Support for Myanmar resistance swells in northeast

Organisations in Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland express solidarity with protesters against coup

Amid reports of the increasing crackdown on protesters in neighbouring Myanmar, organisations in Manipur and Nagaland have joined their counterparts in Mizoram in extending support to the civil disobedience movement (CDM) against the military junta.

Officials in Mizoram said more than 50 people from Myanmar, including at least eight police personnel, have crossed over fearing punitive action by the Tatmadaw — Myanmar military — for opposing the coup which took place in February.

Four northeastern States — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram — not only share a 1,643 km border with Myanmar but also ethnic ties with groups across the border. Mizoram usually feels the impact of unrest in the neighbouring country more than the other States.

The dominant Mizo community in Mizoram are ethnically related to the Chins in the adjoining Chin State across the border. The Chins are also related to the Kuki-Zomi group in Manipur. Myanmar also has several Naga communities with affinity to Nagas spread across Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Also read: More Myanmar nationals take refuge in Mizoram

“Martial law by means of military coup is direct horrendous suppression of people’s participation in a government… The international community regardless of any political, religious or ideological affinity must step in to restore normalcy in Myanmar and save lives due to the presence State-sponsored terrorism,” Romeo Bungdon, working president of the All Manipur Tribal Union (AMTU) said in his appeal to the United Nations Security Council.

The AMTU expressed solidarity with the people of Myanmar resisting the military and condemned the overthrow of a democratically elected government, as did the Tenyimi Students’ Union in Nagaland. Tenyimi is an umbrella group comprising 10 Naga communities.

A report in the Myanmar-based The Irrawaddy said more than 600 police officers have joined the CDM against the military regime with only the Rakhine State, the epicentre of the Rohingya issue, reporting no protests by security personnel.

The number of police resignations has risen sharply since the violent crackdown in February, the report said and added that the dissenting officers are from the Criminal Investigation Department, Special Branch and Tourist Security Police besides the training centres.

Among the officers who have rebelled is Special Branch Major Tin Min Tun, who posted on Facebook this week: “I no longer want to serve under the military regime. I have joined the civil servants participating in the CDM.”

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