Ex-Mizoram CM headed to broker peace in Myanmar

Zoramthanga was a prominent rebel leader during the 20 years of MNF insurgency in Mizoram.

Written by Adam Halliday | Aizawal | Published: January 13, 2015 2:27:37 am

Former rebel leader and two-term Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga has left for Myanmar to work as an interlocutor between Myanmar government and its various ethnic insurgents. This was stated on Monday by Mizo National Front (MNF), the party Zoramthanga heads.

He is scheduled to head to Bangkok on Sunday where he is expected to meet leaders of Myanmar’s various ethnic groups before returning to New Delhi, most likely on January 22, to have discussions with Union Home Ministry officials.

Zoramthanga was a prominent rebel leader during the 20 years of MNF insurgency in Mizoram. He later joined mainstream politics and came to power twice  in the state. He was contacted by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s colleagues in their current attempt to broker peace between Naypyidaw and the ethnic insurgents, but the MNF’s statement says the current trip has been facilitated by the ethnic insurgent groups and Myanmar.

This is not for the first time that Zoramthanga has taken up the role of interlocutor. He had earlier served as an interlocutor between New Delhi and the various insurgent groups in Northeast during the previous NDA regime, prompting some commentators to call him “Vajpayee’s right-hand man in the Northeast”.

Most recently, he was instrumental in the accord signed between New Delhi and Achik National Volunteer Council in Meghalaya’s Garo hills.

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