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American Meiteis hold demonstration as PM Modi speaks US Congress

AMA remains firm in its commitment to pursuing a peaceful resolution in Manipur, upholding the rights and dignity of every individual, the statement added. 

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Washington D.C.: Dozens of Meiteis in the Americas under the aegis of the Association of Meiteis in the Americas (AMA) hold a peaceful demonstration against the ongoing violence in Manipur here on Friday.

The peace demonstration coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landmark state visit to the USA to strengthen the US-India tie. The demonstration drew an extraordinary number of Meitei participants, including more than 70 individuals, including 10 children, who travelled from various far and near cities across the United States.

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Many participants embarked on red-eye flights from California, Texas, and Florida, enduring long journeys to be present at the peace demonstration. Moreover, many families with children undertook the task of driving for hours across multiple states and time zones. From different corners of the US namely Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Massachusetts embarked on trips ranging from 4 hours to as long as 12 hours to present at this gathering of solidarity, the AMA said in a statement. 

Not only getting overwhelming support from the local community in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, the families and individuals from the nearby states like New York, New Jersey area also made special efforts to travel a day before the event, immediately after completing their work commitments. 

Six people from the Bangladesh Meitei community in New York joined and expressed their full support for  peace in Manipur. “Bangladesh tagi oirasu thamoidi Manipur gini”, one Bangladeshi Meitei said on the occasion. 

“We are here today to request our Honourable PM Narendra Modi ji to accelerate the peace process. Today is also a significant day, as two of the world’s largest Democratic countries, USA and India, are meeting to strengthen ties.” stated Dr. Rajshree Keisham, the event’s spokesperson. Dr. Keisham continued, “We would like to take the opportunity to let the world know what is happening in Manipur, India. We would like to request everyone, in this country, to the world, to all the media houses to extend support to bring peace and focus on rebuilding. When we ask for peace, it is peace for everyone in the State, Manipur. We want to stop the gunfight and killings. Let us talk our differences on the table, and not by violence.”

Roshan Ngangom echoed this message of peace and expressed his support for restoring normalcy in his speech. Highlighting the significance of the gathering, Ruhikanta Amom, a senior Meitei residing in the US, remarked, “This is the largest physical gathering of Meiteis in America for a common cause in my 25+ years of living in the US.”

Placards with slogans like “Ho Ima Manipur Nunggum bi leite Ima”, “Proud Meitei, Proud Indian”, “Peace is possible”, “Strongly condemn the violence” were used during the peaceful demonstration. 

AMA remains firm in its commitment to pursuing a peaceful resolution in Manipur, upholding the rights and dignity of every individual, the statement added. 

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