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MZP opposes Centre’s decision to scrap FMR, fence Indo-Myanmar border, submits memo to PM

First Published: 22nd January, 2024 20:24 IST

MZP has requested for “thoughtful reconsideration of the decision, with a focus to preserve the cultural and social fabric of the Zo people"

The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) – the apex students body of Mizoram today said that it is against the Centre’s
decision to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and fence
the Indo-Myanmar border and
submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the Governor of Mizoram.

As the Governor of Mizoram was on tour, the MZP submitted the memorandum to the Governor’s Secretary.

The student body had also submitted a copy of the memorandum to the Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Home Secretary.

The Memorandum reads as follows:

“The Mizo Zirlai Pawl would like to express its deep concern and opposition to the Government of India’s decision on the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and border fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border which will be dividing Zo people living in India and Myanmar.

“The Zo people have been divided by administrative divisions since the colonial period and international boundaries in the post-colonial era. Despite these divisions, we do not feel separated due to the Free Movement Regime instituted by the Government of India. It enables us to participate in each other’s funeral rites, marriage ceremonies, pay visit to patients at home, join in religious meetings, and engage in local-level sports tournaments. The recent decision to terminate this regime is now taking away these essential aspects and depriving us of our rights as human beings, much like other communities around the world.

“We are really shocked by the Government of India’s decision, an world power and signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007 (UNDRIP) which address the problems of indigenous peoples including those divided by international boundaries like Zo people. Article 36 of the declaration asserts the right of indigenous peoples, divided by international borders, to maintain and develop contacts, relations, and cooperation across borders for spiritual, cultural, political, economic, and social purposes—with their own members as well as with other peoples across borders.

In light of this, we earnestly urge the Indian government to reconsider its decision. We believe that alternative measures can be explored to address concerns such as drug trafficking and smuggling without resorting to actions that divide our indigenous communities.

This petition serves as a plea for a thoughtful reconsideration of the decision, with a focus on preserving the cultural and social fabric of the Zo people across the India-Myanmar border.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on January 20 said that the Centre would soon fence the India-Myanmar border and seal it and stop the FMR along the border.

Also Read: Mizoram CM Lalduhoma bats for President’s Rule in Manipur

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