Anticipating more influx of Myanmar nationals in the aftermath of Thantlang's conflagration in nearby Chin State in Myanmar, the people of Sangau area in the southern part of Mizoram on Monday constructed five new relief camps to accommodate more refugees from the neighbouring country. The silent refugee crisis going on in Mizoram has not been able to catch international media attention. However, according to a report, as many as 12000 Burmese refugees are believed to have crossed over to Mizoram since the military takeover of Myanmar in February. The numbers are believed to be way higher than this estimate, with some even suggesting more than 20000 Myanmar nationals currently living in Mizoram since the military coup of Myanmar. Among the asylum seekers includes Myanmar celebrities, armed personnel and Parliament members. Since India is not a signatory of any refugee convention, the direction from the central government was to deport them back to Myanmar and states like Manipur did deport some alleged Myanmar refugees entering their state. But Mizoram has ignored the directive of the central government and continues to shelter refugees coming in from Myanmar. The government of Mizoram and the central government have made several rounds of talks concerning the refugee crisis in Mizoram. And as of October, the Central Government of India has agreed to the enrollment of Myanmarese refugee children in Mizoram's educational institutions. It is important to note that though Myanmar's Military Junta has scaled down its operation in the Bamar majority areas of Myanmar, it has renewed its offensive along its frontier regions bordering India. Chin state which borders Mizoram in India being the most hard hit. The anticipation for more refugees in Mizoram comes after the Myanmar Military Junta shelled several areas of Chin State including the town of Thantlang, where more than a hundred buildings including churches were levelled.

Currently, there are at least 1400 Myanmar refugees living at Sangau town in Mizoram's Lawngtlai district. It would not be wrong to say that Mizoram has been doing everything it can to cope with the refugee crisis. Several charity events have been organised by Mizo organisations worldwide in aid of the Chin asylum seekers in Mizoram ever since the military coup in Myanmar.

Mizo community and its civil societies often have to work alone as the crisis hasn't been able to get international attention.
The Mizos

The Mizos is a one-man team news blog, that brings you news and stories from Mizoram, Northeast India and the rest of the World.

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