IMPHAL, Aug 31: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on
Thursday lamented that there are too many civil society
organisations in the state and they speak in different voices,
making it difficult to find a solution to the ethnic problem
rocking Manipur for nearly four months.
He urged those bodies to present a concrete proposal to solve
the crisis in one voice, so it can be conveyed to the centre by
the state government.
“There are too many organisations. We are at a very crucial
stage now. Both the central and the state governments are
confused about whom to talk to. We will go with the public
(opinion) and never work against the interests of the people,”
Singh said at a programme.
A number of civil society organisations are community-based.
Meities and Kukis, the two warring communities, have their
own such bodies.
Kukis are represented by organisations such as the Indigenous
Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), Committee On Tribal Unity (COTU),
Kuki Inpi and the Zomi Council. On the other hand, civil bodies
like the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity
(COCOMI), United Committee Manipur (UCM) and the All
Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) represent
“People and civil society organisations should come together
and take a concrete proposal showing their stand so that the
government can convey it to the Centre.”
“We must come together irrespective of our political and
community affiliation and work together for the present and
future generation to enable them to live with dignity,” Singh
said at the state-level celebration of the ‘Meri Maati Mera
The ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ envisions a unified celebration of
India’s soil and valour, commemorating the nation’s journey of
freedom and progress. This campaign comprises many activities
and ceremonies conducted across the country.
Condemning the gun attacks on farmers tending their fields at
Naransena in Bishnupur district on Tuesday, the chief minister
said, “Security forces arrested one person in this connection
along with a .303 rifle.”
More than 160 people lost their lives and several hundreds
were injured since the ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on
May 3, after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill
districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for
Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population
and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis –
– constitute little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill districts.