YMA troupe showcases Mizo traditional practice ‘Khuangchawi’ Credit: EastMojo image

Aizawl: The Mizoram assembly on Friday unanimously adopted a private member resolution seeking implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) by the Union government.

Vanlalhlana of opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), who moved the resolution, said the UNDRIP was adopted by 144 countries, including India at the UN general assembly on 13 September, 2007.

Vanlalhlana said that there has been no massive effort to implement the declaration in the country even 12 years after its adoption. He said that though the UN did not clearly define the indigenous people, according to common knowledge, the indigenous peoples are original inhabitants of a particular land, who follow unique traditions and religion even after colonization.

Vanlalhlana said that the Mizos are included in the UN indigenous people list due to efforts taken by late R. Thangmawia, president of Zo-Reunification Organisation (ZoRO), the Chin-Kuki- Mizo-Zomi group organization which seeks re-unification of all Zo people and bringing them under one administrative unit.

Though the declaration has no legal sanction, but the UN nation expects the member countries to implement the same in their respective countries, he said.

Citing about the need for full implementation of the UN declaration, Vanlalhlana said the rights of the indigenous people in a remote state like Mizoram have been often ignored as the Indian government did not implement the declaration citing all the Indian citizens are indigenous people.

According to article 3 of the UN declaration, Vanlalhlana said, “The Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” He said that the union government should implement the declaration to enable the indigenous Mizos enjoy their rights.

After prolonged discussion, the state legislature unanimously adopted resolution stating “cutting across party lines, legislators from both the ruling MNF and the opposition resolved to take measure to ensure that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, 2007 is implemented by the government of India.”

In October, 2015 the state assembly had also adopted such resolution on UNDRIP.

Meanwhile, ZORO expressed happiness over the adoption of resolution on the UNDRIP and thanked the members especially Vanlalhlana, who moved the resolution.

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