Manipur chief ministers ask Myanmar to act against rebels

08 June 2015
Manipur chief ministers ask Myanmar to act against rebels
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh Photo: Political World

The chief minister of India's Manipur state has appealed to Myanmar to flush out and act strongly against separatist rebels who killed 20 soldiers in an ambush last Thursday.
Okram Ibobi Singh, who has made much efforts to develop relations with neighbouring Myanmar provinces bordering on his state, said Myanmar must 'act like a friend and not shelter those who have unleashed so much violence in my state'.
“We are trying to develop the best of relations with Myanmar. That is crucial to the success of our Look East policy. But how can relations improve if I know the killers of my soldiers are getting shelter in my neighbour's territory,” Ibobi Singh told journalists in state capital Imphal.
20 Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush by seperatist rebels in Manipur's Chandel district last Thursday.
Ibobi Singh said he will formally ask the Indian government and the country's ministry of external affairs to take up the issue with Myanmar.
Indian intelligence officials say that a group of 40 to 50 rebels of three groups led by NSCN (Khaplang faction) commanders Starson Lamkang pulled off Thursday's ambush in Manipur's Chandel district.
The group later claimed responsbility and said in a press release that the KYKL and KCP fighters had helped the NSCN-K pull off the ambush.
“After the ambush , the rebels cross into Myanmar through Thapatin and are now lodged in a KYKL camp south of the Myanmar border town of Tamu. We have definite information on that,” said a top official of Indian military intelligence.
He said the rebels had scouted the site for an ambush by sending 3-4 rebel commanders in disguise.
“After they had liased with their informers about military movements, they decided on the site of the ambush. At the point, the larger rebel group heavily armed and accoutred moved into the hills by moving speedily across from their base in Myanmar,” the MI official said.
“That is how they evaded attention of the local villagers,” he said.
Most villagers along the Tengnoupal-New Samatal road where the ambush took place have fled to urban locations to avoid possible retribution from angry soldiers.
The villagers are Kuki tribespeople and they dont sympathise with the Naga and Manipuri rebels who pulled off the ambush.