Manipur peace panel

Imphal, June 13: The formation of a peace panel in strife-torn Manipur has elicited mixed reactions from different communities. While Meitei community members have welcomed the initiative and called for peace in the state, Kuki community members have expressed their dissatisfaction and may boycott the meetings.

This article explores the concerns raised by the Kuki community and the contrasting response from the Meiteis, highlighting the challenges faced in achieving peace and normalcy in Manipur.

The inclusion of Chief Minister N Biren Singh in the 51-member peace panel has raised eyebrows among Kuki members. Many claims that they were not consulted before their names were added to the panel, leading to feelings of marginalization.

The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) criticized the inclusion, stating that peace should not be pursued solely with individuals who have been involved in violence against their community. They stressed the need for concerted efforts involving the Union Home Ministry and affected communities to achieve lasting peace.

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The Kuki-based civil society organization Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) also condemned the inclusion of Chief Minister N Biren Singh in the panel. They argued that the creation of the Peace Committee should only occur after ensuring normalcy and security for Kuki-tribal villages.

The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) emphasized that peace and normalcy would remain elusive unless the demands for action against illegal immigrants and narco-terrorists are addressed. Dissatisfied with the government’s response, COCOMI announced its decision to stay away from the Peace Committee.

Multiple sources within the Kuki community suggested that their representatives in the panel are unlikely to attend the meetings, further highlighting their discontent.

In contrast to the Kuki community’s discontent, Meitei community members included in the peace panel have welcomed the formation of the committee. They expressed the urgent need to resolve conflicts and restore peace.

Sarangthen Brajabihari, Chairman of the Bar Council of Manipur, stressed the importance of seeking step-by-step solutions and viewed the committee as the first step toward achieving peace and normalcy.

The absence of clear communication about the committee’s agenda has caused confusion among its members. However, some, like retired news editor BB Sharma, have expressed their willingness to participate in the meetings despite the uncertainties.

It remains to be seen how the peace panel will address the concerns of all communities involved and navigate the path towards reconciliation.

The formation of the peace panel in Manipur has generated mixed reactions among different communities. While the Meiteis have welcomed the initiative and emphasized the urgency of restoring peace, the Kuki community has expressed their unhappiness over the inclusion of Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

The contrasting responses highlight the challenges faced in achieving lasting peace and normalcy in Manipur. It is crucial for the peace panel to engage in meaningful dialogue, address the grievances of all communities, and work towards a comprehensive solution that promotes harmony and unity in the state.