Tian Xin, a Burmese refugee in India, is forced to cross the border secretly to save paddy crops in his home country of Burma (Myanmar), like others.
“If we do not harvest our rice, we will have nothing in the future. We will have to search for life to find wild plants or beg,” Dowd Henem, Xin’s wife, told EFE from the protection of the Indian city of Thingchai. In the state. Northeast of Mizoram on the border with Burma.
The refugee situation in India is worrying.
Although the locals greet them with open arms and are united by a common tradition and ethnicity with the Burmese neighbors on Mount Sin, doubts are raised about the limits of charity.
In the absence of an official figure, the Sin refugee group estimates that there are about 20,000 Burmese refugees in India, which shares a 1,600-kilometer border with Burma.
This is why Henem explained that her husband and other men from the Thingai refugee community had temporarily returned to the city of Funga in the Burma Chin region.
“The rice is now ready for repair, but we have not been able to harvest it since the fighting broke out between government forces and the Sinland security forces,” Henem said. He will be forced to hide the rice in the forest.
With no one to look after the grain, the woman fears that “if stored at home, the army may go back and burn or destroy it.”
The Burmese military seized power after the February 1 coup, which was blamed on massive fraud during the November 2020 general election, a nationwide protest and civil disobedience movement.
According to the Daily Report of the Association for the Aid of Political Prisoners, brutal repression by police and soldiers has been on the rise since the coup, killing 1,171 people and arresting more than 8,900 adversaries.
Zinta’s forces have intensified their attacks on Sin, and clashes with civil defense groups and guerrillas have intensified, as the Burmese military prepares to launch a major offensive against the opposition.
According to Lalminghanga, mayor of New Carship, an Indian city in Thingsai, most of the men have left.
“For most Chin families who have taken refuge here, agriculture is their main source of income and rice is the most important crop. If they do not harvest now, birds or other animals will consume them if there is no army. Destroy them as soon as possible,” he explained to Efe.
Like Mizoram, some parts of the Chinum forest were burned and the land was cultivated many years ago, and the traditional practice in the area is called “Zum”.
Burmese refugees are now forced to cross the border again and travel on treacherous hills to reach their plantations.
“Most of the Burmese army stationed in the area is being chased away by opposition groups, although there are reports that reinforcements have been sent from the paddy fields to the town of Dantlock, a day’s journey,” he told Efe Tumhmung. The Burmese village of Punk fled to a neighboring country.
In the Indian village of Bhubaneswar, refugees were encouraged to return home to harvest rice.
“They were very skeptical, but they had no choice. We have no choice, Bualpui H lives mainly from agriculture. If they do not collect their own (rice), ours will not be enough for everyone,” said Vice President Joseph Vanlalmangaiha Efe of the local council. Said the place.
This resident, like many in the region and refugees, does not believe that the situation in Burma will improve in recent times, and may worsen.
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