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Global Naga Forum requests Nagaland government to provide humanitarian aid to Myanmar refugees

By EMN Updated: Mar 31, 2021 10:28 pm

Dimapur, March 31 (EMN): The Global Naga Forum (GNF) has appealed to the government of Nagaland to provide humanitarian aid to Myanmar refugees who are fleeing the military junta and are in desperate need of food, shelter, and safety.

In a letter addressed to the chief ministers, the forum requested the state government to provide temporary refuge on humanitarian grounds, saying that Myanmar refugees are struggling for survival.

It came amid reports that thousands of Myanmarese are fleeing to neighbouring countries, including India’s Mizoram state following the military’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that has killed hundreds of people since the coup in February.

Myanmar citizens fighting for restoration of democracy are being forced to flee their country because they face a minimum of 10 years imprisonment or the death penalty, wrote the GNF, adding that “among those wanted for such cruel and inhuman punishment are Nagas, including elected Naga members of parliament, who are forced to hide in the jungles”.

“During times of desperation like they are in now, we don’t need to recite the historical and cultural reasons to help fellow Nagas in solidarity, as well as other refugees. Not to come to their aid would be simply unconscionable on the part of any government on the Indo-Myanmar border,” it wrote.

Describing the inaction of the Indian government as “painful and inhumane”, the forum stated that “political relation with another country is one thing and humanitarian obligation to people fleeing for their lives is quite another”.

“India may not be a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, but as a signatory to UN treaties on human rights, it has the moral and international civic obligation to respect and protect the human rights of people confronted with torture and cruel and inhuman treatment for political reasons,” it wrote while citing instances of India welcoming hundreds of refugees from several countries in the past.

The GNF went on to say that “the decision of the Mizoram government to provide temporary shelter to the refugees at its border is admirable. This is what self-respecting, responsible governments do in civilised societies of the world”.

It may be mentioned that the Union Home Ministry had asked Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram to identify refugees and deport them, saying that India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951.

By EMN Updated: Mar 31, 2021 10:28:41 pm