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Manipur: CSCHR says gov’t must protect Myanmar citizens facing persecution

The people’s group reminds the union and state government that India as a democratic nation has a moral responsibility to protect the human right to life

Sabrangindia 01 Apr 2021

Myanmar citizens facing persecution

Being a democratic authority, the Manipur government must protect Myanmar refugees and formulate an open policy to deal with the neighbouring humanitarian crisis, said the Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and the United Nations (CSCHR) on March 30, 2021.

“lt will be in the long-term national interest of lndia as well as larger cause of humanity to respect human rights of persecuted Myanmar nationals by opening up temporary camps in border areas and providing food, shelter, basic health care and other amenities. This noble gesture will be lauded by the world and lndia will prove itself as a matured democracy,” said CSCHR Convener Phulindro Konsam in a press statement.

In its statement, the group expressed outrage against the viral March 26 letter by the State Special Secretary (Home) H. Gyan Prakash forbidding border district administrations and civil society organisations from opening any camp for Myanmar citizens.

"The Civil Society Coalition for Human rights in Manipur and the United Nations (CSCHR) is outraged by the letter dated March 26 issued by the State Special Secretary (Home) circulated in the social media, forbidding the District Administration of border districts and even CSOs from opening any camp to provide shelter and food to the Myanmar nationals who are trying to enter/seek refuge in Manipur as a fall out of the events taking place in the neighbouring country," it said.

The order has since been repealed with a statement from the government claiming the document was misconstrued.

CSCHR members have also raised concerns about refugees who escaped to neighbouring Indian states following the military coup in February that led to huge violence against pro-democracy protesters.

"Following the recent military coup, the raging public protest have been met by unprecedented brutality by the military regime. The protest however did not dampen despite of the repression. Understandably, the persecuted citizens are likely to seek refuge in the neighbouring states of lndia including Manipur. At least five Myanmar nationals are currently undergoing treatment of bullet injuries in government hospitals in lmphal. According to reliable sources, thousands of Myanmar nationals have already sneaked inside Manipur through the porous international border. This is likely to continue as the situation is escalating on the other side of the border," said CSCHR.

Against the backdrop of these events, the CSCHR in its letter, requested the Government of lndia as well as the state government to take a principled position as a democratic country upholding the rule of law and universally recognised human rights and come out with a means to help with the Myanmar crisis.

“This is likely to continue as the situation escalates on the other side of the border. lndia has moral, constitutional and human right obligation to protect them. The protection of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of lndia is not confined only to lndian citizens; it is also available to “all persons”,” said CSCHR.

The human right to seek refuge has been well established and settled as the law of the land along with a catena of Supreme Court and High Court judgements. The CSCHR has requested the union government to offer asylum from persecution for Myanmar citizens despite not being a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

Related:

What is India’s stand on humanitarian aid to those fleeing Myanmar violence?

India seals all entry points along Myanmar border

Coup in Myanmar: Military detains Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint

What will become of Jammu’s Rohingya refugees?

 

Manipur: CSCHR says gov’t must protect Myanmar citizens facing persecution

The people’s group reminds the union and state government that India as a democratic nation has a moral responsibility to protect the human right to life

Myanmar citizens facing persecution

Being a democratic authority, the Manipur government must protect Myanmar refugees and formulate an open policy to deal with the neighbouring humanitarian crisis, said the Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and the United Nations (CSCHR) on March 30, 2021.

“lt will be in the long-term national interest of lndia as well as larger cause of humanity to respect human rights of persecuted Myanmar nationals by opening up temporary camps in border areas and providing food, shelter, basic health care and other amenities. This noble gesture will be lauded by the world and lndia will prove itself as a matured democracy,” said CSCHR Convener Phulindro Konsam in a press statement.

In its statement, the group expressed outrage against the viral March 26 letter by the State Special Secretary (Home) H. Gyan Prakash forbidding border district administrations and civil society organisations from opening any camp for Myanmar citizens.

"The Civil Society Coalition for Human rights in Manipur and the United Nations (CSCHR) is outraged by the letter dated March 26 issued by the State Special Secretary (Home) circulated in the social media, forbidding the District Administration of border districts and even CSOs from opening any camp to provide shelter and food to the Myanmar nationals who are trying to enter/seek refuge in Manipur as a fall out of the events taking place in the neighbouring country," it said.

The order has since been repealed with a statement from the government claiming the document was misconstrued.

CSCHR members have also raised concerns about refugees who escaped to neighbouring Indian states following the military coup in February that led to huge violence against pro-democracy protesters.

"Following the recent military coup, the raging public protest have been met by unprecedented brutality by the military regime. The protest however did not dampen despite of the repression. Understandably, the persecuted citizens are likely to seek refuge in the neighbouring states of lndia including Manipur. At least five Myanmar nationals are currently undergoing treatment of bullet injuries in government hospitals in lmphal. According to reliable sources, thousands of Myanmar nationals have already sneaked inside Manipur through the porous international border. This is likely to continue as the situation is escalating on the other side of the border," said CSCHR.

Against the backdrop of these events, the CSCHR in its letter, requested the Government of lndia as well as the state government to take a principled position as a democratic country upholding the rule of law and universally recognised human rights and come out with a means to help with the Myanmar crisis.

“This is likely to continue as the situation escalates on the other side of the border. lndia has moral, constitutional and human right obligation to protect them. The protection of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of lndia is not confined only to lndian citizens; it is also available to “all persons”,” said CSCHR.

The human right to seek refuge has been well established and settled as the law of the land along with a catena of Supreme Court and High Court judgements. The CSCHR has requested the union government to offer asylum from persecution for Myanmar citizens despite not being a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

Related:

What is India’s stand on humanitarian aid to those fleeing Myanmar violence?

India seals all entry points along Myanmar border

Coup in Myanmar: Military detains Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint

What will become of Jammu’s Rohingya refugees?

 

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