Manipur political separatists announce exiled government in United Kingdom


GUWAHATI | Oct 30, 2019:

At a time when the Government of India is engaging talks with the NSCN-IM and Naga Non Political Groups (NNPGs) to resolve the age-old Naga issue, political separatists from Manipur have announced an exiled government in the United Kingdom.

According to Geo TV, the representatives of Manipur's King Leishemba Sanajaoba have announced separation from India, forming the Manipur State Council.

This was announced by the 'Chief Minister' Yamben Biren and 'Minister of External Affairs and Defence' Narengbam Samarjit of the self declared Manipur State Council in London on Tuesday. The exiled government will be based in Central London.

Alleging persecution and repression by the Indian government, the duo confirmed that they have already sought asylum in the United Kingdom in September 2019. They further alleged that declaring independence in India would have led them to being arrested and killed arbitrarily by the Indian security forces.

Geo TV quoted them saying "We believe that now is the right time to make public the Independent Government of Manipur before the international community to announce our independent status and to seek recognition. We call on all the Governments of the sovereign states of the members of the United Nations for their recognition of the de jure and exile Government of the Manipur from today onwards (October 29)."

Meanwhile, Al Zazeera news reported that the self-declared government based in United Kingdom says it will push for recognition at United Nations.

"We will seek recognition from different nations … to become a [UN] member. We hope many of the countries will recognise our independence," Al Zazeera quoted Narengbam Samarjit, external affairs minister in the self-declared Manipur State Council.

"We are not free there and our history is going to be destroyed, our culture is going to be extinct," he warned adding that "So the UN should listen … we raise our voice to the whole world that the people living in Manipur are human beings."

The former princely state, located in the Northeastern region of India, became part of India in 1949, two years after the country won independence from Britain.