TODAY -

Meaningless statements
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: June 25, 2024 -



ON the first day of the 56th regular session of UN Human Rights Council, which is going on in Geneva from June 18 to July 12, India once again raised concern over the increasing influx of people from Myanmar into its northeastern states.

Taking part in the "Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the High Commissioner on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar," Kshitij Tyagi, who is the First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India, Geneva, said India took note of the High Commissioner's report on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, where the ruling military junta and the pro-democraticforces have been engaging in a prolonged civil war.

"We remain deeply concerned over the precarious humanitarian and security situation in Myanmar. As an immediate neighbour and a friend of the people of Myanmar, India has been repeatedly calling for immediate cessation of violence by all sides, release of political detainees, humanitarian assistance, and the resolution of the crisis through constructive dialogue," Kshitij Tyagi said in his statement.

He also made it clear.that the "increased influx of people from Myanmar into our north eastern states and the challenge of transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking continue to be areas of grave concern."

As the issue of illegal immigration from the strife-torn Myanmar, involving members of the Kuki-Chin ethnic group who encroached on the reserved forest areas for setting up new villages and cultivation of poppy plants for manufacturing drugs, is at the heart of the now over one year old ethnic violence between the Meetei/Meitei and Kuki-Chin communities in Manipur, the government of Manipur made it point to come out with a press statement through its Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) on Thursday (June 20) highlighting the statement delivered by Kshitij Tyagi at the Geneva event.

The effort and intention of the government of Manipur in giving spotlight on the statement delivered by Kshitij Tyagi at the 56th regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva has not been lost on anyone, when chief minister N Biren Singh alluded to the same thing while talking to the media on the sidelines of observing the 10th International Yoga Day on June 21.

The chief minister had also tried hard to convince the people that the government of India is very much aware of the issue and would not do anything to disturb the territorial integrity of Manipur as had also been assured by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his last visit to the state forelection campaigning.

But the funny thing is that the statement delivered by Kshitij Tyagi at the 56th regular session of the Human Rights Council on June 18 was no different from the statement placed by the government of India during the last session of UN Human Rights Council on March 1, 2024.

In response to the oral update on the human rights situation around the world presented by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, HE Volker Turk, India had expressed the same deep concern over the situation in Myanmar, saying that "the precarious humanitarian situation and escalation of violence in the neighbouring strife-torn country have led to influx of thousands of people into the northeastern states", and "the ongoing situation also has direct implications in the form of increased transnational crimes, such drug and human trafficking".

So, the question is - what has the government of India actually done to solve this problem of influx of illegal immigration that has come to pose threat to the demography of the region or for combating the transnational crimes?

So far, there has been no sign of the decision announced for fencing the entire border with Myanmar and scrapping of the Free Movement Regime (FMR), to ensure the internal security of the country and to maintain the demographic structure of India's North Eastern States bordering Myanmar, being implemented on the ground.

In such a situation, it would be nothing but foolhardy for anyone including the chief minister of Manipur to go by the statements that India placed before the UN Human Rights Council, which are meaningless, if not totally pointless.



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