Mizoram Assembly, on Wednesday, passed a resolution expressing dissent against the Centre’s move to erect a fence along the India-Myanmar border and annul the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with Myanmar, as reported by news agency PTI.

The resolution, presented by Home Minister K Sapdanga, called on the Centre to reconsider its decision and advocated for measures to unite the Zo ethnic people, historically residing in Mizoram and the Chin hills of Myanmar, under a single administrative unit.

It urged the Union government to instead take steps to ensure that Zo ethnic people, “who have been divided in different countries, are unified under one administrative unit,” it was reported.

Highlighting the historical context, Sapdanga emphasized that the Zo ethnic people had lived together under their own administration for centuries before being geographically divided by the British during their occupation. He asserted that the India-Myanmar border imposed by the British is unacceptable to the Zo ethnic people, who aspire for reunification under a unified administrative unit.

Despite the Mizoram government not receiving official communication on the Centre’s plan, Sapdanga said that media reports and statements from Union ministers indicate the intention to fence the India-Myanmar border and suspend the existing FMR with Myanmar.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier announced the decision to fence the entire India-Myanmar border on February 6, followed by the declaration on February 8 to scrap the India-Myanmar Free Movement Regime (FMR) for internal security and demographic considerations in the northeastern states.

Sapdanga alleged that these decisions were influenced by the demands of the Manipur government. He countered the rationale of national security as a justification for fencing and lifting the FMR, urging the Centre to apply the same measures to all international borders and bilateral agreements with neighboring countries.

He argued that, even during the insurgency peak in northeastern states, the FMR with Myanmar was not questioned, and fencing the border and lifting the FMR would adversely affect people on both sides. The resolution was unanimously adopted after a thorough discussion in the assembly, with the Chief Minister Lalduhoma and Leader of the Opposition, Lalchhandama Ralte, in attendance.

Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh share a 1,643-km-long international border with Myanmar. Mizoram, in particular, shares a 510-km-long border with Myanmar’s Chin state, and the Mizos share ethnic ties with the Chin people. Civil society organizations and student bodies in Mizoram strongly oppose the Centre’s decision to fence the border and lift the FMR.

MTNews Desk

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