Office of the
HMAR INPUI
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS

PRESS STATEMENT
(31st May 2016)

The Hmar Inpui, which is the supreme apex bodies of all Hmar organisations, expresses its despondency over the slow pace of development towards the solving of the Hmars’ socio-political issues in Mizoram, Manipur and Assam. Given this, we state below our position and earnest hope for the future.

1. The Hmar Inpui has stood, is standing and shall always stand with the Hmar peoples of Mizoram. We share the pains, sufferings, discriminations and exploitations that have been perpetrated upon them and for which reasons; the Hmar movement for autonomy in Mizoram had its origin.

With the signing of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) between the Government of Mizoram and Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) in 1994 and the birth of Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) as an outcome of the MoS, expectation was great and euphoria filled the Hmars of Mizoram. Twenty Two years has elapsed since the signing of the MoS and most of the contents of the MoS are yet to be implemented. The SHDC is more of a joke and therefore a serious affront to the collective rights, trust, goodwill and legitimate aspiration of the Hmar peoples of Mizoram.

As such, we fully support and shall steadfastly stand with the demands of the Sinlung Hills Accord Implementation Demand Committee (SHAIDC) and also with the Joint Memorandum of the Hmar Inpui, Hmar Youth Association, Hmar Students’ Association and Mizoram Hmar Welfare Committee, dated May 5, 2015 which was submitted to the Hon’ble Union Minister of Home affairs Shri Rajnath Singh for the implementation of the points of the MoS signed in 1994. Apart from those mentioned above, we are also in full support for all the numerous activities, efforts and steps being taken up by various Hmar organisations to bring about the implementation of the terms of the MoS and a definitive solution to the Hmars political aspiration in the state.

2. The Hmar Inpui has stood, is standing and shall always stand with the shared aspiration of the Hmar peoples of Assam. We share the pains, sufferings, discriminations and exploitations that have been perpetrated upon them and for which reasons; the Hmar movement for more autonomy in Assam had its origin.

With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Assam and the erstwhile Cachar Hill Peoples’ Federation (CHPF) in 1996 and the birth of the Barak valley Hill Tribes Development Council (BVHDC) as an outcome of that MoU, expectation was great and euphoria filled the Hmars of Assam with their kindred brethrens. Twenty years has elapsed since the signing of the MoU but the full content of the MoU is yet to be realised. Meanwhile, serious Bangladeshi immigrant issues coupled with other narrow inter and intra tribal politics is threatening the very existence of the Hmars of Cachar in Assam. They are not even recognised as a Scheduled Tribe (Hills) but rather disdainfully recognised merely as Scheduled Tribes in Plains! This has effectively deprived them of full and crucial benefits and privileges as enshrined in the Constitution of India.

Meanwhile, the Hmars of North Cachar Hills (Now “Dima Hasao”) have also been degraded to fighting for their very survival alongside their other tribal brethrens. Development is indeed a far cry when they have to fight for every titbit of socio-political benefits crucial for their very survival!

The signing of the tripartite Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement between the Assam section of the Hmar People’s Convention-Democratic (HPC-D), the Government of Assam and the Union Government was anticipated to bring about a definite solution to the Hmar issue in Cachar and North Cachar Hills districts of Assam. This, however, appears to be just another false hope. However, it is upon the Government of Assam and the Union Government to allay the fears and apprehensions of the Hmars of Assam.

The Hmar Inpui fully support and shall steadfastly stand with the legitimate demands of the Hmars for greater autonomy and recognition of rights being pursued by its affiliate Civil Society Organisations towards the fulfilment of the MoU signed between the Government of Assam and CHPF and also fervently hope that the SoO between the Assam Section of the HPC-D, Assam Government and the Union Government will herald and hasten the concrete political solution for the Hmars in Assam. We are with the collective aspiration of the Hmar peoples and shall always be.

3. The Hmar Inpui has stood, is standing and shall always stand with the collective need of the Hmar peoples of Manipur. We share the pains, sufferings, discriminations and exploitations that have been perpetrated upon them and for which reasons; the Hmars’ desire for emancipation and more autonomy in Manipur had its origin.

We fully support the Hmar public views and voice for an immediate initiation of peace talk with the United Peoples’ Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO)- two umbrella organisations under which two Hmar Armed groups- Hmar People’s Convention- Democratic (HPC-D) and Hmar National Army (HNA) are members respectively. The signing of the tripartite Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement separately with groups under UPF and KNO, the Government of Manipur and the Union Government since 2007 was expected to bring about a definite elucidation towards resolving the pertinent and protracted issues of the Hmars and their kindred tribes in Manipur. However, this seems to be no more than just another belie.

We also support and shall stalwartly stand in solidarity behind the resolve of the Hmar Inpui Coordination Committee- Jiri and Vangai area, Hmar Students’ Association GHQ, Hmar Students’ Association Jiri-Vangai Joint Headquarters, All Jiribam Tribal Union and Tribal Rights Demand Committee against the upgradation of Jiribam Sub-Division to a full-fledged Revenue District. We are resolutely of the view that the proper and full protection of the Hmars and their tribal brethrens in Jiribam be first addressed and ensured as per appropriate Constitutional norms before going any further with the upgradation processes. If this is not possible, we are of the opinion that it will be best to completely leave out the tribal areas of Jiribam from the proposed Revenue District.

Last but certainly not the least; the Hmar Inpui is weary of all the vacillation and intrigues of the Government of Mizoram, Government of Assam and Government of Manipur. We ask the respective State Governments to resolve our socio-political issues and not try to merely manage them. We call upon the Union Government to ensure such.

Let it be noted that we are human beings; bonafide citizens of India and should therefore not be treated as expendable commodities or our issues business ventures that may be managed to benefit certain narrow or short-term political businesses.



(JOSEPH LALROTHANG)
General President

(FRANCIS SONGATE)
General Secretary


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