In a statement UCM said the JAC statement was an attempt to create confusion and misunderstanding among different communities, saying the statement made by UCM president during the foundation day of Kanglei Ima Lup was a general reference to some of the current issues and he happened to mention the issue of ILP bill and its position in Churachandpur.
“The issue of sixth schedule is not a new issue, it has been well debated and discussed upon at various level which includes leaders of various ethnic communities in the state,” the UCM said.
It said UCM organised a two day Peoples Convention in 2013 and opinions rejected the extension of sixth schedule in the hills of Manipur. Speakers include prominent tribal leaders.
Stating that making allegation to an organisation for nothing is disheartening and unexpected the UCM said there was nothing wrong for an organisation to make political demands but what is worrying is the context in which the MoU was signed.
Some of the points, which were mentioned in the MoU are totally contrary and non issue to the main issue. The demand for a new district and reference to SoO was thought to be a separate issue and brining it in the MoU was totally irrelevant.
The UCM said the issue could have been raised at a different forum, nothing against it.
It further said the concept of dominant hegemony is non-existent. Smallest tribes exist with their fullest emancipation of their cultural, religious and traditional rights.
“Our question is why the JAC-AATB is consistently pressing for extension of Sixth Schedule in the hill areas of Manipur,” the UCM asked.
Elaborating on extension of sixth schedule the UCM asked why sixth schedule when the state has almost identical laws much before the concept of Sixth Schedule. Fear of disunity and disintegration of Manipur is a reality, it added.
The UCM clarified that it had never said SoO groups were a party to the MoU and it never undermined authority of Hill Areas Committee but called for more understanding of its powers and function to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.
It said public policy passed by Manipur Assembly should be respected and anything can be added and omitted during implementation.
Stating that HAC is created by the Assembly the former cannot question the basic objective and motive of the bill of the Assembly UCM said tribal and non tribal is a constitutional divide.
UCM called for joining hands to uproot politics based on ethnic identity and added that UCM is committed to protect integrity of Manipur.
Source: Imphal Free Press