Thousands of Kukis took part in a sit-in protest on May 23 at Keithelmanbi Military Colony in Champhai Sub Division of Kangpokpi district, conveying their unanimous stance of "Solution first, Peace next" to the Central Government. The Kuki protestors demanded that any solution should be based on the political talks between the United People's Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organization (KNO) with the Government of India and the Government of Manipur.
During the protest, the Kuki community made it clear that they will not accept any peace process initiated by the Government unless their problems are addressed and a solution is provided. The Committee on Tribals Unity, Sadar Hills, spoke to the media, expressing their disappointment with the Government's emphasis on peace without addressing the suffering and grievances of the Kuki people.
While highlighting the various challenges faced by internally displaced persons in relief camps across Kangpokpi district, a member of the Committee on Tribals Unity pointed out shortages of food, clothing, medical facilities, and other basic amenities. The emotionally charged atmosphere emphasized the urgent need for a solution based on the political dialogue between the UPF, KNO, and the Governments.
One internally displaced man who joined the protest stated that he would willingly sacrifice his personal losses if the central Government addresses their problems with a solution. The plight of the internally displaced was further brought to light by a woman from Bongbal Khullen, currently residing in a relief camp, who shared the harrowing experiences of villages being burnt and belongings being taken away by commandos and Meiteis.
The Kuki community is now seeking answers and assistance, questioning why they are being subjected to such suffering and pleading for support from the central government. They are hopeful that their appeals will be heard and that the authorities will extend their help in this dire situation.
To further draw attention to their plight, another sit-in protest is scheduled for May 24 at Saparmeina, aiming to garner immediate attention from the Central Government in addressing the challenges faced by the Kuki people.
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