We want India to play an important role to restore democracy: Myanmar MP takes refuge in Mizoram | Popgen Tech


Dr. Ngai Tam Maung is one of the 20 Members of Parliament (Deputies) representing Myanmar’s political party, the National League for Democracy, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. As the military junta in Myanmar staged a coup, took over the Suu Kyi-led government in February 2021 and launched a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, Dr Maung and at least 50 MPs and MPs fled the country. in neighboring Mizoram in India.

More than 30,000 Myanmar nationals including police personnel and government employees have taken refuge in Mizoram since then. Some of them live in Manipur and Nagaland, two other states in the Northeast that share a border with Myanmar. In an interview with Sumir Karmakar in DH From Mizoram’s capital Aizawl, Maung said the people of Myanmar are committed to bringing democracy back and thus wants the international community, particularly neighboring India to play an important role in helping them achieve their goals.

Tell us the circumstances under which you left Myanmar and took refuge in Mizoram. How many Myanmar citizens are currently living in Mizoram?

After the military coup, the junta arrested most of our national leaders, some MPs and some society leaders. In such circumstances, I came to Mizoram and stayed here. Around 30,000 Myanmar nationals currently live in Mizoram. They reached Mizoram because of the armed clashes that took place in their region. The Myanmar military arrested some of their families, killed many of their friends, and burned their homes.

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Tell us about the current situation in your country.

The military junta is attacking not only the People’s Defense Forces (the armed forces of pro-democracy groups), but also civilians and civilian infrastructure from the air and the ground. The military junta is committing massive human rights violations every day across the country and it affects civilians the most. The military junta has blocked desperately needed humanitarian assistance such as food and medicine from reaching internally displaced people and others at risk. Under this situation, Myanmar people are fleeing their homes and some have left the country to survive.

Do you expect the situation to improve soon in Myanmar in favor of your party and democracy?

The people of Myanmar stood firm in rejecting the military junta and called for international support. People believe that the military dictatorship must be uprooted from the political soil of Myanmar and they are still so strong in their beliefs and expectations. Until today, the military junta has not received international recognition. Both the United Nations and ASEAN have refused to recognize the military junta as Myanmar’s official government.

On the other hand, the military junta lost territory month by month to the People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) and the Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations (EROs) and became weaker and weaker. PDF (CDF in Chin State) and ERO are getting stronger and stronger and can expand their territories step by step to implement our shared goal of founding a Federal Democratic Union. We, the people of Myanmar, know that our future is in our hands. At the same time, we realize that we need help from around the world, especially in our neighboring countries like India to achieve our shared goals as soon as possible.

What are your feelings about India’s current stance on Myanmar?

I feel that the government of India is afraid that the acceptance of Myanmar’s pro-democracy forces may cause tension with the military junta and affect India’s security and economic interests. Actually, India’s relationship with the military junta not only undermines our pursuit of a peaceful federal democracy, but affects India’s security and economic interests. Because the conflict in the border area between Myanmar and India undermines India’s security and geostrategic economic projects planned through Myanmar. As the largest democracy in the world, India should not maintain a relationship with the military junta, which tried to depose the civilian government and the members of the Parliament that are democratically elected by the people.

Therefore, we expect India to take an important role to restore democracy by working with Myanmar’s pro-democracy forces. In this way, India will also have a stronger role in the future of Myanmar.

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Do you plan to ask the Indian government to give us shelter, officially?

India has welcomed refugees in the past. According to UNHCR, more than 200,000 people in the country have been categorized as refugees. We thank the Indian government and the state governments of Mizoram and Manipur for accepting us not only as refugees but also as brothers and sisters. We understand that the sudden influx of refugees from Myanmar is a challenge for India, especially for the people of Mizoram and Manipur. Our plan is to go home and get a federal democratic union. However, we all need shelter and daily bread while we are here. We would be grateful if the Indian government gave us all shelter and daily bread officially and publicly. This will strengthen us not only physically but also mentally and socially because now, we have lost our home and means of living.

What is the next course of action for people who protest democracy like you?

We, the people of Myanmar, have a shared goal of establishing a federal democratic union. Therefore, after forming the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Representative Committee (CRPH), we formed the National Unity Government (NUG) and the National Unity Consultative Committee (NUCC). Many countries have expressed support for the NUG.

In response to the military junta’s increasingly brutal tactics, armed resistance groups known as the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) and local PDFs such as the CDF and CNDF have emerged across the country to defend the Myanmar people. Since the day of the coup, the democracy protesters have won politically but the military junta has taken power. Therefore, militarization has become inevitable and one of the considerations as a way forward for the pro-democracy protesters even if it costs a lot.

In short, building unity among pro-democracy forces politically and militarily, and implementing joint plans and activities to found a federal democratic union is the way forward.

Finally, tell us a bit about how the Mizoram government is doing for all of us.

We all thank the Mizoram government for standing with us and providing us with our physical, mental and social needs. We hope that the state of Mizoram and the state of Chin (in Myanmar) will be valuable bridges between India and Myanmar to build a fruitful relationship as good neighbors.


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