Zomi community in Washington raises voice for peace in Manipur
Zomi Innkuan USA's rally in Washington DC expressed solidarity with Zomi-Kuki people affected by the Manipur violence, emphasising the need for a lasting solution
Participants in a Washington DC peace rally held by an organisation representing Manipur's Zomi ethnic community in front of the Indian embassy voiced solidarity with their brethren in the state, who have been adversely affected by ongoing ethnic violence.
The rally, organised by Zomi Innkuan USA, in front of the Embassy of India in Washington DC last week expressed the participants' unwavering solidarity with the Zomi-Kuki people hit by the crisis in Manipur for more than 120 days, the organisation said in a statement.
More than 180 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on 3 May, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.
The violence has inflicted untold suffering on the residents of Manipur and the state government's actions, particularly against the minority Zomi-Kuki tribes, have caused great pain and division in the region, the statement said.
The rally, attended by members of the Zomi community in the US and other supporters, aimed to shed light on the urgent need for a lasting solution to the conflict in Manipur, the statement added.
Demonstrators held placards bearing messages that reflected the plight of the Zo ethnic people and their earnest plea for a separate administration in Manipur.
In his address, Dr Hauzachin Suante, executive director of Zomi Innkuan, said: "Our land, our rights, our freedom — these are not mere slogans but the very heartbeat of our struggle. The ongoing violence in Manipur has caused immense suffering to our people." Suante added that the separate administrative unit for the Zo tribe was "not only our demand but also our hope for a better future".
Zomi Innkuan USA, established in 2005, is a prominent organisation representing the Zomi community, with members spread across the US.