National News: As situation in Myanmar is slowly turning into a humanitarian crisis following the coup, Mizoram state’s Chief Minister Zoramthanga held a virtual meeting with Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Zin Mar Aung over the current situation in the country post-coup. Both the leaders discussed the safety of certain endangered ethnic populations in the country.
Zin Mar Aung was the Foreign Minister of Myanmar who was appointed by the former and president in exile Win Myint, as soon as the elected government was overthrown by Tatmadaw last month she became the member of CRPH (Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) made up of former leaders in exile, which elected her the acting Foreign Minister.
Mizoram, being one of the four states Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur bordering Myanmar has been the states that currently provides refuge to citizens fleeing from Myanmar. The borders of Mizoram with Myanmar are 510-kms long, porous and loosely fenced. Reports say that as many as 500 refugees from Myanmar currently reside here, post-coup.
Zoramthanga and the Foreign Minister discussed the situation of Zo and Chin people living in Myanmar who are of the same ethnicity of Mizo people living in the four states mentioned earlier. CM Zoramthanga had written to PM Modi that the Centre’s current stand on the issue is not acceptable for the people of Mizoram.
The Central Government advised the four bordering states and the Assam Rifles regiment of Indian Army, responsible for guarding India’s north-eastern borders to check illegal influxes of people from Myanmar and to immediately deport those who have already taken refuge in the states.
The Chief Minister tweeted that “Had a fruitful meeting (online) this morning with Zin Mar Aung, Hon’ble Foreign Minister, Myanmar. Our thoughts and prayers are with #Myanmar in these trying times.” Following the meeting. K. Vanlalvena, MP from Mizo National Party also raised this issue on Rajya Sabha.
Earlier last week, the state’s apex student body Mizoram Zirlai Pawl (MZP) organised charity concerts across the state and collected Rs.5.19 lakhs worth of donations to help refugees from Myanmar who are currently settled in the state. The MZP President B. Vanlaltana had also visited Central government to raise this issue.
Here it must be noted and remembered that provisions of our Constitution bar UT from providing refuge to anyone from a foreign country. And, India is not a signatory of the UN Convention of Refugees in 1951 and its 1967 Protocols.