TODAY -
KNO celebrates unity; calls for Statehood
Source: The Sangai Express / S Singlianmang Guite

Lamka, October 30 2010: One of the two conglomerate armed groups of the tripartite SoO pact, the Kuki National Organisation, today celebrated the unity it has achieved over the years within the Kuki armed outfits and disclosed in public, for the first time, their intention to table a demand for separate State during the impending political talks.

The KNO's celebration that came amid three armed outfits of the UPF - KNF(S), KRA and KLO/KLA joining the KNO fold, was also a felicitation-of-sort for these outfits as the top ranking leaders were paraded and introduced before the public.

With the three outfits joining ranks, the KNO, according its defense secretary now has 15 armed groups under their fold.

Making a rare public appearance, KNO President PS Haokip addressed the gathering, wherein he revealed for the first time, KNO's desire for a separate State.

'On September 2, Kuki leaders met at New Delhi to discuss the political future of the community.

We have all raised our hand and agreed to pursue a separate Kuki State,' he said.

Haokip also talked, at length the need for unity amongst the armed outfits to protect and preserve the rights of the indigenous tribals.

'We are open to welcome all those groups who are still in the UPF; I requested them to join us,' he added.

On the demand for a separate statehood, the celebrated leader said, if the government of India ignores our grievances, we will approach countries that are sympathetic to us,' but did not elaborate on the nature of approach.

The KNO, he said, have been seeking to unite the assorted armed groups amongst the Kuki tribe, for which their efforts have received dividends since 2005 with the KNF(MC) and KNF(Z) joining their fold.

'Today we are celebrating the unity we have attained under the KNO, leaving behind us over fifty-years of rift,' he declares.

The leaders of the three outfits that are presented today before the public includes, KRA's David Hangshing, Chairman; Johnson, Gen Secy; ten other executives; KLO/KLA's President Paomang Khongsai; L Timothy, Gen Secy; L Zathang, Vice President; six other executive; and three from KNF (Samuel) including Samuel himself.


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