The Zomi Human Rights Foundation (ZHRF) Lamka and Zo Indigenous Forum (ZIF) Aizawl has called upon all concern for safeguarding the rights of the north east India’s indigenous tribal people on the occasion of International day of the World's Indigenous People celebrated on August 9.
A joint release by ZHRF and ZIF on monday stated that protection of indigenous tribal rights are the basic objectives of national and international human rights laws and it is imperative for human development.
The two bodies condemned the systematic looting of tribal land, territories and its resources under the shadow of government schemes like reserve forest, sanctuaries, tourism, archaeological sites, dam, forest, etc.
They claimed that such arbitrary actions of the government, without free and informed consent of the tribal people, has threatened the very existence of tribal in Manipur as well as different parts of northeast India.
ZHRF and ZIF urged upon all ‘actors’ to immediately take initiative for a speedy dialogue with indigenous tribal Suspension of Operation (SoO) groups both at the Centre and State so as to bring about an agreement for a constructive legal and political arrangement on the basis of mutual respect and autonomy for a lasting peace in the conflict zone of Northeast India.
The release stated that ZHRF and ZIF reiterated its firm commitment to the goals set up by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People 2007 and the ILO Convention 169 which provided for the global community with a common framework for the realization of the rights of indigenous and tribal people.
Stating that the entire Northeast India has been reeling under hard and difficult times since the inception of the British India and even through the formation Indian Union in 1947, the two bodies also claimed that the rights of the indigenous and tribal people have been trampled upon, their aspiration to participate into the affairs of the state has been sniffed at the bud.
The release continued that the lands of the indigenous people have been subjugated with duress and coercion and a deafened ear was turn to their voices, and insinuating complex relationships amongst their own kindred.
Peace and tranquillity in the region has been a desire by the indigenous and tribal people since then and yet without a concrete accomplishment. Besides, keeping in pace along the path of development wherein their rights are protected has been a long cherished dream and desire of the indigenous tribal people of the region, it added.