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Australian senator calls on Governor and Chief Minister

Aizawl, 7 Sept (Zoram News): Australian senator Dean Smith on Thursday called on Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati and Chief Minister Zoramthanga in Aizawl, an official statement said.

Australian senator Dean Smith on Thursday called on Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati and Chief Minister Zoramthanga in Aizawl, an official statement said.
During the meeting at Raj Bhavan, Kambhampati and Smith discussed a wide range of issues, including the Myanmar refugees in the state, the statement said. The governor informed him how the state government handle the situation and provided relief to the Myanmar refugees on humanitarian grounds.

He also told the senator about the relief extended by civil society organisations, churches and the Mizo people as a whole. Kambhampati also informed the visiting Australian senator about some important initiatives being taken up in Mizoram.

He also shared his delight in witnessing the growing partnership between the two countries in trade and other areas. Smith on his part apprised the Governor of the Indo-Australian relation.

He said the relation between the two countries now is stronger than before. Smith conveyed the Australian government views on the Myanmar refugee issue. He also shared the condition of the Chin community from Myanmar in Australia and how the Australian government is observing the situation in Myanmar after the military coup in February last year.

More than 30,000 Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in different parts of Mizoram since the military junta took power after ousting a democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi led government in February last year. The Myanmar refugees are mostly from Chin state and they share ethnicity with the Mizos.

Majority of them were lodged at relief camps, while others rented houses on their own and some others were accommodated by their local relatives.

The refugees are provided with food and other reliefs by the state government, NGOs, churches and village authorities. Influx from the neighbouring country continue till today though in small batches due to armed clashes between the Myanmar military and civil defence force.

The Mizoram government has been profiling the refugees since February this year and issued identity cards to almost every Myanmar refugees for proper identification. Six Mizoram districts share a 510 km long porous international border with Myanmar's Chin state.

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