The Forum for Restoration of Peace in Manipur (FRPM), on the eve of New Year 2024, appealed to the people of Manipur to work collectively for ushering peace and normalcy in the state which has been plagued by violence since May 3.
In a heartfelt address at the Manipur Press Club, Ashanti Kasar, the convenor of FRPM expressed deep concern over the relentless communal violence plaguing the state for the past eight months.
He maintained that fervent appeals for peace have fallen on deaf ears with incidence of gun fights between warring groups in the area adjoining hills and valleys, painting a grim picture of the region’s instability.
Stating that the forum has been running from pillars to posts by attending peace rallies in different parts of the state, he said that the forum remains unwavering in its commitment to restoring tranquility.
Advocating for a “Truth and Reconciliation” committee inspired by South Africa’s model, Kasar stressed the urgent need for a peace mediator to navigate the intricate ethnic conflict that has become increasingly complicated.
Undeterred by the challenges, the forum is also tirelessly engaging stakeholders, organising peace rallies across Manipur, and seeking intervention on a national level, he said, lamenting the indifferent response of the central government and criticised the state government for its perceived lack of political will, accusing it of acting in a partisan manner.
Efforts to establish a broad-based peace committee headed by the governor during Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit faced setbacks due to a faulty composition, he said, while raising concerns about its effectiveness.
He informed that the forum’s delegation had also met with the governor and the chief minister and submitted written representations emphasising the urgency of restoring peace.
As the year 2023 draws to a close without a glimpse of imminent peace, Kasar passionately appealed to the people of Manipur to unite for the cause.
Expressing hope for a positive change in the New Year, Kasar made a humble prayer for heavenly peace to rain down on Manipur, ushering in an era of prosperity.
Lastly, on behalf of the forum, he extended heartfelt New Year wishes, aspiring for a blissful, happy, peaceful, and prosperous year ahead, envisioning the coming year as a herald of good days for Manipur.