What are Yobin and Lisu?
Yobin and Lisu refer to the same indigenous tribe living in Vijoynagar Circle (Changlang District, Arunachal Pradesh). But Yobin is most used at the official domains. It is because when the Indian government/army came to Vijoynagar area in 1961, the political interpreters were from the Singpho community, who called us Yobin. Since then this became apart of the official name.
But when we refer among ourselves, we call only as Lisu, both as ethnic and linguistic name.
Are Yobin/Lisu found in other countries?
Yes. Google it and you will find out the Lisu people are also spread in China, Myanmar and Thailand. And this is not unique to the Yobin. Almost every tribe in Arunachal Pradesh live across the borders. This fact should not be used as an objection for obtaining facilities in India.
Some might wonder whether Lisu from other countries migrate to India. I would say such people are crazy. Why would they want to migrate when they have better positions in their own land? The Census data would provide quantitative information: Population of Yobin/Lisu and Namdapha Management Plan: Lisu Socio-Economic Conditions.
How is the area where Yobin live looks like?
The Yobin on the extreme eastern foothills of the Himalayan ranges. From the villages, the snow-capped mountain lines are just above our heads! We live in 11 villages under Vijoynagar Circle, at Miao town and another village in Kharsang Circle. Very few in Assam. I have another short write up on the villages.
The villages are landlocked, meaning, not accessible by vehicle for 157 km from Miao town to Shidi. The famous Miao – Vijoynagar Road on media, was completed in the 1970s but left neglected until recently. Various visitors were inspired to write interesting articles like Prisoners of Geography, The Ungoverned Territories and many more.
What were the reasons the State Government declared the Yobin as refugee?
Not sure. I hear only generic statements like “political reason” and nothing more. I hope to file RTI to the Chief Secretary and find out the details soon.
Point me to documentations on Yobin
Books: A profile of a little known tribe and A Guide to Lisu Language (link).