NLD MP’s apology to Mizoram government and people

7 May 2011: Dr. Tint Swe, MP of the National League for Democracy (Burma) has apologized to the Mizoram government in the northeast state of India and its people for the alleged involvement in crimes by a section of Burmese people residing in the state.

The apology came in the I & PR hall in Aizawl city at a consultation meeting on “Regime change in Burma: Post 2010 Elections and its Consequences” on 6 May.

“A substantial number of Burmese nationals are living in Mizoram state. Of them some are involved in crimes like smuggling, drug peddling and alcohol trade, which is a headache for the local government and the people. As NLD’s MP under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi I apologize profusely,” said Dr. Tint Swe.

He urged the Mizoram government to segregate the two groups of Burmese -those involved in crimes and those, who are involved in activities related to Burma’s democracy.

There are criminal elements among Burmese people, so local people in Mizoram view all Burmese with suspicion. Given the political and economic crisis in Burma some Burmese people are involved in criminal activities. And Mizo people suffer the consequences of such activities.

The meeting on “Regime change in Burma: Post 2010 Elections and its Consequences” was organized by Burma Central – Delhi, Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), Grass root Development Network and the Zo Indigenous Forum.

At the meeting, Pu Vanlalngaia, Chairman of the Mizoram Committee for Democracy in Burma (MCDB) said although a new government has been elected in Burma it is not genuine. It is just a change of uniforms to civil dress.

“There is no change in reality. They have just changed their uniforms to civil dress, so much remains to be done. But again civil dress is better than military uniforms. It is a small change, a step at a time,” he said.

It is estimated that there are about 80,000 Burmese nationals in Mizoram state and it is a heavy burden on the Mizoram government. There is need to open an UNHCR office in Mizoram state in order to help lower some of the burden as there is no export from Mizoram and its economy has shown a downhill trend. If UNHCR opens an office in Mizoram state there will be funding and there will be proper restraint ion on refugees, he added.

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