IMPHAL, July 8: The divide and rule policy of the British colonial rulers deprived the Zo people their Indigenous Nation’s Rights. This was stated by the spokesman of Zo Re-unification Organisation (ZoRO) Simte.
ZoRO is an affiliated organisation under United Nations People Forum on indigenous Issues (UNPFII) which intends to re-unify the politically scattered Zo people.
Simte was speaking in a press conference at the information office of Kuki Students’ Organization (KSO) in Sumkong Kaimun Tuibuong, Churachandpur on Tuesday. He said the general headquarters of the organization will be celebrating the World Indigenous Day on August 9 at Aizawl, Mizoram under the aegis of Mizo Zillai Pawl (MZP) Lunglei and ZoRO Southern Zone.
Mizoram Art & Culture minister Romawia will be present as the chief guest on the day of the celebration. It will also be attended by ZoRO General Headquarters president R. Thangmawia, delegates from ZoRO Zones and division, intellectuals and leaders of Zo Indigenous people across the globe. Cultural troupes from Chittagong Hill Tracts, Saiha and Lawngtlai districts will show-case cultural dances on the occasion, he added.
Simte said the Zomis have been striving for re-unification and the Mizo National Front bear arms in 1966 to fight for their cause for twenty years from 1966 to 1986 during which many people were killed tortured and raped while many houses were burnt down.
Many innocent people suffered and many were disabled for the rest of their lives. Many villages were uprooted causing the death of many people from starvation, he added.
Their plight didn’t reach the ears of the world and leaders of ZoRO. This horrible incident was reported to human rights commission leaders but they requested the organisation to report such atrocities to Amnesty International instead, Simte said.
“The British understood that the Zo people were one community and intended to put them under one administrative head. The resolution at the Chin-Lushai Conference held on January 28, 1892 in Forth William, Calcutta and other resolutions on the eve of independence of India and Pakistan got in 1947, and Burma in 1948 are indicative of their intentions.”
He further said that the British government left the Zo Indigenous people without acting on their decision and Zo people are lying along the Indo-Bangladesh-Myanmar frontier separated into three sovereign countries.