Civil society to press for early dialogue with UPF

New Delhi Aug 6: Civil society leaders are likely to meet Union minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on August 7 to press for initiating for the early commencing of political dialogue with the United People’s Front (UPF), one of the two umbrella organisations of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo underground groups.

A team of civil society leaders arrived here in New Delhi on August 4. It is expected that these leaders will meet the Union minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on August 7 to apprise the latter for the early starting of political dialogue.

“There is no point extending the Suspension of Operation (SoO) every time it expires when political dialogue is not held,” said a prominent leader of the community when Newmai News Network enquired on the development.
The current one year SoO term for both UPF and KNO ends on August 22. Given this, 16 days are left for the expiry of the present one year term of Suspension of Operation (SoO). Both the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United Peoples’ Front (UPF) are spending hectic consultations on the matter. Both UPF and KNO are not sure whether they will extend the SoO for another term.

“Our team will go back to Manipur after meeting the Central leaders here and brief the UPF leaders on August 12 where we will have a big meeting that day,” stated another leader. He also said that only after the August 12 meeting the UPF will come to know whether to extend the Suspension of Operation with the Government or not after the current term expires on August 22.

It can be recalled here that a leader of the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) had told NNN earlier that they were still observing the situation. “We have not decided whether to extend the SoO term or not,” the top KNO source disclosed Newmai News Network, adding, “We are closely observing the situation and we are also observing what the Government of India’s initiative is regarding our position.” The source also said that the KNO is yet to fix a date for the outfit’s meeting in connection with the SoO expiry issue. “Signing the SoO pact just for the sake of signing every time it expires is a futile exercise,” stated the KNO source. The KNO however, expressed hope that the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be better than the previous Congress led UPA government.

Both UPF and KNO are engaging in political struggle with similar ideologies. The KNO, however, in recent time is widening its political advocacy and perspective.

Early this year, KNO president PS Haokip had mentioned it in his message on the KNO Raising Day on February 24 in Churachandpur district of Manipur that stretching from Kachin state of Burma covering up to Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh and Tuensang and Mon districts of the Konyak and Khimniungan region in the present day Nagaland in India, as well as the land of the Heimi people in Myanmar (Burma) to which tribe SS Khaplang, leader of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), including Upper Chindwin and Kale Kabow valley in Sagaing Division are entirely ethnic Kachin-Kuki inhabited.The Kachins have always maintained their link through folklore connections with the Kukis, the KNO chief had added.


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