AMUCO reaches out to all with unity message
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 18: Without mincing words and putting the ball in the court of New Delhi, Prof N Sanajaoba, Dean of the Law Faculty of Gauhati University today challenged the Government of India to hold a referendum in the three States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur to decide on the contentious issue of creating a Greater Nagaland within June 30 this year.

The voters' strength of the three States is about 4 crores.

Speaking at the Unity Day function organised by AMUCO at GM Hall today, Prof Sanajaoba said that the NSCN (IM) has shifted its stand from a sovereign Nagaland to a Greater Nagaland and the only way to work out a solution to this would be to seek the mandate of the people whose territories stand to be affected.

Manipur has a population of about 24 lakhs and her territory should not be compromised just because some people took out a rally for the formation of Greater Nagaland, said Sanajaoba and added that India should realise that Manipur was there much before India or for that matter Nagaland came into being.

If the referendum says yes to the formation of Greater Nagaland then the people have no choice but to say yes but if the answer is no then the people have every right to say no, added the Professor.

No one is against the peace process between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India but the territories of the neighbouring States should not be compromised for the sake of a community, without consulting the others, said Sanajaoba and added that India ought to resolve the matter by holding a referendum in the three States.

A large number of Naga soldiers have laid down their lives for the sovereignty of the Naga people, but the number of Naga workers laying down their lives for Naga integration will be minuscule, added Sanajaoba.

President of AMUCO, R Yangsosong Koireng said that Manipur is one of the oldest kingdoms in South East Asia with a 2000 year recorded history.

The territory of Manipur cannot be challenged by anyone as long as the different communities continue to live in peaceful coexistence, he added.

Sango Poumai, president of the Hou Khunnai Innat Thousil Lup said that the hill and plain people of Manipur are one and the same and added that the term Naga was coined by the British.

He added that people may change but the land cannot be changed.

Hence the territory of Manipur should not be compromised at any cost, he added.

Joseph Hmar, president of Hmar Students Association told the gathering to learn from the martyrs who laid down their lives for the sake of Manipur and accused the Government of India of sowing the seeds of mutual distrust.

Earlier in the day floral tributes were paid to the pictures of the 23 persons who laid down their lives in the endeavour to protect the territory of Manipur.

Present among those who turned up to pay their respect were Lok Sabha MP Dr T Meinya, Works Minister Th Debendro, Power Minister Gaikhangam.

IFC Minister Phungzathang Tonsing, Industries Minister N Mangi, PHED Minister K Govindas, MLAs N Biren, Radhakishore, K Ranjit and former Rajya Sabha MP W Angou.

AMUCO also observed the day at different parts of the State.

At the Tuibong community hall in CCpur district, the All Kanglei Social worker Organisation observed the day.

Representatives of different communities took part in the function, which was observed under the theme �Unity Day�.

A similar function was also organised at the Wangjing Primary School by the All Thoubal District United Clubs Organisation and Unity Day Observation Committee.

United Clubs Organisation, Bishnupur district and Meira Paibi Apunba Lup, Bishnupur also observed the day at Ningthoukhong High School ground.

At Mayang Imphal the day was observed under the aegis of All Mayang Imphal Clubs' Organisation.