Border with Myanmar imposed by British: Mizoram CM Lalduhoma to Modi

Amidst an influx of refugees, the chief minister said his govt and the Mizo people would shelter and look after Myanmar nationals, with whom they share ethnic ties

New Mizoram chief minister Lalduhoma met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 January and expressed the Mizo people's solidarity with the Chin refugees of Myanmar, who are part of the same ethnic family (photo courtesy PMOIndia/X)
New Mizoram chief minister Lalduhoma met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 January and expressed the Mizo people's solidarity with the Chin refugees of Myanmar, who are part of the same ethnic family (photo courtesy PMOIndia/X)
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PTI

Mizoram chief minister Lalduhoma on Thursday, 4 January, told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the people of his state feel the 510 km border with Myanmar was arbitrarily imposed on them by the British.

Thousands of people from the neighbouring country have taken refuge in Mizoram following a military coup in Myanmar in 2021.

'The Indo–Myanmar boundary on the Mizoram side was demarcated by the British without the consent of the affected people… The Zo ethnic tribes of Mizos regarded the Indo–Myanmar border as an imposed boundary, which has geographically separated the Mizo tribes,' an official statement quoted Lalduhoma as saying during his meeting with the prime minister.

A large section of the people of Myanmar who have taken refuge in the state belong to the Chin, also known as Zo, community. They share the same ancestry and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram. Chin is also a state in western Myanmar.

Lalduhoma, who became the chief minister of the north-eastern state last month, called on Modi in his official residence in New Delhi during the day. This is their first meeting.

Lalduhoma also informed the prime minister about the influx of refugees from Myanmar after the military junta seized power through a coup in February 2021, the statement said.

Over 31,000 Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in Mizoram since February 2021, according to the state home department.

Lalduhoma said that his government and the Mizo people wanted to provide shelter and look after the Myanmar nationals as they share ethnic ties.

The two leaders also discussed other issues related to the development of Mizoram.

In a post on X, Lalduhoma later said, 'Productive meeting with Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji today. Delighted to strengthen our collaboration for the progress and development of #Mizoram. Looking forward to frequent discussions on key issues.'

On X, Lalduhoma also amplified a news report by EastMojo with the headline 'Mizoram CM advocates for "Greater Mizoram Project" in Meeting with Prime Minister'.

Six Mizoram districts — Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual — lie along the 510 km international border with Myanmar’s Chin state.

The majority of the Myanmarese refugees in Mizoram live in relief camps, while others are accommodated by their local relatives and some others live in rented houses.

A number of Myanmar soldiers also fled to Mizoram after their camps along the international border were overrun by pro-democracy militia in the past few months. All of them were sent back.

Lalduhoma also met Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari and urged him to expedite road construction projects in Mizoram.

The chief minister also called on Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday, 3 January, and discussed how the external affairs ministry and the Mizoram government could collaborate more closely.

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