21.3 C
New York
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Buy now

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

I will rather die in Mizoram than go to Myanmar: Myanmarese refugee

Lalringi had fled her home after being unable to withstand the sounds of gun fires exchanged between the People’s Defence Force and Myanmar Army across the border, due to her heart problem.

AIZAWL:

Confined to a wheelchair in her “new home” in Mizoram, 73-year-old Myanmarese refugee Lalringi often dreams of her comfortable life at Tahan township in her native country, which had been shattered by the military coup. However, she has no desire to go back home.

“I long for my home at Tahan but I have no desire to go back now. I would rather die here than going back to the land where the government has no mercy for its own people,” Lalringi tells this correspondent at a land custom building at Zokhawthar, an Indo-Myanmar border town in Champhai district, where she is currently being lodged with other refugees.

Her “new home” is just next to the Tiau river that divides India and Myanmar. A few metres away, on the other side of the border bridge, lies Khawmawi town.

Lalringi had fled her home after being unable to withstand the sounds of gun fires exchanged between the People’s Defence Force and Myanmar Army across the border, due to her heart problem. But today, she feels safe here on Indian soil.

Khawmawi town was recently captured by People’s Defence Force (PDF), the armed wing of the national unity Myanmar government, volunteers; removed the Myanmar Flag and raised their own on the Myanmar side of the bridge, and also occupied the Myanmar police posts. However, on March 27, the Myanmar Flag was flying high again.

“In the wee hours of Saturday, Myanmar paratroopers took the post back from the PDF volunteers,” Lalmuanpuia, village council president of Zokhawthar told this correspondent on Sunday.

On March 27, Khawmawi town wore a deserted look as both the forces were said to have withdrawn. Unoccupied check posts and burnt vehicles, allegedly belonging to the PDF volunteers, are the first sight as you cross the river and step into the Myanmar soil.

“PDF volunteers fled as Myanmar Army personnel too left after the Saturday morning gunfight,” says a young lady, who keeps a wine shop at Khawmawi.

According to locals, the PDF flag flew for more than a month, until it was removed by the Myanmar Army Saturday morning.

As per records maintained by Zokhawthar village council, the Indo-Myanmar border town alone houses more than 2000 Myanmar refugees.

“It is difficult to give the exact figures as people from Khawmawi and other villages near the border come and go. When firings between Myanmar Army and local defence force took place, they fled here. When the situation returned to normal, they went back,” village council president Lalmuanpuia says.

Myanmar refugees are lodged in empty government buildings and makeshift shelters while some of them live in rented houses. They are provided food by Mizoram government, NGOs and churches.

Related Articles

Stay Connected

146,751FansLike
12,800FollowersFollow
268FollowersFollow
80,400SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Articles