KNF celebrates silver jubilee
IMPHAL, May 19: The Kuki National Front (KNF) celebrated its 25th raising anniversary yesterday at its Camp Ebenezer, which is located near Natheljang village under Sadar Hills.
KNF is one of the armed groups which is under suspension of operation agree- ment with both the State and Central Governments.
The celebration commenced with the Front’s president Semtinthang Kipgen alias ST Thangboi unfurling the KNF flag in the presence of Kangpokpi assembly constituency MLA Nemcha Kipgen, Sa-dar Hills Autonomous Dis- trict Council chairman SH Seipu, District Council members and leaders of different villages.
One of the KNF leaders laying floral wreath at the photograph of Nehlung Kipgen, founder of the outfit
Besides releasing a book entitled Kukiland, Thang-boi also unveiled a memo- rial stone on the occasion.
Other highlights of the event included observance of two minutes silence in memory of deceased KNF cadres, presentation of gifts to family members of the departed cadres and staging of cultural items.
In recognition of his contribution for the welfare of the society Bharat Excellence Award conferred by Friendship Forum of India was also formally handed over to Thangboi on the occasion.
In his address to the gathering, the KNF chief expressed that time has come for the Kuki people to sustain the movement for freedom, freedom from suppression, oppression and subjugation.
Conveying that as citizens of India the Kukis deserve to live the life of a full-fledged and well protected citizens, he affirmed that Kukis need a land of their own for self-governance.
Asserting that Kukis are not demanding any land that belong to others but the land which Kukis had been occupying since time immemorial, Thangboi also recounted struggle and sacrifices by the Kuki forefathers to protect the kuki people and their land.
Highlighting sacrifices made by the Kuki warriors against the British imperialist during ‘the Kuki Rebellion 1917-19’ and their contribution to the Indian freedom movement under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose, he lamented that such valour and patriotism have never been glorified or acknowledged on any occasion.
Rather than honour the Kuki forefathers, Kukis are being suppressed and oppressed even after India gained independence, the president maintained while pointing out that a number of memorandum for Kukiland, from the time Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India in the 1960s followed by similar representations to successive Government of India are yet to evoke positive response.
Decrying non initiation for a meaningful dialogue for an amicable settlement to the crux problems of the Kukis, he pointed out that due to indifferent attitude of the Government, the Kuki National Front was established on May 18, 1987 under the leadership of Pu Nehlun Kipgen to sustain the movement for Kukiland.
The KNF took up arms in pursuit of the demand for Kukiland, that also within the framework of the Constitution of India, he stated while pledging that sacrifices made by the Kuki people who joined the KNF will not go in vain.
Referring to the insurgency movements by of Naga National Council (NNC) subsequently leading to the creation of Nagaland State in 1973, Mizo National Front bringing about the Mizo Accord in 1986, Bodo armed groups resulting in formation of the Bodoland Autonomous Council in 2003 and the TNV Accord in 1988 for creation of District Councils for people of Tripura following insurgency movement launched by Tripura National Volunteers, Thangboi said despite various unfavourable consequences in the formative years one significant progress of the revolutionary movement in the Kuki history was the signing of suspension of operation treaty on August 1, 2005.
Conveying that KNF agreed to sign the SoO pact to facilitate a process for peaceful and meaningful dialogue, he expressed hope that the vexed problems of the Kukis would be amicably settled/resolved with both the Governments of India and Manipur.
Thangboi, nevertheless, cautioned that with the Kuki revolutionary movement being uncertain there is urgent need for all Kuki revolutionary leaders and civil societies to shrug off narrow outlooks based on nepotism and self aggrandizement.
The need of the hour is to broaden our outlooks so that we may share a common platform for the achievement of our goal, exhorted the KNF chief.
Source: Sangai Express & Hueiyen Lanpao