Myanmarese refugees refusing to return

Aizawl, January 31 (PTI): Myanmarese nationals who took refuge in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district following clashes between Arakan militants and the Army there in November last year have refused to return to their country, a senior district official said today.


Around 1,555 Myanmarese people who took refuge in Lawngtlai district have refused to return to their country.


They have also expressed apprehensions that landmines are planted along the Mizoram-Myanmar border where the Myanmar Army and the Arakan militants clashed, the official said.


The Assam Rifles authorities had made efforts to repatriate the Myanmarese refugees in December last year but they had refused to return, the official said.


One woman was killed by a concealed landmine and a man was maimed by another landmine blast this month near the border with Myanmar.


The refugees who had earlier taken shelter in four villages are now grouped into two villages to ensure their safety and also to ensure that all of them return to Myanmar, the official said.


The refugees came to Mizoram from Paletwa and surrounding villages in Myanmar after the Myanmar Army launched massive operation to flush out the Arakan insurgents hiding in Chin State from November 25 last.