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Jun 23, 2008 (DVB), The first ever Kuki national unity conference drew to a close on 19 June in the Indian town of Moreh on the border with Burma, according to Baik Pu Lon Lon, one of the event's organisers.
The three-day conference was attended by Kuki ethnic nationals from Sagaing division’s Kabaw valley.
Baik Pu Lon Lon, one of the leaders of the Kuki Students' Democratic Front, said the conference aimed to preserve the unique Kuki heritage.
"Kuki is a distinct ethnic group which is not like any of the other ethnic groups in Burma, and we have our own culture and traditions," he said.
"Our land is our heritage from our ancestors and we will continue with our fight, after Burma has achieved democracy, to claim our own Kuki state."
The conference also agreed on the need to protect their ancestral lands, prevent lumbering and promote education among Kuki women.
About 150 Kuki representatives and tribal leaders attended the conference and brainstormed ideas for archiving Kuki history and making future plans for the Kuki.
They also discussed plans for documenting human right abuses against the Kuki people.
Kuki people living in Manipur state in India also assisted in organising the conference.
The Kuki were driven out of Burma from their homes in the Kabaw valley by general Ne Win’s Burma Socialist Programme Party government in 1967.
Many have since resettled with descendants of common ancestors in India’s Manipur mountains.
Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min