Mizoram CM writes to PM Modi, seeks asylum for Myanmarese refugees

The Union Home Ministry on March 10 asked all bordering states in the Northeast and paramilitary forces on the border with Myanmar to take steps to check the influx of Myanmarese.


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Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has urged the Government of India to review its decision to prevent the influx of Myanmarese into the bordering North-eastern states - Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur - and to deport them. He urged the Centre to intervene and provide asylum to the refugees who share ethnic ties with the people of Mizoram.

According to reports, the number of Myanmarese refugees taking shelter in the bordering north-eastern state has crossed 1,000.

On March 18, Zoramthanga wrote to Prime Minister Naraendra Modi, requesting for his intervention as the Union Home Ministry on March 10 asked all bordering states in the Northeast and paramilitary forces on the border with Myanmar to take steps to check the influx of Myanmarese. The ministry also asked the border states to deport those who have come in since the February coup in Myanmar.

Pointing out that the areas in Myanmar bordering Mizoram are inhabited by Chin communities who share close ethnic ties with the people of Mizoram even before India was independent, the chief minister appealed to the Centre to provide asylum to the political refugees on humanitarian grounds, stating that the Centre’s order to the NE states is not acceptable.

“This (MHA advisory) is not acceptable to Mizoram. I understand that there are certain foreign policy issues where India needs to proceed cautiously. However, we cannot ignore this humanitarian crisis,” Zoramthanga said in the letter, according to reports.

Urging for the protection of the suffering Myanmarese population under the control of the Army now, Zoramthanga and said that people of Mizoram cannot remain indifferent to the disturbing situation in the neighbouring country that has claimed several lives.

“Mizoram cannot just remain indifferent to their sufferings. India cannot turn a blind eye to this humanitarian crisis unfolding right in front of us in our own backyard,” the chief minister stated.

Myanmar currently is under a one-year state of emergency with power transferred to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing after President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were detained by the military on February 1.

First Published:March 21, 2021, 8:05 a.m.

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