AIZAWL: An urgent appeal was handed to the Union Home Ministry by the NGO Co-ordination Committee, a strong union of five top Mizoram NGOs. They requested a review of the recent agreement to end the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and build a fence on the Indo-Myanmar border.
The note, given to the Governor's Secretary at Raj Bhavan, voices the Committee's worries. They are alarmed about what the Centre's acts might mean for the ethnic and cultural ties among the Mizoram folk living on the border's two sides.
The Committee expressed shock at the FMR termination. They highlighted its critical role in preserving the ethnic and cultural ties between Mizos on both sides of the border. The Committee emphasizes the importance of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Mizoram has pledged to uphold. The Committee stresses the need for action to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, especially those divided by global borders.
"The Free Movement Regime was a valuable tool in preserving the Mizo folk's rich ethnic and cultural heritage," the memorandum reads. "Ending it and introducing border fencing would affect the peaceful cohabitation and cultural sharing that are integral parts of our existence."
The NGO Co-ordination Committee includes five key Mizoram groups: The Central Young Mizo Association, The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (Students body), the Mizo Students Union, the Mizo Upa Pawl (Mizoram Elders Association), as well as the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (Association of Mizo Women).
The team's appeal underscores not only risks to cultural relations but also reminds of Mizoram's role in global pacts. It calls for a rethink in sync with the UN Declaration on Indigenous People's Rights.
While the Union Home Ministry gives the appeal a look, Mizoram's eyes are on it. They are hoping for a reconsideration that keeps their cultural legacy alive and the peaceful living of Mizo folks side of the boundary intact.