KNO Threatens to PULL OUT from SoO

Published on September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012

“The Kuki National Organisation (KNO), an umbrella group of 17 Kuki militant groups, will abrogate the Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact if the Government of India does not initiate political dialogue with the outfit before November 22” warned PS Haokip, the president of the group.

In an exclusive interview with The People’s Chronicle, PS Haokip said “We shall fight to the last man, by whatever means required as death is dearer than existence without dignity and that is why Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement”. The KNO that steers the 17-odd armed groups initially signed the SoO pact, on August 2005 with the Ministry of Home Affairs, which later extended as tripartite pact, with the GOI, with the participation of the Government of Manipur on August 22, 2008.

The KNO president maintained that strength of Kukis lay not in size but in the determination and resolve to stand for the rights of the Kukis and the oath to lay down their lives if required. When asked about the demands of the SoO groups, he said, “Demands that have been placed before the Central government are for recognition, settlement and protection of the historical rights and aspirations of the Kuki people to govern themselves within their territories as a separate unit within the Union of India.” “This is a must as the Manipur government dominated by a particular community has completely failed to meet the aspirations of the Kuki tribal community and has shown utter insensitivity towards the rights and aspirations of the minority Kukis”.

Further questioned whether there have been any talks with the Central government to find a solution to the demands made by the group, he said the Prime Minister of India extended an olive branch to the revolutionary groups and asked them to abjure violence and come forward for talks. The KNO responded to the noble call and signed a tripartite SoO with GOI and the state government of Manipur and the seven years of peace yielded huge dividends. Killing and violence which were a daily occurrence in Kuki Hills has been replaced by peace and tranquillity, Haokip said.

He further alleged that instead of appreciating the positive developments and preparations for talks with KNO, GOI toed the line of State government and extended SoO for three months rather than continue with the annual tripartite SoO extension. “If the periods of SoO is not extended by the government the KNO will be forced to believe that the governments, both the Central and the State, are not prepared to consider the legitimate demands of the tribal Kuki people through civilized dialogue and are more inclined to crush the voice of the minority communities through force and therefore we will be duty- bound to prepare to protect the rights of our people from such brute force of the state”.

Haokip warned to withdraw from SoO if GOI does not initiate political dialogue with the KNO before November 22 this year. “The question is not on whether we can achieve our demands by signing the SoO pact or not but first it is on how long will the GOI deny the Kuki people their legitimate political rights and aspiration and second how long can they sustain their neo-colonial injustice in a world that is increasingly egalitarian, equitable and democratic” said Haokip while responding to query on whether signing SoO will help achieve their demands.

Source: The People’s Chronicle

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