India cannot turn a blind eye to crisis in Myanmar: Zoramthanga

Chief Minister writes to PM Modi, ‘Mizoram cannot remain indifferent’

Updated - December 02, 2021 10:52 pm IST

Published - March 20, 2021 04:23 pm IST - New Delhi

Mizoram CM Zoramthanga. File photo

Mizoram CM Zoramthanga. File photo

As hundreds Myanmarese people took shelter in Mizoram fearing a military crackdown in the neighbouring country, State Chief Minister Zoramthanga has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that “India cannot turn a blind eye” to the humanitarian crisis unfolding right in its backyard. Mr. Zoramthanga said that “political refugees” from Myanmar should be given asylum, and provided food and shelter.

The CM added, “Mizoram cannot just remain indifferent to their sufferings today.” He said the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) recent communication to deport “political refugees” was not acceptable to Mizoram.

The Tatmadaw, or Myanmar military, took over the country after a coup on February 1.

In a letter dated March 18, Mr. Zoramthanga wrote to the Prime Minister, “As you are aware a human catastrophe of gigantic proportions is happening in Myanmar today right in front of our eyes. The whole country is in turmoil and innocent hapless citizens are being persecuted and killed by the military regime who are supposed to be their guardians and protectors. Mizoram shares a 510 kms long border with Myanmar, and every day terrified Myanmar citizens are struggling to cross over to Mizoram in search of shelter and protection.”

He said that the Myanmar areas bordering Mizoram are inhabited by Chin communities “who are ethnically our Mizo brethren with whom we have been having close contacts throughout all these years even before India became independent”.

“Therefore, Mizoram cannot just remain indifferent to their sufferings today. India cannot turn a blind eye to this humanitarian crisis unfolding right in front of us in our own backyard,” the letter accessed by The Hindu stated.

“Ministry of Home Affairs has issued advisories to the Chief Secretaries of the North eastern States bordering Myanmar and also to Security forces like Assam Rifles and BSF for taking action to prevent illegal influx from Myanmar into India in the current internal situation there and initiate the deportation processes expeditiously and without delay. This 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,” the letter said.

He mentioned that Mizoram’s Lok Sabha MP Lalrosanga met the External Affairs Minister on March 16 regarding the issue. Rajya Sabha MP Vanlalvena met the Vice President on March 15 and spoke on the matter in the Rajya Sabha on March 16.

“India is the largest democracy in the world and Myanmar’s immediate neighbour needs to do more and open up more in this matter. I therefore strongly urge you to intervene so that the political refugees from Myanmar are given asylum and provided food and shelter here in the country,” the letter said.

Around 1,000 persons have arrived in Mizoram since the military coup in neighbouring Myanmar, Mr. Vanlalvena had earlier told The Hindu .


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