2000 Khami Chin flee to India due to food crisis

Aug 19, 2008 (DVB), Around 2000 Khami people from Palatwa township in Chin state have been forced by food shortages to migrate to Saiha and Lawngtlai provinces in India's Mizoram state.

The mass flowering of bamboo in Chin state which occurs every 50 years has had a devastating impact, causing an infestation of rodents and diminishing food stores.

The newly-arrived Khami, a sub-group of the Chin ethnic group, were surviving by working as general labourers on local farms and as porters in the border trading zone.

The Chin Famine Emergency Relief Committee, formed by Chin people living abroad and in India’s Mizoram state to provide assistance to the food crisis victims, said they had no plans yet to provide help to the Khami Chin.

CFERC general secretary Pu Tehya said the committee had to prioritise other refugees in Mizoram in greater need, as the Khami people had relatives who had settled in Saiha and Lawngtlai.

"They have not had so much difficulty surviving as they have their relatives here," he said.

Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min

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