Imphal: The Association of Meiteis in the Americas (AMA) organized day-long peace demonstrations on July 9 in San Francisco, California, and June 25 in Austin, Texas, to raise awareness about the ongoing violent conflict in Manipur, India.
The demonstrations advocated for immediate action to end violence, address the crisis, and bring attention to the pressing issues that impede rehabilitation and return to normalcy.
During the demonstrations, Manipuri women dressed in traditional Phanek carried placards with messages such as “End The Violence,” “Save Manipur,” “National Security Matters, Protect the Integrity of Manipur,” “Ho Ima Manipur, Nang gumbi leite Ima” and “Disarm for peace.” These messages highlighted the urgency and importance of addressing the conflict and its impact on the people of Manipur.
The demonstrations attracted attendees from Meitei families across California and Texas, who actively engaged with the local communities to provide background information on the crisis and its consequences. They informed and educated the public about the violence, which began 67 days ago on May 3.
By organizing these demonstrations in prominent locations, such as the San Francisco City Hall and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, as well as in front of the Texas Capitol Building in Austin, the AMA aimed to draw attention to the situation in Manipur and encourage support for resolving the conflict.
The violence in Manipur has had devastating consequences, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in independent India’s history. Over 140 lives have been lost, and more than 50,000 individuals have been displaced. Farmers are unable to cultivate their lands, exacerbating the risk of famine among the most vulnerable populations, AMA said.
During the peace demonstration, AMA members held a traditional Meitei ceremony to honor the fallen victims and expressed solidarity with those affected by the violence. Members and guests delivered impassioned speeches, addressing the urgent need for immediate action.
The AMA calls for action to unite as one voice for all Meiteis, civil society organizations (CSOs), and interest groups; establishment of a foundation for peace, with an immediate end to the violence; disarmament of armed groups and halt to the illicit flow of arms from Myanmar; ensuring secure conditions for farmers and daily wage earners to work and survive; and reopening and resumption of education for displaced children.
It urges all concerned individuals, organizations, government bodies, and the media to join their efforts in bringing attention to the plight of the people of Manipur and supporting initiatives that foster peace, stability, and justice in the region. AMA requests all media outlets to investigate facts and combat the spread of fake news diligently.