New Delhi: In the first-ever official response to the influx of refugees from Myanmar, India on Friday (April 2) said that it is dealing with the situation “as per our laws and humanitarian considerations”. Many states in India’s northeast have witnessed an influx of refugees from Myanmar following the coup in the country on the 1st of February.  

Chief Minister Mizoram, Zoramthanga, has urged the Centre to accept the incoming refugees from Myanmar, as many cross the international border. India is not a party to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol, therefore, the issue is dealt with administratively by New Delhi.

In response to a number of questions on the situation in Myanmar, the new spokesperson of India’s ministry of external affairs Arindam Bagchi said, “We condemn any use of violence. We believe that the rule of law should prevail. We stand for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar.”

Reiterating New Delhi’s stance, he called for “release of political prisoners” and extended support to “any attempts at resolving the current situation, including through the efforts of ASEAN”, adding that India has been engaging with its “international interlocutors and at the UN Security Council in an effort to play a balanced and constructive role.”

The situation in Myanmar has deteriorated in a major way, with an increased level of violence and deaths and internet shut down. The issue has been discussed several times at the United Nations Security Council. 

Asked about the Indian Defense Attache’s (DA) presence at an event of Myanmar Military, the MEA spokesperson said, “we have a functioning embassy in Myanmar. Our ambassador, defense attaché, and other diplomatic officers continue to discharge their regular diplomatic responsibility. Nothing more should be read into this event” which saw Indian DA’s attendance.

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