Manipur CM appeals for peace in his Independence Day speech while blaming ‘outside forces’ for trying to destabilise the State 

Mizos are deeply aggrieved by Manipur violence: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga 

August 15, 2023 04:38 pm | Updated August 16, 2023 08:24 am IST - GUWAHATI/IMPHAL

References to the ethnic violence in adjoining Manipur peppered Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga’s Independence Day speech, his last for the current term of the Mizo National Front (MNF) government that he heads. 

References to the ethnic violence in adjoining Manipur peppered Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga’s Independence Day speech, his last for the current term of the Mizo National Front (MNF) government that he heads.  | Photo Credit: PTI

In Imphal, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh made a fervent appeal for peace in the State and said the communities affected by the ongoing violence can live harmoniously by “forgiving and forgetting” and resume the journey on the path of development. 

Manipur lost out on development for the last three months, he said in his Independence Day speech amid a 13-hour shutdown called by several extremist organisations from 5 a.m. 

“The violence has killed over a hundred people. Thousands are homeless and hundreds of crores of properties have been destroyed. The violence will not bring any development. If there was any misunderstanding and miscommunication among the communities, we can sit across the table and discuss all the shortcomings,” he said. 

“For this, our door is always open,” he added, in a message to the warring Meitei and Kuki groups to bury their differences. 

Mr. Singh said his government had been strictly following the constitutional provisions to continuously work for the betterment and uplift of the hills and valleys of the State. “However, some vested interests and forces from outside tried to destabilise our peace-loving State and country,” he said, asserting that his government would never go against the constitutional obligation. 

While appealing to the people of the State to avoid violence, he said that his government would continue to wage the war against drugs and detect, detain, and deport all illegal immigrants. “This should not be seen as against any individual or community,” he insisted.

In adjoining Mizoram

References to the ethnic violence in adjoining Manipur peppered Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga’s Independence Day speech, his last for the current term of the Mizo National Front (MNF) government that he heads. 

Elections to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly are due by December. 

“The entire country has been deeply pained by the violent ethnic conflict that erupted in our neighbouring State of Manipur on May 4. The series of unfortunate and deplorable incidents which have unfolded since then have deeply aggrieved the entire Mizo society,” he said in the State’s capital Aizawl on, August 15. 

Also Read | Explained | What is behind Manipur’s widespread unrest?  

The Mizos are ethnically related to the Kuki-Zomi people who have been affected the most by the ethnic violence in Manipur. 

Mr. Zoramthanga said that the MNF government has kept a close watch on Manipur since the very start of the political and ethnic turmoil there, and has taken a number of steps for the safety and security of Mizos who were stuck in Imphal, particularly students. 

The State government also took up relief and rehabilitation measures immediately for the internally displaced from Manipur who have sought shelter in Mizoram, he said, adding that the State government spent more than ₹36 lakh to airlift and evacuate 264 residents of Mizoram from Imphal. 

According to official records, relief camps in Mizoram are now housing 12,509 internally displaced persons from Manipur. 

Also Read | Manipur, a rude reminder of northeast tensions 

Mr. Zoramthanga lauded civil society, NGOs, church bodies, and individuals of Mizoram who contributed to taking care of the refugees from Manipur. More than 2,388.50 quintals of foodgrains have been distributed to those affected while the State government allocated ₹5 crore for their relief and rehabilitation, he said. 

He also reminded the Centre of his government’s request to sanction at least ₹10 crore for providing bare necessities to the displaced people from Manipur staying in Mizoram temporarily. 

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