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Chin refugees

  • IASbaba
  • July 19, 2022
  • 0
Geography, International Relations
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In News: The military coup in Myanmar has displaced half a million Myanmarese within the country and forcing more than 50,000 ethnic Chin and others to seek refuge outside.

  • One of the spin-offs of the political turmoil in Myanmar has been an unprecedented schism between the Indian government and the Mizoram state government.
  • The state has been in the eye of a storm that has gathered over its decision to take in Chin refugees — their number has swelled to more than 30,000.
  • The Chin refugees currently in Mizoram are not refugees who have simply run away to save their lives. They are rebels who have opted to go into self-exile and continue to extend support to the PDF and other anti-Tatmadaw militias like the Chin Defence Force and the Chin National Army.
  • Despite an MHA advisory to stay alert and take appropriate action to prevent a possible influx into Indian territory the Mizoram government has the refugees.

Contrast in the responses

  • The contrast in the responses of the two governments emanates from the security-centric approach of the Centre and the people-centred focus of the Mizoram government.

Centre’s Stand

  • The state governments have no powers to grant ‘refugee’ status to any foreigner.
  • The Centre has invoked India’s non-ratification of the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol as a ground for denying asylum.

State Government Stand

  • The roots of the state government’s open defiance lie in the common history of the Mizos and Chins and the unique social-political realities between the two people at the India-Myanmar international border.
  • They share a strong ethnic bond predating India’s Independence, as they come from the same larger Zo tribe.
  • The two are also bound together by a common religion: Mizos are predominantly Christians, as are the Chin people of Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
  • Along the largely unfenced Mizoram-Myanmar border, people from both sides have traditionally moved in and out freely.
  • The Free Movement Regime (FMR) in 2018 between India and Myanmar legalised this practice.
  • This has facilitated ease of movement wherein a large number of borderlanders routinely cross over on either side for work and to meet relatives. Cross-border marriages are common, and so is trade in essential commodities.

Given all this, it appears that the Centre has probably gauged the sensitivity of the issue from the point of the Mizos and has somewhat softened its aggressive posture towards both the Mizoram government and the Chin refugees after more than one year of their stay in the state.

Much would depend on how the Centre recalibrates its policy toward the refugees and their hosts.

India’s diplomacy need to induce Myanmar to take actions of its own political stability, internal security and social harmony

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

Community sometimes of mentioned in the news: In the affairs

  1. Kurd: Bangladesh
  2. Madhesi: Nepal
  3. Rohingya: Myanmar

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 3 only

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