Manipur ( DNA) : The Myanmar humanitarian crisis has deepened following the military coup in the neighbouring country last month. Many refugees from Myanmar have been trying to enter India to seek refuge.
Amidst the crisis, the Manipur government has withdrawn its controversial order to the local authorities directing them to ‘politely turn away’ those seeking refuge in the state. The March 26 order barred them from offering food or shelter to refugees from Myanmar.
The order further stated that only medical attention could be provided in case of ‘grievous injuries’ on ‘humanitarian consideration’.
However, after facing fierce criticism, the Manipur government issued a revised order, sent on March 29, saying, “it appears that the contents of the (original) letter have 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,” it added.
The Biren Singh government’s order had provoked outrage, with many claiming that the order goes against the country’s tradition of humanitarianism.
On February 1, the Myanmar army seized power in a coup and overthrew the country’s elected government. The country has seen widespread bloodshed since then as soldiers and police have embarked on a rampage. Saturday, March 27, was the bloodiest day yet as forces killed at least 114 people including children in 44 towns and cities across the country.
India has been expecting refugees from the neighbouring country as people flee the violence, but the Manipur government said the district administrations or the civil society should not open camps to provide food and shelter to the refugees.
Myanmar’s Ambassador to the United Nations had also appealed to the Indian government and various state governments to provide shelter to refugees given the humanitarian crisis in his country.