Home » CCM urges PM to treat Myanmar citizens in spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

CCM urges PM to treat Myanmar citizens in spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

by Sh Ajit
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IT News
Imphal, May 28:
The Citizens Committee Manipur (CCM) has urged the Prime Minister of India to treat the citizen of Myanmar who had fled to India due to persecution by Myanmar Junta regime with humanity in the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.  
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, the CCM elaborated on the present condition of the Myanmar citizens who are facing persecution due to their support for democracy and also highlighted the condition of those who fled to India following the crackdown on the pro-democracy protests in Myanmar.
The people of Myanmar have been by and large resisting the February 2021 military coup to which the Military have responded with absolute repression. Having no alternative, the desperate citizens, including women and children, have crossed over into India through the historically, geographically and culturally contiguous 1,468 km long India-Myanmar border in North East India, particularly in the Manipur-Mizoram sector, the memorandum stated.
The memorandum said that the Government of Mizoram took a natural and culture bounded decision that, given the fleeing population share ethnocultural ties with the people of the State, it cannot remain indifferent to their plight.
“Shelter camps were opened and food and basic essentials were provided to thousands of them”, the CCM said and added that the Government of Manipur initially forbade the district administration and CSOs from “opening any camp to provide shelter and food” in the border guide letter of 26 March.
However, following strong public outcry, the Government of Manipur issued another letter reference number H-36O81212O2 1-HD-HD dated 29 March 2O2l stating: “it appears that the content of the letter has been misconstrued and interpreted differently. The State Government has been taking all humanitarian steps and had recently taken all steps, including taking them to Imphal, to treat the injured Myanmarese nationals. The state government continues to provide all aid, it said
Given the facts on ground the CCM urge the government of India to withdraw the letter dated 26.03.2021 which stated – ‘’ Notwithstanding the kind words, no humanitarian aid has been extended to the desperate people stranded in the border.
On the other hand, reports of the Assam Rifles personnel timing them away keep appearing in the news media. They are reportedly acting on the basis of Union Home Ministry notification (no. 19/2/2O2O-NE: II) dated 10 March 2021 which clearly instructed the North East States to “sensitize all law enforcement and intelligence agencies for taking prompt steps in identifying the illegal migrants and initiate the deportation process expeditiously and without delay”.
Under the circumstances CCM convened a meeting on 18 April 2027 at the residence of its chairman and former Chief Minister of Manipur, Radhabinod Koijam, wherein the participants shared the present pains and suffering of the Myanmar citizens in general, and particularly of those who have fled into the bordering villages of Manipur and surviving with full of uncertainties and hardships, with very little, if any, material support, the memorandum stated.
It further said that recalling the long historical, demographic and cultural links between the peoples of Manipur and Myanmar and guided by spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is but one family) a Humanitarian Sub-Committee (HSC) was constituted under the chairmanship of Prof. Amar Yumnam, former Vice Chancellor of Manipur University. CCM gave out a general appeal to the magnanimity of the people of Manipur to mobilise financial and material support from the general population. The response has been overwhelming, not only the prominent citizens but even young students came out in support. With coordination of the NGO volunteers active in the border areas, the team could send some food, medicine, clothing, sanitary materials, crockery and roofing materials to the border villages in Ukhrul, Kamjong, Chandel, Tengnoupal and Churachandpur Districts of Manipur catering to the basic needs of more than five hundred refugees. The initiative, grossly inadequate as it may be, was a life saving intervention for the desperate stranded Myanmar citizens as well as the poor villagers hosting them with whatever warmth and hospitality they can garner. Unfortunately, the plight of these people is compounded further by the raging COVID-19 pandemic. As they are hiding away from the authorities of both Myanmar and India, they are neither tested nor vaccinated. CCM has been informed of COVID related death amongst the population and we are deeply concerned that if kept unattended, it can soon spread to the local population and can add to the already catastrophic situation in the country. In the meantime, CMM welcomes the High Court of Manipur judgement of 3 May 2021, in W.P. (Cril) no. 6 of 2O21, upholding the human rights of seven Myanmar nationals, who entered India secretly, to travel to New Delhi to seek protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Even though India is not a party to the UN Refugee Conventions, the judgement insisted India is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and pronounced: “The far-reaching and myriad protection afforded by Article 21 of our Constitution, as interpreted and adumbrated by our Supreme Court time and again, would indubitably encompass the right of non-refoulemen{ [this is the principle under international law that a person fleeing from persecution from his own country should not be forced to return. In line with this judicial pronouncement and the primacy of enhancing the people to people relations for deepening the impact of the Act East Policy, CCM strongly urge the Government of India to take its own constitutional and human rights obligations more seriously. CCM believes that shouldering the responsibility to protect these hapless persons seeking safety within our territory is in the spirit of the age-old Indic philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
In the event of any constraints from the side of the Government due to the ongoing Pandemic or otherwise, specialized humanitarian agencies geared up to respond to such situations, including the UNHCR, should be given unhindered access to provide their humanitarian services.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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