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Manipur reverses order turning away refugees from Myanmar


IMPHAL: The government of Manipur has withdrawn an order that told officials to “politely turn away” refugees crossing over from Myanmar to escape the violence.

Issuing a release, the state’s home ministry said its instructions had been “misconstrued”.

The earlier order was issued amid reports of refugees entering Manipur after a coup in Myanmar last month.

On March 28, the government instructed the Deputy Commissioners of Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kamjong, Ukhrul, and Churachandpur to block the entry of Myanmarese nations.

“As a fall out of the events taking place in the neighbouring Myanmar, it is reported that the country’s nationals have been trying to enter India through the Border States including Manipur,” the notice, undersigned by M. Gyan Prakash, the Special Secretary (Home), said.

In the notice, the district administrations have been instructed to not open any camps “to provide food and shelter” to the Myanmarese nationals.

Protesters against the takeover have been met with increasing force – the military is reported to have killed more than 500 people since February 1.

Meanwhile, thousands of Myanmarese have been attempting to flee across the border to Thailand too – only to be turned back by Thai soldiers.

In response to this, the government in Bangkok has said it will “respect human rights” of refugees, but wants to avoid an “exodus” of migrants.

There has been outrage around the world at the bloodshed resulting from the use of lethal force by the Myanmar security forces against unarmed protesters.

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