YMA asks Mizoram government to build compact refugee camps

Aizawl, Oct 29 (PTI) : The influential Young Mizo Association (YMA) urged the Mizoram government to establish relief camps in a “compact” area to accommodate people from Myanmar who have taken shelter in the state following the military coup in the neighbouring country.

YMA asks Mizoram government to build compact refugee camps
More than 30,300 Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in different parts of Mizoram since February last year, as per official estimates.

Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) general secretary Lalnuntluanga told PTI that a resolution was passed at its general conference held in Saitual district on Thursday for approaching the state government for the establishment of proper and “compact” relief camps for the Myanmar nationals to prevent them from living “scattered” across the state.

Myanmar nationals living in relief camps and villages in different parts of the state might create serious problems in the future, he said.

The conference resolved that the government should ensure that Myanmarese people do not live in different parts of the state but only in a particular area, he said.

A senior official of state Home Department, however, said that confining Myanmar nationals to a particular area was technically not feasible.

“How do we set up big relief camps and provide relief to the Myanmar nationals with our limited resources when financial help is not coming from the Centre? It will be a big burden for the government,” the official said.

It is easier for them to support themselves with daily wages doing manual labour by living in different places as the government cannot provide them relief regularly, he said.

Also, the district-level committee or village-level committee dealing with the Myanmar nationals can easily manage and administer them when they live in different places, the official said.

Citing the example of Brus relief camps in North Tripura district, another official said that the compact relief camps would result in various law and order problems and misunderstandings between the locals and the Myanmar nationals.

According to the Home Department, 30,385 Myanmar nationals, including 10,013 females and 11,650 children, have taken shelter across all 11 districts of Mizoram as on October 22.

Of them, 13,210 people have been lodged in 160 relief camps, while 17,157 people live outside the relief camps.

Northeastern Champhai district hosts the largest number of people from Myanmar at 9,488, followed by southern Siaha district at 7,247 and the southernmost Lawngtlai district at 5,900, as per Home Department data.

There are 3,306 Myanmar nationals who live in Aizawl.

The Myanmar nationals, mostly from the Chin state, are provided with food and other reliefs by NGOs and village authorities. Many of them also support themselves.

Assam Rifles, which guard the India-Myanmar border, has expressed concern over the increasing number of crimes being committed by Myanmar nationals.

According to Assam Rifles DIG Digvijay Singh, more than 40 Myanmar nationals were apprehended by the paramilitary force in connection with smuggling and other crimes in the last seven months.


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