PRESS STATEMENT : Dated Tahamzam, 7th February, 2017
An emergency Presidential Council of the United Naga Council (UNC) was convened on date to consider the outcome of the tripartite meeting of the Government of Manipur (GoM), Government of India(GoI) and the United Naga Council (UNC) held on 3rd February, 2017 at New Delhi. The issue of declaration of 7 new districts by the Government of Manipur on 8th December, 2016 without consulting the stake holders in utter disrespect of the 4 MoUs signed with Naga organizations and assurance given by the Ministry of Home Affairs , GoI was the core issue to be discussed in the tripartite talk.
The GoM only pleaded its helplessness on taking up the core issue in the talk as the election code of conduct, which has come into effect from 4th January 2017, prohibits any political decision for roll back or otherwise either by the GoM or the GoI. The next tripartite talk for taking up the core issue was then scheduled for the 25th March, 2017.
The GoM and GoI moved for creating a conducive atmosphere for the next tripartite meeting and it was agreed that none of the parties would go to the press on sensitive matters discussed in the talk. But the Chief Minister of Manipur has triumphantly stated in the media that the core issue has not been put on the agenda and that the UNC protest would be called off.
The Presidential Council in the light of the above brought out the following positions –
1) That, the Nagas and their land are inseparable is reaffirmed. The land gives us our identity, tradition and culture. In the land lies our future as a people.
2) That, the Nagas have rejected the declaration of 7 new districts on 12th December, 2016 and strongly demonstrated the rejection with the mass rally held in Naga district headquarters on 15th December, 2016.
3) That, there is constitutional safeguard and protection for the tribal people in Manipur under the Constitution of India – Article 371C (2): “The Governor shall annually, or whenever so required by the President, make a report to the President regarding administration of the Hill areas in the State of Manipur and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of direction to the State as to the administration of the said areas“.
The Nagas have submitted representations to the President of India and Governor of Manipur on the declaration of 7 new districts as follows –
a) To the President of India by the UNC on 22st December, 2016 through the President’s Secretariat Central Registry Section.
b) To the President of India by the Women for Just Peace 0n 19 January, 2017 through the President’s Secretariat Central Registry Section.
c) To the Governor of Manipur by the UNC on 15th December, 2016
d) To the Governor of Manipur by the Women for Just Peace on 11th January, 2017.
In the given circumstance, the Presidential Council after thorough deliberation concluded that the code of conduct cannot limit the Union of India nor the Governor of the State of Manipur from intervening and fulfilling their constitutional obligation to safeguard and protect land of the tribal as enshrined in the constitution.
The Presidential Council therefore reiterates the rejection of the creation of 7 new districts and resolved to continue to fight against the insidious design of grabbing our land on the pretext of administrative convenience till the same is withdrawn. It was further resolved that Nagas would also reject and fight against any other moves that would affect our land and identity.
( S. MILAN )
UNITED NAGA COUNCIL