Official invitation sent to ANSAM on Wednesday, says Ibobi
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 25: To solve the impasse with the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur, the State Government has sent an official invitation to the student body yesterday inviting its leaders to come to the negotiating table.

Announcing this to newsmen at his office chamber today, Chief Minister O Ibobi said that though an invitation has been sent to ANSAM a positive response is yet to come and the Government is still waiting for a response.

The Chief Minister however expressed confidence that a solution with ANSAM will be worked out just like the manner in which an agreement with Zomi Students' Federation was worked out.

To a question where the talk will be held, if at all it materialises, the Chief Minister replied, "Since the demand raised by ANSAM is a State issue, the talk has to be held at Imphal.

It will not be proper for ANSAM to stick to a venue outside Manipur".

The Chief Minister made it clear that the State Government can never agree to a venue outside Manipur for the talk to be held.

ANSAM had imposed the economic blockade on the National Highways of Manipur to protest the decision of the Government in declaring June 18 as State Integrity Day and State holiday.

The student body had demanded that the State Government should first revoke its decision before any talk is held.

The blockade was temporarily lifted after 52 days following the personal intimation of the PM and the Home Minister to a team of Naga Hoho to call off the economic blockade in the interest of the common people.

The Chief Minister further said that a team will soon visit the four hill districts and study the situation following the destruction caused to a large number of Government offices in a violent upsurge during the economic blockade.

Majority of Government offices at these four hill districts have since then by lying defunct, said the Chief Minister and added that the visit may materialise within the next two/three days.

A Ministerial team was scheduled to visit Chandel today, but as the meeting with the Zomi Students' Federation was in the pipeline today, the visit had to be deferred, he informed.

According the earlier schedule the first visit was to be Chandel followed by Senapati, Ukrhul, and Tamenglong, said the Chief Minister.

To a question whether there is any plan to hold talks with ANSAM during the tour to the hill districts in the line of the talk held with ZSF yesterday at Churachandpur in the sidelines of the inspection of Khuga Dam, the Chief Minister replied that there is no such proposal from ANSAM to hold talks during any of the proposed tour to the hill districts.

However if ANSAM evinces any interest in talking to the Government during the tours, the Government will not turn the other way round, he assured.