Geneva [Switzerland], September 28 (ANI): A Christian social activist from Mizoram, Alinery Lianhlawng, told the United Nations that the narratives peddled by the international media on Manipur violence hold no ground and India's northeast region has rich ethnic diversity.
Speaking during a general debate at the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Alinery said,"Being an indigenous woman from the NE of India, I have the privilege to shed light on the Manipur conflict and the Government of India's firm resolve to bring back peace and normalcy in the region.""Manipur, with a population of 2.8 million, is home to more than 35 communities, the majority of them can be classified into three main ethnic groups- the Meiteis, the Nagas and the Kukis. Geographically, the state can be divided into two parts-Imphal valley and hill areas," she said in her intervention.
The valley accounts for just over 11 per cent of the area but is home to 57 per cent of the total population, mainly Meiteis. The hill areas are dominated by Naga and Kuki tribes and comprise 43 per cent of the state's population.
Alinery said that the present conflict needs to be seen through the prism of complex ethnic relationships. One of the main reasons for this conflict is over land rights, controls and ownership of land between the two communities.
"Therefore, as the narratives peddled by international media have been that the Manipur conflict is of a religious nature holds no ground," she said.
The truth is that the conflict cannot be described as a religious conflict between the majority Meitei and minority Christian Kukis since the Nagas, who are predominately Christian, are not participants in the conflict. Not to mention part of the Meitei population also practices Christianity.
Alinery told the United Nations,"Thankfully, the Central government of India has tried to stop the conflict by resolving issues of both communities peacefully with continuing dialogue, with peace committee of community leaders belonging to all groups, relief packages and camped across the state.""I would beg the honourable council and audience to see the Manipur conflict for what it is, part of the old British 'Divide and Rule' policy and take appropriate action to protect the human rights of indigenous people," said the activist. (ANI)