(Myanmar refugees move towards Indian Side of Indo-Myanmar border Phaikoh, the last village shares an International Border Pillar number 102 and it is about 33km from Kamjong Headquarters)
By – Addie Chiphang
Ukhrul, Nov 30:
In the wake of the intense gunfights with militia group People’s Defence Force (PDF) that broke out on 22nd November last at Myanmar’s Thanan village which is situated close to Phaikok – Huimin Thana Indo- Myanmar border pillar 102, more than 500 refugees including several children are taking shelter in Phaikok, Shangkalok, Khenoram- Dang capital Huimin Thana under Kamjong district, Manipur India.
The Ukhrul District Working Journalist Association (UDWJA) after learning about the sudden development swiftly took stock of the prevailing situation.
The District Administration of Kamjong the Assam Rifles and Raizan Traders Association (RTA) and the neighbouring villagers are carrying out all measures to provide shelter, food and medical aid to the displaced Myanmarese.
Apart from the government authority, it was the locals from Ramphoi and neighbouring villages who are extending all possible assistance like food and other eatables besides, donating blankets and utensils for the refugees.
Sources from ground zero reported that in the next few days, more people are likely to cross over Indian territory for safer accommodation as tension continues on inside Myanmar along the international border.
During the course of fact-finding, the UDWJA official team was also able to establish that the displaced Myanmarese include many children, women, sick and aged persons and are facing immense hardship due to cold weather, lack of food, clothes and medicines.
Nevertheless, the refugees are from Aungiya/ Aungzangya and Mongjang-Momo villages of Myanmar, who have managed to penetrate Indo- Myanmar border village Phaikok BP-102 ( India), Huimin-Thana, Choro( Zingshophai) and Aloyo under Kamjong district in Manipur, India.
The refugees are mostly from Shan, Myanmarese (Burmese) and a few Kukis. Kamjong District Administration is extensively collecting biometric data and other details of all the individuals. Due to language barrier, the officers on the ground are facing difficulty collecting the necessary information. Those refugees who can barely speak Manipuri and some broken English are assisting the officers in collecting detailed data of each individual. Those Interpreters are helping the police in filling up the documents. All the Myanmar refugees are mandated to fill the 9-page form and “Every form has its own unique serial number” stated Kamjong police.
Dr. Lucy Duidang Shaiza, CMO of Kamjong and her medical team were organising a health camp at Kheirongren Camp (the new settlement area of Ramphoi village). Dr. Lucy while talking with the media informed that most people are suffering from upper respiratory tract infections and low hypertension problems.
Qr. Wilson Jajo, chairman of Kheirongren Settlement Committee (Ramphoi) informed that “there are around 300 refugees at Kheirongren Camp. The camp is constructed by the youths volunteers from Ramphoi and the Committee is providing necessary assistance. The volunteers are cooking and constructing temporary camps for the refugees. Another 57 refugees from Myanmar have moved in today, he said
UDWJA team also found out that most of the refugees staying at Kheirongren Camp are from Shan and Burmese. “We brought no extra clothes along with us as our village was burned down, we have managed to escape and cross the border,” said one of the refugees who came along with her younger sister staying at Kheirongren Camp.
The temporary open camp is without a power supply and other basic amenities.
Eno.AS. Nathan, President of Tangkhul Naga Zingsho Longphang ( TNZL) informed that currently there are more than 300 Myanmar refugees at Choro, Aloyo and KAKA Trade Centre and more people may be coming in the next few days, he stated.