Aizawl, 23rd August, 2018
Kuki National Organisation (KNO)
Subject: Territorial Council for the Zo Peoples.
Dear Zo Brother Pu PS Haokip,
We, the Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) and the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (Mizo Students Association) [MZP] are thrill on hearing the political development for the entire Zo people that the two organisations of Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United Peoples’ Front (UPF) are united in one accord for political settlement and thereby a seriesof tripartite political talks have been going onwith the representatives of Government of India, Government of Manipur and the negotiating team of both the KNO and UPF.
We have learnt from a reliable source that the KNO and the UPF submitted a joint Memorandum to the Government of India for a separate state, however the government is ready only for Territorial Councilunder the provisions of the Sixth Schedule. For that matter, the KNO and UPF constituted a Drafting Committee for the Autonomous Territorial Council (ATC). As per our understanding, the draft was submitted with consensus, focusing on the powers and functions for the proposed ATC rather than the vexed and contestingnames for the Territorial Council since the Zo peoples in Manipur were called by different names. We were hopeful that the ATC would begiven an appropriate name with consensus which is rooted in our culture.
When, on June 29, 2018,the KNO and UPF came up with two proposed names viz. Khul Territorial Council and Zalengam Territorial Council for discussion with civil society organisations, we were hopeful of a lasting solution for our brethren in Manipur. However, such hope was short lived by the meeting on July 10, 2018 at Kangpokpi where the KNO leaders backtracked on the earlier decision with regard to the name for the Territorial Council. To us, all these is also very perturbing.
We were worried that the KNO and UPF would separately approach the Government of India which may be seen as a sign of disunity among the Zo peoples which may impair the process of our cherished political negotiation.
Thus, we feel oblige to write letters of same contents to President of KNO, the Chairman of UPF, the Convener and the Joint Convener of Negotiating Team of KNO-UPF as it is critically important that you would stand firm on the bond of unity in the truest spirit to take the task of Zo nation-building process forward.
And, it is desirable from our point of view, if there is no consensus between KNO and UPF, the Name of the Territorial Council includes the term ‘Zo’ as it appears to be acceptable to all Zo-fate (Zo-descendants). In fact, all of us accept that we are an entity culturally, but due to various names by which we were known and called ourselves, we cannot transmute cultural entity into political entity.lt also appears to be most relevant in promoting Zo brotherhood and unity, not only who are living in the present State of Manipur alone but also the Zo Peoples all over the world. It is our firm belief that our Zo brothers in Manipur under KNO and UPF would become the torch-bearers in leading the project of Zo nation-building by adopting a name for their proposed Territorial Council which is in consonance with the vision of a shared future for all Zo peoples. We ask of them to imprint ‘Zo’ as a political recognition for our people in Manipur. Unity and brotherhood is our top priority in the Zo Nation building process not the variations or names of different groups.We are, indeed, inseparable and not detachable but connected in spite of artificial boundaries.
We, fervently beseech to the KNO and UPF collective leaderships not to miss the chance for long-lasting solution of the political problem of the whole of Zo peoples under the present Manipur State. It is our view that territorial council for the Zopeople in Manipur is an important beginning step in realization of our ultimate political goal and rights, the Re-Unification. If we fail to make the right decision it will take generations to really correct the mistake and we will miss forever the cherished dream of Zo reunification.
May the Almighty God be with you and guide you throughout this crucial juncture.
With best regards,
Mizo Students’ Union
General Headquarter Aizawl
MIZO ZIRLAI PAWL
(Mizo Students Association)
General Headquarters Aizawl: Mizoram
FILE PHOTOS | PS HAOKIP, PRESIDENT, KNO