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Meitei Propagandists Gatecrash UN Human Rights Session: A Display of Unfounded Claims and Chaos

September 30, 2023: In a shocking turn of events at the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, a Meitei radical civil society organization known as the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) faced a major embarrassment. Their Convenor, Mr. K. Athouba, gatecrashed a discussion on the ongoing crisis in Manipur, presenting a series of subjective, unfounded, and clearly biased claims that resulted in his microphone being cut off. This incident marred the atmosphere of respectful discussion that characterizes such gatherings, leaving the attendees uneasy.

Unfazed by the debacle, COCOMI, along with other radical Meitei individuals, decided to remain as uninvited guests for the remainder of the session, looking for opportunities to peddle their propaganda. On the following Wednesday, they descended upon the UN’s Manifest Ground in Geneva, staging a rowdy protest during which they made provocative and defamatory statements against the Zo ethnic tribes and the Government of India. Subsequently, the mob, led by the disgraced COCOMI Convenor Mr. Athouba, attempted to storm the UN campus where the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council was in progress. Their efforts to barge into the session were thwarted, forcing the mob to take position outside the building, where they distributed pamphlets and brochures containing propaganda about ‘Chin-Kuki Narco-Terrorism.’

In their zealous quest to promote their agenda, COCOMI also sought to mislead UN officials by traveling to New Delhi on September 20. During this visit, they attempted to barge into the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, hoping to persuade officials with their Meitei propaganda about ‘Chin-Kuki Narco-terrorism.’ However, their approach lacked any sense of protocol or basic manners and courtesy.

The actions of COCOMI and their supporters have raised questions about the seriousness with which UN officials are taking their propaganda. Observers from outside the situation remarked that “The COCOMI team seems unable to process the fact that they are not in Manipur Valley, where misguided youths, mothers, and mobs are in a frenzy to believe their propaganda uncritically.”

The incident at the UN Human Rights Council session highlights the challenges of promoting productive dialogue and understanding in a charged and polarized environment. It also underscores the importance of fact-based, constructive engagement when addressing complex issues such as the crisis in Manipur. While voices of concern and advocacy are essential in any democracy, the need for a respectful and informed exchange of ideas cannot be overstated.

As the situation develops, it remains to be seen whether COCOMI and its affiliates will adjust their approach and seek meaningful dialogue and cooperation with all stakeholders involved in addressing the issues facing Manipur.


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