For calling tribals Myanmar nationals, Mizo MP slams Amit Shah

For calling tribals Myanmar nationals, Mizo MP slams Amit Shah

Aizawl: Mizoram lone Rajya Sabha member  K Vanlalvena on Thursday slammed Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his statement in parliament that the tribal community members in Manipur are Myanmar nationals.

Reacting sharply to Shah’s speech in the Parliament, Vanlalvena told Rajya Sabha that the tribals in Manipur are not immigrants from Myanmar but they have been in the northeast for over 200 years before the British colonised India.

“I am a tribal from Mizoram and we are not foreigners and we are not Myanmarese nationals, we are Indians. We have been in the northeast hundreds of years before India became independent,” the MP said.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), a conglomerate of various recognised Kuki tribes in Manipur said that the forum and all Kuki-Zo tribals felt let down by Shah’s statement in the parliament on Wednesday.

A statement issued by the forum said 3 months of violence has led to the death of more than 130 Kuki-Zo tribals and displacement of 41,425 tribal civilians and the complete physical and emotional separation of Meteis and tribals.

“And the best explanation that the Home Minister can come up with is the entry of refugees from Myanmar. Mizoram has welcomed more than 40,000 refugees from Myanmar and displaced people from Manipur and it is still the most peaceful state in India,” the statement said.

The status of Scheduled Tribe demanded by the majority community, the government notification forest on reserves which would usurp trials from their Iands and the demonizing of trIbals by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and radical Metei Intellectuals are the reasons why the trust deficit grew between the Melt and tribal communities, which culminated in the sectarian clashes, it said.

Accusing refugees, who are some of the most deprived and helpless sections in any community, of starting a conflict at this scale is just plain wrong, the statement said.

“The ITLF is aghast that the Home Minister is still defending Manipur CM, who we consider is the chief architect of the violence. So many innocent people have died under his watch and violence continues unabated after three months,” the statement also said.

It said that Biren Singh is still being feted by the Centre Instead of being sacked.

The forum also appealed to the Home Minister to rise above party politics in dealing with the crisis in Manipur.

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