RNYO wants ‘proper consultations’ before signing Karbi Peace Accord

Dimapur, June 11 (MExN): The Rengma Naga Youth Organization (RNYO) on Thursday wrote Chief Minister of Assam, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma urging both the Assam government and central government to hold “proper consultations with the stakeholders before signing the final Accord.”

The letter appended by RNYO, Convenor Aga Rengma; President, Joshua Himb and Executive Member, Chenobu Seb stated that on February 23, around 1000 members of People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri, Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front, Karbi Peoples’ Liberation Tigers, Kuki Liberation Front and United Peoples’ Liberation Army laid down their arms at Guwahati. 

“As part of the surrendering deal,” RNYO letter said the state and central government “agreed to fulfill their charter of demands.” On June 3, the CM made a statement in the media that the “Karbi Peace Accord is likely to be signed in the coming week.” 

While appreciating the peace initiative of the government and the militant groups RNYO said its “contention and concern is the kind of demands being made by the surrendered groups.”

While the contents of the accord are yet to be made public, RNYO said, “It is speculated that the Accord would be like the UPDS Accord 2011 with some new demands. There is apprehension that some of the demands being tabled are against the interest of the indigenous primary stake holders in Karbi Anglong (Besides Rengma, there are other non-Karbi stake holders too).”

“Therefore, we urge both the state government and the central government to held proper consultations with the stakeholders before signing the final Accord,” it said.

Stating that granting financial packages and rehabilitation to the surrendered cadres is not an issue, however, RNYO said, “creation of new districts/subdivisions/regional councils by bifurcating the Rengma Naga ancestral lands will not be acceptable, neither should the rights of any other stake holders be affected.”

“The government must tread softly here,” it suggested adding, “One hasty and wrong decision can bring about enmity between the different indigenous communities who are living together peacefully. Peace accord is supposed to bring peace and harmony and not discord.”

The organization said, “It would be biased of the state and central government to even consider or entertain demands such as Autonomous state, Autonomous Territorial Council, Autonomous Regional Council, Creation of New districts bifurcating the Rengma indigenous lands or allocating/increasing reserved MAC, MLA seat to the other communities while the Rengma Nagas, the aboriginals are yet to get even a single MAC seat in the Council or even an administrative unit.”

It further questioned, “Where is the logic in declaring regional council for communities whose migration history is comparatively of recent years while the Rengma Nagas, who are sons of the soil are yet to even have their own administrative unit?” 

“It’s high time that we be given our due rights, 70 years of deprivation is a long and patient wait by our people,” it urged. 

“Rengma Nagas have always been there for our Assamese brothers since 1817 Burmese invasion and even before that. We have fought beside you; we have shared foods and shelter. We relied on each other in the darkest of times. Even today we celebrate our Rengma Ahom Friendship day. Our people deserve your kind consideration of the common history we share,” it said. 

RNYO also stated that since the time of CM Hiteshwar Saikia (1985) the Rengma Nagas have submitted several representations and memorandums to both the Assam and GoI.

“We never resorted to bandhs, protest, agitations or any other violent means in our quest for our indigenous rights, our political rights or even our basic Human Rights. Our people never associated ourselves with any anti-government or anti-social activities... We have tried our best to reach out to the successive governments in the past but in most cases, our appeals fell into deaf ears and our pleas ignored. This time we have hopes in your just governance,” it stated. 

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