New Delhi: Myanmar’s government-in-exile, the National Unity Government (NUG), has asked Myanmarese citizens, who have been “temporarily sheltering” in India due to the military crackdown in that country, to stay away from local political matters and ethnic-based conflicts.
The NUG government’s advisory to the displaced citizens is significant because it comes at a time when Manipur’s majority Meitei community is claiming involvement of Myanmarese nationals in their ongoing clash with the Kuki community of the state.
Several political leaders from the Meitei community have also accused Myanmarese military groups of aiding in violence against persons belonging to their community in Manipur since May.
The Kuki majority areas of Manipur share a porous border with Myanmar’s Chin state. The Kukis and Mizos share a common ancestry with the Chins of Myanmar and inhabit in that contiguous landmass across the international border.
At least 50,000 Chins from Myanmar have taken refuge in Mizoram after the 2021 coup. This is aside from thousands of internally displaced Kukis taking shelter in that northeastern state due to the over two-months-long ethnic conflict in Manipur.
The NUG official told, “There were some reports earlier that people from Myanmar were involved in the developments in Manipur. We do not think that is correct and we have asked our citizens to stay away from domestic political processes in India.”
The NUG advisory issued on June 15 has asked the Myanmarese nationals to comply with the following points:
- a) To refrain from any acts that are prejudicial to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of India;
- b) To be cautious and avoid unnecessary involvement in political and administrative matters (example – political parties’ election campaigns and ethnic-based conflicts) of the state where you are taking refuge;
- c) Not to get involved in illegal trafficking of drugs and wild animals, and related matters;
- d) To live in harmony and appropriately with host communities and follow the religious and social rules regulated in the wards or villages you are residing;
- e) To contact, inform and consult with the nearest Myanmar Parliamentarians and responsible persons from the social organszations in case of Myanmar nationals encounter social problems and difficulties, and communicate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if necessary;
Myanmar parliamentarians and social organisations are requested to disseminate the notification to refugees and related communities.
On June 30, India’s defence secretary, Giridhar Aramane, visited Myanmar to call on Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing. A press information bureau statement said during Aramane’s two-day visit, it helped to “raise matters relating to India’s security with senior leadership of Myanmar. During the meetings, the two sides discussed issues related to maintenance of tranquility in the border areas, illegal trans-border movements and trans-national crimes such as drug trafficking and smuggling.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations, on July 6, urged the international community to deny Myanmar’s Junta access to foreign weapons and currency. An AFP report, quoting UN human rights chief Volk Turk, has said, “We need to prevent the supply of arms to the military and to analyse the economic interests behind it.”
In May, a UN report had said that as many as 22 suppliers based in India shipped arms to the Junta during its violent crackdown on protesters demanding restoration of democracy. The list included government-owned Bharat Dynamics, Bharat Electronics and Yantra India.