Aizawl: In a historic move which could significantly impact the Manipur crisis, representatives of Zo ethnic tribes from Manipur in collaboration with the NGO Coordination Committee in Mizoram came together to form “Zo United.”
The decision was made during a gathering in a Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) committee room on September 7, 2023.
One of the key outcomes of the meeting was the decision to appoint leaders who will guide Zo United’s initiatives. The leaders, chosen from among the participants, will be selected before September 20, 2023. This diverse leadership team will include representatives from each Zo tribe, as well as members from the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), and the Hill Tribal Council (HTC).
It was unanimously decided during the meeting that the previously formed Coordination Committee on Separate Administration Manipur (CORSAM) and Joint Inpi Council (JIC) would be abolished or disbanded. This move is seen as a significant step toward streamlining efforts and avoiding duplication of roles, ensuring that Zo United can focus on addressing the core issues affecting the Zo community in Manipur.
The meeting was attended by representatives of 16 organisations and attended by six Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from Manipur.
MS Ralte, the Central Young Mizo Association Information and Publicity in charge, spoke to EastMojo, saying the CYMA was not part of the movement but only acted as the convener for the various tribes to come together and sit at the table.
“There are various organisations in various districts such as Mizo Peoples Convention, Hmar Inpui, and Kuki Inpi which came together under the wing of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum. There are also various committees set up such as the Committee on Tribal Unity and others. They want to come together under one wing as it becomes a problem when they want to take up issues at the Central level. The leaders of the Central government have to hold talks with various associations. Even if Mizoram wants to donate they can now do it directly to Zo United.”
“We just prepared the table for their discussion, we have no part in the association. They will take forward other decisions and programs such as selection of the leaders and others,” he said.
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Despite the CYMA denying any involvement in Zo United, Muan Tombing, Secretary of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum, told EastMojo, “I think Mizoram’s NGO Coordination Committee should also be part of the team, but everything will only be finalised after the delegates have come together.”
He spoke of the goal of Zo United saying, “It is just like a team formed to work together among the Zo tribes. It is not yet clear, representatives from the tribes and organisations have not been sent yet. We will have a meeting by the 20th of this month under the leadership of Letpao Haokip(an MLA in the Manipur government).”
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