I Don’t Comment On Your Internal Matter, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh To Mizoram Counterpart

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh attends an event in honour of Nupi Lan (Women’s War)

Imphal/New Delhi:

In an unprecedented development, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has asked Mizoram’s new Chief Minister Lalduhoma not to interfere in the internal matters of Manipur, but rather give support in restoring peace.

Citing comments by Lalduhoma on the Manipur ethnic tension between the hill-majority Kuki tribes and the valley-majority Meiteis, Mr Singh said his Mizoram counterpart must stop expressing views that are beyond his constitutional mandate.

Mizoram and Manipur share a long border with Myanmar’s Chin State, where people with kinship ties to the Kukis live. Mizoram has also welcomed over 35,000 Myanmar refugees fleeing from the fight between the junta and multiple ethnic insurgents. And one of the factors behind the Manipur crisis is said to be the mass entry of illegal immigrants from Myanmar.

“Whatever happened in Manipur is our internal matter. Most of our colleagues have expressed their willingness to help. But, unfortunately, the newly elected Chief Minister of Mizoram, I have seen one comment from him, that the state police shouldn’t harass his people in Moreh,” Mr Singh said, referring to the border trading town in Manipur from where people of all ethnicities – except the hill-majority residents near the Myanmar border – have been allegedly chased away, with no scope of allowing their return at the moment.

“It is beyond his constitutional mandate as it is our internal matter. He doesn’t know what is happening in Moreh. A lot of communities have been living in Moreh. My earnest appeal to him is, please help us restore peace. I never commented when the Bru issue happened in Mizoram, so please pray and help us restore normalcy in Manipur,” Mr Singh said at an event in the honour of Nupi Lan (Women’s War), a key historical event when the women of Manipur fought against the British twice – in 1904 and 1939.

The Bru tribes have been living in relief camps in Tripura since 1997. They had fled their homeland Mizoram to reach the neighbouring state because of ethnic clashes.

The Bru refugee crisis started in September 1997 following demands of a separate autonomous district council by carving out areas of western Mizoram adjoining Bangladesh and Tripura.

A day after the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) came to power in Mizoram, Lalduhoma had said his government would continue to provide shelter and assistance to refugees from Myanmar and those displaced from Manipur.

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