MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO THE PRIME MINISTER
REPUBLIC OF INDIA
THE ZOMI RE-UNIFICATION ORGANISATION (ZRO)
Subject: Re-unification of all Zomi of Burma and India into one Political unit.
From time immemorial, we the Zomi inhabited a wide areas now fallen under India, Burma and Bangladesh, and the land they occupied was referred to as Zogam (Zo Country) vide, The Report on the Eastern Frontier of British India, 1835 by Capt. R.B.Pemberton; Mission to the Court of Ava, in 1855 by Sir Henry Yule; Descriptive Ethnology of Asia, Adrica and Europe Vol-I, 1859 by R.G.Latham. Zomi are the people, outsiders know as Chin (Chin is of course a misnomer). We administered our own affairs from generation to generation (see Historical Geography of the Burmese Countries at several Epochs, AD 1500, 1580, 1822, 1856 Plate XXVI of Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855 by Sir Henry Yule). We were never ruled by the Burmese nor the Indians. Even when the British came, the Frontier Areas were separately administered. The Manipuris (Meiteis) also never administered the hill tribes; the British Government administered these areas through the Political Agent.
In 1892 at the Chin-Lushai Conference held in Fort William, Calcutta the then authorities of British India Empire, decided to make a form of demarcation between Burma and India, which later became the international boundaries, dividing our land and our people.
When the British were about to leave India and Burma, the British Government issued a White Paper (White Paper on Policy in Burma) and a separate administration for Frontier Areas was envisaged. In February 1947 the Panglong Agreement was signed between the Burmese and the Frontier Indigenous people to speed up independence from the British, provided that a separate administration of the Frontier areas would continue; that the citizens of the Frontier Areas shall enjoy rights and privileges which are regarded as fundamental in democracy; and that equal treatment would be given to them in finance, education and culture. In March 1947 the British constituted a Frontier Areas Commission, which commission in its report affirmed the inalienable right of the Frontier Areas to secede from Burma AT ANY TIME. This vital clause was incorporated and re-affirmed in the Constitution of the Union of Burma, September-October, 1947, saying that after 10 years, the Frontier Areas would be free to secede ANY TIME.
What we now see is a betrayal of all these aspirations, oppression and exploitation in the hands of Burmese. The present military regime is the Burmese design to perpetuate oppression and exploitation. It is all a racial discrimination. Even if democracy returns in Burma, it would be only in name. A democracy with no safe-guard of the interests of the minorities is no democracy. The Zomi has no future in Burma. Those of us in India are a bit better off, but we have no autonomy, not yet.
We, the Zomi of Burma and India therefore, have decided and pledged ourselves to be free from the Burmese ONCE AND FOR ALL and re-unify all Zomi and all the inhabited areas into a Political Unit. To whom shall we turn now? In our estimate Indian Democracy is desirable, because minority interest is safeguarded. Besides, good portions of our people are already in India. Therefore, we are willing to be part and parcel of India IF India is willing to help us realise this objective. In fact our people in India have long cherished re-unification. Indeed, the Paite National Council (same people as Zomi) submitted a memorandum of Chin Re-unification to the then Prime Minister of India in 1960.
Mr. Prime Minister, Sir, this is within your power and capability. We look up to you. Will you not help us, so that we can also join you to say “JAI HIND”.
Zomi Re-unification Organisation (ZRO)
Zomi Re-unification Organisation (ZRO)
The 6th September,1993.
Copy endorsed to: The Hon’ble Home Minister of India.
(Source: True Copy)