TODAY -

Rio keeps tryst with Senapati date
Ibobi falls back on 'personal request' alibi, May 30 talk under a cloud
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 28 2011: With Nagaland Chief Minister Nephiu Rio personally requesting Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh, the former has been allowed to visit Senapati and launch the Manipur unit office of Naga Peoples' Front (NPF).

On the other hand, the State Government has written to the Union Home Ministry to postpone the tripartite talks scheduled to be held with United Naga Council (UNC) at Senapati on May 30 .

Talking to mediapersons today morning, after a State Cabinet meeting which finally acceded to the personal request of Nephiu Rio, Ibobi informed that a written letter from Nephui Rio explaining his visit to Senapati was received late night yesterday.

In the letter, Nephiu explained that since all preparations for the function have already been made in advance involving substantial expenditures, and since many dignitaries and party representatives have already started their journey to participate in the function, he would be unable to comply with the request of the Government of Manipur to defer/postpone his visit.

Nephiu Rio further assured that the function of NPF, which is a political party recognised by the Election Commission, will be a peaceful and democratic party function, and it will not create any law and order problem in Senapati.



Rio reaches out to the gathering which comprised of important leaders of the Naga community


After discussing the matter, the State Cabinet decided to accede to the request of Nephiu Rio considering the personal request and the assurance given and also considering the high office of the Chief Minister of a State and the protocol associated with it as well as in the interest of maintaining friendly and cordial relationship with all neighbouring States, Ibobi said.

The Chief Minister observed that the State Govt does not know the agenda of the NPF and added he does not know what changes have been made in the constitution of NPF.

The function could have been opposed but being a political party recognised by the ECI and a democracy, there appears to be nothing wrong from the legal point of view in allowing the NPF to hold its function in Manipur.

Reponding to queries from the media, Ibobi clarified that the State Government has not received any instruction from the Union Home Ministry on whether Nagaland Chief Minister should be allowed to visit Manipur or not.

The only instruction was to consult the Chief Minister of Manipur if any visit is to be made.

If NPF does anything wrong, complaint can be lodged with the Election Commission and the matter can be taken up even in the Court, Ibobi said, adding that UCM and other organisations need to make continued efforts for promotion of peaceful co-existence and communal harmony.

The Chief Minister further announced that the proposed tripartite talks involving the United Naga Council (UNC), State Government and Union Home Ministry on May 30 will stand postponed and the officials of the Home Ministry would be participating in the talks only as observers.

The State Government has written to the Union Home Ministry to postpone the talk as the Ministry or the UNC have not given any response to the earlier intimation from the State to spell out the demands/issues which UNC wants to discuss, in advance so as to enable meaningful discussion.

When asked how the talk can be possible with the UNC leaders who have already been declared wanted by the State Government, Ibobi asserted that they may be forgiven but the same action can be initiated against them if they continue to indulge in violence.

In response to another question, Ibobi categorically stated that there is no such thing called 'alternative arrangement' nor could it be ever granted.

How can the election to the ADC, which had been conducted democratically be declared null and void ?, Ibobi countered, adding that this would never happen.

In the letter despatched to the Union Home Ministry requesting postponing of the tripartite talks, the Special Secretary (Home) of the State Government pointed out that issues/points proposed to be discussed have not been communicated so far and the UNC had refused to accept the invitation extended by the State Govt.Furthermore, the letter pointed out that the visit of Nagaland Chief Minister accompanied by other Ministers, MLAs, MPs and office bearers of NPF today to Senapati to launch the State unit of the NPF has considerably raised the tension and the already volatile and sensitive law and order situation is under further pressure.

Given the absence of any response from the UNC and the delicate situation at Senapati, the State Cabinet has decided that it will not be conducive to hold any meeting at this stage.

Accordingly, the State Home Department has been directed to request the Ministry to defer/postpone the talks till the UNC furnishes the agenda for discussion and the law and order situation is normalised.


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