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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Zoramthanga moves Centre to revive peace process in Myanmar

Mizoram CM warns of threat posed by Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

AIZAWL:

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, on September 24, said that he has implored Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive peace process in trouble-torn Myanmar as he felt that “this is the golden chance.”

Addressing a press conference after returning from Delhi where he met top central leaders, including President Droupadi Murmu, Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, other ministers, National Security Adviser A K Doval, home secretary and director of intelligence bureau, Zoramthanga said that he appealed to them to take peace initiatives as a fatherly figure.

Zoramthanga recalled that the initiatives taken earlier by the Indian government to bring the Myanmar military government and the ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) in 2016-17 was discontinued by the Aung San Suu Kyi government.

“The general Min Aung Hliang, who staged a military coup last year, was the army chief during that time and he agreed to bring the EAOs to the negotiating table at the initiative of India and in which I was the negotiator,” he said.

He said that the military junta is important for negotiating peace as well as the EAOs and also democratically elected National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I impressed upon the central leaders that over one million angry Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh displaced from Myanmar are posing serious security concerns for the country and Mizoram as they could come in handy for the terrorists. In such a situation, Mizoram would become a conduit for entering the North East region through the state,” he said.

He said that he told the central leaders that the country can ill-afford to have a weak gate keeper (Mizoram) as the state could soon become a main gateway for terrorist groups.

Security must be strengthened in Mizoram in order to check impending infiltration by terrorists to the country, he said, adding that a paramilitary force comprising Mizos should be set up as they know the terrain in the 722-long border, the state shared with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

He said that the EAOs could agree to have federal states within the Union of Myanmar, which had also been openly agreed to by the parallel National Unity Government (NUG), the Myanmar government in exile.

On the talks he had with his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister said that both the leaders were satisfied with the ongoing talks at the official and ministerial levels to bring amicable and long-lasting solution to the interstate border dispute between the two neighboring states.

He said that the two leaders had agreed that the negotiations on border dispute should continue at all levels as well as between the two chief ministers.

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