April 2, 2021

‘Have to give them food, shelter’: Mizoram CM on Myanmar refugees entering state

“We have family ties with most of them,” Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. He also pointed out that the Centre should be more open towards the people of Myanmar and said his delegation will go to Delhi to discuss the issue.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga said on Thursday he told Union home minister Amit Shah that refugees coming into the state from Myanmar, which is facing violent protest against the military coup, are like "our brothers and sisters", adding that the government has to give them food and shelter from a humanitarian point of view. “We have family ties with most of them,” Zoramthanga was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

He also pointed out that the Centre should be more open towards the people of Myanmar and said his delegation will go to Delhi to discuss the issue. “We will request the government to change the foreign policy to accept the Myanmar refugees not to send them back. The exodus of refugees increasing,” the Mizoram CM told ANI.

Zoramthanga comments come weeks after the Union home ministry wrote a letter to all states and Union Territories (UTs) on March 13, where it asked them to take appropriate action in accordance with the law to monitor illegal influx from Myanmar into the country. Security forces were also directed by the ministry to stay alert and take requisite action.

Earlier, the chief minister held a meeting with Myanmar foreign minister in-exile Zin Mar Aung on March 21. There has been no official statement on the meeting.

More than 500 citizens have died in Myanmar during the anti-coup protests while thousands have been displaced after the leaders of the National League of Democracy were ousted by country’s military on February 1. In a recent development, the military junta ordered the shutdown of wireless internet services across the country with telecom company Ooredoo telling AFP that only fiber line will be working from Friday.

(With ANI inputs)

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