Mizoram Council of Ministers Delays Resolution Against Scrapping Free Movement Regime with Myanmar

Northeast Desk, 27th February: Home Minister K Sapdanga informed the assembly on Monday that the Mizoram Council of Ministers is yet to pass a resolution opposing the scrapping of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with neighbouring Myanmar. The state government learned about the plan to revoke the FMR through media reports only.

The FMR, which allowed people residing near the India-Myanmar border to travel 16 km into each other’s territory without a visa, was terminated by the Centre earlier this month. This decision has particularly affected thousands of people from Myanmar who sought refuge in Mizoram following the military coup in 2021.

Sapdanga clarified that while no resolution has been passed yet, the matter has been proposed to be tabled at the Council of Ministers meeting.

Previously, Chief Minister Lalduhoma expressed the government’s desire to retain the FMR, citing the dissatisfaction of Mizo people living in both India and Myanmar with the present international border, which was established without consulting them during the British colonial era.

The Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee, comprising major civil society organizations and student bodies such as Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) and Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), has also opposed the move to fence the Indo-Myanmar border and abolish the FMR.

A significant portion of the refugees from Myanmar in Mizoram belong to the Chin community, who share ancestry and culture with the Mizos. Chin is also a state in western Myanmar.

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