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Aizawl, Jun 12 (PTI) Mizo National Front president Zoramthanga has brokered a peace deal between the Centre and United People’s Front (UPF), a conglomerate of eight north east militant outfits, as the two sides signed a Suspension of Operations, MNF general secretary Zosangliana said here today.

The UPF constituents are the Kuki National Front (KNF), Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRO), Kuki Revolutionary Army (United), Zomi Defence Force (ZDF), United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF), Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF), Zomi Defence Volunteers (ZDV) and Hmar People’s Convention (Democrats), Zoramthanga, former Mizoram Chief Minister, was present as a special invitee during signing of the Suspension of Operations in New Delhi on Tuesday, Zosangliana told PTI.

At the meeting, the UPF was represented by leaders of the groups while the Centre was represented by Ministry of Home Affairs officials headed by Sambhu Singh, Joint Secretary (North East), he said.

Earlier, Zoramthanga, former leader of the erstwhile underground MNF, went to Myanmar and Bangkok two times to broker peace between the Myanmar government and 17 ethnic-based insurgent groups of that country.

Thousands of tree saplings were planted across Mizoram as the state observed ‘Green Mizoram Day’ on 11th June. The day has been observed since 1998 and more than 36 lakh of tree saplings have been planted till last year.

Governor Lt. General Nirbhay Sharma, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, ministers, officials, students and members of NGOs participated and planted trees.

According to PTI, southernmost district of Saiha has the highest percentage of survival of planted trees at 81.21 per cent while the lowest survival rate was in Myanmar border Champhai district at a mere 14.68 per cent.

The state, known for its rain forests has the highest forest cover among Indian states, with 91% of the state covered in greenery. The percentage, however, has deteriorated with time.

Green Mizoram Day is an initiative to preserve the state’s diverse flora and fauna and preserve the ecological balance of the region. Each year, on a particular day during the first or second week of June, the state observes Green Mizoram Day, a day dedicated to planting of tree saplings and maintenance of the trees planted in the previous years.

AIZAWL, 12 June (PTI): Mizoram joint director (Food and Drugs Administration) of the state health department Lalsawma today said officials were conducting verification of the recalling process of “Maggi” noodles on a daily basis.

“Our officials have found that those (Maggi noodles packets) dispatched to the remote villages were taken back by the company,” Lalsawma told PTI.

He said officials were also sent to Assam to seek permission for using the Assam Public Health Laboratory for testing the Maggi instant noodle samples from Mizoram, which does not have its own food testing laboratory.

He hoped that Mizoram would soon be able to send samples of Maggi noodles and other food items to the Assam Public Health Laboratory for testing.

“The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had instructed the Nestle company on Friday last to stop manufacturing of Maggi instant noodles and recall all the stocks,” Lalsawma said.

FSSAI had asked all state governments to test samples of Maggi in their respective states and send the results to it after which a concrete decision would be taken, he added.

Aizawl, 12 June (PTI) : Excise department today seized 34-kg ganja with the arrest of three persons at Tuirial Airfield village near here, an official said.

Mizoram Excise and Narcotics department seized 34-kg of ganja at Tuirial Airfield village near here, department’s spokesperson Peter Zohmingthanga said.

The drug was smuggled into Mizoram from neighbouring Manipur to be sold in Aizawl, Zohmingthanga said, adding that three persons were arrested in this connection

A Malaysia Airlines flight returned safely to Melbourne on Friday, having turned back within minutes of take-off after an engine fire alert went off, Air Services Australia said.

“There was an emergency declared, there was an ‘engine fire’ alert in the cabin. The plane proceeded to dump the fuel and returned to land and it landed safely at the aviation rescue sites,” a spokeswoman at Airservices Australia told Reuters by phone.

Local media reported there were 300 people on board the Airbus A330 flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia Airlines was involved in two air disasters in 2014 with MH370 disappearing over the southern Indian Ocean last March and MH17 being shot down over Ukraine a few months later.

The incident could further dent confidence in the “technically bankrupt” Malaysian carrier, whose decline began long before the tragic events of last year.

Aizawl, 9 June 2015 (PTI): Mizoram Governor Lt General (retd) Nirbhay Sharma on Tuesday summoned the sixth session of the seventh state Legislative Assembly to commence from July 7, a state Assembly official said.

Additional Secretary of the state Assembly SR Zokhuma told a news agency that the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Assembly chaired by Speaker Hiphei would sit during this month to chalk out detailed programme for the coming session.

State finance secretary F Vanlalruata expressed the hope that the regular state budget would be prepared and presented by the finance minister Lalsawta during the coming session.

Vanlalruata, however, said that as the centre was yet to allocate the state annual plan outlay for the current fiscal (2015-2016), it was not yet confirmed that a regular budget would be presented.

Lalsawta could not present the state budget during the budget session in March last and sought a vote-on-account for the first four months of the current financial year.