The Rising People’s Party (RPP) has expressed its opposition to the Union Government’s intention to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and construct fencing along the entire Indo-Myanmar Border. The party perceives this move as a divisive policy intended to disintegrate and isolate Naga people and other ethnic groups of the Northeast geographically.
Since its announcement, the RPP as well as many Naga civil society organizations including the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), the Global Naga Forum (GNF), the Naga Hoho, and the Naga Indigenous People’s Forum (NIPF) has voiced strong opposition against the proposed move, the party said in a press release.
“Much has been said on the issue and the sentiment of the Naga People has been expressed. But the silence of most of the MLAs and the 2 MPs comes as no surprise,” the RPP regretted.
Except for the NPF legislator Achumbemo Kikon and Home Minister Y Patton, the RPP noted the surprising silence from the other elected MLAs and MPs on this critical issue who it said have chosen to “either remain silent and sit on the issue or support the removal of FMR that will have a deep devastating effect on the future of the Nagas.”
The RPP also observed the move to discuss the FMR issue with the other North Eastern states bordering Myanmar as disclosed by the Dy. Chief Minister Y Patton is a welcome step.
“It is also distressing to witness that the 10 Naga MLAs and 1 MP (Naga) of Manipur have not expressed their views on the issue though the United Naga Council (UNC) has written a memorandum to the Union Home Minister opposing the move and calling for strengthening of FMR,” the RPP further said.
The RPP also said that, neither the NDPP-BJP coalition nor the state government has made any official statement on the issue while the Union Home Minister Amit Shah had made the official announcement in Guwahati on January 20.
“So what exactly is stopping our elected representatives from expressing the desire of the Naga People to the Central Government?” the RPP asked.
The RPP particularly condemned the Nagaland BJP legislator Imkong L Imchen for backing the Centre’s move to end the FMR, labeling it as “traitorous.” The act of merely pleasing the BJP high Command at the expense of Naga sentiments is totally uncalled for and deserves outright condemnation, the RPP said.
Further, the RPP demanded that all the Naga MLAs, including the Naga MLAs of Manipur, and the MPs of the two states, and the major political parties in the UDA coalition government oppose the scrapping of FMR in totality.
“The issue is simple – whether the sitting MLAs and MPs and government of the day is with the Naga people or not,” the RPP declared.
The party asserted that the UDA coalition government has much to do to demonstrate beyond doubt that it is above party politics and that it stands for the Naga People.
“The Rising Peoples Party will not remain a mute spectator and will continue to oppose tooth and nail any policy that aims to further divide the Naga People,” it avowed.