Participants at a peace rally held by a prominent organisation representing the Zo ethnic community in Manipur in front of the Indian embassy here have voiced solidarity with their fellow brethren in the state who have been adversely affected by the ongoing ethnic violence.
The rally organised by Zomi Innkuan USA in front of the Embassy of India in Washington DC last week expressed the participants' unwavering solidarity with the Zomi-Kuki people hit by the crisis in Manipur for more than 120 days, the organisation said in a statement.
More than 180 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.
The violence has inflicted untold suffering on the residents of Manipur and the state government's actions, particularly against the minority Zomi-Kuki tribes, have caused great pain and division in the region, the statement alleged.
The rally, attended by members of the Zomi community in the US and other supporters, aimed to shed light on the urgent need for a lasting solution to the conflict in Manipur, the statement added.
Demonstrators held placards bearing messages that reflected the plight of the Zo ethnic people and their earnest plea for a separate administration in Manipur.
Dr. Hauzachin Suante, Executive Director of Zomi Innkuan, in his address, said: "Our land, our rights, our freedom - these are not mere slogans but the very heartbeat of our struggle. The ongoing violence in Manipur has caused immense suffering to our people." Suante said the separate administrative unit for the Zo tribe was "not only our demand but also our hope for a better future".
Zomi Innkuan USA, established in 2005, is a prominent organisation representing the Zomi community with members spread across the US.
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