Saturday, October 13, 2007

Burma Latest Development | Student leader Htay Kywe arrested | Junta dismisses UN Security Council's statement

Student leader Htay Kywe arrested

Mizzima News (

October 13, 2007 - With the unabated crack down on dissidents continuing, the Burmese military junta today arrested at least four more activists including Htay Kywe, a prominent 88 generation student leader, sources said.

Four activists including Htay Kywe, Mi Mi (alias) Thin Thin Aye, Aung Thu and an unknown fourth person were caught on Saturday by security forces, sources in Rangoon said.

"Yes, we heard that four of them – Ko Htay Kywe, Ma Mi Mi, Ko Aung Thu and another person were arrested today. We don't know the other person's name," a Rangoon resident, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told Mizzima.

With several telephone phone lines still cut-off, the information could not be independently verified.

However, another Rangoon resident said, "I also heard that four of them were arrested. But I only know the name of Ko Htay Kywe and Ma Mi Mi. I heard that they were arrested on the street while moving to some other place in Rangoon."

Ko Htay Kywe and several other student activists have been in hiding, following the arrest of 13 student leaders including Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi on August 21 night.

The Burmese junta in its mouth-piece New Light of Myanmar said 15 of the prominent 88 generation student leaders have been arrested and indicated that they will be sentenced to long terms in prison for inciting riots and unrest.

The junta on Wednesday arrested two university students – Ye Mya Hein and Aye Myat Myat – sources said.

Authorities reportedly sentenced five students from Mandalay Institute of Medicine including Min Min Oo, who is apprenticing for doctor, to five years in prison with hard labour and were sent to labour camp in Kabbaw valley of Sagaing division.

Besides, authorities in Mandalay continue to hunt down students, who have participated in the recent protest, with the number plates of their motorcycles.

The arrested monks are being kept in various interrogation camps including the notorious insein jail, sources said.

According to the National League for Democracy, Burma's largest opposition party, at least 216 of its members have been arrested so far in the aftermath of the crackdown on the protest led by monks.

Meanwhile, Naw Ohn Hla, who regularly prays on Tuesdays for the release of detained Burmese democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been issued an order restricting her from moving outside her residential township of Hmawbe .

Junta dismisses UN Security Council's statement

Mizzima News (

October 13, 2007 - The Burmese military junta has contemptuously brushed aside a UN Security Council statement calling for a dialogue with the pro-democracy opposition, saying it is determined to forge ahead with its planned 'Road map' to democracy.

In its state-run radio and television the junta issued a statement on Friday contending that the situation inside Burma did not pose any threat to regional and international peace and stability.

"It is regrettable that the United Nations Security Council has issued a Presidential Statement… totally disregarding the fact that the situation in Myanmar does not represent a threat to regional and international peace and security," said the statement, signed by Colonel Thant Shin.

The government, in keeping with the wishes of the people, has been implementing the Seven-Step Road Map to build a peaceful, modern, developed, disciplined and flourishing democratic state, which will garner the support of neighbouring countries, the statement said.

"The Government of the Union of Myanmar together with the people will remain resolved to continue its implementation of the Seven-Step Road Map," the statement said.

Critics, however, said the junta's road map, which after 14 tenuous years completed the National Convention as the first step, lacks a time frame and is designed to prolong military rule in Burma.

In early September the junta announced the conclusion of the National Convention, tasked with drawing up basic guidelines for a future constitution. The west and critics dubbed the convention as a sham for failing to include key political stake holders including detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's party – the National League for Democracy.

Meanwhile, the NLD hailed the UN SC's first ever statement, that included China's consent, calling on the junta to hold dialogue with pro-democracy opposition parties.

Junta holds mass rally in Rangoon

Mizzima News (

October 13, 2007 - The Burmese military junta in Rangoon today mobilized over 10,000 people for a mass rally in support of the recently concluded National Convention. Ironically, the rallyists gathered despite the regime's order that prohibits the assembly of more than five people.

More than 10,000 people on Saturday gathered at the Thuwana football stadium in Thingan Kyun township of Rangoon, in support of the outcome of military junta's 14-year long National Convention, which was wrapped up in early September, local residents said.

The junta, as part of the massive crackdown on protests by monks and people, imposed curfew on September 25 and banned the assembly of more than five people in two of the countries largest cities – Rangoon and Mandalay .

"We have not heard of any announcement saying that the curfew and ban on gatherings have been withdrawn," a resident said.

A police officer in Rangoon said the imposition of curfew and ban on assembly of more than five people, is likely to be withdrawn in the ensuing week to show the international community that normalcy had returned to Burma.

"We are told that the curfew will be lifted very soon. I think that is because the government wants to shore up its image with Gambari, when he comes again," the officer, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said.

Ibrahim Gambari, special adviser to the UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Burma, who on October 2, concluded a four-day visit to Burma, has called on the junta to immediately withdraw the curfew and ban on gatherings.

The UN Secretary-General on Thursday said he will resend his special adviser on Burma, to the military-ruled Southeast Asian nation in an effort to facilitate dialogue between the ruling junta and opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ban Ki-moon said, his envoy will be begin consultations with key nations in the region starting with Thailand on Monday and follow it up with Malaysia, Indonesia , India, China , and Japan. Finally he will go to Burma .

UNSC slams Burmese junta, urges dialogue with Suu Kyi

Mizzima News (

October 12, 2007 - The United Nations Security Council on Thursday slammed the Burmese junta for resorting to violence on peaceful protesters and called for the release of all political prisoners. It urged the junta to begin a dialogue with opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

In the first formal action on Burma following the brutal suppression of protests last month, the 15-member council on Thursday said it strongly condemns the junta for its violent crack down and for continuing to detain peaceful protesters.

"The Security Council strongly deplores the use of violence against peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar [ Burma]," said the UNSC in a presidential statement release yesterday.

The Council also emphasized the need to immediately release all political prisoners and start a dialogue with detained Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

"The Security Council stresses the need for the Government of Myanmar [Burma ] to create the necessary conditions for a genuine dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all concerned parties and ethnic groups, in order to achieve an inclusive national reconciliation with the direct support of the United Nations," the statement said.

While welcoming the Burmese junta's appointment of an officer to liase with opposition leader, the Council said the commitments should be followed by action.

The UN Security Council's presidential statement, however, is not a resolution and lacks any binding. Activists said the message is weak because what Burma needs now is a binding resolution which includes an arms embargo.

"This is a first step, when what Burma needs is a concrete measure," Aung Din, Executive Director of the US campaign for Burma said.

"We hope the Council follows this move by implementing an arms embargo that stops countries from shipping weapons to this regime," Aung Din said in a statement on Friday.

However, campaigners welcome the statement, as it is the first-ever action by the Security Council and was an unanimous endorsement by all 15 members, including China and Russia.

But Aung Din urged the members of Security Council, "to be ready to discuss a resolution that includes an arms embargo very soon, as the regime will not listen to the voice of the Security Council if there is no concrete action beyond statements."

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General on Thursday said he is set to resend his special adviser on Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, to the region this weekend to meet with regional partners on the situation in the strife torn Southeast Asian nation.

Gambari, who made a four-day visit to Burma in the week when the ruling junta brutally cracked down on peaceful protestors, will begin his consultations in Thailand on Monday, following it to Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China and Japan, "with a view to returning to Myanmar [Burma] shortly thereafter," a UN spokesperson said in a statement.

During his four-day visit, from September 29 to October 2, Gambari met junta leader Senior General than Shwe and several low ranking officers in Naypyitaw. The Nigerian diplomat was also able to meet detained Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi twice.



Friday, October 12, 2007

Cingnote lenna gam ah Khuado va siim ning

Hau Za Cin Phuitong Liim

Ngaih aw hong leng inla,
Ka nen ah hong khawl aw,
Taang kei zuan nuam tuam dingin,
Na mel hong mu nuam veng

ka cihcih hang lah hong zin utlo ahih manin keimah.... cih dan bel hi tuan kei in, Cingnote lenna gam, nunnuam ngabang a lenna gam uh, awhkhi bang nguicing lia leh taang duangzen thelnah laileng a kikhakna uh mun leh mualte bangzahta a thupi hiam cih theihnop man zong hituan loin, Zomi te kiitna leh kingaihna Pasian in i nu gilsung pan i pian tungpan a hong guansa om ahih manin, leh tuabang nuntakpih thei dinga hibang hunpha ngah thei ka hih manin..... tunsung mimbang ka pian sunsun phaimit va suan dih ning e. Takkheh!

'A neu deuh leh lunglut deuhdeuh uh' a kici Japan te pen agam uh a liat mahmah loh hang, a lunglut uh 'technology items' aneu mahmah hang a lungsim uh lian mahmah ahih manin leitungbup zohsawmin kipan uh a, Japan Gal ci a i theihtheih uh hong piang ahi hi. Pu Vum Kho Hau te khanlaiin Zogam natawm nakpi in hong nawkto in Tuikhiang dongah galkap hong tungto uh a, Zomi te tawh galmai ah i kimaingat ngei hi. Ahi zongin tuni in leitung kikhek a, galmai samai ah kimu, kimaingat hilo in, ankuang, sabuai leh itna tokhom kiim ah akimutuahte i hi ta hi. 1940 hun lai pan tukum 2007 hun ah thu tampi, lungsim tampi, gamtat tampi kikhek man hi.

Zogam a paalsak mahmah khat pen Japan hi a, a music uh leh a camera te uh, a Tape recorder leh Seiko 5 naibulh te, etc... Zomite hong khangtosak, hong mibang sak, mite hong bangsak, leitung khuavak hong musak vante ahi hi. Japan gam leh Zomi thu a kigen sima a kigen tulmawh ding leh a kipaai thei nawnlo ding khat pen NGAIH ANGLAI video series ahi hi. Zomi history ah Zomi leh Japan hong kimeltheihsak a, hong angtangsak in, hong kikhawlsak hi. Nek leh dawn sum leh pai i tawkna mun khat ahih banah pilna, siamna, thutheihna leh technology ah i khanna zong amau mah ahi hi. Japan te kalsuanna te Zomite in a nung uh limtak in zui ahih manin IT lam leh electronics ah a khangto mimal leh innkuan tampi om hi.

Japan te hanga Zomi te in i phattuampih tampi om dinga, tuni in tua thu gelh sawm ihih loh manin hih tanin i hialbawl phot ding hi. Zomi leh Japan kilawmtatna thu a kigelh ding (mailam ah) te ah kicingzaw in suutto lai ni. Ka pa, sangkah kha ngei vetlo in zong ama carpenters tools ding a lei ciang, England bawl, Germany bawl leh Japan bawl ci sese hi!

Tua zah a aki thupi et leh a khangto gam, leitunga sum leh pai hau gam leh a pil gam ah ZOMI te tawh KHUADO PAWI, JAPAN 2007 zangkhawm thei ding ka hih manin ka angtang mahmah a, ka lawp mahmah hi. Ka ihmu thei nawn kei hi. October 14, 2007 Nipini a Japan khuapi Tokyo khuasungah Pasian laptoh Zomi te in Khuado Pawi, kumkhen pawi nuamtak zang ding cih ka ngaihsut ciang.... kua ihmu thei peuhmah ding ahiam? Aw..... a nop ding dan, Lia leh Taangte Lengtong sungah ei adingin i ute in la hong koihsak sa khat hong lawn khia ning:

I. Nunnop lia leh taang nga bang leeng,
Solkha tangin hong taan silsial
Ngabang lenlai paal am ve ni
Ho nuam zaideih khau bang sut ve ni

Nun bang nuam ni lia leh taang
Albang dahna te lungah ngilh ni
Taang bang dam ni aw, tomkal sung
Nunnop paal am ni lia leh taang aw

II. Sinthu khat in tuibang luangin
Diamdiam in pheiphung suan khawm ni
Kungtung leng vaitho kikhung bang
Ki it diamdiam in sem khawm ve ni

I nunnop hun tomcik paal am ni aw, Japan ah om Zomi Lia leh Taang te aw... khatvei lailai... nunnop pal am ni lia leh taang aw..... nuam ei, nuam ei.... nunnop pal am ni lia leh taang aw....

Zomite film star number one Cingno ka mu kha tam maw? Bangciin hong kizeem tam? A maitai dan ding, a sam lengsiausiau a huihmut ding aw.... Ka zin ding thu ka gen ciang Champhai pan, Shillong pan, Delhi pan, Aizawl pan, adang zong omlai, "Cingno na muh leh ka 'star' lua uh hi aw," na cih sak in ci a a zite uh zakloh a online pan hong hilhsim khuankhuan te, a lawmnu te theihloh a hong vaikhak ngaungaute, leh Cingno mahmah in zong a Zolia pih tampite model leh etteh ahih thute.... ka gen ding tampi hong kivaikhak te...... huiii.... ka gen ding tam teei ei! Nervous lua in ka gen mangngilh kha tam maw! Ahih kei leh satan in hong thuzawh in ka selfish kha tam maw, angsung theilua in ka gen khia utkei zaw kha tam....

Hm.... ka lawp lua, ka ngaklah a, ka om thei nawn kei..... nunnop pal am ni lia leh taang aw.... Zomi lia leh taangte aw, i nunnop tomkal bek hi, am ni maw, zangziah ziah ni maw, siit kei ni, kideek kei ni, gual in hong eng mahmah zong ei a hi! Khuado nunnop pen Zomi te a bek hi, ei a hi, kuama hong neihpih hilo hi.... nuam ei, nuam ei, ciin zangziah ziah leng i khantawn, i damsung i khom ding hi a, kisik nawnlo dingin zangpah ni, geelpah ni... aw! paallai ni, aw! hun hoihte zatsiam ni.

Hihte khempeuh ka ngaihsutna Taipei pan Tokyo ka tun dong, meileng sung pan kumkhia in Japan leitang ka siik ma tengin ka lungsim tawngah galkido bang keek in gen masak ding, nunung ding kiphu ziahziah ding uh a, ka lawpna khang semsem ding hi. Zomi Nupite in, "kimu leng kimuh ciang ka gen ding hihteng ci hang, kimu taktak leng i gending bei" a cih a bat khak kei naak leh gennop tampi tawh kikuan ding hi mawk ei. Cikmah a ka muh ngei omvetlo, Zomi a Pasian hong bawl man bekbek a ka meltheihtawm ding leh kisuangtak hetlo a inn banga ka gamtat ngamna dingte manawh ding ka hih manin makai Joshua Jericho khua la ding bangin ka kilawp hi.

Nupi te aw singkhuah na phokeu un. Papi te aw i tonkhuang leh sialki te na pho un. Naupangte aw i meidet ding sialluang meisel leh khuai halna ding meiselte na henlom un. Nungak tangvalte aw i laamtual leh i tukpakte na zuun dih un... khai aw, kei.... ka huankhangpa sanga Kamkei tung tuang masa zawpa aw hong lam dih ning, a lai ah aw, a lai ah, hong lam dih ning, alai ah.... I tonkhuang leh sialki zai awihsiam no aw, pupa khangui i zopna hi e..... Guai vengtung lamte Khuaimei det zong khuamual hong suak ta, lia leh taang aw lamkhawm ve ni e.

(a). Do na lingling do na lingling e,
Gual in kumkhua do na lingling e.
(b). Gual in kumkhua do na lingling e,
Do han ah naubang va kap taang e.

Khuado ciang i muk zol, i laamtual zong zol a ngeina hi. Voksa thau leh lamsaina hi e. Guai, a bei theilo ding i lungsungah hih bang hun nuam paallai amkhawm liailiai ni e maw. I nunnop hun tomcik sung hi a, la phuakpa khat in:

(a) Tu a mawngsing bang kikawi a,
Zingciang sambang khenta ding aw e
(b). Zingciang sambang khenta ding a,
Mualcin sang kal suanta ding aw e.

ciin a hun nop uh tomcik hi a, a zing a thai mah ciang kikhen in amau mun lamciat, inn lam ciat zuan in ciah khiata ding hi ciin, lungleng takin na awi hi. Ahi zongin lametna lianpi tawh hih bang hun nuam ngah kik ding lamen a,

(a). Lunglai khau bang ka hual hual ciang
Taang bang dam ding sial bang lianpen e.
(b). Taang bang dam ding sial bang lianpen,
Zin lailen kal tangbang dam nuam e.

ci leuleu hi. Dam ding, cina lo ding, tua mah nuam pen. Dam peuh leng kimu kik zel ding ciin lametna tampi tawh mangpha nakikhak uh hi. Lia leh Taangte Lengtong te leuleu in zong, kikhen pen lungleng mahmah sam uh a:

Gual ngaih teng tawh om cim nailo
Samgi bang khen ding hun hong tungta
Taang bang dam in, vangkhua zuan ni
Mel mu kik in, Sian in hong siam hen

na ci uh hi. Tua ahih manin i hun hoihte am ni, nuamtak in zang ni. Dam peuh leng kimu kik zel in, hun hoih hun nuam hong tung kik zel ding hi.

Taang bang dam ding sialbang lianpen!

Nunnop paal am ni lia leh taang aw!


1. Singapore Zomite in October 21 ni zang ding.
2. Phillipines te in zong October ni zang ding.
3. Shillong Zomi te in October 19 ni zang ding.
4. Japan Zomi te in October 14 ni zang ding.
5. Malaysia Zomi te in October ni zang ding.
6. etc....
(ka theih pak teng kong gualhpak hi)

Zomi khempeuh eima mun ciat ah Khuado Pawi nuamtak zang dingin deihsakna kong khak hi.



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By: L.T.Ngaihte

Buaina in tui bang a tup gige I tenna Manipur thu a bul-a-bal a I et chian leeng thil kichian lou tamtak om hi. I theih sawtpen in Manipur pen Leeng gam(Princely state) ana hia, British ten 1891 kum a a hong lak masiah uh, Leeng ukna ah independent in a om hi. India in zalenna 1947 a a hon ngah chiangin,Constitutional Monarchy a kipua in,Manipur State Constitutional Act, 1947 zangin Maharaja Bodhachandra Singh nuai ah kivaipuakna kipan hi.

Huchihlai a Princely state tamtak te India Union toh kigawm(merger) souh souh uh hiven,Manipur ngei leng September 21,1949 in India Union toh ana kigawm ta hi.Hiai kigawmna Agreement pen Shillong ah Maharaja Bodhachandra Singh toh India palai,Shri V.P.Menon, Adviser to Government of India(Ministry of States) leh Sri Prakash,Governor of Assam ten a signed uh ahi. Hiai Agreement Article 1 na in hichin a gen “His Highness Maharaja of Manipur hereby cedes to the dominion Government full and exclusive authority, jurisdiction and powers for and in relation to the government of the state and agrees to transfer the state to the Dominion Government of the fifteen day of October,1949…”

Hiai a tung a Agreement ah Manipur leitang a vek a lut hia lut lou chih thu ah ngaihdan khenkhat om mah leh singtang gamte hausa nuai a Zalenna nei a om himah le uh leng Manipur minlohna a na om kha uh ahihmanin,Maharaja Bodhachandra in ana aaioh(represent) hi ngei ding hi. Khenkhatin,ei singtang hausa te amau a zalenna nei a na teng,Phaipi Leeng toh kizopna omlou ahih manin,Leeng pan agreement ava signed pen ei a dia valid lou hi chin igen.A hi kha mai thei.Meitei te mah in leng tua agreement pen India palai ten a Maharaja pa uh Shillong a kidnap a,under duress a signed sak uh ahi chin,India Union a ka lut na uh valid lou ahi achi thou uhi.Huaikhong ziak mah ahi,a organization tamtak uh POTO nuai a tun tak. Abangteng hileh,center ah bang sawlkal om mah leh history ah hon nungkik pihin,phattuamna hon khonung piak un a gintak huai kei.Lut khawm hin lutkhawmlou hitaleh,teeng khawm ihihna ah I gam bangchi zatkhawm ding chihpen a poimohzaw ahita.

I gam I hon et leuleu chian singtang district nga te lak a li-Senapati,Chandel,Ukhrul leh Tamenglong -Naga tamna ahi ua,ei loi tenna Churachandpur ah Zomi lam kitam non hi.Hiai singtang district nga ten’ Manipur leitang 100-a-90 luah hi. Phaijang a Meitei ten’ 100-a-10 chauh luah uh chihna ahi ! Hiai in a gam leitang a kikimlouhna(imbalance) liantak a om chih hon musak hi. Amitam lam I et leuleu chian,tua Phaijang neukha a teng te 100-a-65 bang hong pha enon nawn hi. Hiai ah kikimlouhna lauhuaitak I mu nawn. A kilatdan in center apan sum honglut leng 100-a-65 bangzaw Phaijang a bei hi ding hi. A gam a singtang lianzaw tham,a mi ah lah Phaijang te tamzawtham ahihna in a koiakoi lam ah patauhna omsak hi.Huaiziakin,kivaipuakna tuam deuh Indian Constitution Scheduled Sixth a kigen I lunggulh nak hi.Huai ah leng hichi a om nawn:

Northeast a teng backward tribal tuamtuam ten amau tenna mun a a tawmzaw(minority) ahihna mun ua, zalendeuh a political leh financial lam a thuneihna a neih theih nang uh ngimna a Sixth schedule ki bawl ahi. Tumalai a,Assam in a hon uap veklai a dinmun toh kituak a bawl ahih manin,tulai a state tuamtuam hong om chiang in a zat dingdan buaihuai simpi a suak hi.Manipur leh Tripura pen igentaksa bang a princely state ahih man un ana huam kha kei a,tutan buaihuaipi a suak. Hiaiban in state tamtak hong piansuah chian tribal majority na mun leh minority ahihna mun uh khen a haksa ta. Manipur ah,I gensa bangin,mitamlam(population) ah Meitei te singtang misang in a tamzaw tham uh. Ahihziakin,a gam a lei a etin,Meitei te tenna neuchik a hi nawn. Singtang gamte Sixth Schedule a lut di hita leh a gam 100-a-90 bang lut ding chihna ahi. Huaipen,meitei te adin ngaihngam huailou phet hilou in,Manipur Sawlkal toh nasep khawmdingdan theih huailou hi. Meitei ten singtang a gam neitheilou ding chih ngaingamlouin MLR&LR Act bang hong ki introduced ahi.Eilam in hiai Act dal theih tan in ina dal jel.Tulel a omdan in,Meitei te agam uah ki tot mahmah le uleng,singtang gam a a hong ten ua,neih leh lam a hong neih uh phal ahi kei. Mi huchizahta gam huchikhopa neu ah bangtan a teng thei di ua,chih pen thu lungkam khat ahi.

Meitei ten’ huchikhopa Naga cease fire extension a dal uh zong hiai a tung a igen te ziak lel ahi.A hilel a gen in,pawl nih kal a lemna a om chian koilai peuh a a om ding ahi(without territorial limits). Bukpi khosung a kilem dia,Thanlon a kidou ding chih in omzia neilou hi.Ahihhangin,a gam lianzaw tham uh khahsuahthei ahi uh chih a theih ziakun,Meitei ten sih ngam in ceasefire extension ana dal uhi. A mau ngaihdan in hih dik uh leng hi mai na ve.Ahihziakin,Naga makai ten zaw ‘without territorial limits’ chih thaimang ahih lel ziakin,a political demand uh kiam tuanlou ahi chih theichian lua uhi. Naga dominated area teng chauh paikhe leleng Manipur gam 100-a-70 paikhia hilai ding hi.A gam a lei eukhiak het ahikei ding at any cost chi a Manipur Assembly in thupukna li vei zen a lak te (March 24,1995,March 19,1997,December 17,1998 and March 22,2001)atun na ding Centre phualpi a kikhak khalou ahih dan Dec 21,2001 in Upendra Commission in hong thei khe kha hi !! Meitei te a din zong buaihuaipi ahi :mi lah kitam-gam lah neu,singtang a peem lah phallouh,namniam(scheduled caste/tribe/OBC) alah koih theihlouh,tenna lah a khangtou lou pen,politician te lah-himei !! Amau minority hih sak a,Sixth Schedule a lutsak ding ahih ngal kei ua leh ??

EITE MAHMAH: Hichibang kal ah eiloi in bang ihih ua le ? Akhen in UT demand,akhen in Sixth Schedule demand. Adangteng in kalh zel.Manipur gam a nna khat adia mi khat in sanction tuamtuam,min dangdang a a lak khiak theih bang deuh sim in,mun–leh-mual,mi-leh-sa kibang adin min tuamtuam in UT bang,6th Schedule bang Centre ah I ngen uhi(overlapping demands). I deih zawkzawk theigah minsa bang a lohkhiak hiau theih ding banghial in I gen sek uh. Naga toh Centre hongkihou peuhchiang ua,gamgi hong kikhung thak duakduak a,en I ut na lamlam na boh geih mai dia kikoihna a om. Huchi mai hilou ahi. 90% in a uap sung teng,singtangmite kituaktak a,min khat nei a,phaijang mite toh iki batlouhnate-ngeina,tawndan,neih leh lam,sabiak leh chindan-Centre leh nam dangte theih a I latsak theih ma zaw a haksa. Tulaiin,kiphinna sang in kithutuaka bawlkhiak thil a tamzaw ta. Vaihawm a lemtang zawk na din(for administrative convenience),a tuam a vai hawm ka poimoh uh chih taklat ahi pen. Ei loi,a neupen a gen in,Non-Naga group teng bek,palai khat nei a Centre toh uluk deuh a kihou louh in zaw,bang mah piang din a gin tak huai kei. Huai na pen,laisiam pilou,sepna dukdak neihlouh man a Electoral Politics sai maimai te khut a koih mai din a thupi lua hi. Laisiam,asim peih,a zongzong peih nih leh thum kan ngai lou ding,Politician taktak ichih hong pian na ding ahi. Lamka khosung a teng a, Lamka hotel singpi leh tualzu hoih lou pipi dawn kawm a sai in zaw,a lunglut huaina teng I beisak khong ding.


An appeal to Burmese communities worldwide

By PS Haokip

October 7, 2007: This is an appeal made by the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) to all Burmese communities all over the world that today is the day to be united in order that we may achieve the common objective of restoring democracy in Burma.

In the past weeks we have witnessed on television and newspapers that Senior General Than Shwe has mercilessly crackdown upon peaceful demonstrators led by the highest and sacred institution of Burma, i.e. the Buddhist monks. Thousands of monks were brutally beaten and imprisoned, and hundreds mercilessly killed.

Today, international communities are trying to pressure the military junta to desist from torturing and arresting peaceful demonstrators by imposing sanctions. The United Nations has also sent a special envoy, Mr Ibrahim Gambari, to persuade General Than Shwe on the same matter. However, it is clear that these efforts will not be sufficient to persuade General Than Shwe because, as is self-evident, he has gone to the extent of not sparring even the much revered Buddhist monks.

In other words, greed for power and wealth has made Than Shwe no longer afraid of God. When a person stops respecting religious leaders that means they have exceeded the norms and limits of a normal human being. Therefore, it would be totally vain to expect General Than Shwe to listen to the voice of the outside world, when he ignores the voice of the peaceful monks.

Today, we have received reports that many Burma army officials and soldiers are extremely unhappy with General Than Shwe for making them to shoot the monks. Newspapers have reported a Major of Burma fled with his son to Thailand, rather than obey orders to shoot the monks. We have information, too, that many army personnel would like to follow suit. Similarly, even a few generals are not happy with General Than Shwe because of his dealing with the monks, who are their religious leaders.

An important incident that shows General Than Shwe has not a streak of humanitarian value in his blood is the fact that Michael Aris, husband of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was not permitted to visit Burma to meet her even near the time of his death in 1996. Owing to the heartlessness of the military regime, Michael Aris, who was terminally ill, died without meeting his wife. As we all know, had Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gone to England to visit her ailing husband, the military regime would not have let her return to Burma ever. Such was the dedication to serve her people and country.

This being the dismal state of affairs, KNO would like to appeal to all leaders representing Burma, the revolutionary groups of Burma inclusive of those operating in administrative Divisions and States, and all ethnic groups whether big or small to inform their people who are serving in the Burma army to defect and join the Kukis on the Indian side in order to combine efforts against General Than Shwe, the tyrannical, selfish and Godless ruler and bring democracy to Burma.

Kuki area in India is a very strategic area next to Burma, where we can gather in a large numbers and make preparations to fight against General Than Shwe. However, as a word of caution, KNO would prefer that all those heading towards Kuki lands in India take extra precaution and request not to go through Kuki villages within Burma as that would entail extreme crackdown from the military junta upon innocent village people.

For the benefit of those who may not be aware of the Kuki people, I would like to introduce my people and our land:

The British took control of Zale’n-gam and divided it between India and Burma following the Kuki Rising of 1917-1919. Kuki ancestral land in Burma begins from the river Chindwin, stretching to the west bordering India, in the north, up to the river Nantalit and its surrounding regions, and to the south, the region up to the northern border of Chin State.

Following Burma’s independence from Britain in 1948, the Kukis were reconciled to being an integral part of the country. However, general neglect of the people by the Government prompted KNO’s armed cadre, Kuki National Army to carry out offensives against the Burmese army.

Some of the grievances faced by the Kuki people in Burma are as follows:

In 1967, under U Muang Maung’s “Khadawami Operation” the Government of Revolutionary Council headed by General Newin, displaced 20,000 Kukis in the Kabaw valley under the excuse that they were holding bogus “National Registration and family registration cards”.

From 1980s, there have been deliberate attempts at displacing the Kukis and populating the Kabaw valley with other ethnic Burmese tribes. The settlements of Ongchija, Tanan, Myothit, Bandulah, Saya San, Nanaungow, Mantong, Ywatha, etc, which were deliberately set up by the military government in the Kabaw valley are existing examples of discrimination against the Kukis. We do not have objection to live with them peacefully but only as long as there is an equitable approach at the government policy levels. Till now, the military government has given us a step-motherly treatment.

Since 1990, the SLORC government has been extracting forced-labor from the Kukis in the Kabaw valley. The army has dispossessed many Kuki villages of their lands. A glaring example of this is at Watsu in 1992 under the direct supervision of the General Secretary II Gen Tin O.

In the beginning of 1993, Nungkam, a Kuki village was burnt and bulldozed and in its place a new military settlement, Saya San Ywo, was set up. The ostensible reason for this was that the Kukis refused to convert to Buddhism. The village Church was burnt down. There are many other instances, which are glaring examples of SLORC’s discrimination against the Kukis in Burma (Myanmar).

The student community, Kuki Students Democratic Front, Burma, has submitted a representation highlighting human rights violation by SLORC against ethnic nationalities (1993-94) in Burma (Myanmar). Apart from mentioning forced labour and forceful occupation of village lands by the warriors they highlighted one incident at Phailen, a Kuki village in the Kabaw valley. It appears that one soldier from the 89 battalion of Burmese warriors deserted his camp based in Phailen village with a few rifles and ammunition.

Subsequently, a Burmese platoon stormed into the village, killed four people and arrested twelve others (all are consisting of Kuki religious leaders of Phailen Baptist Church). A ransom of 200,000 Kyats was demanded for their release. U Mangpu (45), Chairman of village, Law and Order Restoration Council; Rev. Yangkholet (48), the Pastor of Phailen Baptist Church; U Thangkhai (28) and U Haopu (25) were brutally tortured to death, during the first week of August 1993. U Maungpu’s house was demolished and his cows and domestic pets were used as ration for the platoon. His wife has been imprisoned in Monywa jail since then. This news was broadcast by BBC Burmese section on 11 August 2003.

All these incidents of harassment, torture and discrimination by the military government have been a matter of deep concern for us. We are surprised and shocked, mainly because we have never raised the banner of rebellion against independent Burma like the other ethnic groups, such as the Chins, the Kachins, Karens, etc. Even then we have been continuously treated as anti-nationals.

The only reason for this seems to be that we are not Buddhists but Christians in general. In this regard Myanmar has at no time declared itself as a theocratic Buddhist state. Buddhism, as we know it, is a non-violent all-encompassing religion and in this context, the actions of the military-regime are paradoxical. As per our understanding, Myanmar is supposed to be a democratic and peace-loving country where all ethnic groups may live in harmony, professing any religion of their choice.

KNO’s issues concerning the Kuki people in Burma are as follows:

1. Safeguarding the territorial integrity of Kuki lands and preservation of their identity by the government of Burma is imperative. To the Kuki people, this issue is more important than the political status of Burma, i.e. military state or democracy.

2. Kukis want to be fully integrated within the Union of Burma. To achieve this objective, KNO wants the government to accord statehood to Kuki ancestral lands.

3. The proposal for Kuki statehood includes their ancestral lands starting from the river Chindwin towards the west bordering India; in the north, up to the river Nantalit and its surrounding regions; and to the south, the region stretching to the northern border of Chin State.

4. Statehood would allay the fear that the government might plan to inhabit ethnic Burmese transplanted from other regions of Burma and settle them in Kuki lands with a view to rendering them a minority in their own territory. For example, in 2004 as well, a new Burmese village, Yan Nyang Aung was established between Lallim and Panda Kuki villages.

5. Prevent Meitei militants from Manipur in India to use Kuki lands in Burma to carry out activities against the Kuki people, as well as the Indian army across the international border. For example, in a recent Manipur People’s Army (conglomeration of Meitei militant groups) attack on the Assam Rifles out-post at a Kuki village, Chavangphai, Ward 7 Moreh, near the Indo-Burma border, four local civilians, including two women suffered severe injuries (20 July 2006, Imphal Free Press). A house at S Moljol, an adjacent village was also hit by a 60 mm bomb, injuring two people. The BBC also reported that on the Burmese side of the border, two Kuki villages, Valpabung and Namphalong, were affected when Assam Rifles retaliated. The injured village folks were refused immediate medical attention at the hospital at Tamu, a town in Kabaw valley because the Burmese police reported the casualties were not caused by the crossfire that occurred the previous night.

The Kuki people loyally remained in these two countries for the last fifty years with the hope that their ancestral lands would be accorded due acknowledgement by way of granting statehood, one in Burma and the other in India. Given Kuki history of vehement opposition to colonialism in defence of Zale’n-gam, this is an exceedingly rational and legitimate expectation. Till date, however, Kuki expectations have not been fulfilled.

Neither has there been any positive initiative from either government (of India and Burma) to begin to address the needs of the Kukis and thereby dispel their plight. The Kuki people have the right to ownership of land with dignity and enjoy a status that befits their forbears’. However, the prevailing state of affairs belies our people’s unique history.

KNO encourages all interested parties to come together in the movement to bring democracy in Burma so that all ethnic groups may enjoy full political rights as citizens of the country.

PS Haokip is the President of the Kuki National Organisation. Opinions expressed are of the author's.




Professor (Dr.) N. Sanajaoba +


Never before since India's disputed annexation of Manipur in 1949, has the issue of balkanisation of Manipur or, alteration of her ancient historical boundary been raised as it is being done today. The annexation has let loose unimaginable events like ethnic-cleansing, highway-blockade, economic strangulation and claims to respective clan lands and many more things. Annexation is the pandora's box. In the 19th century, rival claims over Kabo valley by two independent states in South Asia had been settled through multilateral negotiation on the production of historical boundary documents by the legitimate state authority of both the countries. Even today, an arbitration commission can easily and peacefully settle similar issues on the production of century-wise maps of the boundary by the respective legitimate state authorities, who had properly undertaken the state succession under the law.

The editorial of Assam Tribune (7 June, 1999) has captured the ongoing process. Except the realisation in the NSCN (I-M) leadership that their "Sovereignty" cannot be water-tight is undoubtedly pregnant with possibilities justifying cautious optimism about peaceful solution. Similarly the virtual pressing the demand for covering all the "areas inhabited by our forefather" will pose another hurdle as this will affect the integrity of Manipur as a State besides demands for territories from Assam's North Cachar Hills. This hurdle will pose greater difficulty than the sovereignty demand". The people of Manipur whose forefathers lived together for two millennia centuries before the ethnic names have been adopted or, given by the British has put up strong resistance to this sort of claims. The All Manipur Students' Union, as for instance, lodged strong protest to Indian premier in 1960s against such moves. The Sunday Hindustan Standard (January 7, 1968) has carried the protest, " Manipur split-up move condemned' while stating that any "Attempt for Balkanisation of Manipur would have serious consequences". The Indian premier, whose Government has illegally annexed the Asian state of Manipur might have understood the outer limits of his jurisdiction in this context.

The five lakh-strong Manipuri's historic rally on 4th August, 1997 has resolved that "The people of Manipur shall resist, as one man, the sinister and diabolic designs which pose a tremendous threat to the territorial integrity of the state and ethnic symbolic harmony of its people". Manipur legislative assembly also has adopted similar stand by its resolution, dated 24th March, 1995 to resist against all designs, mooted for disruption of Manipur's territorial integrity. *The Burmese insurrection in Manipur for 500 years had also been repulsed by the Manipuris in similar fashion in order to preserve Manipur's territorial integrity.

The politico-military apparatus, which has to defend Manipur has been taken over by the Government of India unlike the situation in which the Burmese disturbances for five centuries that had been decisively defeated by Manipur's political military apparatus. In the changed scenario, we discuss issues that merit legitimate attention of the constitutional authorities and International-law-persons by citing the principles and practices.

The Constitution

Two political constitutions of the post-war period are relevant in driving home the point. Article 3 of 1947 Manipur constitution provides, "The territories for the time being and hereafter vested in the Maharajah are governed by and in the name of the Maharajah. All rights, authority and jurisdiction which appertain or are incidental to the Government of such territories are exercisable by the Maharajah subject to the provision of this Act". Any premier of any country in the neighbourhood or, his plenipotentiary who has claims over any part of the territory of Manipur in 1947 has to satisfy any commission or mediating party with his or her constitution that lawfully operates in his or her country in 1947 and cite the precise constitution provision relating to their territory. This is the first sine qua non for both India and any other internationally recognised state for a peaceful negotiation of the claims, should there be any lawful claim as such. The second pre-condition relates to historical rights of that state. How the successive constitutional rulers of any state whatsoever (chronologically speaking) had maintained by proper documents, records and historical official records. The Burmese in 19th century produced similar materials before the boundary commission relating to Kabo valley and Manipur contradicted with her records and documents. The Government of India can initiate this process su-motto without triggering possible discomfort among the neighbouring states, presently in her union; governance function cannot abdicate this primary obligation for conflict off resolution and a 'white paper' could also be issued if possible mishaps have to be averted or, pre-empted in time.

The second instrument is the republican constitution of India which provides in article 3, parliamentary power to alter areas, boundaries of existing states after hearing 'views' of the state legislature concerned which will not bind the President at all. This article applies to India's existing states and not to Manipur, which has been 'a pre-existing state' before the adoption of India's Constitution. Rather, it has been an illegally annexed state to which article 3 has no contextual bearing at all. The first schedule of the constitution defines territory of Manipur thus, "The territory which immediately before the commencement of this constitution was being administered as if it were a Chief commissioner's province under the name of Manipur." The first schedule of the Constitution serial No. 19 on Manipur categorically established the fact that the territorial integrity of Manipur preceded the Indian Constitution. This status quo ante of the pre-existing state can not be disturbed by a subsequent provision of the Constitution like the article 3 or 4 of the Constitution.

The Constitution defines the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession for legislative purposes. For Jammu and Kashmir, which like Manipur had entered into the Instrument of Accession, article 370 of the Constitution provides that the power of the parliament shall be limited to 'matters specified the Instrument of Accession governing the accession' of Jammu and Kashmir state to the Dominion of India. Like the British, the Indian rulers played divide-and-rule policy by denying the same privilege, enjoyed by Kashmir to Manipur.

As per the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, 1954, C.O. 48, the President of India made the order:

To article 3, there shall be added the following further proviso, namely :-

"Provided further that no bill providing for increasing or diminishing the area of the State of Jammu and Kashmir or altering the name or boundary of that State shall be introduced in parliament without the consent of the Legislature of that state".

A re-statement has also been subsequently issued by the union government of India. The Government of India was expected to issue a similar order in 1954 or thereafter, in regard to the boundary of Manipur, but it failed her constitutional responsibility to treat two annexed states on equal terms. Even to-day, the Government has the responsibility to issue a similar order in regard to Manipur. Claims and counter claims to balkanise Manipur would not have gathered so much attention as of now but for the unfairness of the Government and its deliberate abdication of constitutional obligations.

UTI Possidetis Juris

Fratricidal wars and never-ending-political instability ensured in some parts of the world, where similar ethnic groups settle in contiguous areas of a state or country; but baseless claims to territory of other state have never materialised in the recent state practices in the last two centuries, despite world-wide conflagrations, which every sensible student of history knows. Somalia claimed contiguous areas where Somalian tribes settled in both Kenya and Ethiopia; but her claims have been rendered absurd and futile by the international communities. Hardly any country in the world can afford to similar claims, as every contiguous country has definitely a considerable population of common ethnicity of the neighbourhood. Palestinian people are spread over in almost all the neighbouring Arab states. Yet baseless claims had never been made by the responsible leadership of PLO, who are conversant with the basic international law. Baseless claims, made by irresponsible non-state bodies would impede even the exercise of legitimate rights of people, as the comity of nations would disregard them.

The international obligation of the state of India towards Manipur has been clearly stipulated article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which India has subscribed to, two years before her official independence. The Manipur state had existed for two millennia and her independent status has been given international recognition since 1726 A.D. and 1826 A.D. onwards with the emergence of the modern state systems in the world. She had her defined territory, population, successive governments for two millennia, external relations with neighbours, economic centralisation, common official language, common ancestry for two millennia even before the colonial British had recently coined terms like Kuki, Naga and others and above all, a full-fledged constitutional system, equipped with judicial mechanisms. Any claimant to territory should have these parameters.

Government of India's Charter obligations towards respecting territorial integrity of Manipur emanates from article 2(4) of the Charter, "All members (sic. India) shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state (sic. Manipur), or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations". The same article is equally applicable to Indian as well. Even the great super powers can not pose a threat to India. The state practices in the matter of freezing colonial boundaries or borders at the moment of independence of colonial countries are very clear for anybody not to misread the consistent practices, that ultimately led to the framing of the 'Uti Possidetis Juris'. The borders and boundary of Manipur that existed at the lapse of British paramountcy is fully protected by this principle even for the sake of triggering off counter productive, wanton fratricidal wars. Government of India in particular has the international obligation not to violate the "Uti Possidetis" under all circumstance without risking hostile responses for her irresponsible behaviour. Brownlie and Shaw's latest edition of International law, among other, demonstrate the details.

The International Court of Justice has laid down the principle in a series of disputes bearing the similar context. The ICJ in Libya-Chad Case announced that, "once agreed, the boundary stands, for any other approach would vitiate the fundamental principle of the stability of boundaries, the importance of which has been repeatedly emphasised by the Court". (ICJ reports, 1994, Shaw p. 685; hereafter references are made to Shaw).

The ICJ Reports, 1992 in 'Land' Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute (El Salvador Honduras) case proclaims that the administrate limits are invested as international boundaries and the Uti Possidetis is a retrospective principle. The ICJ in Burkina Faso, Republic of Mali (ICJ reports, 1986) laid down the norm- 'Intangibility of frontiers inherited from colonisation for settlement of disputes. The Uti Possidetis principle laid down by ICJ is (excerpt):

"The essence of the principle lies in its primary aim of securing for the territorial boundaries at the moment when independence is achieved. Such territorial boundaries might be no more than delimitations between different administrative divisions or colonies all subject to the same sovereign. In that case, the application of the principle Uti Possidetis resulted in administrative boundaries being transformed into international frontiers in the full sense of the term". (op. cit. p. 357).

The ICJ reports relating to Latin America (Reports, 1959, 1960) has framed the Principle in early 1960; "When the common sovereign power was withdrawn, it became indispensably necessary to agree on a general principal of demarcation, since there was a universal desire to avoid to resort to force, and the principle adopted was colonial Uti possidetis; that is, the principle involving the preservation of the demarcation under the colonial regimes corresponding to each of the colonial entitles that was constituted as a State." (Bronlie, p. 137 ). The Asian Governments including Government of India and tribunal for cases like Rann of Kutch (Award, 1968) have adopted the principle in order to preserve pre-independence boundaries, established by law.

In the significant western Sahara Case, the ICJ in 1975 while admitting that historical ties exited between tribes of Morocco and Mauritania, rendered the extensive Moroccan claims over Mauritania, Western Sahara and parts of Algeria as irrelevant and of political nature.

Application of Uti Possidetis

In the event of boundaries among the break-up independent states, the Minsk Agreement of 8 December, 1991 (see author's Oppressed Nations, p. 325) followed by Alma Ata Declaration of 21 December, 1991 clearly stipulates, "The high contracting parties recognise and respect one another's territorial integrity and the inviolability of existing borders within the common wealth" (article 5 of Minsk).

Even in the context of the most mind-boggling, blood-letting Balkan crisis the like of which the history has not witnessed before, similar territorial issues or claims have been easily settled without any noise-pollution in the neighbourhood- environment. The arbitration commission, installed by the European Conference on Yugoslavia in its option 2 solemnly proclaimed that "Whatever the circumstances the right to self-determination must not involve changes to existing frontiers at the same time of independence (Uti Possidetis Juris) except were states concerned agree otherwise". In option 3, the existing boundaries became international boundaries after the independence of several states from the republic of Yugoslavia in 1991-1992. But for the universal states that emerged from Yugoslavia would never rid themselves of permanent, fratricidal wars and their independence might have been postponed for several decades.

Besides, the unacceptable 'doctrine of contiguity', doctrine of forefathers has been invoked in the case of Iraqi invasion and annexation of Kuwait in 1990. The United Nations rejected the mistaken historical argument of Iraq and throttled her till the Iraqis eject out Kuwait from gobbling up. (see author's, Oppressed Nations p. 115-117, Security Council Resolutions). The USA since 1856 had adopted the elementary norm of UTI POSSIDETIS, when the Secretary of state proclaimed that with the termination of European colony in Americas, the independent states succeed to the territorial limits of the colonial period.

The Organisation of American Unity also has adopted in 1964 the principle that the emerging states would follow the colonially defined territory. The principle has been so firmly established in all the continents that even rogue states of Idi Amin dare not violate the universal principle. However, among the African tribes, fratricidal and internecine wars led to near-total decimation of rival tribal populations. When these futile, mutual genocides have concluded, they are back to square one only to belatedly comply with the Uti Possidetis spectacular in 1990s and commands utmost respect and compliance by existing as well as emerging sovereign states, which would have a political and economic space in the comity of nations by dint of their strict adherence to this Uti Possidetis rule.

Self-Determining Units

Colonial declaration 1960, Declaration relating Friendly relation 1970 stipulate the exercise of the right to self-determination by legitimate people; but it cannot be put into improper use territorial aggrandizement of the self-determination unit. The Uti Possidetis principle has been used in the context of de-colonisation of colony and non self-governing territory subject to the pre-independence colonial administrative boundaries. The reason is simple political instability and fratricidal wars will often ensue in the event of dilution of the principle. It could also be possible that the world community can hold up recognition of emerging states, which fail to comply with this norm and create threat to peace and security in parts of the world. The non-self-governing people in the region cannot but honour this rule to their advantage.


The territorial integrity of Manipur has been fairly established for half a millennium, as one can verify easily it from Henry Yule's Map of Manipur in 1500 A.D., down to James Johnstone's Map in 19th century (p. 34 of his Manipur and the Naga Hills) and to Surveyor General of India's map of Manipur, 1984 AD (see p. 542, Manipur Past and Present Vol. III). They have been corroborated and recognised by other countries in their official maps and records. The boundary had so firmly established as to reduce any baseless claim to a heap of mockery and puerile absurdity.

What is more significant that the corroboration, and recognition of the Manipur* territorial areas for half a millennium is the moment at which the British paramountcy lapsed in regard to Manipur, for the application of the universal rule of Uti POSSIDETIS JURIS to Manipur and the neighbouring areas or states. (see details in the author's book Manipur Puwaari, 1997 and his other volumes). The pre-independence territorial integrity of Manipur has been exactly sustained on the 14th and 15th August, 1947 _ which is material for the purpose of the universal principle, as cited. No ambiguity whatsoever remains about Manipur in all the British, K.W., Indian, Burmese and Manipur State official records. The room for comparing any adverse document records or official maps could be given only when the contrary could be proved with sufficient historical and official records, issued by independent states, governments and their plenipotentiary.

The government of India and for that matter, any other member state of the UN or international protectorate within the UN system and recognised states in the comity of nations are under Charter and international obligations to literally comply with the UTI POSSIDETIS rule. This universal rule after having been fully assimilated into the uninterrupted state practices for such a long time in all the continents has transformed into customary international law with profound implications for municipal law jurisdictions in equal terms. The self-determining units can not claim exception to this rule after considering the 1960 Colonial declaration and 1970 Friendly Relations declaration. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969 affirms the concept of established boundary, which cannot be altered except by mutual consent


Intergration or Annexation? Manipur's relations with India 1947-1949.

By: Parratt & Arambam


The manner and legality of what Menon euphemistically called the ?integration?of the Princely States into India after 1947

(1) has still not yet received the scholarly attention it deserves. Apart from the high profile cases of Hyderabad and Kashmir, and Vanja Rangaswami?s study of the southern states of Mysore, Travencore and Cochin, little in depth analysis of the fate of individual Princely States has been attempted

(2). The two north eastern states of Tripura and Manipur were among the very last to be absorbed, and Menon and his master Sardar Patel seem to have regarded them merely as a small mopping up operation. However the case of Manipur raises particularly large issues both as to the manner and the validity under international law of its absorption.

Menon?s own semi-official account reveals Patel?s and his own agenda. Specifically with regard to Manipur, which is dismissed in Menon?s account in less than page, he reveals not only a serious lack of factual knowledge about the state (which is all the more surprising given Manipur?s critical role in the events of World War II), but even more extraordinarily he fails even to get the date of merger correct

(3). His bland comment that ?the merger was signed by the Maharajah? masks - whether deliberately or through ignorance - a situation which was far more complex and controversial.

Manipuri written traditions trace its existence as an independent state back to the first century

(4). It established diplomatic relations with the British through a resident Political Agent in 1835. In 1890 a dispute over succession arose, which gave the British an opportunity to intervene in the internal affairs of the state, and the following year Manipur suffered a military defeat at their hands

(5). However the state was not annexed to the Crown, though it did lose some of its autonomy. A boy raja, Chura Chand, was appointed by the British, and the colonial power ruled through the Political Agent until he attained his majority. After Chura Chand?s coronation in 1908 the adminstration of the state was handed back to him, and he ruled with the assistance of an appointed Durbar of which the Assistant Political Agent was the President. The British retained direct control over the Hills and over the ?Reserve? in the heart of the capital Imphal. The Political Agent, acting for the Governor of Assam, had some degree of veto over the rajah?s rule, though this was seldom used (6).


Towards the end of the 1930s popular movements for democratic reform began to emerge (7). Partly in response to British calls for more responsible government, but much more as a result of continual lobbying from within the state itself the Maharajah, Bodh Chandra, reluctantly agreed to the setting up of a ?Constitution Making Committee? in March 1947 (9). The Committee completed its work quite swiftly and the new constitution was adopted by royal decree in July 1947. Perhaps surprisingly, the recommendation was for elections to a Legislative Assembly by full adult franchise, with no required qualification for voting in terms either of education or land ownership (10). Due largely to the procrastination of the Maharajah elections were not held until June and July the following year. In the meantime an Interim Council was set up, largely made up of appointees of the Maharajah and Assistant Political Agent Frank Pearson, which took office the day before Indian independence was declared (11)

Manipur?s celebration of Indian independence proved a curious affair, neither the Maharajah nor the Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Hydari, seeming to be clear as to what status it conveyed upon the relation between India and Manipur, or how the event should rightly be observed. The Manipuri leaders, whatever their views on the integration issue, seem to have taken at face value British assertions (12) that the end of British paramountcy would mean sovereign independence and the freedom for Manipur to negotiate its relationship with the new India. As it turned out the events of 15th August 1947 in Manipur bordered on the farcical, and neither of the two British officers most intimately involved, Political Agent G.P.Stewart (13) and Frank Pearson seemed particularly competent or well briefed. Stewart initially rejected the Maharajah?s proposal for a flag hoisting ceremony on 14th August, and instead requested Bodh Chandra to come to the residency at midnight, which after some demur the Maharajah agreed to do (14). Eventually Hydari tactfully indicated to the Maharajah that he would consider it a courtesy if the Union flag might be hoisted on that day along with the Manipur national flag (15) in the area of the old capital (the Kangla) situated in the Reserve (16). Stewart, taking an over zealous stand on his new (but very temporary position) as ?Dominion Agent?, vehemently rejected this idea, since in his opinion neither the Reserve nor the other former British enclaves in Manipur were to be formally retroceded to Manipur on 15th August. Eventually only the Pakhangba flag.was raised, first in the Kangla and subsequently in the Palace compound (17). Pro-Congress supporters, however, made a show of unofficially displaying the Union flag in public places in Imphal. Stewart?s brief speech expressed the wish that the agreements (the details of which he did not specify) would be carried out for the peace and prosperity of Manipur (18).

Pearson meanwhile had been desperately trying to finalise the acceptance of his nominees for the Interim Council only five days before the hand over of power, in the face of the procrastination of the Maharajah and the latter?s suspicion of the motives of his brother, Maharajkumar Priyabrata, Pearson?s proposed Chief Minister. Pearson was clearly quite naive as to the motives and qualities of the pro-Congress candidates. While his nominees were eventually pushed through, Pearson himself lost face, failed to put in an appearance at the swearing in of the Interim Council, and departed Manipur hurriedly leaving only a farewell note (19).


Manipur?s relationship to the Government of India, effected through the Governor of Assam, had been since 1891 fraught with tension and inconsistencies, and, as we have noted, the Maharajah?s rule since 1908 had been subject to certain reins of control. In this respect Indian independence left numerous loose ends to disentangle. There had been a certain degree of lassitude and case by case decisions in interpreting the various rules for the governing of Manipur (20). However that may be, on 15th August 1947 these agreements fell away. According to the Indian Independence Act (1947, paragraph 7b) on that date ?the suzerainity of His Majesty over the States lapsed and with it all treatises and agreements.? Indian independence had been announced on 10th July 1947, and on 25th of the same month Mountbatten had declared that suzerainity over the States also lapsed and they were therefore independent. Against this background it is important to examine those agreements made during this period between Manipur and the Government of India (whether or not through the Governor of Assam). Three such agreements stand out as especially important:

1. the written memoranda between the Governor of Assam and the Maharajah dated 1st and 2nd of July 1947 (21);
2. the Instrument of Accession, signed by on 11th August 1947;
3. the Merger Agreement signed on 21st September 1949.

The first two of these agreements were signed during the period of agitation leading up to responsible government, the last, of course, well after the democratically elected government had taken power in Manipur.

The memorandum of 1st July 1947, which was signed by the Maharajah and the Manipuri members of the then ruling Durbar, covered a number of heads including Manipur?s representation on the Constituent Assembly, the setting up of the Interim Council, and the need for a new constitution within one year. With specific regard to the relationship between Manipur and India the main points of agreement were:

1. that Manipur would need assistance from India ?both in external defence and internal security?; (22)
2. the Union would retain control of Posts and Telegraphs facilities, and that the arrangements regarding import and export, currency, and provincial taxation on goods would continue;
3. the Union would appoint an officer; ?to represent the Government in these matters in Manipur?;
4. ?that there would be the minimum of interference in the internal affairs of the State?;
5. that the retrocession of the British Reserve should be expedited, but that for the time being the Union Government would retain control of the cantonment, the Residency and Political Agent?s office, and the area known as Barapura (sic Babupara);
6 the matter of future rental payment for the alienated territory of the Kabaw Valley would be taken up with the Union (23)

The 2nd of July agreement (24) was also signed by the Maharajah and members of the Durbar (this time including Pearson in his capacity as President). This allowed rather more in the way of interference in Manipur?s internal affairs, including a provision that the Maharajah would accept an officer appointed by the Union Government to carry out the Governor?s functions as regards the agreement, and that this official (the Dominion Agent) could call for papers relating to the Hill tribes and issue advice, and further that no orders regarding the Hill tribes could be issued without his advice (25). However (and somewhat contradictorily) it further stipulated that ?in the application of the power vested in him under this section the Dominion Agent shall avoid interference in the day to day administration of the Hills.? Precisely what the status and practical meaning of this latter clause was is unclear, but in point of fact the Maharajah did officially assume full control over the Hills on 10th August 1947. The Legislative Assembly made provision for Hill members in proportion to the population and also for two Hill members to sit on the Council of Ministers. Whatever reservations the British and their successors might have had about the possible neglect of the Hill tracts by the goverment in Imphal thus were clearly unfounded.

Even though these agreements were signed before the elected government assumed power in Manipur, there is nothing in them which would contradict the sovereign powers of that Legislature, save in those specific areas set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the memo of July 1st 1947. These areas were broadly those covered by the Act of Accession, which was signed by the Maharajah on 11th August 1947. The essence of this Act is really contained in the attachment, the Schedule. This acceeded (as far as was relevent to Manipur) Union control over defence, external affairs, and communications. At the same time it explicitly guaranteed to the ruler his continued sovereignty over the State (26)


On the day of India?s independence there were demonstrations in Imphal, organised largely by left wing groups, agitating for the replacement of the pro-Congress Interim Council by an elected Assembly. These were well attended but were also marked by a certain amount of pro-Union activity, including the waving of Indian flags. As we have seen, largely due to the procrastination of Bodh Chandra and the desire of the Interim Council to hang on to power, the elections for the Legislature were not held until June and July 1948.

The results of these elections were inconclusive, and a coalition government took office made up of the majority the Praja Santi (a broad pro-royalist party), supported by the Peasant Party (the Krishak Sabha), and the Hill members (27). The expectations of the Manipur State Congress that it would control the state were disappointed. As the second largest party the Manipur State Congress became the official opposition, and this was to have repercussions in their attempts to seize power with the support of the All India Congress later on. However the new Legislature was not scheduled to take office until 18th October 1948, and in the meantime the pro-Congress Interim Council continued to hold power, and did what it could to disadvantage its opponents (28).

Stewart left Manipur on 17th August, and his place as Dominion Agent was taken by Debeswar Sharma. Sharma did not arrive until the November and seems to have been a quite disastrous choice. The Manipuri leaders regarded him as too smooth to be trusted, and it was not long before he was plunged headlong into a baptism of fire which cruelly exposed his deviousness and inadequacies (29). The Congress in Manipur had been rent into two factions for some time, and both were dominated by men whose main aim seem to have been to seize political power and all its material benefits. Boycotts and strikes became commonplace, and were often hijacked by one or other Congress group for their own ends. Sharma was drawn into the mire of local politicking with disastrous consequences for his official position. He was dismissed by Hydari in May 1948 (30). The Governor decided that he would henceforth deal directly with Manipur himself, and went on to appoint MK. Priyabrata, who was still Chief Minister, to act on his behalf with the title of ?Dewan.? (31). The confusion of these two roles, with their different responsibilities, in the same person was to have unhelpful repercussions later on.

Sir Akbar Hydari died on a visit to Manipur in December 1948 (32). He was succeeded by Sri Prakasa, a very different character and a career diplomat with a very clear agenda for the swift and ruthless integration of the north eastern states of Manipur and Tripura. Fortuitously, and as it turned out unhappily for Manipur, Prakasa had already met Bodh Chandra some years before. In 1934, during the reign of his father Chura Chand, Bodh Chandra had been sent out of the state to Banares into virtual exile because his father had suspected he had been implicated in a plot to seize the throne. There he had been befriended by Prakasa, and lived with him for three years (33). Whatever the exact relationship between the two, Bodh Chandra clearly felt obligated to Prakasa on a personal level and this seems to have clouded his judgement with regard to state affairs. Prakasa, for his part, lost no time in preparing the ground for a takeover of Manipur. He visited Manipur in March 1949. In a meeting with Bodh Chandra he continued to give the Maharajah the impression that the Union Government had no designs on the state, and later put in writing that the ?distinct identity of Manipur would be preserved, and that no merger with the Centre or any other territory would be effected, except military relations for the defence of India as a whole? (34). This last comment was ominous (though no one in Manipur realised this at the time), and the following month Prakasa sent his military advisor with Rustomji (the special advisor for the northern states) to assess the suspected Communist threat (35). Despite the evident public concern that these visits were harbingers of an Indian takeover, the Legislative Assembly failed to debate the darkening political situation. The Maharajah meanwhile began to realise that, since Prakasa intended to appoint a new dewan in place of Priyabrata, he would be well advised to clarify this official?s role and authority. In a long memorandum to the Governor (36) he stipulated that if a dewan were appointed it should be a person acceptable to the Maharajah himself, that he should have the power to demand the dewan?s removal, and that the dewan should ?have the minimum of interference in the administration of the state? and function only to safeguard the treaty obligations between Manipur and the Union. Bodh Chandra?s memorandum was rudely ignored, and Prakasa proceeded to reinvent unilaterally the powers of the dewan. On 14th April 1949 Rustomji came back to Imphal with the new dewan, Major-General Rawal Amar Singh (37). Rustomji brought with him a letter setting out the powers which the Government of India had given to the dewan over the State of Manipur (38). These were severe and wide ranging. Crucially the Indian Government demanded that ?the administration of Manipur State would be carried on under the general superintendence, guidance and control of the Dewan?, who would have the right to call for any papers from any ministry and ?pass such orders as he might consider fit and proper on them, in consultation with the Minister concrned.? The Dewan would further have direct charge of the portfolios of Law and Order, Administration of the Hills, State Forces, and Relations with the Government of India, and would also have the ultimate say in the distribution of portfolios (such as remained!) within the Council of Ministers (39). Nothing in previous agreements waranted such sweeping powers for the representative of the Government of India, and these demands were thus without any legal basis. Prakasa, however, continued to feed the gullibility of the Maharajah with the myth that nothing in these requirements affected the dignity of the State. Rustomji demanded the Maharajah issue an order accepting the appointment of Rawal Singh and the conditions of his appointment within two days. No discussion was permitted, and Bodh Chandra weakly caved in to pressure (40). Neither the Council of Ministers or the Legislature questioned the sweeping powers given to the Dewan over the State, nor whether, since the Maharajah?s authority had now passed to the elected Legislature, he actually had the power to make the proclamation appointing a dewan with such vastly enhanced powers. The way towards annexation had now been smoothed by a skilful combination of deviousness and bullying on Prakasa?s part. The weakness of the Maharajah?s response, and the lamentable failure to grasp political realities on the part of the Legislature, had made a takeover virtually certain.

Bodh Chandra subsequently began to have second thoughts. Two months later he wrote to Prakasa and belatedly pointed out that there was no provision in the State Constitution for a Dewan with these powers and that it was in any case up to the Assembly to approve the regulations (41). Unsurprisingly Prakasa cursorily dismissed this protest with the comment that the Government of India did not recognise the Council of Ministers or the Assembly, and regarded the Maharajah as the sole ruler of the State. To add insult to injury he went on to instruct the Maharajah to make full use of the advice of the Dewan, with a veiled threat of the consequences if he did not (42). This was indeed a cynical response: the Government of independent India, which proclaimed democracy as a major plank in its platform, was now declaring itself unwilling to recognise the democratically elected government of a state on its borders.

Meantime, as news of these events became public, reactions became polarised. The Socialist parties submitted a formal protest at the Dewan?s assumption of powers which constitutionally belonged to the Legislature, but since their own agenda was for the merger of Manipur with other territories in Assam they secured little popular support. An attempt by the Manipur State Congress (which was by now largely in the pocket of the All-India Congress) to drum up support for full merger with India at a mass public meeting backfired badly when most of the crowd decamped to another venue. There they passed strong resolutions denouncing the Manipur Congress? ?deceitfulness?, and insisting that the kingship must not be abolished nor the state be integrated into India (43). The Hill MLAs convened and declared themselves firmly against any merger proposal, as did the Muslim members (44). The Communists predictably denounced the Nehru government as inefficient and lackeys of the West. In August the MLAs belonging to the ruling coalition Praja Santi party, which favoured a separate state, authorised N. Ibomcha (a Meitei) and Lunneh (a Hill Member) to prepare a paper setting out coherent reasons why Manipur should not be merged with India. Copies of this paper were sent to the Prime Minister Nehru, to Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel (who was also of course also in charge of the States), to the Governor of Assam, and to the Dewan. (45). But by this time of course the Government of India had long since determined on its course of action. Their plea fell on deaf ears and no opportunity was afforded the members to put their case orally (46). The stage had been set for the final act.

The main players on the Indian side, Rawal Amar Singh and Prakasa realised that the simplest way to attain their objective was to isolate the weak Maharajah from his advisors and the Council of Ministers, and subject him to pressure. Meanwhile Rustomji, aware of the antagonism between Bodh Chandra and his brother Priyabrata, who still retained his position as Chief Minister, continued to cultivate the latter?s confidence (47). . Events conspired to lead Bodh Chandra to play into their hands.

Bodh Chandra was by now becoming more and more irritated at the Dewan?s frequent and often tactless interference in the affairs of the state. This came to head in a sharp conflict over an issue concerning the legality of the election of a Muslim member to the Legislature. The Maharajah determined to address his complaint about the Dewan directly to the Governor, and on 29th August sent a telegram to Shillong asking for a meeting with Prakasa. In early September Prakasa, together with Rustomji, went to Delhi to meet Menon, who instructed the Governor to expedite the merger of Manipur. From there they were summoned to Bombay to receive further orders from Sardar Patel, who was by then seriously ill. When Prakasa ventured to suggest that the Maharajah might not agree to sign the merger document, Patel?s reply left him in doubt as to the course of action he would need to take in such an eventuality: was there, he demanded, no brigadier in Shillong? (48). On his return Prakasa invited the Maharajah to discuss the situation in Manipur. Bodh Chandra was later to claim that he did not suspect that a proposal for a full merger with India would be on the agenda at this meeting. If this is so then it would indicate that the Maharajah was totally out of touch with events, for by early September the press both within and outside the state had been speculating about the matter. The speaker of the Assembly had also unsuccessfully requested that the issue of a possible merger should be debated in the House. At any rate Bodh Chandra, together with his advisors, servants, and an escort departed from Imphal in a fleet of cars on 15th September, and reached Redlands, his personal residence in Shillong, on 17th. He immediately sent his ADC to the Governor?s residence to advise Prakasa of his arrival, only to be told that the latter was away from Shillong. (49). Meanwhile Redlands was surrounded by a strong contingent of the Indian army, who pitched their tents within the grounds. Plain clothes police also appeared and refused to allow anyone in or out. Attempts by the Maharajah?s staff to send out telegrams were refused, and since there was no telephone in the building the Maharajah?s party found themselves virtual prisoners. Requests to withdraw the security police were ignored (50).

Prakasa arrived back late in the evening and it was arranged that he would meet Bodh Chandra at 9 a.m. on the 18th. The Maharajah?s party, consisting of Bodh Chandra himself, his ADC Mayengbam Anandamohon, and his private secretary, Sanasam Gourahari, arrived shortly before the appointed hour but were then kept waiting for some time. Prakasa eventually appeared, and with him Rustomji and the secretary, Krishnamurthy. The latter now presented the merger document to the Maharajah, who read it through and commented that he could not sign it without first consulting his Council of Ministers. This position he maintained despite crude threats from Rustomji (51). Prakasa?s approach, perhaps because he knew Bodh Chandra, was more diplomatic. However he argued that he was under orders from Menon, and could not accept the Maharajah?s proposal to return to Imphal and consult his ministers. He stressed that the merger had to be signed within ?a few days.? A further meeting was agreed for the following morning.

According to Gourahari, Bodh Chandra was so deeply upset that he wept profusely on the way back to Redlands, and Gourhari feared that he would ?behave insanely? (52). Prakasa continued to pressurise Bodh Chandra by sending him a written message to the effect that he had now been instructed that the merger had to be signed by the 30th. The Maharajah, by now composed, again responded that it would be unconstitutional for him to sign the merger, since sovereignty in Manipur had been transferred to the elected Assembly (53). Prakasa immediately cabled Patel that since the Maharajah was intending to return to Imphal for consultation he had instructed the police to detain him and his party if they attempted to leave Redlands. He requested the Deputy Prime Minister immediately to telegraph instructions for Bodh Chandra?s detention under any orders whatsoever (54). Both the police and army guards on Redlands were doubled (55).

Next morning, September 19th, Bodh Chandra wrote to the Governor cancelling their appointment since in his view it would serve no purpose. A brisk exchange of notes continued throughout the day. Prakasa repeated that it was the Government of India?s intention to deal only with the Maharajah as the sole ruler of the state, and then promised that the Government would take responsibility for any objections which might be raised within Manipur (though quite how they intended to do this was not specified). Bodh Chandra was mollified to some extent, but still not convinced, and repeated his view that under the Manipur constitution only the Council of Ministers could decide on the merger. He agreed to meet the Governor again and read, and even commented on the draft agreement (succeeding in the process in securing a substantial increase in his own privy purse) but continued to maintain that he could not sign the document alone.

Prakasa now decided on a more intimate approach, and sent a message to say that he would come unaccompanied to Redlands that afternoon. He arrived one hour early, while the Maharajah was taking a siesta. When he emerged, only half dressed. Prakasa spoke to him ?as a son? and told him that the Indian Government was quite prepared to use force. He went on to say that if this were about to happen he would have to resign as Governor of Assam, and his replacement would be likely to impose much harsher conditions on Manipur. Bodh Chandra gave in and agreed to sign that day. His ADC, Gourahari, had been confined to his room under guard while this conversation was going on. When he remonstrated with his ruler Bodh Chandra responded that they would try the merger for a few years, apparently under the impression that it could be reversed (56). The final version of the agreement contained no indication of the way the state would be governed. Its main provisions concerned the Maharajah?s Privy Purse, and the privileges he would retain, and the conditions of service for public servants (57). Back in Manipur rumours about the signing began to circulate (including one that the Maharajah had been forced to sign at gun point). Though there was much talk, there was little action. No voice was raised in the Assembly, and the honorable members occupied their final days discussing the matter of liquour tax. Most MLAs seemed intent on preserving their privileged positions under the new regime, but in this almost all of them were to be disappointed. The focus of opposition now shifted to the underground armed resistance movements.

The handover ceremony took place on 15th October on the polo ground in a heavy rainstorm. The Governor of Assam was not present and attendance was sparse. Many of the Manipuri leaders (including MK. Priyabarta) stayed away. The same day Rawal Amar Singh became the first Indian Chief Commissioner of Manipur. His first act was to issue an order abolishing the Council of Ministers and the assembly, and appropriating all powers in his own hands. A few days earlier a battalion of the regular Indian army had been stationed in Imphal to discourage any possible riots against the merger and to neutralise the contingent of the Assam Rifles, whose loyalty to India was considered doubtful. Along with integration into the Indian Union an era of heavy military presence had begun.


Half a century on, Manipuri politicians and historians (in common with those elsewhere in the north east) have begun to reexamine the circumstances and implications of absorption into the Indian Union. A number of the factors which, at the time, were advanced to justify the takeover of Manipur, now look increasingly unconvincing. Sardar Patel?s theory of a common Aryan blood as a uniting bond for the Indian sub-continent simply does not apply in much of the north-east, which is ethnically, linguistically, and culturally quite distinct. The supposed Communist threat in Manipur was grossly (and possibly deliberately) exaggerated, and the other insurgency movements were in the main a direct result of Indian annexation. The claim by the Union Government that Manipur suffered from underdevelopment was probably true, though most Manipuris would argue that since 1949 it has remained neglected and grossly underfunded, with much of its resources being used to fund the wholly counterproductive presence of Indian security forces.

But more important has been the questioning on the part of Manipuri intellectuals of the whole legality of the merger. Aside from the now largely discredited remnants of the old Manipur Congress, most would argue that on 15th August 1947 full independence returned to Manipur.(58). The State Constitution, adopted the previous month and brought to fruition with the convening of the Legislative Assembly in the October of the following year, was the first in the sub-continent to grant full adult franchise, with the Maharajah as a constitutional sovereign (59). The bitter irony, as Manipuris see it, is that independent India, which proclaimed its dedication to democracy, wilfully refused to recognise the democratically elected government of its tiny neighbour, and instead persisted in dealing with the former feudal ruler, who himself repeatedly protested that he had surrendered his power to the elected Assembly. Furthermore, Manipur was not a petty state surrounded by Indian territory, but a border state more akin to Sikkim and Kashmir. It is difficult to deny the force of these arguments, and to resist the conclusion that the Union Government, in its eagerness to maximise its borders, simply annexed Manipur.

There would, of course, have been severe practical difficulties in the way of Manipur?s preserving its independence. The Union Government controlled most of its finances and indeed froze all the State funds held by the Treasury. Furthermore, Menon?s interpretation of the defence clause in the Standstill Agreement and the Act of Accession would have enabled Indian troops to enter the state, not only on the grounds of external threat, but also whenever internal security appeared to be threatened (60), and one can well imagine that pretexts for such action would not have been hard to create. The inaction of the United Nations, which disapproved of the invasion of Hyderabad in 1948 and of Goa thirteen years later, gives no grounds for thinking that Manipur would have had practical support from the international community at the time. In the end, as Priyabrata asks (61), to which court could Manipur have appealed? All that could have been done, he concludes, was ?to act like Mr Phizo? (62).


1. V.P.Menon Integration of the Indian States (Madras 1956): references below are to the 1996 edition

2. see Rangaswami The Story of Integration, a new interpretation (Madras 1981);Ian Copland?s revisionist The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire 1917-1947, (Cambridge 1997) unfortunately contains only three minor references to Manipur, all of them to one degree or another inaccurate. There are no indexed references to Manipur in T.P. Mansergh?s The Transfer of Power. Apart from Kashmir, Manipur was in the last group of states to be integrated (along with Tripura, Bhopal and Cooch Behar).

3. Menon gives it as 15th October 1948, which a full year too early: Menon op cit p. 302.

4. Cheitharol Kumbaba (Royal Chronicle) edited by L. Ibungohal Singh and N. Khelachandra Singh (Imphal 1987). While the first sections of the Chronicle are cast in mythological language it is substantially historically correct from about the 14th century.
Apart from a brief period of Burmese domination between 1819-1825 Manipur functioned as an independent monarchy.

5. see John Parratt & Saroj Arambam Parratt Queen Empress vs. Tikendrajit: the Anglo-Manipur conflict of 1891 (New Delhi 1992).

6. for the situation during this period see J. Shakespear Manipur under British Management 1891-1907 (Shillong 1907) and Lal Dena British Policy towards Manipur 1891-1919 (Imphal 1984).

7. See Saroj N. Arambam Parratt and John Parratt ?The Second Women?s War and the emergence of democratic government in Manipur? forthcoming in Modern Asian Studies. For general surveys of this period see especially Karam Manimohan Singh Hijam Irabot Singh and Political Movements in Manipur (New Delhi 1989) and N. Lokendra Singh The Unquiet Valley: society, economy and politics in Manipur 1891-1950 (New Delhi 1998).

8. Bodh Chandra had successded his father Chura Chand in 1941. The first formal demand for a democratic constitution was made by the Nikhil Manipuri Mahasabha in 1938, though the socialist reformer Hijam Irabot had made public calls for reform earlier than this. See John Parratt and Saroj N. Arambam Parratt ?Hijam Irabot and the radical socialist democratic movement in Manipur? forthcoming in Internationales Asienforum.

9. This committee was composed partly of members nominated by the Maharajah and partly by election with limited franchise. Most of the nominated members were strong Manipur Congress supporters; the Durbar President, Frank Pearson, who made no secret of his support of Indian Congress and opposition to full franchise, was largely responsible for securing their appointment.

10. The constitution provided for the appointment of a Council of Ministers from the members of the Legislature, but the appointment of the Chief Minister remained in the gift of the Maharajah. This was the first election on the basis of full adult franchise on the Indian subcontinent, the rest of India had to wait until 1952.

11. Maharajkumar Priyabrata, the brother of the Maharajah, replaced Pearson as Chief Minister.

12. Menon himself gives some of the relevent statements by Attlee and Mountbatten (op cit p 476) and also by Nehru and Patel (p 276): though of course it is clear that neither Nehru or Patel was inclined to consider full independence of any state as a realistic option.

13. who actually knew Manipur quite well, having served as Durbar President in the reign of Chura Chand.

14. Lt.-Col. H. Bhuban Singh has a highly amusing account of this meeting based on eyewitness reports, see his The Merger of Manipur (Imphal 1988) pp. 71-74.

15. known as the Pakhangba flag, it consisted of an intricately coiled snake symbol, representing Pakhangba, the ancestral deity of the Meiteis.

16. This area, the Kangla, was the former palace compound, which was seized by the British in 1891

17. Bhuban, whose synpathies were for Indian integration, maintains both flags were raised (op cit p. 74), but the official programme, quoted by Karam Manimohan (op cit. p. 250), and eye witness accounts, do not support this. The raising of the Pakhngba flag in the Kangla can only be regarded as a statement that full sovereignty had returned to ?Meiteileipak? (Manipur). This is confirmed by the entry in the Cheitharol Kumbaba for Friday 29th of the month Thawan (June/July), which states that ?at ten minutes past ten o?clock the maharajah and the maharani sat in the Kangla and performed a religious rite, saying that from that day onwards they had possessed the country. At ten forty a flag with the insignia of Pakhangba was flown in the state durbar in the Kangla. At eight o?clock in the presence of all the people the bara sahib, in the state durbar hall, handed over all the land of Manipur into the hands of Srijut Maraharajah. Asongshangbam Major fired an eighteen canon salute.?

18. Karam Manimohan op cit 251.

19. Pearson?s memoir confirms Manipuri reports of him as politically clumsy and naive, and clearly taken in by the Congress leaders (British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections (hereafter O&IOC) MS EUR F226/21). Most other sources, English as well as Manipuri, regard the Manipur Congress leaders as unprincipled power seekers. I can find no supporting evidence for Pearson?s claim that Congress wanted him to stay on as Chief Minister, though this is not unlikely as they were obviously cleverly manipulating him for their own ends: as it turned out the Congress Party failed to dominate the Legislature.

20. The last British orders regarding the administration of Manipur were promulgated in 1935: during the Second World War Manipur was under military rule.

21. Manipur State Archives (hereafter MSA) Secret file C July 1947: the full texts are also given by Karam Manimohan op cit. p 223-4.

22. though the interpretation put on the latter phrase by Patel and Menon went far beyond what the Manipuris understood by it.

23. The Kabaw Valley, situated between
Manipur and the Chindwin River, was in Manipuri possession until it was occupied by the Burmese during the first Burmese war. It was subsequently recaptured by Maharajah Gumbhir Singh in 1824-5. At the Treaty of Yandaboo the British agreed to allow the Burmese to occupy it for in exchange for an annual rental fee payable to the Maharajah.

24. This was actually a revision of an earlier draft which had been rejected a few days before

25. This clause was presumably in deference to the fact that after 1891 the British had assumed direct control over the hills: this provision in fact limited the democratic representation of the hill peoples in contrast to the Manipur constitution.

26. ?Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this State, or, save as provided under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this State or the validity of any law at present in force in this State? (paragraph 8).

27. Besides the local constituencies, both Valley and Hill, there was provision for additional elected members representing commerce, education and the Manipuri Muslims.

28. The biggest casualty was Hijam Irabot, the leader of the socialist and peasant movements, who was forced to go underground: on Hijam Irabot see John Parratt and Saroj Arambam Parratt ?Hijam Irabot and the radical socialist-democratic movement in Manipur? in Internationales Asienforum (forthcoming).

29. Nari Rustomji, in his memoir Enchanted Frontier (Calcutta 1973) p. 89 described him as ?a senior Congressman of great ability and high ambitions.? E.T.D. Lambert?s ?Special Report on Manipur? of 14.9.48, had a rather different view: of the man: he was, wrote Lambert, ?one of the nastiest pieces of work in Assam, a high grade opium smuggler and smooth individual with the tongue of a rattlesnake and the mind of a corkscrew? (O&IOL L/P&S/13/1803, Pol 4508/48).

30. according to Lambert for issuing over 500 illegal gun licenses and racketeering in the issue of petrol coupons; but, as important, he clearly failed to exercise any diplomatic skills as Dominion Agent

31. despite the fact that relations between Bodh Chandra and his brother Priyabrata were cool, and that the Maharajah had tried to avoid appointing him as Chief Minister.

32. Hydari seems to have had a genuine concern for the state and related well to Bodh Chandra. He frequently visited Manipur for duck shooting at Lake Loktak, and it was there that he died. He was buried in Manipur. The course of the merger may well have been different had he lived.

33. MK. Priyabrata ?Reminisciences of the First and Last Chief Minister? in Naorem Sanajoaba ed. Manipur Past and Present vol 1 (New Delhi 1988) p. 139; Bhuban op cit. pp 115-6; also personal communication (1980) from the late Songaijam Nabakumar, a member of the Maharajah?s staff..

34. MSA file DO 1986 P II/1 dated 23.3.49.

35. The Communist threat was greatly overplayed for their own political advantage by all parties at the time - the British, the Union Government, and the Manipur Congress, and also by the Interim Government: despite the connection of Hijam Irabot with Burmese Communist groups, the possibility of a Marxist takeover of Manipur was never remotely likely.

36. MSA file DO No 2088 P II/1 no date.

37. Bhuban op cit. 123 points out that his credentials were suspect in that his rank was not earned in the Indian army, but in the service of the state of Jaipur, and that mainly for ceremonial duties.

38. quoted in full by Karam Manomihan op cit. pp. 334-5.

39. MSA correspondence of Prakasa to Bodh Chandra 14.4.49.

40. MSA Order 138 of 16.4.49 by Maharajah Bodh Chandra

41. MSA correspondence of Maharajah Bodh Chandra to Governor of Assam 25.6.49.

42. MSA correspondence of Prakasa to Bodh Chandra 4.7.49.

43. Karam Manimohan op cit. 347-8, also N. Joykumar Singh Merger of Manipur with India in Lal Dena ed. The History of Modern Manipu (New Delhi 1991) p. 184.

44. Lokendra op cit. p. 227.

45. MSA Resolution of the meeting of MLAs of the Praja Santi Party held on 25.8.49; also Karam Manimohan op cit. 352, Lokendra op cit. 226.

46. We cannot trace responses from any of the addresees to the Praja Santi?s paper.

47. Priyobrata was an educated and calable man, and a former captain in the Indian army: his sympathies however leaned towards merger with India. He had got to know Rustomji while in Shillong immediately after the war.

48. Rustomji op cit p. 109. Rustomji goes on to claim that he subsequently went to Imphal and told the Maharajah of the imminence of the enforced merger. We can find no confirmation of this in any of the Indian or Manipuri records, and such a claim can hardly be reconciled with what happened in Shillong.

49. Rustomji?s claim (op cit. 109) that he and Prakasa ?met the Maharajah on his arrival? cannot be correct.

50. The details of events at Redlands
are given in Bhuban?s book, which is based on eyewitness accounts, including those of Gourahari and Anandamohan, both of whom were with the Maharajah during the negotiations. Bhuban himself is by no means antagonistic to the merger, which supports the essential trustworthiness of his account.

51. Bhuban (op cit. p.106) reports that Rustomji threatened that if Bodh Chandra did not sign he would never leave Shillong. At this the Maharajah turned to Prakasa and said he had not come there to talk to Rustomji but to the Governor. Prakasa then silenced his assistant.

52. Bhuban op cit. 108: according to Gourhari?s account Bodh Chandra?s ?insanity?manifested itself
again around midnight, when he proposed that he and his ADC should assassinate the Governor and then kill each other: this is supported by Songaijam Nabakumar (personal communication 1980).

53. Bhuban quotes the text of the note in full p. 109).

54. source Bhuban: the urgency was stressed, ?immediately repeat immediately.?

55. Rustomji op cit. p. 109 euphemistically speaks of the Maharajah being ?honoured by a ?protective? guard.?

56. Bizarre though the attitude of the Maharajah appears, there is clear evidence that the draft as signed by Bodh Chandra included several provisions which were omitted from the final version, including a clause which could be so interpreted. Article VI originally contained the provision ?it is also to be distinctly understood that should any circumstance hereafter arise by which the administration of the State now made over to the Dominion Government is to be reverted, then it should be restored to the Maharajah or his successors along with Manipur?s original rights.? Additional clauses which do not appear in the final version included those safeguarding the priority of Manipuris for employment within the state, restricting immigration from outside Manipur, and continued Manipuri control of imports and exports (Article X): all these provisions were disregarded after October 1949. For the full texts of the sections omitted from the final version of the merger document see Karam Manomohan op cit. pp 428-9).

57. The last was violated almost immediately with the influx of appointees from India over the heads of existing Manipuri civil servants.

58. The best collection of papers making a strong defence of this case is the symposium Annexation of Manipur published by the People?s Democratic Movement (Imphal 1995) being papers delivered mainly by academics and politicians two years earlier. The keynote address by Professor Noarem Sanajoaba, ?Manipurgi Lousinkhibagi Wathokta Achumba Khiba? (The Problem of the 1949 Annexation) (pp. 54-66) presents a trenchant analysis the issue from the standpoint of international law.

59. While it is true, as RK Jhlajit Singh points out in his strongly pro-Congress account in A Short History of Manipur (2nd edit. Imphal 1992) p. 336-7 that there were some shortcomings in the constitution, especially in the prerogative it gave to the Maharajah to nominate the Chief Minister, his characterisation of it as ?a dangerous anachronism? is quite wrong: on the contrary it marked for the first time a break from a feudal monarchy.

60. Menon op cit. pp. 97, 112

61. op cit 128.

62. which is what some did, though
without a great deal of success: on the ?insurgency movements? see especially Phanjoubam Tarapot Insurgency Movement in North Eastern India (New Delhi 1993).