By Nikhil Walia
New Delhi: Myanmar is embracing democracy after decades of military rule, but refugees from the country living in India say they have no immediate plans to return home.Spokespersons for the mass of refugees here say despite the globally hailed changes in Myanmar, the situation was far from conducive for them to go back to their original homes and lives.
“At present there is no guarantee of safety (in Myanmar). There’s no system for resettlement,” said the campaign coordinator at the Burma Center Delhi (BCD) who gave his name only as Kim. BCD is one of the groups working among the Myanmar refugees, thousands of whom live in Vikaspuri in west Delhi.“Civil unrest continues in Kachin state. A majority of our refugees don’t want to go back,” Kim told IANS.Tint Swe, a doctor and a member of the so-called Burmese government-in-exile, had another point to make.
“Most refugees don’t trust the government’s assurances of better living conditions. Also, with Myanmar opening up, other countries are not as willing to take us as they were earlier,” Tint told IANS. He added that only political activists were thinking of going back. But even among them, not more than five had left India. Mizzima, a news service started by exiled activists, is however shifting base from India to Myanmar. “We have already started operations in Myanmar with two editors,” explained Thin thin Aung, Mizzima’s co-founder.