GUWAHATI: As Mizoram witnesses a fresh influx of distressed Myanmar nationals, Chief Minister Zoramthanga has written another letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to provide humanitarian aid to the refugees.
Even as Mizoram was struggling to take care of some 10,000 refugees, hundreds of others fled to the landlocked state from Myanmar’s Chin State over the past few days following renewed clashes between pro-democratic supporters and the country’s military.
H Rammawi, vice-chairman of State Planning Board who is handling the refugee issue, said the CM, in his letter to the PM, highlighted the plight of the refugees. Stating that Zoramthanga has written similar letters to Modi over the past few months, Rammawi said the state was seeking the Centre’s help for asylum and humanitarian assistance for the refugees.
Earlier, Rammawi and the state’s two MPs met the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs several times but the bureaucrats had said it was up to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to take any decision on the refugee crisis. Subsequently, the Mizoram lawmakers had taken up the issue with the MEA officials but a request to revisit the foreign policy towards Myanmar was ignored.
In a letter to Modi written in March, Zoramthanga had stated “India cannot turn a blind eye” to the humanitarian crisis.
The refugees are lodged in community halls, public halls, school buildings etc. The Mizoram government recently started enrolling their children into schools.
People from Myanmar’s Chin community and the Mizos in India belong to Zo ethnic group and they share the same ancestry.
Talking about the influx, Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana had recently told this newspaper: “Before the arrival of the British, it was one country. The Britishers divided the Mizo-inhabited areas into Burma and India. But till today, we have inter-marriage and blood relations.”