Over 24,000 Myanmarese nationals taken shelter in Mizoram

Aizawl, Mar 1 (PTI): Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Tuesday said that over 24,000 nationals from Myanmar have taken refugee in Mizoram following a military coup in the neighbouring country.

According to government records, there are 24,289 Myanmarese people who have taken shelter in Mizoram as on February 12 this year, the chief minister informed the Assembly.

Zoramthanga Assembly houseThe number of Myanmar nationals fleeing to the northeastern state has swollen recently due to renewed clash in the neighbouring country, especially in Chin state.

Zoramthanga said that the Myanmarese nationals are provided with food, shelter and other forms of assistance by the state government, NGOs, churches, student bodies and village authorities on humanitarian grounds.

He said that the state government has urged the Centre to help the displaced nationals but it was not possible for the Central government to do so directly because India is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees.

“The Centre assists us and in turn we help the Myanmar nationals,” the chief minister said, adding that his government has sought more help.

He further said that the state government is making efforts to ensure that the displaced nationals from Myanmar do not face problems.

Meanwhile, state Home minister Lalchamliana informed the state legislature that the state government has so far released Rs. 380 lakh for providing assistance to them.

The funds are being utilised for construction of relief camps, provision of food, drinking water and clothing, electrification, medical assistance and sanitation facilities, among others,” the home minister said in a written reply.

He said that the displaced Myanmar nationals took shelter in all the 11 districts of the state with Siaha district housing the highest at 8,381 followed by Champhai (5,925) and Lawngtlai district (5,409).

Kolasib district in the northern part of the state bordering Assam has the least number at 135.

A total of 143 relief camps have been set up in different parts of the state.

As many as 499 Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in Aizawl district as per the latest government data, the home minister said.

Of the total 24,289 Myanmar nationals, 9,033 have been lodged in relief camps, while the rest 15,256 live elsewhere, he said.

Mizoram shares a 510 km long border with Myanmar.

The influx of people from the neighbouring country began after seizure of power by the Myanmar military on February 1 last year.

The Myanmar nationals taking shelter in Mizoram are mostly from Chin state, who share ethnic ties with the Mizos.

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