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International Outcry Over Manipur Crisis: Leaflets Distributed in Manchester

Manchester, October 4, 2023 – The Manipur crisis, characterized by ongoing violence and ethnic cleansing, has garnered international attention as leaflets outlining the situation were widely distributed during Doctors’ Strike demonstrations in Manchester. Prepared by the Indian Labour Solidarity in collaboration with Unau Welfare International, these leaflets aim to shed light on the dire circumstances faced by the tribal Christians in the Indian state of Manipur.

The pamphlets, distributed in the heart of Manchester during the Doctors’ Strike demonstrations, succinctly described the relentless ethnic cleansing that Manipur has endured since May 3. They emphasized the severity of the crisis and pointed out that both Indian and international media have not adequately covered the extent of the violence and atrocities inflicted on the Zo ethnic tribes by Meitei mobs and militants.

In a significant move, British MP Fiona Bruce, serving as the Prime Minister’s envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, raised the Manipur issue in the UK Parliament. The pamphlet also highlighted that Nadia Whittome, MP, tabled an Early Day Motion, urging the UK government to address human rights violations in Manipur and halt negotiations on the UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) while such violations persist.

Numerical Data on Violence

The leaflet presented staggering numerical data related to the violence suffered by the Zo ethnic tribes, which included the number of deaths, churches and quarters burned, houses and settlements destroyed, displaced persons, and relief camps. It underscored the failure of both the Central and State governments to establish relief camps equipped with basic necessities, such as sanitation, nutrition, education, and healthcare. This neglect was characterized as an abdication of their constitutional duties.

Notably, many of the relief camps are operated by local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Churches, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), or with support from local politicians and neighboring states. Surprisingly, there is minimal to no contribution from the Manipur State government.

Appeal to the British Medical Association

The leaflet concluded by making an earnest appeal to the British Medical Association (BMA) to raise awareness within its divisions and sections and actively lobby for provisions of essential medical supplies. These vital supplies include infant and maternal vaccines, infant nutrition, and support for the establishment of rudimentary telemedicine services for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the relief camps.

The ongoing ethnic cleansing that began on May 3 has forced an intra-evacuation within the Valleys and Hills of Manipur. Tragically, over 40 lives have been lost due to the abject and dire conditions prevailing in the relief camps. This escalating humanitarian catastrophe stands as a direct consequence of the persistent conflict.

The distribution of these leaflets during the Doctors’ Strike demonstrations in Manchester marks a significant step in raising international awareness about the Manipur crisis. It underscores the urgent need for attention and intervention to alleviate the suffering of the tribal Christian communities and address the broader human rights violations plaguing the region.

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