Imphal, July 16: A joint delegation of the Joint Action Committee Against Anti- Tribal Bills (JAC) and representatives from Mizoram’s apex civil society organizations and political parties are in New Delhi since July 11 this year to appraise the Union Government of the situation pertaining to some of the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the JAC and Manipur Government by emphasizing the need for a separate administrative setup for the tribal people of Outer Manipur including the Zo (Chin-Kuki- Zomi/Mizo) descendants of Southern Manipur. A statement by the JAC said that the joint delegation met various Union Government officials and leaders from the North East Region including Pu R.N. Ravi, the Interlocutor for the ongoing Indo-Naga Peace Talks. With the Indo- Naga Framework Agreement expected to conclude soon, the joint delegation from Manipur and Mizoram appraised the Interlocutor of the mounting apprehensions and concerns of the Zo people in present Manipur; the undying aspiration of the Zo people for integration of their ancestral lands was also discussed at length. The representatives from Mizoram also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs, and presented a copy of the same to Pu R.N. Ravi which describes the historically distinct identity of the Zo people of Manipur and stressed on the need for them to be able to determine their own future. It also dwelled on the marginalization of the Zo people in Manipur and called for the fulfilment of their enduring desire for integration of Zo ancestral lands under the same administrative unit. The memorandum was signed by various civil society organizations and political parties of Mizoram including the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), Mizoram Upa Pawl (MUP), Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Mizo Students’ Union (MSU), Zo Re-unification Organization (ZoRO), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mizoram State, Indian National Congress – Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) and Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC). It may be noted here that two months have passed since the signing of the MoU between the JAC and Manipur Government in the presence of a witness from the Ministry of Home Affairs, but some of the points of understanding are yet to see the light of the day. With the Government stating its readiness in the MoU to provide all financial assistance for the construction of Tribal Martyrs Park and Tribal Martyrs Hall, ground work for the Park at Mata Dam, Lamka was initiated by the JAC with borrowed funds and contributions from wellwishers with the hope that the same may be ready for inauguration on Tribal Unity Day (August 31, 2017); however, the State Government is yet to release any amount towards the construction of both Tribal Martyrs Park at Lamka as well as Tribal Martyrs Hall at Singngat.
JAC Anti Tribal Bills lobbying central leadership for separate administration of Outer Manipur