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Tuithaphai, Manipur – September 26, 2023 – In a remarkable display of unity and collective frustration, thousands of women from the Kuki-Hmar-Zomi communities took to the streets of Tuithaphai to protest against ongoing slander and defamation by the Meitei community. Organized by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) Women’s Wing, this peaceful rally evolved from an initial sit-in protest, with participants from all Kuki-Hmar-Zomi communities joining forces to denounce false allegations and defamation targeting their entire community.
A Powerful Expression of Public Discontent
The rally, which drew participants from various corners of the region, commenced at the Hiangtam Lamka public ground. As the procession made its way through the city, it gained momentum and strength, resonating with the collective frustration of the Kuki-Hmar-Zomi communities. Participants, holding placards and chanting slogans, made their way along Tipaimukh Road, IB Road, and Tedim Road, ultimately converging at the Wall of Remembrance in Tuibong. The gathering was a powerful expression of public discontent, calling for an end to false narratives and slanderous accusations.
Community Leaders Address the Crowd
Several prominent community leaders, including Pu Rorelliana and Rev. J.F. Lalropuia, addressed the enthusiastic crowd. Their speeches underscored the importance of unity, resilience, and peaceful advocacy in the face of adversity. They urged the participants to stand strong and united, emphasizing that their voices would not be silenced.
Voices from the Rally
Ms. Thanghnem, a resident of Rengkai Town who actively participated in the protest, shared her frustration, saying, “We are utterly fed up with the constant stream of lies and fake news directed at our tribal community. Today, we stand here to raise our voice against this propaganda and also against the state government’s complacency in allowing such false narratives to persist.” Her sentiments echoed the feelings of many others who joined the rally.
A Message That Resonates
As the protest concluded and participants gradually dispersed, the message of the day remained clear and resolute. The rally served as a poignant reminder of the importance of peaceful advocacy and unity in the fight for the rights and recognition of the Kuki-Hmar-Zomi communities. It symbolized their unwavering commitment to challenging false allegations and defamation while seeking justice, understanding, and reconciliation in the region.
In a time of division and tension, the unity displayed by these communities sends a powerful message – that they will not be silenced, and they will continue to stand together against all forms of injustice and discrimination.