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RPF Acting Prez message on 45th Raising Day of the People’s Liberation Army

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Rebel group Revolutionary Peoples’ Front is celebrating the 45th Raising Day of its armed wing the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on September 25. In the regard acting president of the Front MM Ngouba sent message to the people of Manipur.In his message MM Ngouba stated that, in history, there arises inevitable certain moments that remains indelible and is etched into the collective memory for generations to come. The current events unfolding in our motherland today will undoubtedly be recorded in the annals of history.
The actions of the Kuki armed groups involving attacks, killings, atrocities and heinous crimes against the civilians were not limited to short period, rather, they were premeditated and organized over an extended time, a fact they have acknowledged. These reprehensible activities have been ongoing for an extended duration making it increasingly difficult for them to conceal their true intentions, supported by a wealth of evidence.The campaign carried out in Manipur by the Kuki armed groups operating under Suspension of Operations (SoO) is clearly a campaign of terror. The persistence of their ongoing activities, which have remained unchecked and unprohibited thus far, can be attributed to the fact that they have received patronage, protection, shelter, financial support, and political backing, including propaganda assistance, from a godfather. It is incumbent upon all us to jointly uncover the roles played by this godfather, confront their deplorable actions with determination and ensure that they face the consequences for their crimes.
It further said, “the definition of the term ‘Terrorism’ is complicated and controversial. Generally, terror refers to an intense and overwhelming feeling of fear and dread characterised by a sense of imminent danger or impending harm. These circumstances can arise from various factors. Terror in the term terrorism represents the impact of deliberate use of heinous activities to achieve specific goals, causing extreme fear and profound psychological distress. Terror in the word terrorism is not accidental or unintended consequence, it is deliberate and intentional action. Terror serves as a crucial strategy in the execution of acts of terrorism. The primary objective of terrorism is to induce an overwhelming state of fear within a specific group of individuals, unarmed civilians, or symbolic targets through deliberate acts of violence or threats of violence. Terrorism invariably includes political, ideological, social or religious objectives, leaving no room for doubt and employs terror as means to either compel the government or the population to concede or to forcibly impose their goals. At times, terror is employed as a tactic to incite a retaliatory or responsive action from the targeted group.”
There is no doubt or dispute that the campaign undertaken by the Kuki armed groups in Manipur qualifies as terrorism. In our land there is a proverb, ‘if the dog is mad find the owner’. With the Kuki armed groups receiving patronage, protection, and assistance, and being permitted to carry out a campaign of terror within a legal framework, the involvement of the Indian government and its Mayang security forces makes it evident that India is conducting a campaign of State-sponsored terrorism in Manipur, it added.
The press release sent out to media signed by Acting President MM Ngouba further said, “India cannot evade the repercussions of engaging State-sponsored terrorism in Manipur, for, India as a nation have signed numerous international agreements aimed at combating terrorism. Moreover, India’s involvement in State-sponsored terrorism in Manipur does not merely impact Manipur alone but also has far-reaching consequences for regional and global stability. India, like some other countries, is actively pursuing a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council as part of the ongoing reforms within the United Nations. It is a significant and crucial endeavour, which is why the countries aspiring for these seats closely observe not only each other but also the actions of other nations. The agreements signed by India under United Nations to combat terrorism stand in stark contrast to the State-sponsored terrorism conducted in Manipur by India. There is no doubt that the stakeholders invested in UN reform efforts are not going to ignore the issue of State-sponsored terrorism conducted by India. Recent statements made by certain UN experts concerning the Manipur issue, regardless of their accuracy, and India’s response to them serve as an illustration of India being under scrutiny.
Now, a fundamental question arises: Does the government’s silence, despite being aware of the campaign of terror against unarmed civilians by the armed groups operating under legal agreements, not constitute a crime? Furthermore, if their inaction is indicative of consent, could it not be construed as endorsing the actions of the terrorists and, in essence, as State-sponsored terrorism? The fear instigated upon the people, along with the escalating impact of terror, signifies the attainment or successful achievement of terrorism’s objective. For this very reason, laws at international level related to terrorism, including those under the UN, consider not only ‘action’ but also ‘inaction’ and ‘omissions’ as factors that can be subject to accountability.”
The crucial aspect is that when a government is aware of a group’s terrorist activities, possesses the capability to prevent or halt those activities, yet consciously refrains from taking action due to political, strategic, or ideological motivations, it unequivocally holds accountability for supporting or sponsoring terrorism, an irrefutable fact. In another scenario, a government’s failure to uphold its commitments and agreement, combined with its lack of actions against a group engaging in terrorist activities is considered an indirect support or sponsorship of terrorism. This blurs the line between active involvement and complicity, but it holds significant implications in the realms of international relations and legal accountability.
International law does not have specific article that directly addresses State-sponsored terrorism however, several principles and treaties encompass aspects relevant to State-sponsored terrorism, be it action or inaction of the government. The UN Charter prohibits the use of force in International Relations except for cases of self-defense or when authorized by the UN Security Council. India’s deployment of thousands of security forces and its allowance of the Kuki armed groups which is operating under the agreement with the government, to engage in terrorism without any hindrance in Manipur have violated the UN Charter’s “Prohibition of use of force”.
The utilization of Indian security forces and the contracted forces in Manipur cannot be deemed irrelevant to international relations. The status of Manipur is explicitly outlined in the Indian Constitution, both before and after its inclusion in India, and is supported by agreements (including forcible annexation) that provides comprehensive historical context. The contracted forces used by India in sponsoring terrorism includes the armed groups from neighbouring nations currently warring against their respective government, such as Kuki PDF as well as individuals brought by them (Kuki inhabitants on either side of the Asian Highway from Tamu to Khampat of Sagaing Division of Myanmar, were brought to Manipur by the Kuki PDFs, which is in conflict with the Myanmar government). Not only in Manipur, but they also carry out attacks on Myanmar Army and undertake various tasks assigned to them by the Indian Army. India has also lodged frequent accusations against four neighbouring nations on the international stage, alleging that they provide shelter, training, arms, and other forms of assistance to the revolutionary groups of Manipur. The Indo-Manipur issue is consistently intertwined with international relations.
India’s State-sponsored terrorism have flagrantly violated another convention of the United Nations. It is no longer a secret that Kuki armed groups operating under the SoO agreement, along with Kuki armed groups from neighboring nations, are involved in income generation through poppy cultivation and drug trafficking. It is widely known that the self-proclaimed Myanmar opposition group, the National Unity Government (NUG), has issued notifications to Myanmar nationals and groups seeking refuge in India, urging them to refrain from engaging in poppy cultivation, drug trafficking, and various illicit activities.
These illicit activities are conducted with the implicit cognizance of the Indian government and Indian security forces, thereby breaching the United Nations’ “International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism”. There is an even more influential organization, closely aligned with the UN convention, known as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF is global organisation that focuses on the financing of terrorism. India also actively participates in FATF initiatives to strengthen global efforts against terrorist financing. This organization has imposed several restrictions on Pakistan on charges of supporting and financing terrorism. The extended restrictions enforced by FATF on Pakistan emerged as an important factor in destabilizing the economy of Pakistan. The groups that signed agreements with the Indian government are openly engaging in intimidation and extortion along the highways of Manipur. These acts are carried out with the knowledge of the Indian government, despite fervent pleas by the people of Manipur urging the government to intervene and curtail the groups’ activities, the government has persistently turned a deaf ear to these pleas and feigned ignorance. In the context of Manipur, India has infringed both the “International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism” and the regulations set forth by FATF. For this very reason, allowing India to face consequences is warranted. Failing to take any measures in this regard would be a grave mistake on our part.
The recent campaign of State-sponsored terrorism, characterized by India’s conspicuous silence, has not only provoked resentment among the populace but has also violated another UN articles. The International Law Commission, operating under the auspices of the United Nations, has developed the “Responsibilities of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (Articles on State Responsibility),” which delineate the principles governing state accountability for internationally wrongful actions. If a government’s actions or omissions contribute to or support terrorism, it could be held responsible under these principles. Despite the passage of weeks and months, the Kuki armed groups continue to launch attacks on innocent civilians from areas protected by the Indian armed forces. Alarmingly, not only have the Indian armed forces failed to intervene to safeguard the civilians, they have also obstructed the attempts of these civilians to defend themselves. The Indian armed forces have employed force, including physical assaults, dispersal techniques, and firing upon unarmed crowds, and these outrageous actions have given the United Nations a compelling reason to take action against India.
The United Nations Security Council has adopted numerous resolutions addressing State- sponsored terrorism and outlining measures to combat it. Many significant and well-known actions have been taken in accordance with these resolutions. India, like many other countries, have signed many agreements to combat terrorism and its various manifestations, including State-sponsored terrorism. By participating in numerous United Nations resolutions, India has emphasized the significance of global cooperation in the fight against terrorism. India has also been a member of international organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), among others. India has also demonstrated its willingness to cooperate by entering into bilateral and multilateral agreements that encompass provisions for intelligence sharing, capacity building, extradition, and collaborative efforts in the fight against terrorism. It is indeed surprising that India insists on its partners adhering to these agreements while showing no intention of honouring them itself. While serving a two-year sentence following their arrest by the Myanmar army, 22 revolutionary comrades, including 12 from Manipur and 10 from Assam, were granted clemency by the then President of Myanmar, U Win Myint. They were subsequently handed over to India on May 15, 2020, in accordance with India’s request. However, when Myanmar requested that India extradite the Kuki People’s Democratic Front (PDF) members, including one fugitive from Myanmar who later assumed a leadership role within a Kuki group that had signed the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with India, India did not comply. These events have raised questions about India’s sincerity in its commitment to combat terrorism.
The State-sponsored terrorism in Manipur is bound to exert a significant and destructive influence on various facets of society, international law, and the global economy. The enduring social repercussions stemming from the loss of lives, displacement, and pervasive atmosphere of fear are twofold. First, there will be a lasting social and cultural division, resulting in lingering mistrust and discord among communities. Second, the individuals and communities affected will continue to bear the weight of trauma and anxiety for a long time to come. India may not evade the repercussions of transgressing the principles of International Law, including sovereignty, peaceful relations, and non-interference in other states, as delineated by the United Nations, alongside other legal frameworks such as the International Humanitarian Law, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine of the United Nations. There are also abundant instances of India causing harm to global economic foundations. The acts of political and economic extortion carried out by armed groups in Manipur, operating with the support of the Indian government, along sections of the Asian Highway that hold significant importance in the global economy, are undeniably harmful. In addition to the territorial boundaries of Manipur, India has orchestrated extortion and blockades along the section of the Asian Highway from Tamu to Khampat by leveraging Kuki armed groups. State-sponsored terrorism by India along the Asian Highway section in Manipur and the Sagaing Division has impeded the developmental objectives of the Asian region, and this hindrance is likely to persist in the future. The proverbial cherry on top of the cake is the endorsement of extortion by the Kuki armed groups at Moreh, a vital border trade port, by the Assam Rifles. This not only constitutes an act of financing terrorism but also leads to significant disruption in international trade and investment.
The State-sponsored terrorism conducted by India in Manipur can indeed serve as a textbook example.
The period during which we have endured as an occupied nation is relatively brief when considered within the context of Manipur’s long history. However, the way our people were compelled to lead such a dismal life with fading hope during this brief period is undeniably disheartening. It would not be incorrect to anticipate that India will inflict further pain and suffering upon our people in the days ahead. The deliberate use of weapons against unarmed women protesters by the Indian security forces serves as a clear and unambiguous response. All Indian security forces, including the Assam Rifles, share identical objectives; it’s merely a question of who will be the first to act.
Our teachers imparted the wisdom that preparation in times of peace can prevent the shedding of much blood in times of war. It is said that one side in the current conflict has failed to make any preparations. The statement does contain an element of truth, but the situation worsened due to the influence of certain individuals who, as a result of the Indianization process, attempted to undermine the forces that would be invaluable in the future. The adversary seized this inopportune moment to launch an attack on the people.
In the current circumstances, retreat is not an option; our only recourse is to stand together, fight as one, and advance steadfastly toward a victorious conclusion. The solution to the current situation lies in the people’s ability to overcome and triumph over this sorrowful state, which will ultimately pave the way for the foundation of a new Manipur.
The responsibility to safeguard our people and the motherland rests equally on each and every one of us, and, if we fail to adequately prepare in line with that responsibility it would be akin to betrayal. We are pleased to report the successful completion of the initial phase of skills training provided to our people for self-defense, conducted by the cadres of RPF and the PLA.
The RPF strongly encourage the people to seize this advantageous opportunity and actively participate in the preparations, which will ultimately serve as best defense against any future malicious intentions of the enemy. Methods for Defense and strategies should be improved, including the development and production of weapons. Knowledgeable individuals and technology professionals should take the initiative and lead in this field. The phrase ‘Unity is strength’ must be accurately interpreted and should make every effort and utilize all available resources to strengthen the united struggle and empower the people in fulfilling their responsibilities.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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