TODAY -

Separate administration for Zo descendants demanded
Source: The Sangai Express

Aizawl, July 13 2017: Both civil society organizations and political parties based in Mizoram have submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today demanding a "separate administration for the Zo people (Chin-Kuki-Mizo/Zomi) in the present Manipur at the same status as that of the Nagas be made outside the ambit of the Manipur Government."
The memorandum also demanded that "a process be initiated for fulfilment of the enduring desire of the Zo people (Chin-Kuki-Mizo/Zomi) in the present Manipur to be integrated under the same administration with their Zo brothers of present Mizoram which is apparently being done in the case of Nagas" .

The memorandum was jointly submitted by Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), Mizoram Upa Pawl (MUP), Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP), Mizo Zirlai Pawl [(Mizo Students' Association) (MZP)], Mizo Students' Union (MSU), Zo Re-Unification Organization (ZORO), Bharatiya Janata Party, Mizoram State (BJP – Mizoram), Indian National Congress, Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) and Mizoram People's Conference (MPC) .

In the memorandum it was stated that the Government of India must ensure that no ancestral Zo territory be left behind under the Manipur Government to be further "subjugated and marginalized”.The memorandum also said, "We see the above as the only truly sustainable solution to solve the ever-worsening imbroglio that overwhelms our Zo brethrens in present Manipur, and pray that you will not remain a mute spectator to the marginalization, suppression and annihilation of our people, our ancestral lands and our way of life, and earnestly seek your immediate intervention in this regard” .

According to the memorandum, the "unending cries of our indigenous Zo brothers in the present Manipur following the public outburst due to the passing of the three anti-tribal bills by the Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2015, namely, the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, the Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Shops & Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 that led to the death of innocent Zo brave hearts has still been conveniently ignored by both the Manipur Government as well as the Government of India in Delhi; their mortal remains still await an honorable burial and a solution acceptable to the indigenous tribal people, especially the Zo indigenous people (Chin-Kuki-Mizo/Zomi)" .

The joint memorandum then said that the plethora of issues, problems, concerns and apprehensions that has engulfed the "indigenous Zo descendants" in present Manipur are not stray incidents or issues but are the "result of carefully conceptualized plans and shrewd policies of the Manipur Government to grab the paltry constitutional privileges bestowed on the Zo people, including their ancestral territories in present Manipur".

The memorandum also said that the "inseparable social, linguistic and cultural ties of the Nagas and the Zo kindred tribes of present Manipur with the Nagas of present Nagaland and the Mizos of present Mizoram respectively cannot be discounted, nor can we afford to overlook the unrelenting aspiration of the indigenous tribal peoples in present Manipur to integrate with their respective brethren in the north (Nagaland) and the south (Mizoram)" .

The memorandum then said that, with the "Indo-Naga Framework Agreement" anticipated to be reaching its final concluding stage sooner than later, the apprehension and anxiety of the Zo people (Chin-Kuki-Mizo/Zomi) in present Manipur.

"An intense feeling of insecurity has engulfed the Zo people (Chin-Kuki-Mizo/Zomi) with growing fears that they will be left behind to fend for themselves at the hands of the dominant community," it added .

According to the memorandum, the Mizo Accord signed between the Government of India, the Government of Mizoram and the Mizo National Front on June 30, 1986 stated that in regard to the question of unification of the Zo people (Chin-Kuki-Mizo/Zomi) "inhabiting areas of other States to form one administrative unit " raised by the Mizo National Front delegation, the Accord stated that, "Article 3 of the Constitution of India describes the procedure in this regard but that the Government cannot make any commitment in this respect." (Appendix III)
"Given the above, we truly believe that until and unless proper Constitutional Protections by way of Separate Administration of the Zo ancestral territories specifically and exclusively for the indigenous Zo tribes of present Manipur are put in place and implemented without any interference from Manipur Government, the already disoriented, highly volatile” situation is set to get worse by the day, the joint memorandum of Mizoram based organizations added.


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