DIMAPUR, Dec 9 � Expressing strong disappointment over the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Imphal on December 3, the United Naga Council (UNC) today announced the imposition of a ban on all construction works on the Jiribam-Tupul Trans Asian Railway line for two months protesting the Centre�s alleged lack of political will to address the issues of the Nagas in Manipur.
Further, stating that attempts are being made to tap and take away their natural resources instead of according priority to settlement of issues, the frontal Naga body said the exploration for petroleum and oil being taken up by public sector undertakings and private companies in Tamenglong district would also be banned till further notice. The bans will be imposed from December 16, a statement issued by the UNC informed.
The Prime Minister, in his address at the public meeting in Imphal, had stated that the Central Government was committed to the territorial integrity of Manipur.
The UNC said the PM�s statement at this juncture has created confusion in the minds of the Nagas while pointing to the ongoing Indo-Naga dialogue as well as the tripartite talk of the Government of India, Government of Manipur and the UNC on the demand for an alternative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue.
The UNC said it was unable to discern sincerity in the PM�s statement and further questioned whether the Indo-Naga issue has been subjected to the electoral politics of a mere State, even when the unique history and situation of the Nagas has been recognised by the Centre in the course of the 14 years of the peace process. Also, the Prime Minister had committed to an out of the box solution, it reminded.
Stating that the issue is about the sharp social divide in Manipur on communal lines on which the Prime Minister himself had expressed his concern in public, as well as the rights of the Nagas and tribals over their land, the UNC announced the bans in protest against what it called the lack of political will on the part of the Centre in addressing the Naga concerns.