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Institute of Chin Affairs, Mizoram University announce launch of Diploma in Burmese Language and Communication Skill


The Institute of Chin Affairs (ICA) and Mizoram University (MZU) announced the launch of Diploma in Burmese Language and Communication Skill offered jointly by Mizoram University and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

ICA and MZU stated that Burmese is the official language of Myanmar (also known as Burma), and spoken by around two-thirds of the population. The study of Myanmar culture and politics is inexorably linked with its language. India shares a 1600km border with Myanmar, and both countries share a rich heritage of linguistic, ethnic and religious ties. This course is recommended to students who wish to study Myanmar’s complex, multi-layered society, and work with the many local and international agencies in Myanmar and on the border. NGOs, religious organisations, Civil Society Groups and foreign government bodies have a strong presence in Myanmar research and programming, and knowledge of Burmese language is a clear asset in joining these agencies to provide support.

The course will be led by Dr Elis Thangi, a native speaker of Burmese language, who holds a PhD in Burmese. Dr Elis also speaks fluent Mizo language, therefore the classes will also be facilitated in Mizo and Burmese.The course will initially run for a period of 10 months (Semester I & II) as one academic year beginning from October 2022.

As per official records, over 30000 Myanmar refugees are sheltered in Mizoram in over 150 camps. Mizoram government has already started issuing certificates to Myanmar refugees who are taking shelter in the state.

The military seized power on February 1 last year, detaining the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and members of her government. A one-year state of emergency has been declared in Myanmar where power is assumed by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Union Home Ministry earlier had sent out an advisory earlier to four north eastern states — Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh that the states and Union Territories have no power to grant “refugee” status to any foreigner, and India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.

The majority of those who have taken shelter belong to the Chin community, also known as the Zo community, who share the same ancestry, ethnicity and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga had earlier urged the Centre to provide asylum to refugees fleeing Myanmar.

He had also opposed the Centre’s order to security forces to stop Myanmar citizens from entering the state and deport refugees.

The union home ministry in a communique to the chief secretaries of Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, and the director general of Assam Rifles on March 10 last year stated that there was a probability of large-scale illegal influx into the Indian territory due to the current internal situation in Myanmar. It had earlier issued an advisory to these states and the security forces to stay alert and take appropriate action to prevent a possible influx into Indian territory.

The union ministry had also said that state governments had no power to grant refugee status to any foreigners.



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