The resolution to enter into a ceasefire and initiate talks can only be “construed as not only undermining the principled stand of our revolutionary organisations but also misleading our people”, opined UNLF.
The proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) has urged the people and revolutionary organisations “to understand together that no conducive conditions for talks with India do not exist as of now”.
UNLF Central Committee, while extending “revolutionary greetings” to all on the occasion of its 59th Anniversary on Friday (November 24), stated that despite knowing India’s position, the resolution to enter into a ceasefire and initiate talks with armed groups adopted at a recent public convention organised by a new CSO can only be “construed as not only undermining the principled stand of our revolutionary organisations but also misleading our people”.
“This move will certainly create situations for the adversary to take advantage of in their effort to suppress our national liberation struggle. UNLF Central Committee call upon our conscious people to conduct a critical analysis so as to identify who-is-who”, said the proscribed outfit. As part of an annual statement, the UNLF reaffirmed that its first and foremost objective is “to regain the sovereignty and independence of our country now known as ‘Manipur’.
Asserting that the objective is “non-negotiable” and should rather be a “national principle”, the proscribed outfit opined that it is not possible for any nation and people, under colonial occupation, to formulate policies of its own for nation building according to their own genius.
UNLF Central Committee said that the period between the Seven Years Devastation in 1819 and now has been marked by “gradual weakening of our inner strength because of foreign pressure and interference”. “Ultimately a psychology of dependence on foreign rulers crept in among our ruling class thereby undermining our resilience”. This has led to the state of general demoralisation and “servile mentality of dependence on India’s doles” that has eroded Manipur’s national character.
“This dependent mentality is actually conditioned by our existence in a Captive Market Economy under Indian colonial occupation. This is how the backbone of our nation is being broken”, says UNLF.
“As a result, we now see sycophancy at its peak among Manipur’s ‘leaders’ who frequently shuttle to Delhi either to plead for saving Manipur from the current conflict or for protecting his chair. This is a phenomenon common to all colonial situation. This also happened during the Burmese occupation of Manipur known in history as Seven Years Devastation when some princes collaborated with the Burmese king as puppet rulers of Manipur. In such a historical situation, colonial mentality develops when the subjugated people begin to see the foreign ruler as their saviour and that without his mercy their nation will disappear. Yet another grave situation is the real threat of our indigenous people being swamped by outsiders, a phenomenon of yumdangbana keinaba (owners becoming refugees). The attitude, rather the policy, of the Indian government vis-a-vis this phenomenon is one of encouraging the demographic onslaught so as to dilute the original population on the one hand and to create antagonistic contradictions among the population on ethnic and religious lines and suppress them, a classic ‘divide & rule’ policy introduced by British rulers”, said UNLF.
The proscribed armed group reiterated its position on “restoration of sovereignty and independence” and stated, “When the victory of our national liberation struggle is achieved, UNLF intends, as expressed on earlier occasions, to build a new Manipur having no bias on religious thought and belief, where the indigenous peoples and all other communities shall enjoy the right to protect, preserve and promote their distinct cultural identities, having mutual respect for one another’s distinct cultural identity, also to build together a common civilisation through interdependent coexistence and codevelopment, and to this end to establish a political system based on People’s Democracy. And the goal for social development is Socialism”.
UNLF also asserted that it has never been an organisation based on the ideology of exclusive ethnic identity. “Having faith in this political outlook, the UNLF was founded by patriotic leaders from Naga, Kuki and Meitei communities, the Founder-President being a Rongmei Naga, the Founder-Vice-President a Kuki and the Founder-General Secretary a Meitei along with several others. Inspired by the political ideology of the founding leaders many patriots from the Naga and Kuki communities along with the Meiteis joined the movement led by the UNLF. Later on, many from the Meitei Panggal community also joined the UNLF”.
Manipur and Kuki-Chins: The massive aggression by Kuki-Chin tribes against the Meiteis beginning May 3, 2023 has compelled the UNLF to review and clarify its stand on the relationship with them. “The UNLF has all along treated the generations of Kuki-Chins who began to migrate into Manipur since 1840s till the annexation of Manipur by India in 1949 as naturalised citizens of Manipur”.
UNLF pointed out that the recent aggression against the Meiteis is carried out mostly by those armed Kuki-Chins who have infiltrated into Manipur after 2004 (that is after the UNLF/MPA began to withdraw from the then Chandel and Churachandpur districts). “They are well established in Myanmar in various businesses and retain their Myanmar citizenship. Once settled in Churachandpur, or elsewhere in Manipur, they send their sons and daughters to Delhi and other metros of India for education. It is these younger generations who shouted from Delhi, during the agitation for ILP, that ‘Meiteis are a more dangerous threat than outsiders in Manipur’ as if they are the original settlers of Manipur”, said UNLF.
The outfit stated that it had accepted the generations of Kuki-Chins who have migrated before the “forcible annexation of Manipur by India in 1949”. “Thus, it is Crystal clear that the recent aggression against the Meiteis, cleansing Meiteis from Churachandpur and Moreh and burning down of their houses and dwellings after looting whatever found inside those houses, above all committing gang rapes and killing of many unarmed Meiteis are crimes against humanity committed by armed Kuki-Chins who are more conversant in Myanmar language. The logical action, therefore, is to punish the perpetrators of these crimes and expel those new infiltrators of Kuki-Chins from Manipur to the last person”.
Historical Foundation of Manipur: Because it is very clear that the intent and purpose of the aggression of the Kuki-Chin infiltrators is to destroy the very historical foundation of Manipur, UNLF stated that the state is the home of several indigenes. It reminded that the “sovereign and independent nation was consolidated in a historical situation that demanded continuous preparedness for war”. “Though the brunt of this historical responsibility was shouldered by the Meiteis, all other indigenes made equal contributions in building our Ereipak (country). Our Ereipak is a country not separated nor seceded from a bigger one, nor was it formed by uniting a few countries. Our Ereipak is the product of a long historical process conditioned by its natural formation of being a highland bounded together by its inseparable features of hills and plains”, said UNLF.
A New Chapter in Manipur History: The proscribed outfit said that Manipur is now confronting the unprecedented challenge from the Kuki-Chin infiltrators from Myanmar (not the earlier generations) to create a ‘union territory’ within India by breaking up Manipur. However, the Kuki-Chins and their mentors did not even think that the fierce attack from all directions against the Meiteis will serve as a “boon in disguise to arouse the latent strength and courage of the Meiteis to the maximum level”. “Today, tens of thousands of patriotic volunteers have joined the forces fighting against Kuki-Chin aggressors with the vow to protect the integrity of Manipur and save the indigenous Meiteis. Many volunteers have made the supreme sacrifice and many more have been wounded in the battle field, the exemplary service being rendered by innumerable Meira Paibee Emas in protecting the volunteer fighters in the entire valley and also in providing logistics to supply essential items to the battle fronts, and significant monetary contributions from the rich, are all unmistakable manifestations of Meitei resurgence for a united Manipur”, said UNLF.
Pointing out that this will be the beginning of a new period in Manipur’s history, UNLF said that historical force being released will need to be channelized towards uniting the indigenous people of Manipur and all other tribes/communities for a lasting coexistence.
Divide & Destroy: The aggression of Kuki-Chin tribes against the Meiteis, the consequent sufferings and casualties on both sides, the massive deployment of Indian Army, para military, and other security forces totalling about 1.20 lakh, on the pretext of “controlling the conflict between Kuki-Chins and Meiteis” are tangibles of the situation. “So, we need to dig out the intangibles, such as, the designers, the policy, the strategy and above all the objectives of creating the conflict”, said UNLF.
The UNLF Central Committee also accused the Assam Rifles of extending support to the Kuki-Chins as there were evidence “supported by video footages, photographs and 81mm shells” provided to Kuki-Chins for their battles against Meitei volunteers. The proscribed outfit alleged that it was a ploy to overshadow the Manipur-India Conflict by the India-created conflict between Kuki-Chins and Meiteis. “It is not presumptuous, therefore, to conclude that it is a strategy to delete the aspirations for sovereignty and independence from the minds of our people by sharpening the secondary internal contradiction and suppress the principal contradiction (national contradiction). The second objective is to capture or kill the innumerable volunteers and ‘underground cadres’ in intensive/extensive ‘combing operations’, because the Indian strategists calculated that by creating the ‘conflict situation’ large numbers of cadres of all revolutionary organisations will come out to join forces with the patriotic volunteers. This is actually a grand strategy to break the backbone of the Meiteis”, said UNLF.
Aspects of the Struggle: UNLF points out that national liberation struggle has two aspects, one is easily tangible, the other is not. “The easily tangibles are fighting against the Indian Occupation Forces (IOF), preparation for battles, and chalking out strategy. The intangible aspect is the most important means used to suppress the national liberation struggle, that is, to destroy the collective life and national character of our people. The objective of this policy is to puncture our national pride built on the foundation of our age old civilisation and independent existence”, said the oufit.
UNLF also alleges that Indian government is using the ‘divide and colonise’ policy even more smartly than the British from whom they learnt.
“Ever since the annexation of Manipur by India in 1949 and the emergence of national liberation movement thereafter, the Govt of India has all along used repressive measures, such as, massive military force, legal measures like AFSPA, UAPA giving legal sanction to the military to arrest or shoot to kill on mere suspicion. These are measures to suppress our national liberation struggle by military legal means”, pointed out UNLF.
Talks with India: UNLF Central Committee reiterated that before any discussion on the subject of talks with India begins, there is a need to seriously introspect why the people embarked on the struggle for national liberation. The agenda of the talks should be Manipur-India Conflict, that is the restoration of Manipur’s sovereignty and independence, said UNLF. The outfit also added that there should be “a third party as witness”. If these were absent then, “the talks will face the danger of sliding down to ‘negotiation’ for ‘an honourable solution’, the euphemism for compromise”.
“Ultimately, our sovereignty and independence will be compelled to sell out as the price for a ‘development package’. On the other hand, UNLF knows well that India govt will never accept the last two points as India has all along taken the position that Manipur is an ‘integral part’ of India. It is pertinent here, how India govt not only abrogated Article 370 of the Indian constitution that governs Kashmir’s special relationship with India, but also relegated the status of Kashmir to a Union territory after separating and upgrading Ladakh as a Union Territory. This should serve as an eye opener to the advocates of ‘ceasefire and talks’ with Indian government”, pointed out UNLF.
Reminding of the UNLF’s 4-Point Proposal for Plebiscite under the supervision of the United Nations so as to resolve the Manipur-India Conflict once and for all that was announced on January 30, 2005, the Central Committee said India’s “irritated response against plebiscite exposed India’s hypocrisy to the world community that India did not have faith in democratic solutions despite itself being a democracy”.
On the occasion of 59th Anniversary, the UNLF Central Committee also extended greetings to the Member-Parties of CorCom, KYKL and KCP “fighting together against Indian colonial rule, and also to all the fraternal organisations of Western South East Asia (WESIA) fighting for national liberation”.