MAE SOT, Thailand—A few times each month, Saw Khu wakes before dawn and sets out on a dangerous mission to deliver sacks full of Western aid money to conflict-torn areas deep inside Myanmar.

After sneaking across the border from Thailand in a wooden canoe, he is driven through a mountain range strewn with soldiers from Myanmar’s military, which seized power in a coup last year. Arriving at a rendezvous point, he divvies up the cash among colleagues who either hand it over to families in need or use it to buy rice, instant noodles, tarps, mosquito nets, soap and other essentials for them.

“I’m not afraid,” said Mr. Khu, a 47-year-old Myanmar national whose nonprofit has around 200 members across southeast Myanmar and a handful in Thailand. “It’s something that has to be done.”

Mr. Khu’s missions are illegal in both countries. They are one of the few precarious avenues being used to get aid to Myanmar’s most vulnerable populations since the 2021 coup ended a nascent transition to democracy and aggravated conflict between the army and its opponents, according to interviews with more than a dozen representatives of local and international aid organizations, human-rights advocates and officials from the U.S. and Thailand.

Aid arriving for people who settled temporarily by the Moei River to escape fighting between the Myanmar army and insurgent groups.PHOTO: ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA/REUTERS

While the U.S. Agency for International Development and United Nations agencies continue to operate inside Myanmar, their reach is limited because the junta controls where they can go and to a large degree what they can do. Getting permission to move around involved complex processes even before the coup, but representatives of three aid organizations said there is now an intentional regime tactic of denying them access to large populations to cut off resources to areas where opposition to military rule is strongest. They cited the regime’s denial of travel authorizations and arbitrary delays in issuing staff visas as obstacles.


To reach vulnerable communities, Western governments often take the cross-border route—but it is convoluted. Myanmar-focused groups like Mr. Khu’s aren’t eligible for legal status in Thailand, which means most foreign governments can’t send funds directly to them. Instead, the governments contribute to larger, registered organizations that, while primarily focused on Thailand, channel some of the funds to the dozens of smaller groups operating inside Myanmar.

Donors have little visibility on how the aid is ultimately distributed but say that the smaller groups that are capable of navigating Myanmar’s tough conditions are their best hope of reaching at least some hard-hit locations. Aid workers like Mr. Khu operate with the help of armed rebel groups in Myanmar that are fighting the junta, traveling through their territories and under their protection.

Displaced people from Myanmar living in makeshift tents on the Thai side of the Moei River, in Mae Sot, Thailand.PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Myanmar’s regime continues to deny humanitarian access to many populations in need and urged all countries to press them for more. “At the same time, we and others in the international community are identifying alternate means of providing lifesaving assistance that is not dependent upon access permission,” the spokesperson said.

U.S.-based advocacy group Refugees International estimates some $10 million worth of aid has entered Myanmar through Thailand since the coup via these informal channels. It is a fraction of overall aid to the country, which is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Large parts of Myanmar remain inaccessible, such as central-northwest Myanmar’s Sagaing region where more than half of those displaced since the coup are located.

The U.N. says the number of people who need aid ballooned from one million before the coup to 14.4 million in its aftermath—more than a quarter of the entire population. Before the coup, roughly 350,000 people were internally displaced by earlier conflicts, forced to flee their homes but staying inside Myanmar. That number has now surpassed 1.2 million. Half of the country’s school-age children have had no access to education for two years.

Nationwide protests broke out last year after Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup, which ended a nascent transition to democracy.PHOTO: EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Many live in warzones that have no clear front lines. The coup sparked nationwide protests that were met with lethal force by the military, hardening the resolve of the army’s opponents, some of whom turned to guerrilla-style armed resistance. The military responded by bombing and burning villages suspected of harboring insurgents. Conflict is concentrated near the country’s northwest and southeast borders, and increasingly its central plains.

The Myanmar military didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Conditions for the displaced are desperate. Eh Htoo Say, a 30-year-old teacher from Myanmar’s southeast Karen state, fled in December with her 5-year-old son when the Myanmar military bombed and occupied their village, Au Kree Hta. Sometimes they stay under a tarp propped up by bamboo on the bank of a river that separates Myanmar from Thailand. At other times, they hide in a rickety wooden barn just across the river, in Thailand.

She can’t cook after dark because fire would betray her location. She and her son bathe in the open, either in the river or a flooded rice field. She uses banana leaves to collect rainwater to drink and survives on rice and canned fish brought by local charities—part of the patchwork of organizations like Mr. Khu’s.

“I can keep living as long as I have aid,” she said. “But if I don’t get more I’ll really be in trouble.”

Eh Htoo Say, a displaced villager from southeast Myanmar, stands in Thailand looking across the border to Myanmar.PHOTO: FELIZ SOLOMON/WALL STREET JOURNAL

Thailand Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat said that cross-border aid is allowed through legally registered groups like the Thai Red Cross Society. But human-rights advocates and aid workers say delivering aid to populations deep inside Myanmar requires familiarity with the country’s languages, terrain and conflict dynamics.

The Myanmar nationals who do that work described living in constant fear of being caught crossing the border. They can’t use Myanmar’s banks or mobile transfer apps, which they believe are monitored by the military.

In early July, an aid worker who was using aid money to buy rice for displaced people in southeast Myanmar’s Bago region was abducted by the Myanmar military and killed, the worker’s organization said. Nearly all of the aid workers interviewed requested anonymity due to fear of arrest, deportation or further restrictions on access.

“We’re just trying to help people, but to do that we have to be tricky, creative, and risk our lives,” said Mr. Khu’s supervisor. “There’s no guarantee—if we die, we die.”

Write to Feliz Solomon at [email protected]

The Dangerous Mission to Sneak Sacks of Cash in Western Aid Into Myanmar – WSJ

MPs denounce lack of humanitarian assistance in Myanmar ahead of International Parliamentary Inquiry’s fourth hearing – ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (

JAKARTA – The Myanmar people are not receiving the humanitarian assistance they need as the crisis triggered by the coup d’état of February last year worsens, parliamentarians from seven different countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe have denounced, ahead of the fourth public oral hearing of their International Parliamentary Inquiry (IPI) on the global response to the crisis in Myanmar, to be held today, 20 July.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) puts at over 750,000 the number of people displaced by the violence perpetrated by the Myanmar military in order to cement their power since the takeover, bringing the total for the country the record number of over 1 million.

Experts audited by the IPI in previous oral hearings have described a rapidly deteriorating situation, marked by a worsening economic crisis, an almost complete collapse of the health system and the systematic targeting of the civilian population by the military.

“Time is rapidly running out to prevent the worst-case scenario for millions of people in Myanmar. But instead of increased attention to the situation, we are seeing the opposite: less engagement by regional and international actors, less efforts to lead the junta to the negotiation table, and a unconscionable shortfall of almost 90 percent of funding for the humanitarian needs of the country in 2022. Inaction must end now,” said Heidi Hautala, IPI Committee Chair and Vice-President of the European Parliament.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of June 2022, only 11 percent of the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Myanmar has been funded, “negatively affecting the breadth and quality of assistance delivered by humanitarians.”

“The utter failure of ASEAN’s 5-Point Consensus should be clear to all, yet there has been no effort made to change course. Meanwhile, the international community continues to ignore evidence indicating that a primary reliance on ASEAN has not and will not result in an alleviation of the plight of the Myanmar people. Reliance on ASEAN is not a strategy, but rather a disingenuous deflection of responsibility by international actors which must stop in order for solutions to the humanitarian crisis to be found,” said Charles Santiago, IPI Committee Member, Malaysian MP, and Chair of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR).

To address these and other issues, the IPI will hold its fourth hearing on the global response to the crisis in Myanmar on July 20, at 6 pm (Bangkok time), via Zoom.

Experts who have confirmed their participation at the hearing include:

– Matthew Wells – Deputy Director, Crisis Response, Amnesty International.

– Dr Ashley South – Research Fellow, Chiang Mai University.

– Salai Za Uk Ling – Deputy Executive Director, Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO).

– Adelina Kamal -Former Executive Director for the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), currently Associate Senior Fellow at the Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).

Join the IPI Fourth Oral Hearing by Zoom by following the link:


All previous hearings can be found at the following link:

More Myanmar Christian refugees flee to India’s Mizoram – UCA News

UCA News reporter
By UCA News reporter

Published: July 15, 2022 05:36 AM GMT

Hundreds of people from Myanmar’s predominantly Christian Chin state continue to flee the ongoing conflict and seek refuge in neighboring Mizoram state in India.

As of July 1, there were 726 new arrivals in India’s northeast, bringing the total number of refugees to 41,000, according to the latest report issued this week by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

It said over 76 percent sought shelter in Mizoram and 13 percent in Manipur.

The UNHCR said there was an uptick in cross-border movement in June following armed clashes in northwest Myanmar.

“With the start of the monsoon season in June, there is an urgent need for semi-permanent shelters in Mizoram and Manipur,” the agency said.

Mizoram shares a long border with Myanmar, where the military seized power on Feb. 1, 2021, after toppling Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government and putting several political leaders and activists behind bars.

Politicians, lawmakers, police and their families were among the refugees, mostly from Chin state which borders the Champhai district of Mizoram.

Most people who fled to India share an ethnic affinity with the Mizo people in Mizoram and have family ties with people in the Christian-dominated state.

Christians, mostly Baptists and Presbyterians, make up about 87 percent of Mizoram’s 1.15 million people. Catholic number 40,000.

There is ongoing fighting in northwestern Myanmar including Christian-majority Chin state where the military has used air strikes and artillery shelling against strong resistance from new militia groups that has led to thousands of people being displaced, according to media reports.

The impoverished region, which had not seen conflict for decades, has been at the forefront of resistance to the military regime and has witnessed fierce retaliatory attacks including aerial bombing, heavy artillery and indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

Dozens of churches including Catholic ones have been set ablaze, vandalized and destroyed by junta soldiers while priests and pastors have also been targeted.

The Southeast Asian nation has witnessed intense fighting between the junta and rebel forces in other predominantly Christian regions such as Karen and Kayah states, where civilians have been forced to leave their homes and flee to forests or seek shelter in church institutions.

As of July 4, an estimated 1,116,000 internally displaced persons were reported, including some 769,000 people who have been displaced within Myanmar since February 2021, according to the UNHCR.

The junta has killed nearly 2,100 people including hundreds of children and detained more than 14,000 people since last February’s coup.

4 November 2021

UN Security Council Must Act Now to End Myanmar Junta’s Campaign of Terror

We, the undersigned 521 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organizations, call on the UN Security Council to urgently convene a meeting on the escalating attacks in Chin State, and address the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian, human rights and political crisis in Myanmar. We call for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to consolidate international action to stop the military’s violent assault against the people of Myanmar. The UN Security Council must also impose a global arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons and dual-use goods to the Myanmar military junta.

It has been nine months since the attempted coup by the brutal Myanmar military. 1,236 people have been killed and 9,667 arbitrarily detained as of 3 November, 2021. The junta has continued its violent assault throughout Myanmar, recently deployed troops and increased its attacks against civilians in Chin State, Sagaing and Magwe Regions in north-western Myanmar, while continuing its attacks in Karenni, Karen and Shan States.

On Friday 29 October, the Myanmar military began shelling the town of Thantlang in Western Chin State, setting as many as 200 houses and at least two churches on fire. Soldiers also deliberately torched houses at random.

Save the Children – whose office in Thantlang was set on fire alongside local civil society organizations including Chin Human Rights Organization – strongly condemned the recent attacks stating “the incident is further evidence of a deepening crisis in Myanmar” as the violence continues to affect large numbers of children across the country. Such indiscriminate attacks against civilians and humanitarian organizations are violations of international law and constitute war crimes.

Following the 1 February attempted coup, Chin State has been at the forefront of some of the strongest resistance to the Myanmar military junta. This has been met with fierce attacks by the military, including use of fighter jets and heavy artillery used against civilians while hundreds have been arbitrarily detained, and dozens killed. Prior to this most recent attack, approximately 10,000 residents had already fled Thantlang as the military junta indiscriminately shot into homes and set off fires by shelling in September. At the time, a Christian pastor who was attempting to put out the fires was shot dead, and his ring finger cruelly cut off and removed, along with his wedding ring. Those displaced have taken shelter in nearby villages and others have sought refuge in India. Many of those who have been displaced have been unable to access humanitarian aid as the junta weaponizes aid for their own political benefit, often blocking access or destroying it in an effort to weaken the resistance.

In early October, amid increasing deployment of heavy weapons and troops by the military junta, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged “the international community to speak with one voice, to prevent the commission of further serious human rights violations against the people of Myanmar.” The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights also warned of greater human rights catastrophe and further mass atrocity crimes amid the deployment of tens of thousands of troops stating, “These tactics are ominously reminiscent of those employed by the military before its genocidal attacks against the Rohingya in Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017.” Echoing these concerns, 29 Rohingya organizations have urged the Council not to repeat the mistakes it made in 2017 by failing to act on warnings of an impending military offensive against the Rohingya.

Since the start of the attempted coup nine months ago, hundreds of Myanmar and international society organizations have repeatedly and vehemently called for the UN Security Council to act. This includes a statement from 92 Chin civil society organizations and Burma Campaign UK, who have called on the UK as the “penholder” of Myanmar at the UN Security Council to urgently act. The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar have also called for the UN Security Council to “issue a resolution to consolidate international action towards resolving the crisis.”

Yet, the Security Council has failed to take any effective actions beyond statements. As the offensives escalate in Chin State, the UN Security Council must act before it is too late. It must convene an urgent meeting on the escalating attacks in Chin State and the overall deepening political, human rights and humanitarian crisis as a result of the Myanmar military leaders search for power and greed that has caused immense suffering. The human security risk not only threatens the people of Myanmar but also regional and thus global security and peace. The Council must immediately build on previous statements with concrete action by adopting a resolution that consolidates international action to resolve the deepening crisis, a global arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons, including dual-use goods, and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court. The Council must demonstrate that it will take concrete actions to stop the junta from committing further atrocity crimes and posing further risk to human security of the people of Myanmar.

The UN must not continue to fail the people of Myanmar.

For more information, please contact:

Signed by 521 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organizations* including:

  1. 8888 Generation (New Zealand)
  2. Action Committee for Democracy Development
  3. African Great Lakes Action Network
  4. All Burma Democratic Face in New Zealand
  5. All Burma IT Student Union
  6. Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
  7. ALTSEAN-Burma
  8. America Rohingya Justice Network
  9. American Baptist Churches USA
  10. American Rohingya Advocacy
  11. Ananda Data
  12. Anti-Dictatorship in Burma – DC Metropolitan Area
  13. Arakan CSO Network
  14. Arakan Institute for Peace and Development
  15. Arakan Rohingya Development Association – Australia
  16. Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
  17. Arakan Rohingya Union
  18. Arizona Kachin Community
  19. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)
  20. Asho University Students Association (AUSA)
  21. Asho Youth Organization
  22. Asian Dignity Initiative
  23. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  24. Asian Resource Foundation
  25. Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition
  26. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
  27. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  28. Association of Women for Awareness & Motivation (AWAM)
  29. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  30. Auckland Kachin Community Inc.
  31. Auckland Zomi Community
  32. Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation
  33. Backpack Health Workers Team
  34. Balaod Mindanaw
  35. Bangkok Chin University Student Fellowship
  36. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
  37. Baptist World Alliance
  38. Blood Money Campaign
  39. British Rohingya Community in UK
  40. Buddhist Solidarity for Reform
  41. Burma Action Ireland
  42. Burma Campaign UK
  43. Burma Human Rights Network
  44. Burma Medical Association
  45. Burma Task Force
  46. Burmese American Millennials
  47. Burmese Community Support Group (Australia)
  48. Burmese Democratic Forces
  49. Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland-Australia (BRAQA)
  50. Burmese Rohingya Association Japan (BRAJ)
  51. Burmese Rohingya Association of North America
  52. Burmese Rohingya Community Australia (BRCA)
  53. Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark
  54. Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia
  55. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
  56. Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organisation New Zealand
  57. Burmese Student Association at UCSB
  58. Burmese Women’s Union
  59. California Kachin Community
  60. Calvary Burmese Church
  61. Campaign for a New Myanmar
  62. Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organisation
  63. Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative
  64. Cantors’ Assembly
  65. CAU Buddhist
  66. CDM Supporter Team (Hakha)
  67. Central Chin Youth Organization (CCYO)
  68. Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia
  69. Cherry Foundation (Yangon), Burma/Myanmar
  70. Chin Baptist Association, North America
  71. Chin Baptist Churches USA
  72. Chin Civil Society Network (CCSN)
  73. Chin Community of Auckland
  74. Chin Community of USA-DC Area
  75. Chin Education Initiative (CEI)
  76. Chin Human Rights Organization
  77. Chin Humanitarian Assistance Team Rakhine State (CHAT)
  78. Chin Leaders of Tomorrow (CLT)
  79. Chin Literature and Culture Committee (Universities of Yangon)
  80. Chin Student Union – Kalay
  81. Chin Student Union – Pakokku
  82. Chin Student Union – Sittwe
  83. Chin Student Union of Myanmar
  84. Chin University Student Fellowship – Paletwa
  85. Chin University Students in Rakhine State (CUSRS)
  86. Chin Women Organization (CWO)
  87. Chin Women’s Development Organization (CWDO)
  88. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  89. Coalition for Democracy
  90. Community Resource Centre (CRC)
  91. Dallas Kachin Community
  92. Darfur and Beyond, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  93. DEEKU-Karenni Community of Amarillo, TX
  94. Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
  95. Democracy for Myanmar – Working Group (NZ)
  96. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization – DPW
  97. Equality Myanmar
  98. European Rohingya Council (ERC)
  99. Falam Phunsang Tlawngta Pawlkom
  100. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (NZ)
  101. Fidi Foundation (Hakha)
  102. Florida Kachin Community
  103. Free Burma Action Bay/USA/Global
  104. Free Myanmar Campaign USA/BACI
  105. Free Rohingya Coalition (FRC)
  106. Freedom for Burma
  107. Freedom, Justice, Equality for Myanmar
  108. Future Light Center
  109. Future Thanlwin
  110. Gender and Development Institute – Myanmar
  111. Gender Equality Myanmar
  112. Generation Wave
  113. Georgia Kachin Community
  114. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  115. Global Justice Center
  116. Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy
  117. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution
  118. Global Witness
  119. Globe International Center
  120. Grassroots Movement for Burma
  121. Green Party Korea International Committee
  122. Hakha Campaign for Justice
  123. Hakha University Student Organization (HUSO)
  124. Houston Kachin Community
  125. Human Rights Alert
  126. Human Rights Development for Myanmar
  127. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  128. Human Rights Watch
  129. Imparsial
  130. Incorporated Organization Shilcheon Bulgyo
  131. Infinite Burma
  132. Initiatives for International Dialogue
  133. Institute for Asian Democracy
  134. Inter Pares
  135. International Campaign for the Rohingya
  136. International Karen Organisation
  137. Iowa Kachin Community
  138. Ipas
  139. Jewish World Watch
  140. Jogye Order Chapter of Korea Democracy Union
  141. Justice For Myanmar
  142. Kachin Alliance
  143. Kachin American Community (Portland – Vancouver)
  144. Kachin Community of Indiana
  145. Kachin Community of USA
  146. Kachin National Organization USA
  147. Kachin Peace Network (KPN)
  148. Kachin State Women Network
  149. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  150. Kanpetlet University Student Organization
  151. Kansas Karenni Community, KS
  152. Karen American Association of Milwaukee, WI
  153. Karen Association of Huron, SD
  154. Karen Community of Akron, OH
  155. Karen Community of Iowa, IA
  156. Karen Community of Kansas City, KS & MO
  157. Karen Community of Minnesota, MN
  158. Karen Community of North Carolina, NC
  159. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
  160. Karen Human Rights Group
  161. Karen Organization of America
  162. Karen Organization of Illinois, IL
  163. Karen Organization of San Diego
  164. Karen Peace Support Network
  165. Karen Rivers Watch
  166. Karen Women’s Organization
  167. Karen Youth Education Pathways
  168. Karenni Civil Society Network
  169. Karenni Community of Arizona, AZ
  170. Karenni Community of Arkensas, AK
  171. Karenni Community of Austin, TX
  172. Karenni Community of Bowling Green, KY
  173. Karenni Community of Buffalo, NY
  174. Karenni Community of Chicago, IL
  175. Karenni Community of Colorado, CO
  176. Karenni Community of Dallas, TX
  177. Karenni Community of Des Moines, IA
  178. Karenni Community of Florida, FL
  179. Karenni Community of Fort Worth, TX
  180. Karenni Community of Georgia, GA
  181. Karenni Community of Houston, TX
  182. Karenni Community of Idaho, ID
  183. Karenni Community of Indianapolis, IN
  184. Karenni Community of Massachusetts, MA
  185. Karenni Community of Michigan, MI
  186. Karenni Community of Minnesota, MN
  187. Karenni Community of Missouri, MO
  188. Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC
  189. Karenni Community of Portland, OR
  190. Karenni Community of Rockford, IL
  191. Karenni Community of San Antonio, TX
  192. Karenni Community of Sioux Falls, SD
  193. Karenni Community of Utah, UT
  194. Karenni Community of Utica, NY
  195. Karenni Community of Washington, WA
  196. Karenni Community of Wisconsin, WI
  197. Karenni Human Rights Group
  198. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  199. Karenni Society New Zealand
  200. Karenni Society of Omaha, NE
  201. Karenni-American Association
  202. Kaung Rwai Social Action Network
  203. Keng Tung Youth
  204. Kentucky Kachin Community
  205. Korean Ashram
  206. L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty
  207. Los Angeles Rohingya Association
  208. Louisiana Kachin Community
  209. Manyou Power People
  210. Maryland Kachin Community
  211. Matupi University Student Fellowship
  212. Metta Campaign Mandalay
  213. Metta-Vipassana Center
  214. Michigan Kachin Community
  215. MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
  216. Mindat University Student Union
  217. Minnesota Kachin Community
  218. Mizo Student Fellowship
  219. Myanmar Advocacy Coalition
  220. Myanmar Cultural Research Society (MCRS)
  221. Myanmar Engineers – New Zealand
  222. Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation in Malaysia
  223. Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)
  224. Myanmar Peace Bikers
  225. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
  226. Myanmar Students’ Union in New Zealand
  227. Nationalities Alliance of Burma USA
  228. NeT Organization
  229. Network for Human Rights Documentation (ND-Burma)
  230. Never Again Coalition
  231. New Bodhisattva Network
  232. New York Kachin Community
  233. New Zealand Doctors for NUG
  234. New Zealand Karen Association
  235. New Zealand Zo Community Inc.
  236. Ninu (Women in Action Group)
  237. No Business With Genocide
  238. North Carolina Kachin Community
  239. Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
  240. Olive Organization
  241. Omaha Kachin Community
  242. Overseas Mon Association. New Zealand
  243. Pa-O Women’s Union
  244. Pa-O Youth Organization
  245. Pennsylvania Kachin Community
  246. People’s Initiative for Development Alternatives
  247. People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
  248. Progressive Voice
  249. Pyithu Gonye (New Zealand)
  250. Rohingya Action Ireland
  251. Rohingya American Society
  252. Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee
  253. Rohingya Community in Netherlands
  254. Rohingya Community in Norway
  255. Rohingya Culture Centre Chicago
  256. Rohingya Human Rights Initiative
  257. Rohingya Human Rights Network (Canada)
  258. Rohingya Organisation Norway
  259. Rohingya Refugee Network
  260. Rohingya Society Malaysia
  261. Rohingya Women Development Network (RWDN)
  262. Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF)
  263. Rvwang Community Association New Zealand
  264. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
  265. Save Myanmar Fundraising Group (New Zealand)
  266. Save the Salween Network
  267. SEA Junction
  268. SEGRI
  269. Shan Community (New Zealand)
  270. Shan MATA
  271. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
  272. Solidarity for Another World
  273. South Carolina Kachin Community
  274. Spring Revolution Interfaith Network
  275. Stepping Stone for Peace
  276. Students for Free Burma
  277. Support the Democracy Movement in Burma
  278. Swedish Burma Committee
  279. Swedish Rohingya Association
  280. Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
  281. Ta’ang Women’s Organization
  282. Tedim Youth Association (TYA)
  283. Tennessee Kachin Community
  284. Thantlang Revolutionary Campaigner
  285. Thantlang University Student Organization (TUSO)
  286. Thantlang Youth Association (TYA)
  287. The Center for Freedom of Information
  288. The Pastors Fellowship
  289. The Sound of Hope
  290. The Spring University Myanmar (SUM)
  291. Thint Myat Lo Thu Myar
  292. S. Campaign for Burma
  293. UION
  294. Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
  295. Union of Karenni State Youth
  296. Unitarian Universalist Association
  297. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
  298. Virginia Kachin Community
  299. Washington Kachin Community
  300. West Virginia Kachin Community
  301. Women Peace Network
  302. Women’s Advocacy Coalition – Myanmar
  303. Women’s League of Burma
  304. WOREC Nepal
  305. Yeollin Seonwon
  306. Zomi Federal Union (ZFU)
  307. Zomi Siamsim Kipawlna – Myanmar
  308. Zotung Student Society (ZSS – Myanmar)

*Note: 213 organizations’ names are not disclosed at their request due to security concerns.


Reign of Terror

This document details human rights violations committed by SAC actors during August and September, 2021. Attacks on the civilian population and civilian infrastructure initiated by the State Administration Council (SAC) junta have become increasingly relentless in western Burma/Myanmar since August 2021. Junta soldiers operating in Chin State and parts of Sagaing and Magwe Regions, under the Northwestern Regional Military Command based in Monywa, have conducted a campaign of unlawful killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and deliberate targeting of civilian and religious infrastructure.

Reign of Terror

Human Rights Briefing August September

Please download PDF here

Reign of Terror ReportCHRO

6 April 2007: CHRO joins the Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus for Democracy in Burma in their call for the Malaysian government to take immediate action in the case of Dally Sui and to protect all Burmese children living in Malaysia. As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Malaysia has a responsibility to uphold and ensure the rights of all children, including refugee and undocumented children, are protected.




Dally Sui is seven year old Chin girl who was abducted on 20 March. Her body was later found with her hands severed at the wrist on 27 March. Dally Sui and her family fled Burma, and had been living in Malaysia as refugees since 2002. She went missing the day before she and her family were scheduled to leave Malaysia to be resettled to the United States.


After becoming aware that Dally Sui had disappeared, her parents immediately filed a missing persons report with the police. As the hours turned into days and the search for Dally Sui spread throughout the Chin community in Kuala Lumpur, the police did little to help. Despite repeated requests for their involvement, the authorities failed to take exert the effort even to simply speak to the distraught parents or interview the neighbors In the end, Dally Sui was found dead with her body dumped in some undergrowth just 4 kilometers from her parent’s house. Her hands remain unaccounted for and her killer has still not been identified by the authorities. Her parent’s must now face leaving for the United States without receiving answers about the death of their little girl.




The case of Dally Sui reflects a larger problem for the Chin population living in Malaysia – the lack of adequate protection for the most vulnerable members of their community. Not only are refugee and undocumented migrant children unprotected by Malaysian authorities, but they are also at constant risk of being arrested, detained, and deported at the hands of the Malaysian authorities.


Currently there are over 500 Chin children living in Malaysia. Like Dally Sui, most are afraid or prohibited by their parents from leaving their family’s homes for fear that they will be arrested. Refugees and undocumented children are not allowed to attend school in Malaysia. As a result, many Chin children spend their days indoors unable to experience childhood in a safe and supportive environment.




Despite their obligations to refrain from arbitrarily depriving a child of his or her liberty under Article 37(b) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Malaysian authorities are constantly responsible for the unwarranted arrest and detention of children. Currently there are about 20 Chin children, as young as less than a month old, detained in Malaysian detention facilities.


On the very day that Dally Sui went missing, immigration officers raided the home of Uk Nawl and Biak Thluai and took into custody their two children Ngun Za Tial (age 12) and Bawi Lian Thang (age 10). Both parents are UNHCR recognized refugees and their children were scheduled to be interviewed for resettlement to the United States on the following morning. They are still being detained at Semenyih camp. The youngest child has reportedly fallen sick.


Even more disconcerting is the recent spate of arrests of newborn babies. One month ago, the Malaysian authorities arrested and detained several newborn refugee babies when their parent’s attempted to register the child’s birth with the immigration office. Despite the fact that in each case at least one birth parent had received UNHCR refugee recognition, the Malaysian authorities took into their custody a two week old baby on 21 February, a one day old baby on 6 March, and another newborn baby on 7 March. These actions jeopardize the right of a child to be registered at birth as accorded by Article 7 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.




Correlated to the obligation to adequately protect children, the Malaysian government also has a corresponding duty to protect pregnant women and new mothers not only under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but also under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which Malaysia is also a signatory to. Malaysia, however, has consistently failed to uphold their commitments under international law.


As recently as yesterday, with the Chin community still in mourning over the loss of Dally Sui, RELA officers raided the Pudu market in downtown Kuala Lumpur and arrested two nursing mothers, separating them from their newborn babies. The mothers, Bawi Sung, whose baby is 3 months old, and Hniang Zitial, whose baby is 1 month old, are both UNHCR recognized refugees. After repeated cries for mercy, both mothers were later released late in the evening.


Pregnant women are also frequently caught up in the RELA raids and forced to deliver their babies in squalid detention facilities. One Chin woman described to CHRO how she was six and a half months pregnant when she was arrested by RELA officers in Kuala Lumpur on 5 October 2006. During the arrest and her time in detention, she was kicked, hit on the forehead with a baton, repeatedly forced to strip naked and sit with her legs spread, had her nipples pinched by guards, endured constant verbal abuse, and was provided with inadequate sustenance. She later gave birth in detention on 20 December while chained to a bed. She was eventually released on 21 January 2007 after intervention from the UNHCR.




The abuses described above have gone on for too long. It is time for the Malaysian government to live up to its commitments under international law and provide adequate protection to all the children living within its borders. CHRO calls on the Malaysian government to:


· Conduct a proper investigation into the disappearance and death of seven year old Dally Sui and to ensure such acts of violence are not committed with impunity.


· Respect and uphold its international legal obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.


· Stop the arrest and detention of refugee children and their mothers.


· Immediately and unconditionally release refugee children and their parents in government custody.


· Cooperate with and recognize the powers of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in protecting the inherent rights of refugees and asylum seekers.




To join Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus for Democracy in Burma and CHRO in their call for the protection of refugee and undocumented children in Malaysia, please write or contact the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry at:

Ministry of Home Affairs

Royal Malaysian Police

Cawangan Perhubungan Awam

Polis Diraja Malaysia

Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman

50560 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: (60) 3-2262 6310; Fax: (60) 3-2272-2710;



Email: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Contact Information: For more information about the situation of refugee and undocumented children and mothers in Malaysia, please contact Salai Ling, CHRO Malaysia Project Coordinator, e-mail: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or Amy Alexander, CHRO Legal Consultant, Tel: +, email: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



20 April 2007: CHRO welcomes Malaysia’s recent statements indicating a refusal to defend Burma in future engagements on the international stage. To further this objective, CHRO calls on Malaysia to protect and respect the rights of the thousands of Burmese refugees living within its borders.


On 19 April 2007, Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry Parliamentary Secretary, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, told reporters that Malaysia along with other ASEAN members agreed not to shield Burma from attacks “if it was bombarded at any international forum.” Justifying this position, Shabery recognized the continued illegitimacy of Burma’s military rulers indicating that Burma failed to show any progress towards reform.


Despite Malaysia’s hard foreign policy stance on Burma’s military regime, Malaysia’s domestic policy fails to recognize or provide any sort of protection to the very people who have suffered under Burma’s rule- the Burmese refugee community. Tens of thousands of Burmese refugees and asylum seekers, including some 23,000 from Burma’s Chinland, have found themselves in Malaysia after being forced from their homes at the hands of Burma’s military regime.


Although a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and a sitting member of the UN Human Rights Council, the Malaysia government has consistently refused to protect refugees and asylum seekers living within their borders. Rather, the Burmese communities in Malaysia have been the regular target of security abuses, immigration raids and round-ups, increasing violent crimes committed in impunity, and abuses against the most vulnerable members of their community, including women and children.


Immigration raids targeting Burmese communities occur on an almost weekly basis in Malaysia, typically conducted by the highly controversial, untrained and often abusive Peoples’ Volunteer Corp., also known as RELA. Malaysian immigration detention facilities currently hold about 2,000 Burmese asylum seekers and refugees, about half of which are Chins. Of particular concern to CHRO are the continuing arrests of pregnant women and minors. At this time, CHRO is aware of five pregnant Chin women who were recently arrested, two of whom were forced to give birth in detention. All five are remain in detention despite their vulnerable states. According to CHRO’s sources, there are also about 20 Chin children, some as young as less than a month old, detained in Malaysian detention facilities.


For Malaysia to make good on its foreign policy initiatives towards Burma, Malaysia should first look at domestically and make good on its promise to respect the basic human rights of refugees and asylum seekers who are the victims of Burma’s military regime.


Contact Information: For more information, please contact Salai Ling, CHRO Malaysia Project Coordinator, e-mail: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or Amy Alexander, CHRO Legal Consultant, Tel: +, email: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it





By: Amy Alexander


25 June 2007


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Over 200 asylum-seekers and UNHCR-recognized refugees from Burma have been rounded up and taken into custody after early morning immigration raids today conducted by Malaysia’s controversial People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) in Kuala Lumpur neighborhoods.


The raids began around 1:30 am and took place in KL’s urban neighborhoods of Jalan Imbi and Sempaing, where a large number of asylum seekers and refugees from Burma’s Chin State reside. Approximately 217 were arrested and reportedly taken to Lenggeng detention camp located two hours outside of KL. This is the second large-scale raid in this area of KL since the beginning of the year.


Among those arrested are many UNHCR-recognized refugees, including several who are scheduled to be resettled to a third country within the next couple weeks and months. The Coordinator for the Chin Refugee Center (CRC), a community-based organization working to provide assistance to the Chin population living in Malaysia, was one of those arrested during the raid. He and his family are scheduled for resettlement to the United States in September. The Coordinator was eventually released after intervention by UNHCR and human rights organizations.


This raid is just one of a series of raids that have been conducted since the Government of Malaysia launched operations targeting undocumented migrants in March 2005. Despite criticism by human rights groups, conditions have only gotten worse for undocumented migrants as harassment, arrests, and deportations increased during the last year. Those arrested for immigration offenses are increasingly charged with canings, a serious penalty that leaves deep, permanent scarring. Conditions inside Malaysia’s detention facilities meanwhile remain deplorable, with detainees being given inadequate food, clothing, and accommodations, in addition to being subjected to verbal and physical abuse by the guards.


RELA, the untrained task force largely responsible for conducting immigration raids, has been the focus of consistent complaints for human rights violations and abuse of power. RELA has been responsible for deliberate property damage, extortion, harassment, indiscriminate and unlawful arrests, and physical assaults resulting in serious injuries and even death. Increasingly, there are calls for an end to RELA’s activities, with the Malaysia-based human rights group SUARAM issuing two separate complaints to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) within the last year and the Malaysian Bar calling for RELA’s immediate disbandment in March. Within this last month, RELA succumbed to pressure by numerous human rights groups to do away with the bounty system, which provided RELA agents with 80RM (US$25) for each arrest and led to increased abuses among the untrained volunteers.


Meanwhile the Malaysian Government has refused to address these issues. Rather, in February of this year, Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad reportedly criticized the UNHCR for getting in the way of the operations of agencies such as RELA and the Immigration Department. The Minister further indicated that Malaysia “accepts UNHCR’s presence, but not their powers.” At the beginning of this month, Foreign Minister Syed Hamid further reiterated that Malaysia will not recognize refugees.


Hundreds of thousands of Chins have been forced to leave their homes in Burma to escape severe ethnic and religious persecution committed by the military regime of Burma. They arrive in Malaysia in search of some sense of security. Currently, there are over 23,000 Chin asylum seekers and refugees living in Malaysia. Instead of finding safety, the Chin people are the constant target of harassment, arrest, detention, and deportation by the Malaysian authorities. In addition, they are unable to work, receive an education, access healthcare services, or find acceptable living accommodations. With the UNHCR registration process closed since July 2005, obtaining refugee status or any protective documents from the UNHCR is difficult. As a result, life for the Chins in Malaysia is full of abuses and uncertainties.







June 26, 2007

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: CHRO has recently been informed that just two days after Malaysia’s RELA forces rounded up and detained more than 200 refugees and asylum seekers from the Jalan Imbi neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian immigration authorities conducted a second raid, this time in Kuala Lumpur’s Lok Yew neighborhood. This second raid resulted in 42 more refugees and asylum seekers being sent to the already overflowing Lenggeng immigration detention facility.


Whereas most of the Chins detained during the June 25th raid are UNHCR recognized refugees awaiting resettlement to third countries, a majority of those detained during the June 27th raid are women and young children. From these two incidents alone, over 36 children, two pregnant women, and 19 UNHCR-recognized refugees who are within months of being resettled to third countries are now in Malaysian immigration detention facilities facing an uncertain future.


CHRO is concerned for the safety and security of all those who are detained in Malaysia. CHRO is particularly concerned for the two nine-month pregnant women, Tuan Zi (Chin Refugee Center File No. 354-05C08617) and Fam Tang (UNHCR File No. 03/MLS/08317), and the children who remain in detention despite their vulnerable positions, including:


Ngun Tha Lian, age 1 (File No. 05/MLS/05505)

Tial Tim Rem, age 3 (File No. 05/MLS/05505)

Van Lian Bawi, age 3 (File No. 354-05C08617)

Siang Hlei Sung, age 4 (File No. 354-06C03661)

Jumania Sung Tin Par, age 6 (File No. 354-06C03661)

Ngun Za Hlei, age 7 (File No. 05/MLS/05505)

Cem Cem, age 7 (File No. 05/MLS/05503)

Tha Chin Iang, age 10 (File No. 354-06C03661)

Solomon, age 12 (File No. 05/00579)

Cung Uk Thawng, age 12 (File No. 04/07211)

Sui cin, age 13 (File No. 354-06C03661)

Philip, age 14 (File No. 05/00579)

Conditions inside Malaysia’s immigration detention facilities rise to the level of torture, with prisoners being given inadequate food, clothing, and accommodations, in addition to being subjected to verbal and physical abuse by the guards. Those arrested for immigration offenses are increasingly charged with canings, a serious penalty that leaves deep, permanent scarring. This situation is of serious concern for anyone in detention; however, for the numerous women and children, particularly pregnant women and very young children, the situation is critical.


The raids conducted by immigration enforcement agents during this past June are just two of a series of raids that have been conducted on an almost weekly basis since the Government of Malaysia launched operations targeting undocumented migrants in March 2005. For members of the Chin community, frequent raids and security abuses is an exhausting but unavoidable reality of daily existence in Malaysia. As expressed by Nani, a Chin refugee and volunteer with the Chin Refugee Center in Kuala Lumpur, “I’m really tired of this situation but [we] have to face whatever comes.”




By continuing to conduct immigration raids that target the refugee community and results in the detention, abuse, and deportation of large numbers of particularly vulnerable persons, Malaysia is in violation of basic human rights standards. Malaysia is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as a sitting member of the UN Human Rights Council, however, women and children in Malaysia, including pregnant woman and very young children, continue to be exposed to and unprotected from security abuses, hostile immigration raids, and increasingly violent crimes committed with impunity.


Under international human rights law, these violations should not have to be a part of daily existence for asylum seekers and refugees living in Malaysia. CHRO calls on the Malaysian government to:


· Discontinue immigration raids and RELA operations that target members of the refugee and asylum seeking community.


· Immediately and unconditionally release all refugees and asylum seekers currently in immigration custody, particularly women and children.


· Cooperate with and work in conjunction with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to protect the inherent rights of refugees and asylum seekers.


· Respect and uphold its international legal obligations to protect and promote the human rights of all people living within its borders.


CHRO also calls on the international community to join our efforts. Please write to or contact the following Malaysian officials in support of our demands:


Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi

Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security

Prime Minister’s Office Malaysia

Perdana Putra Building

Federal Government Administrative Centre

62502 Putra Jaya

Selangor, Malaysia

Tel : + 60 3 8888 6000

Fax : + 60 3 8888 3444




Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad


Minister of Home Affairs


Level 12, Block D1, Parcel D


Federal Government Administrative Centre


62546 Putra Jaya


Selangor, Malaysia


Tel: +60 3 8886 8000

Fax: +60 3 8889 1613




Tuan HJ. Wahid Bin MD Don


Director-General of Immigration Department


Director General Office


Immigration Department of Malaysia


Level 1-7 (Podium) Block 2G-4, Precint 2


Federal Government Administration Centre


62550 Putrajaya


Selangor, Malaysia


Tel: +60 3 8880 1000

Fax: +60 3 8880 1200





By: Amy Alexander


31 July 2007


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: About 60 refugees and asylum seekers from Burma’s Chin State are now behind bars in Malaysia awaiting an uncertain future after immigration raids yesterday in Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Lokeyew neighborhood. About 20 women and children and 25 UNHCR-recognized refugees are among those rounded up during the raid.


Almost half of those arrested yesterday morning are recognized refugees with valid UNHCR documents. Many are in the final stages of a long process to be resettled to a third country, with some scheduled to depart within the next couple weeks. Instead of boarding an airplane to begin a new life abroad, they now face the possibility of being loaded onto a lorry bound for the Thai border.


The raid began in the early hours of the morning yesterday in Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Lokeyew neighborhood, where a large number of refugees and asylum seekers from Burma’s Chin State reside. This neighborhood was targeted just one month ago in a similarly-styled raid, which resulted in the arrest and detention of mostly women and young children.


The raid was conducted by Malaysia’s controversial RELA or the People’s Volunteer Corps, an untrained, volunteer civilian unit endowed with considerable enforcement powers. This year RELA has come under increasing criticism for its member’s reckless conduct and abusive actions during raids, not only by international human rights groups but also by organization’s within Malaysia’s civil society. In March, the Malaysian Bar joined the Malaysia-based human rights group SUARAM in calling for RELA’s immediate disbandment following repeated complaints of torture and other human rights violations.


Despite continued condemnation by members of the international community and human rights organizations, yesterday’s raid is one of a mounting number of recently conducted raids targeting the refugee and undocumented migrant community in Malaysia. Since the beginning of this year, several hundreds of refugees and undocumented migrants have been caught up in similar immigration raids.


Malaysia refuses to recognize or give any protections to refugees or asylum seekers living within its borders. Rather, Malaysia has been conducting operations to target undocumented migrants as well as refugees and asylum seekers since March 2005. In February of this year, Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad reaffirmed the government’s intolerance for the refugee population by criticizing the UNHCR for getting in the way of the operations of agencies such as RELA and the Immigration Department. The Minister further indicated that Malaysia “accepts UNHCR’s presence, but not their powers.”


Hundreds of thousands of Chins have been forced to leave their homes in Burma to escape severe ethnic and religious persecution committed by the military regime of Burma. They arrive in Malaysia in search of some sense of security. Currently, there are over 23,000 Chin asylum seekers and refugees living in Malaysia. Instead of finding safety, the Chin people are the constant target of harassment, arrest, detention, and deportation by the Malaysian authorities. In addition, they are unable to work, receive an education, access healthcare services, or find acceptable living accommodations. With the UNHCR registration process closed since July 2005, obtaining refugee status or any protective documents from the UNHCR is difficult. As a result, life for the Chins in Malaysia is full of abuses and uncertainties



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To protect and promote human rights and democratic principles