Blockade caught in talks venue debate
Come to Senapati for talks, says ANSAM, Govt says a big NO

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 06: Uncertainty continues to prevail on whether representatives of State Government and All Naga Students Association Manipur (Ansam) will hold talks to settle the ongoing impasse over the former�s declaration of June 18 as State Integrity Day and the student body imposing indefinite economic blockade in protest.

The latest twist in the lingering impasse concerns Ansam's insistence to negotiate the matter at Senapati district headquarters instead of a venue at Imphal which was outrightly rejected by the Government.

According to official sources, the Government received Ansam�s acceptance for talks but with the condition that it should be held at the Senapati District Deputy Commissioner�s office chamber tomorrow.

Not surprisingly ANSAM's rider was flatly turned down by the Government on grounds that talks like on previous occasions should be held at the State capital.

However, the Government's response had not yet reached Ansam, said sources.

Prior to the latest development, there was report of ANSAM accepting the Government�s third invitation for talks but the leaders of the student body insisted on Senapati as the meeting venue considering accessibility and convenience of members of the student body.

According to Ansam president Paul Langhu, the State Government has been intimated to depute negotiation team to the office chamber of Deputy Commissioner, Senapati at 2 pm tomorrow (July 7).He also said that it would desirable if Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh be part of the Government team.

In the interest of the general public at large, we have decided to accept the third invitation from the State Government, he said while adding that decision on holding the talks was taken during an emergency meeting of the Association.

Paul was however, adamant on not lifting the ongoing economic blockade, enforced since June 19, till the State Government revoke its decision of declaring June 18 as State Integrity Day first.

He further asserted that Ansam will not delay in calling off the agitation in case the Govt honours its demand of revoking the State declaration.

Mention may be made that in addition to the indefinite economic blockade which has begun to take its toll on the stock position of essential commodities, Ansam unit volunteers have closed down Government offices at Tamenglong, Chandel, Senapati and Ukhrul districts since yesterday as part of the non-cooperation movement.

In the meantime, NSU Chandel president Anar L Angdang conveyed of the Union volunteers locking up numerous Govt offices in the district today in connection with the non-cooperation movement.