeh, chairman of Zeliangrong Students' Union, Manipur (ZSUM), SK.

Stephen, president of Naga Students' Union, Chandel (NSUC) and PR.

Jordan, president, Tangkhul Kata-mnao Saklong (TKS), have alleged today that many innocent civilians were in the web of an apparent armed conflict with the incident of condoning, cutting of water and food supply line and power supply of NSCN camp at Shirui village, Ukhrul by the Indian armed forces (17 Assam Rifle) which may result in huge loss of lives and properties of the innocent civilians.

The Naga students' bodies also alleged that the unfortunate unhealthy attitude displayed by the government of India (GOI) through 17 AR undermining the series of Prime Ministerial talks was very unpleasant for Indo-Naga peace process in particular and to all the peace loving people.

In this regards, the student bodies appealed to all concern authorities to immediately intervene in order to amicably resolve the war like situation at Shirui village, Ukhrul.

They also informed that with the signing of the Indo-Naga cease-fire and the subsequent various rounds of political talks, the Naga people had welcome and cherished the hard won peace for the last more than ten years.

However, on January 19 at around 2 AM the Indian armed forces (17 AR) cordoned off the NSCN camp, alleged the student organisations reminding that the NSCN camp was established few years back with the knowledge of the GOI and that the camp had been visited by the Indian armed forces on one to two occasions.

The Naga students organisations also alleged that the large scale Indian armed forces stationed with heavy artilleries in and around Shirui village, occupying private residential courtyard, village panchayat hall, IFAD (International fund for Agricultural development) resort centre, demanding of cooking utensil, plate and collective firewood have resulted in shifting of children to nearby district HQ Ukhrul for their safety.

The siege of Shirui village by the Indian armed forces has adversely affected the students who are to appear the ensuing secondary and higher secondary examination in this academic session, asserted the Naga students' bodies and added that the restriction imposed on the movement of the villagers have also led to the cancelling of their sacred traditional SEED SOWING festival which might lead to, as per Nagas' belief, famine and other undesirable consequences.

Appreciating the womenfolk who have reportedly formed a wall between the two to prevent any unfortunate event, they asserted this was to reaffirm the Nagas' commitment to resolve the Indo-Naga conflict through peaceful negotiated settlement.

The Naga students' bodies also informed that the womenfolk of the surrounding villages were braving the chilly winter weather keeping vigil round the clock at Shirui village and simultaneously staging peaceful sit in protest in Mahatma Gandhi square, signifying the Nagas' commitment to non violence resolution in Ukhrul town to avoid possible armed conflict.

These students' bodies then a informed that the solidarity and concerned visits of Naga apex bodies Naga Hoho, Naga Student Federation (NSF), United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), NWUM and different social organizations from all Naga areas had helped the women, students, general public and particularly the Shirui villagers to uphold the spirit of the Nagas' commitment to steadfastly resolve the Indo-Naga conflict through peaceful means.

Meanwhile, condemning the DIG of 10 sector AR for reportedly stating that there was no cease fire in the state of Manipur despite 12 years cease fire since 1997, ANSAM, NSUC, ZSUM, SDSA and TKS held that such statement was "not call for" and observed that such matter lies with the GOI and the NSCN as two entities.

In this regards, the Naga students' bodies appealed to all the parties concerned to abide by the ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit.

The ANSAM and its constituent organisations also appealed to all peace loving people to support the hard won peace talk and shun violence of armed confrontation and called upon the Nagas not succumb to hardship but to show their traditional endurance and magnanimity.

The student bodies also appealed that the Nagas' endurance for the peaceful means settlement should not be taken as a sign of weakness and asserted that cognizance of violent attitude of some people as a means to sabotage will leave the Nagas with no option but to confront with available democratic means.

The Naga elders dreamt with their precious lives laid down for this sacred noble cause will live on in our time, held the press statement of the ANSAM and its units.