Thursday, February 22, 2024

Mizoram Guv concerned over influx of foreigners

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AIZAWL:Mizoram Governor Lt General (retd) M M Lakhera on Friday reiterated his strong concern over the influx of nationals from Bangladesh and Myanmar, with which the state shares 318 kms and 404 kms borders respectively.

”It is fine to show hospitality and courtesy to our guests. But we should not let them stay with us if it causes social problems,” Lakhera told leaders of churches and NGOs in Mizoram during an informal meeting at the Raj Bhavan here.In a similar meeting in last December, Mr Lakhera had suggested a census of Myanmarese nationals staying in the Northeastern state.

The central committee of the Young Mizo Association, Mizoram’s largest and most powerful social organisation, on Friday took a strong exception to an alleged statement of a Mizoram minister in the on-going Assembly session, who allegedly spoke in favour of Myanmarese migrants staying in Mizoram.

During a discussion on handloom industry in Mizoram in the Assembly House a few days back, the minister talked about the need to show more tolerance to Myanmarese migrants as they were the major part of labour force, particularly in handloom industry.

”While the illegal foreigners are causing a big problem and adding to crime rates in Mizoram, our elected representatives making statements in favour of illegal migrants is highly uncalled for,” the central YMA said in a statement.

The central YMA’s standpoint is that ‘foreigner is foreigner’ and those foreigners illegally entering our state would never be accepted as citizens, the communiqué said.

The number of Myanmarese living in Mizoram is estimated to be about 50,000. However, the unofficial estimate puts the figure at over 75,000.

The Mizoram government, with the permission of the Union Home Ministry, had given entry passes and temporary stay permits to Myanmarese migrants who work in jewellery shops, vehicular service centres, restaurants, factories, and handloom industry.

Mizoram’s people and ethnic Mizos from the Chin state of neighbouring Myanmar are allowed to be engaged in border trade within a 15-km strip along the international boundary in Mizoram and then return, but poverty-stricken majority of them choose to remain in Mizoram for a longer period.

Meanwhile, the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) on Wednesday last sought the intervention of the state Governor on issues pertaining to the curtailment of the Mizoram Public Service Commission (MPSC), establishment of Mizoram NIT and poor road conditions in Mizoram.

The MPC submitted a three-point memorandum to Governor Lt Gen (rtd) M M Lakhera after staging a dharna here, demanding a revocation of a government notification of May 26, 2011.(UNI)

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