Catholic Bishops of NE India make fresh appeal for peace in Manipur

Guwahati: The Catholic Bishops of North East India made a fresh appeal for peace on Sunday amidst news of growing tension and reports of ongoing violence in Manipur.

The appeal was made after the Bishops of North East India Regional Bishops’ Conference had an emergency meeting in Silchar on the occasion of the Episcopal Ordination of Joachim Walder as Auxiliary Bishop of Aizawl.

“It is with great pain and intense anxiety that we have been following the great tragedies that have taken place in Manipur recently. We grieve with our brothers and sisters who have fallen victims to violence and have suffered in consequence,” John Moolachira, chairman of the North East India Regional Bishops Council, said in a statement.

“The loss of precious lives and property has been immense. A large number of people have moved out of the state. The atmosphere continues to be tense. Painful incidents are still reported. While we have initiated relief work, we are far from a position to cope with the situation. We cry for help on behalf of those who suffer,” he said.  

“At the same time, we urge all our friends in Manipur to think of their glorious history when different communities wholeheartedly collaborated and set a model in various areas of civic life. Their cultural achievements have been many. Their contribution to the nation has been in various areas of life. Great possibilities still remain, if only they put their good will and talents together,” the chairman said.

The council further stated, “We request intellectuals and creative thinkers of the communities to think ways of easing the situation, exploring a constructive way forward and devise ways of settling the differences. They will surely find areas where concessions can be made in view of the common good and collaborative steps can be initiated in view of a shared future. Both communities concerned know their destinies are intertwined.”

“May future generations be able to thank the sobriety, balance and wisdom of our present leaders for their timely intervention and the entire society for their wholehearted collaboration,” it stated.