Imphal, April 18 (NNN): The United Naga Council (UNC) said it warmly welcomes the bilateral Naga-Myanmar cease-fire that is reported to be in the offing between the NSCN (K) and the Government of Myanmar. While issuing the statement in this regard, the Naga body said it would like to maintain that the struggles relentlessly pursued by Naga political groups are based on the historical rights of the Nagas wherever they may be. Just as the Nagas in Myanmar had suffered oppression and suppression of their rights, the Nagas and tribals in Manipur have also been enduring the hegemony of the communal government of Manipur, the UNC added.
“It is true that two Nagas had held office of the chief minister in the state of Manipur for a total period of 12 years 6 months but not for 25 years as attributed to the statement of a senior functionary of the NSCN (K) in recent media reports. These two chief ministers had held offices not as Tangkhuls or Nagas or tribals but as per the decision of political parties and they were merely tools for promoting the interest of the dominant community. And so autonomy and political empowerment, which participatory democracy seeks to deliver to the people has been deprived to the Nagas and the tribals by the communal Government of Manipur,” said the UNC.
It then claimed that the UNC is not communal but respects the aspiration of other communities in the region and wish to be good neighbours with them. “What we earnestly wish is for our rights to be respected and recognized. It is a matter of concern that in spite of the stark ground realities where the Nagas and Tribals in Manipur are deprived of their rights, certain statements based on misplaced grounds, have been made in the media by a highly placed functionary of a Naga political group in favour of the adversaries. We appeal that our position be understood in the historical and political perspective that is based on truth and that future official statements may be informed by the same,” the United Naga Council said.