Kuki Christian Leaders’ Fellowship clarifies misinformation, urges peace in Manipur

Mass rally organised by the ITLF in Lumka on November 15.

In a press statement issued on November 21, by the Kuki Christian Leaders’ Fellowship (KCLF), the organisation addressed and refuted “false allegations” made by Rohan Philem Singh, a Meitei evangelist. The KCLF stated that it was keen on setting the record straight as part of its ongoing commitment to expedite the peace process in Manipur.

Singh who is a Meitei Christian, is a famous bicycle and motorcycle expeditionist and is a part of an independent Church in Imphal known as the Ministry of Reconciliation. He has in the past given statements to the media as well as posted on social media alleging that Meitei Churches were burnt down by Kuki tribals, who are predominantly Christian. Kuki bodies have denied these allegations in the past and this statement by KCLF follows the same pattern.

The KCLF statement alleges that Philem, in various public forums, including the Press Club Thiruvananthapuram, claimed that the Kukis were responsible for burning down Meitei churches. He also claimed that Kukis had acquired arms and ammunition using relief funds donated by people in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The KCLF, however, asserted that these accusations were baseless and detrimental to the efforts toward peace.

KCLF observes that while video footage seemingly shows Philem attempting to address unlawful armoury lootings in the valley, his “false allegations” have sown confusion among the public, hindering the peace process.

Mass rally organised by the ITLF in Lumka on November 15.

The KCLF said that they have conducted a thorough inquiry, verifying that Meitei churches in the hills remain untouched, and any destruction in the valley cannot be attributed to the Kukis. This clarification aligns with recent statements from the Manipur Evangelical Lutheran Church (MELC) and the Reverend Simon Raomei, the President of All Manipur Christian Committee.

The KCLF statement strongly refutes Philem’s allegation that relief funds are being misused to procure weapons. Such accusations, the statement says, not only tarnish the reputation of both donors and recipients but also contributes to a misguided perception of Christianity in India. The KCLF called upon the citizens of Manipur, particularly the Christian communities, to prioritize truthfulness, peace, and love over falsehood and hatred.

In the context of the enduring civil conflict in Manipur, the KCLF emphasized the need for an end to all forms of violence and a commencement of the peace process. The organization acknowledged the suffering on both sides, especially among the minority tribal Christians, and urged a collective commitment to building a harmonious and peaceful society.

“The KCLF earnestly appeals to all the citizens of Manipur, particularly Christian communities to promote truthfulness, peace and love and not falsehood and hatred. In this longest civil war in a democratic country, both sides have suffered particularly the minority tribal Christians. Violence in all forms must stop and peace process must start,” the statement said.

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