Mizos come out to support democracy in Myanmar

By Sangzuala Hmar, IANS

Aizawl : Residents of the mountainous state of Mizoram in India’s northeast are actively supporting pro-democracy activists in Myanmar, saying it is their “bounden duty” to back the distressed people across the border, who are from the same ethnic stock.

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“The Burmese people and the Mizos belong to the same Mongoloid stock and we must extend them sincere support during their fight to assert their human dignity and freedom,” P. Lalupa, a former legislator, told IANS.

There have been regular rallies in state capital Aizawl in the last few days with most people empathising with the pro-democracy supporters and denouncing the military crackdown in that country.

“It is only a man-made boundary that is separating us. We share one common ancestry, a common heart, and common interests,” said P.C. Laltlansanga, president of the Mizo Zirlai Pawl, an influential students’ group.

“I want to make it known that the people of Mizoram support the protest against Myanmar’s junta. We are right behind the protestors,” the student leader added.

The protest meetings in the state have been held at the behest of groups like the Central Young Mizo Association, journalists, former legislators, politicians, and students’ organisations. Most of the protestors have been carrying placards and banners denouncing the junta and pictures of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mizoram shares a 240 km long unfenced border with Myanmar.

The Mizoram for Democracy in Burma — a forum that has students’ bodies, political parties, NGOs, prominent citizens and Chin refugees settled here — urged New Delhi to sever all diplomatic and business ties with Myanmar until democracy is restored.

“Our organisation demands that India, being the largest democracy in the world, must take strong initiative for restoration of democracy in Myanmar,” said Lalmuanpuia Punte, a community leader.