July 10, 2013: About a hundred Zomi refugees here in Delhi held a demonstration against the approval of nickel mining in Tiddim township of Chin State in Myanmar, bordering Manipur south.
They demanded immediate halting of the Gullu Mual Nickle Mining Project, a joint venture of Chinese mining company and Myanmar Government.
A release issued by the demonstrators condemned the partnership between the two Governments to exploit the natural deposit on their land.
Recalling the 1947 Panglong agreement, the statement quoted that Defense and Foreign Affairs of Zomis in Chin State will be in their own hands and not the Myanmar Government. Therefore they rightfully cannot allow such projects to be carried out without their informed consent.
President of the Zomi Inkuan, Khaibawi told The Sangai Express that the local people came to know about the proposed project from some media reports (in Myanmar) this year and that they do not know any further information about the venture.
According to his random estimate a minimum of inhabitants of 30 villages will be displaced, beside other destruction such as natural resources, forest and environment. The local population felt a sense of apprehension and uncertainty. The demonstrators called on the Indian Government and civil society to support the democratic rights of the indigenous people of Teddim Township.
The Sangai Express