The official celebratory programme of the 33th anniversary of the Mizoram’s Statehood Day was formally organized at Vanapa Hall in the capital, today. Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai had graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Pu Zoramthanga, Chief Minister along with his Council of Ministers, the MLA’s, senior officials, the surviving state’s freedom fighters and other dignitaries were also present at the solemn function.
February 20 is the day on which Mizoram became a full-fledged federal state of Indian Union in 1987 as a fulfilment to the prerequisite of the Mizoram Peace Accord signed on June 30, 1986, by the Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Government of India. This historic day is declared by the state as a permanent Government’s holiday within Mizoram. Today, the statehood day was celebrated in the state’s capital and all other parts of Mizoram.
Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai began his address by conveying his greeting and well wishes to the people of Mizoram on this historic day. He believed that the eventual achievement of the people in the state through tremendous struggles and sacrifices to attain statehood is truly a reason enough to celebrate. On the signing of the historic Mizo Peace Accord on 30th June 1986, the Governor said, “It remains a beacon of hope for a world full of conflict, that peace can be attained and sustained if the people and leaders choose it above violence, and if they sincerely work hard towards keeping it. After we achieved Statehood in 1987, our continued aim has been to attain a self-reliant and self-respected Mizoram”.
While it is a cause for celebration that the state performing quite well on various social indicators, he gave a reminder to all those officials present in the function that a performing state cannot rest upon past achievements, and that much more efforts are needed to be given. While inviting the rededication of every citizen in the state the for developmental works on the historic anniversary the governor insisted that the government officials have more important responsibilities. He said, “The achievement of our vision and goals is especially reliant on the top Government officials who are present here. If you collectively give your best efforts, I am certain that Mizoram will progress in leaps and bounds”.
On the availability of fund for developmental projects and infrastructural building initiatives, he had pointed out that while the population of North East India constitute only as little as 3.5% of the total population of the whole of India, a huge amount of not less than 10% of the Union Budget is allotted for the development of this region. In this regard, he emphasised the need to make the best efforts to optimally utilize this vast sum of resources which has been earmarked for us by the Centre. At the same time, the Governor clarified that the state did not intended to rely solely on Central funding alone and had also expressed his confidence on the state government’s clear-cut plan and vision to bring about self-reliance and prosperity by harvesting the abundantly rich untapped resources of Mizoram. “We need to urgently unleash our untapped potential, be it in terms of horticulture, handloom & handicrafts, human resource, tourism, etc. It is our duty to provide a congenial socio-economic setting where our youth can flourish with pride”, he suggested. He had also congratulated the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers for layingout a surplus budget this year when most other states still came out with deficit budgets.
Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai had also sounded alarm that the society urgently needs to realise the clear and present danger posed by social and health problems. And made appeal to the civil societies, the NGOs and the Churches to join hands with the government agencies in combating various social problems such as substance abuse, alcohol addictions and high incidences of lifestyle related diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Cancer.These problems, he said are the evils weakening our society and are dragging Mizoram down.
The Chief Minister Pu Zoramthanga, who himself had also played a key role in the peace making process which had led the creation of Mizoram State was also adressing the gatherings at the function. He had first related the long and difficult peace making efforts that took 15 years with the peace talks some times held within Mizoram and held at other parts in India and outside India on different occasion. He said that 1986 was eventually the right time in the end to have peace accord due to strong political power in the centre and other essential factors. "When Mizoram became a state it was not like any other state that came up before but it was a state made with special provisions that safeguards the cultural and ethnic interests. And that the peace brokered between MNF on one hand and the goverment of India and UT Government of Mizoram is still the most reliable and examplary model of peace agreement. I believe that we are the torchbearer of the peace in the region and we can continue to be exporter and mediator of peace in the neighbouring areas or neighnouring countries", he concluded.
The function was presided over by Pu Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, Chief Secretary who had shared a brief history of how Mizoram became a full-fledge state of India Union. Among the speakers in the function, Pu Vanlalruata, Chairman, NGO – Coordination Committee had also delivered his speech. The programme was concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Pu JC Ramthanga, Addl.Chief Secretary.
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