Aizawl (www.zoramobserver.com): Leaders of all Hmar ethnic based civil organizations have agreed to make an appeal to Mizoram government to make improvement and ratification on the proposed Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) between the Mizoram government and Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic). A resolution to this effect was taken at the consultative meeting of the Hmar leaders on draft of MoS and Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) Bill convened under the aegis of Hmar Inpui, an apex body of the Hmar tribe at Sakawrdai village in Hmar dominated north Mizoram on Wednesday, sources from the Hmar Inpui said.
The meeting which was held at Sakawrdai community hall was presided over by Hmar Inpui, general headquarters president Joseph Lalrothang, while HPC(D) working chairman Lalthanglien aka LT Hmar highlighted the initiation and beginning of peace talks between the Mizoram government and the militant outfit and also informed about the latest development.
The meeting also witnessed a brief note on the MoS and SHC bill drafts by HPC(D) spokesperson Lalthalien, a church leader from Manipur, who also explained about the drafts clause by clause before the gathering.
The consultative meeting which was attended by leaders of Hmar Inpui, HPC(D), Hmar Students’ Association (HSA), HPC(D) delegates and other important leaders including Sinlung Hills Development Council Development (SHDC) chairman Hmingchungnunga, who was the signatory of the peace accord signed between the Mizoram government and the erstwhile Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) in 1994 has widely deliberated on the MoS and SHC Bill drafts.
The meeting endorsed and approved in principle the draft of MoS and SHC bill, but came out with suggestions for improvement of the proposed MoS, a top leader of the Hmar Inpui said.
After prolonged deliberation, the meeting made some changes and improvement on the MoS draft and unanimously agreed to make an appeal to the state government for ratification of the drafts based on the changes or improvement made by the gathering leaders, which will be tabled by the HPC (D) delegates at the proposed political level talks to be held most probably before this Christmas, the top leader added.
Apart from leaders of various Hmar ethnic based civil bodies, student body and HPC(D), the consultative meeting was also attended by representative of Village Councils from 19 villages and leaders of various NGOs within HPC(D) demand area which comprised north Mizoram adjoining Manipur.
With strong pressure from civil societies, the Mizoram government and HPC(D) resumed peace talks in August last year to find amicable solution to the Hmar political imbroglio.
The first round of peace talks was held on 10 August last year, which was followed by another four rounds of talks. The parleys which revolved around strengthening of SHDC to be rechristened as SHC were held under conducive atmosphere with complete mutual trust on both sides.
Initially, the HPC(D) which resorted to arm struggle for about 23 years after the signing of peace accord between Mizoram government and HPC in July 1994, demanded the creation of separate autonomous district council by carving out area in Hmar dominated north Mizoram adjoining Manipur under sixth schedule to the constitution of India. However, the demand for separate ADC was dropped by the militant after the government rejected it.
The ongoing peace talks is nearing to its conclusion as in the last round of peace talks both sides had approved in principle the draft of MoS and SHC Bill and resolved that any rectification required in the drafts shall be deliberated and finalized at the next round of the tentative political level talks.
According to Mizoram Home Minister R. Lalzirliana, the next round of peace talks which would be elevated to political level is being planned to be held within this year before Christmas.