India sends relief material to Myanmar’s Rakhine state

NEW DELHI: In a bid to defuse the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state where violence has triggered an outflow of Rohingya refugees, India has sent relief material consisting of 3,000 family relief packs.

“With best wishes from the people of India. Indian Air Force aircraft lands today in Yangon, Myanmar, with 3000 family relief packs consisting of daily essentials including rice, oil, salt, sugar, soap, etc. for distribution amongst the displaced persons in Rakhine state,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted on Friday evening.

More than 600,000 Rohingyas have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since violence erupted in Rakhine late in August.

The minority Rohingya community does not enjoy citizenship in Myanmar and is sparingly given refugee status in Bangladesh.

Human rights monitors accused Myanmar’s military of atrocities against the minority population during its clearance operations following Rohingya militants’ August 25 attacks on multiple government posts.

On Thursday, however, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor of Myanmar Kyaw Tint Swe signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Nay Pyi Taw for the return of these refugees.

India has maintained that the issue should be handled in a humane manner, development activities should be initiated in Rakhine and conditions should be created for the safe and secure return of the refugees to their homes.

During his visit to Myanmar in September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared India’s concerns over the issue in a meeting with that country’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

India has also sent relief material to Bangladesh to handle the Rohingya refugee crisis.