On the occassion of the 25th Anniversary of the Mizo Peace Accord, Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen M.M. Lakhera, AVSM, PVSM, VSM inaugurated the "National Seminar on Peace & Development in Mizoram: Challenges and Prospect" 10:00AM today at Aijal Club Conference Hall. The seminar was organised by Zoram Research Foundation (ZoRF) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Social Science Research - North East and Mizoram University and with the official partnership of Information & Public Relations Department, Mizoram.

The Governor said that while such other accords had failed, the Mizo Peace Accord lasted due to the involvement of various sections of the society, the people's interest in peace and unity among the people as well as due to the sincerity of the Mizos and of the Indian government. He explained that it is important to consider why the Mizo Peace Accord succeeded and what had peace given us. He mentioned that there are great developments in the field of education and Mizoram is now 3rd in literacy in India with literacy rate of more than 91% ; there are much infrastructure development and Mizoram is now the most developed among the 8 sister states of the North East. The prolonged monsoon causes climatic constraints to the developmental works in Mizoram and in order to overcome this, we can modify our development plans, he added. The Governor also said that although we could have done much better, we had many great achievements and it is not correct to say that peace has not given us enough. He added his hope that in coming years, Mizoram will get its rightful place amongst the other Indian states.

The Governor explained that rather than countering insurgencies by armed forces, we have to find the causes and take remedial measures, and that the government is responsible to take the necessary steps and see what is possible. He reiterated that it is important to find out the reasons behind the success of Mizo Peace Accord and look for ways of implementing the findings in other disturbed areas.

The inaugural session of the Seminar was presided over by ZoRF Chairman Prof. Thangchungnunga, Registrar, MZU. Organising Chairman Dr. Sangkima welcomed the attendants and the Keynote Address was delivered by ZoRF Senior Vice President Prof. C. Nunthara, Vice Chancellor, William Carey University, Shillong. ZoRF Senior Vice President P. Rohmingthanga IAS (Retd.), Pro. Vice Chancellor, ICFAI University, Mizoram proposed the Vote of Thanks.

Presentation and discussion of papers prepared by R.D. Pradhan IAS (Retd.), former Union Home Secretary and Signatory of the Accord - on behalf of the Government of India; Lalkhama IAS (Retd.), former Mizoram Chief Secretary and Signatory of the Accord - on behalf of the Government of Mizoram; Dr. Robert Halliday, Coordinator, Social Front Department, Mizoram Presbyterian Church Synod; Subir Bhaumik, BBC Correspondent and Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi succeeded the inaugural session.


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