Paul Sitha, in charge of CNF information and publicity, said it was due to agreements and relations between India and Burma. "Whenever there is more dialogue between the two states, there is more pressure on us. The Saiha SP told us that a direct order came from the central government to let the CNF vacate its camp and we ( the security force) could not avoid this order," he said.
"We received this information in April and the latest information on a military operation to flush out the CNA in June," he continued. "Victoria camp was not set with an intention to make it a permanent base for CNF. It was a mobile camp, which could be shifted anytime according to the security situation of the place."
Meanwhile, 300 AK 47 assault rifles (Belgium-made) were received by the MAP June 3 from the Indian government, the CNF spokesman said, "Their arms may not be meant for shooting (at) Camp Victoria but for new MAP recruits. It may be just coincidental for the Mizoram government to receive (both) an order to let the CNF vacate its headquarters and a cache of assault rifles for the newly recruited MAP."
Regarding relations between the Mizoram state government and the CNF, the in-charge said, "The CNF has never done anything against the laws of Mizoram or interfered in its politics so as to keep the government on the verge of flushing us out. Therefore I never had the opinion that the government of Mizoram would be against us. In this matter, the government of Mizoram has the good will to approach the central government to reconsider this order."
This operation to flush the CNF from its camp is materializes the Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) between India and Burma government delegates signed when Burma's State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Senior General Than Shwe visited India. In the MoU the two countries agreed to have a joint military operation and flush out military operations along the Indo-Burma border.
In the second week of May, the government of India sanctioned 4 crore rupees for construction of a customs station in Rih village on the Burma side and Zokhawthar's Land and Custom Office in India. This urgent military operation to flush out the CNF is believed to be strengthening the law and order situation in these areas.
India and the CNF had skirmishes before 1999 as the Indian security force suspected the CNF of a relationship with North-east India insurgents. The Indian army and MAP often jointly launched operations against the CNF. The late vice president Sang Hlun and Private Thawng Mang were captured and died in the custody of the India army. The CNF has had a clearcut policy not to interfere in the internal politics of India or have connections with the dissidents groups of India since 1999.
The Assam Rifles launched an operation to flush out the CNF again in 2002. Now the Indian government has pressured the Mizoram state government to let the CNF vacate its camp. This is the second time the Burma government pressured India to let the CNF vacate its camp since 1999.
Mon 06 Jun 2005
Aizawl, Khonumthung News Group