TODAY -

Utilising the UNHRC platform cleverly
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: March 05, 2024 -



AS the popular saying goes, "Better late than never," it is good to know that the government of India has finally expressed its deep concern over the situation in civil-war torn Myanmar and its resultant impact on the demography of northeastern states of the country.

Taking part in an interactive dialogue on the oral update of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which is going on from February 26 to April 5 in Geneva, Switzerland; Kshitij Tyagi, who is the First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India in Geneva, on March 1, said, "As an immediate neighbour, and friend of the people of Myanmar, India is deeply concerned with the situation in Myanmar. The precarious humanitarian situation and escalation of violence have led to influx of thousands of persons into our North Eastern States. The ongoing situation also has direct implications in the form of increased transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking. We are doing our best to deal with this situation."

Coming three days after that a fiery-red statement (we cannot pay any further attention to a country that speaks while being soaked in red - the red of the bloodshed from the terrorism it sponsors around the world, the red of its debt riddled national balance sheets, and the red of the shame its own people feel for their government having failed to serve their actual interests) given on February 28 by Anupama Singh, another First Secretary of India's Permanent Mission in Geneva, who exercised the country's right to reply at the High-Level Segment of the same 55th session of UNHRC in responding to Pakistan for repeatedly raking up the issue of human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir despite its own "abysmal human rights record and institutionalized persecution of minorities", it was a clever use of the platform to draw attention to not only the spillover effect of the crisis in Myanmar but also set the record straight on an earlier alarm raised by a team of UN experts about reports of serious human rights violations and abuses in the northeast state of Manipur.

In September, 2023, when the ongoing ethnic violence between the Meitei/Meetei and Kuki-Chin people in Manipur was at its peak, a team of UN experts had raised alarm over alleged incidents of serious human rights violations and abuses, including acts of sexual violence, extrajudicial killings, home destruction, forced displacement, torture and ill-treatment.

The UN experts had also pointed out "inadequate humanitarian response" to the crisis and asserted that the "events in Manipur were another tragic milestone in the steadily deteriorating situation for religious and ethnic minorities in India."

Even though the Government of India had already rejected the comment made by the UN experts terming it as "not only unwarranted, presumptive and misleading, but also betrays a complete lack of understanding on the situation in Manipur and the steps taken by government of India to address it," a clear picture of the conflict and its contributing factors like illegal influx from Myanmar and settlement of immigrants in reserved forest areas that has come to pose a threat to the demography of the tiny state and the supply of sophisticated arms to the Kuki-Chin militants to keep the conflict raging on had never been presented in so many words at any forum.

As a consequent, the false narratives peddled by Kuki-Chin organisations and intellectuals to portray the conflict as a "systematic ethnic cleansing" of the minority Christian Kuki-Chin community by the majority Hindu Meitei/Meetei community continued to dominate discussion on the Manipur crisis at every international platform including the United Nations, European Parliament, the House of Commons of the United Kingdoms.

So, by raising the concern of India over the "precarious humanitarian situation and escalation of violence" in Myanmar that have led to influx of thousands of people into the north eastern states at the ongoing 55th session of UNHRC, Kshitij Tyagi has done a good job in not only trying to silence the critics but also in shedding light on issues surrounding the humanitarian crisis in Manipur, which has entered its 11th month.



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