Volume IX. No. I. January-February 2006 Rhododendron News January-February 2006


Rhododendron News

Volume IX. No. I. January-February 2006

Chin Human Rights Organization



Table of Contents


Human Rights Situations in Chinland


Summary Execution, Torture & Arbitrary Detention


• A 17 Year-Old Boy Summarily Executed by Burmese Troop

• Relative of Chin Rebel Victim of Chronic Abuse, Torture & Extortion

• Villager Severely Tortured for Alleged Sympathy to Rebels, Six Others in Army Custody

• Alleged Rebel Sympathizers Tortured by SPDC troops

• Two High School Students Arbitrarily Detained for Suspected Ties to Rebels


Forced Labor & Extortion


• 45 Civilians Forced as Porters

• More than 200 Civilians Forced to Work in Road Construction

• SPDC Forced Villagers to Clear over 600 Acres of Forested Land for Tea Plantation

• Advance Christmas Celebration Disrupted by Forced Labor Conscription

• Burmese Police Illegally Extort Money from a Woman Trader

• SPDC Troops Extort Money from Traders

• Villagers Forced to Contribute Tin Roofing Plates to Build Army Barrack

• Burmese Soldiers Robbed Chin Women Traders of over Half a Million Kyats

• SPDC Collecting Forced Donations to Support Disabled Army Veterans

• SPDC Forcibly Collects ‘Donation’



National Convention


• Mass-Signing’ Event Held in Support of the National Convention


International Campaign


• Canada Should Work More Aggressively to Affect Positive Change in Burma (Brief Submitted by CHRO to Canadian Foreign Affairs)




• Rethinking a Parliamentary-Federal Proposal for Burma

By Salai Za Uk Ling


Back Cover Poem


• Unity against Colony (Chin National Day)

By Van Biak Thang


Summary Execution, Torture & Arbitrary Detention




A 17 Year-Old Boy Summarily Executed by Burmese Troop


1 February 2006


Aizawl; A 17 year-old boy, accused of aiding Chin rebels, was summarily executed by government troops under the command of Lt. Colonel Ye Myint, Commander of Light Infantry Battalion (140) based in Matupi, a local villager (identity withheld) told Chin Human Rights Organization. The troops carrying out the execution are from an Army Company currently stationed at Rezua Town, Southern Chin State. The incident took place on 15 December 2005 on a secluded hill just outside of Rezua.


The boy, identified as Maung Yan Naing Soe, was picked up at his native village of Hringthang and brought to Rezua Town by government troops by order of Lt. Colonel Ye Myint during the first week of December 2005. The Burmese troop also took along the boy’s stepfather.


On 15 December, the two civilians were taken to a secluded hill, located just one mile outside of Rezua. Upon arrival, the stepfather was made to dig the ground with a hoe. Seeing his stepfather tired and exhausted from digging, the boy volunteered to take over. The troops commanded the stepfather to walk home. Moments later, the stepfather heard two rounds of gunfire.


A childhood friend of the murdered boy who wished not to be identified by name explained. “Although I did not witness the execution with my own eyes, I am certain they murdered my friend. I’ve tried to gather as much information as I could on this incident. The stepfather’s account and words from the Battalion corroborated the fact that he was actually executed in cold blood.” He said villagers of the boy’s native place have already performed rites and built a grave for the boy in his village.


Colonel San Aung, Tactical Commander of Southern Chin State, in early December had reportedly issued a direct order to troops under his command to ‘eliminate’ anyone suspected of having contacts with Chin National Army. The order followed an incident in a daylight shooting in Matupi during a closing ceremony of a football tournament.


Prior to his capture, Maung Yan Naing Soe had delivered a letter for the Chin National Army to U Pan Ping, Chairman of the Village Peace and Development Council of Lung Ngo Village. U Pan Ping then reported him to troops stationed in his village, leading to Maung Yan Naing Soe’s arrest and execution by LIB 140 troops.



Relative of Chin Rebel Victim of Chronic Abuse, Torture and Extortion


Aizawl: 17 January, 2006


A brother of the Chin rebel army has been the target of regular torture, captivity and extortion by Burmese soldiers based in southern Chin State for nearly the past two years, the victim has testified to Chin Human Rights Organization.


The torture and physical abuse date back to as early as June of 2004, when Captain Aung Kyaw Than from Paletwa-based Burma army Infantry Battalion (34) got wind of the news that one U Haakha had a brother working with opposition Chin National Army. The Captain immediately sent his troop to capture U Haakha who lived 25 miles away in a village called Wadaikung of Sami Vvillage Tract, Paletwa Township. Those sent for U Haakha’s capture included an army Corporal and a private (both names unknown), a police corporal Sein Kyaw Hla and constable Hla Shwe Maung.


In the first week of June, the troops raided and ransacked U Haakha’s house. Then the army corporal brutally and repeatedly beat U Haakha with a round bamboo stick all over his body. The victim later collapsed on the floor with a truama sustained in the head. The soldiers later tied him to a pole of his house, leaving his helpless and aching body there for overnight. The next morning, the corporal demanded Kyats 150,000 from the victim, saying that U Hakhaa would be shot to death unless he paid the money. Relatives and villagers quickly assembled Kyats 50,000 but fell short of the amount the army corporal had demanded. The corporal accepted the 50,000 Kyats on the condition that they pledge in writing that the rest of the money would be handed to him the next month. The corporal returned the next month and confiscated newly harvested paddy from the victim as a substitute for the remaining 100,000 Kyats. The confiscated paddy was estimated to be worth more than 100,000 Kyats on the actual market price at the time. The victim family would find themselves not having adequate food supply over the next year, forcing them to borrow rice from other villagers to feed the family.



Then during the last week of April 2005, arrived in the village a Burmese troop of 7 men commanded by a 2nd Lieutenant (name uknown). It was around 5 p.m. local time. Saying that the army was not finished with the business of U Haakha’s rebel brother, the commanding officer immediately had his men arrested U Haakha and seven other of his relatives and took them away for interrogation. The other relatives were later released but U Haakha remained in the army’s captivity. After repeatedly slamming a table on U Haakha’s stomach and chest, the officer demanded Kyats 300,000 and 30 chickens. Stuffing the barrel of his gun on the victim’s nostril the officer warned, “This is what I would do to you if you don’t give me what I asked for.” Sensing the seriousness of the officer’s warning, U Haakha had to borrow Kyats 300,000 from his brother-in-law living in the next village. But he only managed to get 25 chickens and pleaded the officer to accept what he had. Luckily, it was accepted.


But U Haakha’s turmoil was far from over. In August of 2005, Captain Aung Kyaw Than had his men picked up U Haakha at his farm. He was taken to the army camp in Sami village. Yelling, “You of rebel brood, a family of daciots and savages,” the Captain punched U Haakha in the jaw three times until his upper molar flew out of his mouth. He was then sent to a police lock up for the next seven weeks. Another 150,000 Kyats was demanded from the victim, but he was only able to pay 100,000.


After his release, U Haakha was told to report to the army camp at Sami village, 25 miles away, every two months. “I had already reported once to the army camp on 7 December, 2005. There they told me I had to bring back my brother or I would suffer the consequences,” explained U Haakha. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to me if I can’t bring him back. I am afraid of living in my village,” he told Chin Human Rights Organization.



Villager Severely Tortured for Alleged Sympathy to Rebels, Six Others in Army Custody


Lieutenant Thant Zin Oo from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 268 (based in Falam) and currently stationed at Vuangtu Village of Than Tlang Township of northern Chin State accused civilians in Vuangtu and its surrounding villages of providing ration to Chin rebel army and helping to build their camp. On 14 November 2005, a villager accused of supporting rebels was severely tortured by Burmese soldiers. He needed to be taken to urgent medical treatment afterwards. The Burmese army also took another six Village Council Chairmen from Vuangtu area into custody in connection with the accusation.


A local villager (identity withheld), reporting the incident to Chin Human Rights Organization, identified the tortured victim as Ngun Hu, a 32 year-old civilian from Zephai (B) village. He was accused of delivering a letter for Chin National Army. “The cruelty inflicted on him was so severe he might not become a normal person again, that is if he ever recovers at all,” explained the unnamed villager. “All his front teeth were knocked down and the extreme swelling in his face makes him unable to even open his eyes,” he said of the victim’s condition.


The victim was reportedly carried to a local clinic by his relatives. But Lt. Thant Zin Oo threatened to send him to jail in Thanglang instead. Only impassioned plea by his relatives deterred the Lieutenant from imprisoning his victim. “He would probably be dead had he been sent to jail in that condition,” the village said. Each household from the victim’s native village donated Kyats 100 for his medical treatment.


In a related incident, Lieutenant Thant Zin Oo and his troop arrested six Village Council Chairmen and took them to Thantlang town. Their conditions in custody are still unknown. “People are filled with such extreme fear, a lot of the villages went hiding in the jungles,” the unnamed villager told Chin Human Rights Organization.


The six Village Council Chairmen currently in custody are identified as follows:


1) Sang Hre (Tluangram (A) Village)

2) Siang Hu (Tluangrem (B) Village)

3) Ral Khuai (Zephai (A) Village)

4) Cung Hmung (Zephai (B) Village)

5) Unknown Name (Belhar Village)

6) Unknown Name (Nga Lang Village)



Alleged Rebel Sympathizers Tortured by SPDC troops


Aizawl: 7 January, 2006


On 23 December 2006, Burmese troops commanded by Captain Aung Myo Zaw whose company is stationed at Sabawngte Camp under Matupi-based Light Infantry Battalion 140, tortured Mala Village Council members after accusing them of having received a letter of taxation from Chin National Army.


Arriving with his troops in Mala village, Captain Aung Myo Zaw accused the village administration of having received a taxation letter from the rebel group. Denial by the members resulted in them severely being beaten by the officer. The headman of the village received 10 times of canning, while the rest of the members were beaten 5 times each.


The army officer later demanded 5 chickens and 4 porters as a punishment for telling lies to him. “We had to buy 5 chickens for a total of 15,000 (each worth 3000 Kyats), and arrange for 4 porters from the village,” the village headman told Chin Human Rights Organization.


Since 1998, Burmese troops deployed in Chin State never carried rations with them, depending only on villagers along their journey to supply them with rations and porters.



Two High School Students Arbitrarily Detained for Suspected Ties to Rebels


Aizawl: 3 February, 2006


Two high school students from Auk Pin Ti Village of Palatwa Township, Southern Chin State are in army custody after being arrested by Burmese troops on January 17, 2006 on suspision of being sympathetic to Chin rebels. The arrests were carried out by Burmese amry company currently stationed at Lailente Village of Matupi Township. The company is from Mapupi-based Light Infantry Battalion 140.


The two students are still in detention at the time the report was received from a local resident of the boys’ native village, who wished not to be identified by name.


The detaines are identified as a 9th grader Pa Pa Tha (Son of Ze Ba De) and a 10th grade student Maung Shwe (Son of A Hlao). The two boys were on their way to dynamite-fishing at Tisi river, located between their native village of Auk Pin Ti and Pathian Tlang Village, when they were picked up by Burmese troops and taken to Lailenpi army camp on suspision of having ties to the Chin National Army.


Parents and relatives of the two boys tried to get the boys out by bribing 500,000 Kyats to the army camp commander at Lailente. But they were told to bring in an additional 300,000 Kyats in exchange for the boys’ freedom.


“The parents came back with the rest of the money only to find out that their children had already been sent to Tactical Operation Command Headquarters in Matupi and there was nothing they could do to help free the boys,” the villager continued.


“The parents still have no clues as to exactly where they are being detained. They have sent on their behalfs two Matupi residents to plead for the boys’ freedom along with some bribe money. But nothing is heard from them as of yet,” he further explained.


Since a fatal shooting incident during a closing ceremony of a soccer tournament in Matupi last November, Colonel San Aung, Commander of Tactical Operation Command No. II has reportedly instructed each army outpost in his command jurisdiction to capture and produce at least one member of the Chin National Army.



Forced Labor & Extortion


45 Civilians Forced as Porters


Aizawl: 27/01/2006


Major Thant Yin Oo from Light Infantry Batallion LIB 268 currently stationed in Vuangtu Village of Thantlang Township, forced 45 civilians from three villages to porter army supplies, a Cawnthia villager reported to Chin Human Rights Organization.


On 27 November 2005, Major Thant Yin Oo and his troop of 17 men, along with 13 civilian porters conscripted from Hmawngtlang village arrived to Cawngthia Village at 6:00 p.m. in the evening. As soon as they got to the village, Major Thant Yin Oo summoned Pu Thawng Dawi, Chairman of the village Peace and Development Council and asked him to arrange another 15 villagers for porters. After he arranged another 15 porters, they left from the village at 9:00 p.m. for Kuhchah village which is 7 miles away. They arrived in that village midnight. The soldiers conscripted another 17 civilians from that village and continued their journey on to Thantlang Town overnight, a nine mile distance.


The porters carried rations and soldiers’ rucksack, each weighing about 15 Kgs. The army was in patrolling rotation.



More than 200 Civilians Forced to Work in Road Construction


Aizawl: 9 January, 2006


More than 200 civilians from three villages in Matupi Township were forced to work in road construction for five days starting from 15 December, 2005, U Lai Maung, headman of XXX Village told Chin Human Rights Organization. The forced labor order came from Captain Aye Lwin, Commander of Lailenpi Camp under the Matup-based Light Infantry Battalion 140.


By order of Capt. Aye Lwin, 100 civilians from Lailenpi Village, 50 civilians from Aru Village and 70 from Lailente Village were conscripted to work in expanding and repairing the road connecting three military camps near the Indian border (Lailenpi Camp, Dar Ling Camp and Sabawngte Camp) in preparation for the visit of Colonel San Aung, Commander of Tactical Operation Command No. 2 based in Matupi, who was coming to inspect the three camps on 20 December, 2005. The civilian forced laborers were instructed to finish the work within 5 days and to bring their own tools and enough ration to last for the duration of the work.


Colonel San Aung’s visit to the area came as Tactical Operation Command No. 2 reportedly made strategic plans to launch a final military offensive on Camp Victoria, the main military base of the opposition Chin National Army, which was evacuated in July following an assault by Indian security forces.




SPDC Forced Villagers to Clear over 600 Acres of Forested Land for Tea Plantation


Aizawl: 8 February, 2006


Villagers from four villages in Hakha Township were ordered to clear trees from more than 600 acres of forest for government’s tea planation, a villager of Hniarlawn who participated in forced labor informed Chin Human Rights Organization. The order was issued by Chin State Peace and Development Council Chairman Colonel Tin Hla, who is also Commander of Tactical Operation Command No.1 for Chin State.


Hniarlawn, Chun Cung, Hran Hring and Nabual villages were affected by the order. Each village was ordered to clear 160 acres of forested land within a week the order was issued. The work began in the first week of January, 2006.


“It took one person from every household in the village to finish the work in one week. The designated site was 2 miles away from our village and we had to bring our own ration and tools for the work,” said a Hnairlawn villager.


“We don’t know how much money each household will be required to “contribute” to buy the tea seeds,” he explained, saying that in a similar occasion in 1995 each household contributed 200 Kyats.


Under the slogan, “Chin State Shall Become a Place of Tea Abundance,” since 1993, Burma’s ruling State Peace and Development Council has arbitrarily designated Chin State for vast tea plantation project. “Nothing has been produced out of this government’s project except for wasted time and labor for the local people,” complained the villager.



Advance Christmas Celebration Disrupted by Forced Labor Conscription


Aizawl: 7 January 2006


An advance Chrismas celebration in a rural village of Southern Chin State was disrupted when the Burma Army forcibly conscripted more than 50 villagers to pull out a downed vehicle carrying Tactical Operation Command No. 2 Commander Colonel San Aung who was touring the area.


On 23 December, 2005, Lailenpi villagers celebrating advance Christmas were forced to pull a down vehicle carrying Colonel San Aung, who was returning from a tour through the area to his base in Matupi Town. Colonel San Aung was visiting three army camps in the area under his command, reportedly to help put together strategic plans to launch a military offensive on Camp Victoria, the former Chin rebel army’s stronghold.


“Fifty people being conscripted out in a small village like ours meant conscripting the whole village. The advance Christmas celebration was naturally disrupted,” explained Mr. XXX.


“We killed a mithun to make a feast for the whole village. We were enjoying the celebration when the Sergeant from the army camp told us he needed 50 people to push out the Commander’s vehicle. Every body had to go. I didn’t even had a chance to eat the festive dinner,” he further explained. He said that villagers had to pack up their own ration to supply themselves with enough food for a two-day return journey. The downed Commander’s vehicle was located at a distance of overnight walk at the time.



Burmese Police Illegally Extort Money from a Woman Trader


Aizawl : 26/01/2006


According to a woman cross-border trader (name withheld for security reason), on 18 November 2005 a Burmese police officer extorted from her Kyats 15,000, while on her way to sell goods to India’s Mizoram State.


The woman trader was en-route to Mizoram border when officer Ko Ko Lat, station chief of Hmawngtlang police camp and is men stopped her between Cawngthia and Hmawntlang villages of Thantlang Township.


“The officer asked me where I was from and whether I was going to a foreign country. And I told him I was on my way to India,” explained the woman. “And that’s when they took me and the nine horses that carried my goods to the station.”


Upon arriving at the police station, the officer asked her to pay 2000 Kyats for each of the horses in border tax. “I only carried with me 15,000 in cash for the journey and pleaded with him to reduce it to 10,000. But he only let me go after taking all the cash I had.” She said.


“My goods aren’t worth that much. I run this business with a small capital of 300,000 Kyats. I have to pay over ten thousand Kyats for each horse I hired. There is absolutely no hope for profit after paying that much money in taxes,” she further explained.



SPDC Troops Extort Money from Traders


Aizawl: 2 February, 2006


A Burmese Army patrol unit from Light Infantray Battalion 266 based in Hakha extorted money from three villagers. Testifying to Chin Human Rights Organization, the victims said that on January 4, 2006 the troops confiscated 48,000 Kyats in cash.

Ral Ceu, Biak Pum and Hrang Pum, residents of Ruavan village, were on their way to the Indian border to sell pigs when an army patrol unit of 14 soldiers led by a Sergeant (name unknown) arrested them and took custody of 23 pigs they were herding.


The three traders had been on the journey for two days when they met with the Sergeant and his troops who threatened to take them and their pigs to the army’s battalion headquarters in Hakha unless they paid 50,000 Kyats. The traders ended up paying 48,000 Kyats after a long pleading and negotiation with the Sergeant.


“We are not even traders by profession. We are just farmers who struggle very hard to make end meet. We decided trading in pigs as a means of supplementing our family income by borrowing capitals from friends and relatives. We were sell the pigs to Mr. Khen Cin, a broker based in Ralpel Village on Burma’s side of the border. We were to divide up any profits we made among us three. Now that excessive money have been squeezed out from us, there is little hope we will be left with any profit at all,” explained Ral Ceu.



Villagers Forced to Contribute Tin Roofing Plates to Build Army Barrack


Aizawl: 18 January, 2006


Eight villages in the vicinity of Lailenpi village were ordered to ‘donate’ tin roofing plates to construct an army barrack at Lailenpi army camp, reported U Tei Chia, headman of XXX village, one of the villages affected by the order.


Captain Aye Lwin, Lailenpi Camp Commander from Matupi-based Light Infantry Battalion 140 sent notices to eight villages in the area to bring in 5 tin roofing plates per village by 5 December, 2005. Each village was to send in 5 able persons, along with the designated roofing materials, to work in the construction of the barrack. The workers were told to carry their own food supplies enough to last for at least five days.


“Tin roofing plates are rare materials in the rural areas. We were only fortunate enough to have one person in our village who was building a house. We had to borrow the materials from him,” U Tei Chia explained. He said that his village had to hire 5 local carpenters to work at the barrack at the expense of the villagers.


Burmese army stationing along the Indo-Burma borders started the practice of demanding tin roofing materials from local villagers for construction or renovation of army camps and barracks since the beginning of last year.


The following villages in Matupi Township were forced to ‘contribute’ the roofing materials;


(1) Aru Village (2) Tinam Village (3) Sungsen Village (4) Sakai Village (5) Pamai Village (6) Lailenpi Village (7) Tisi Village and (8) Tongbu Village.



Burmese Soldiers Robbed Chin Women Traders of over Half a Million Kyats


Major Win Htut, Company Commander from Falam-based Light Infantry Battalion 268, stationing at Vuangtu Village of Thantlang Township, forcibly took away 350,000 Kyats from a group of Chin women cross-border traders making their way to sell garments and assorted goods to India, one of the robbery victims (name witheld) testified to Chin Human Rights Organization.


On 3 December, 2005, a group of six Chin women traders transporting their goods to the Indian border with 50 horses met with a Burmese amy column led by Major Win Htut on the way between Thantlang Town and Thlualam Village. After stopping the women traders, the commanding officer ordered the unloading of all goods from the horsebacks, then threatened to confiscate them unless the women paid him 350,000 Kyats.


“The soldiers had originally asked for 20 per cent of the price of our goods, but after a great length of pleading, they agreed for a 10 per cent, which is 350,000 Kyats,” one of the women said. “One of the junior officers, a 2nd Lieutenant, later made us sign on a piece of paper in which he wrote ‘We paid up this money as a fine for selling goods to foreign countries without authorization of the State’,” she continued.


The woman said that she and her group paid 4000 Kyats to hire each of the fifty horses to transport their goods to the Indian border. She further explained that the same army officer and his troops had arleady taken 100,000 Kyats from the horse owners prior to their departure to the Indian border.


In another incident on 4 December, 2005, an army Sergeant (name unknown) and 4 of his men extorted 300,000 Kyats from two women traders from Phai Khua Village. The troops are also from Vuangtu army camp. The women were told they were being fined on account of “shipping their goods through an unauthorized route.”


SPDC Collecting Forced Donations to Support Disabled Army Veterans


Aizawl: 10 January, 2006


Tlanglang Township Peace and Development Council Chairman U Shwe Soe issued a signed order dated 15 August 2005 directing all village administrations in the Township to collect 1500 Kyats from every household for ‘Disabled Veteran Funds,’ specifically to support the cost of buying prosthesis legs for army veterans who lost their limbs in the defense of their country. The matter was reported by U Lian Hram, headman of XXX Village of Thantlang Township, Northern Chin State.


The order reads: “It is hereby notified that donations be made by organizations, governmental departments or by individuals, as a deep guesture of humane compassion, for veterans who have lost their body parts for the defense of the country.”


“Although the written order implied a voluntary donation, we, the Village Council members were told verbally to collect a 1500 Kyats per household at the latest by December 20, 2005,” explained the headman of Village XXX, who said that he personally delivered his village’s share to the Township authorities on 12 December, 2005. He further explained that members of his village who could not afford to pay the money were covered by contributions of more well-to-do villagers to avoid punishment.


“Such arbitrary requirement for donations, coupled with constant demand for forced labor, portering and all other arbitrary measures have compelled many of our villagers to migrate to India across the border or to move to urban places like Mandalay and Rangoon. If the out-migration from our village continues at this pace, there will be nobody left in the village in five years from now. I must say that I know of at least five households here in the village right now who are moving out in a very short while,” the headman explained.



SPDC Forcibly Collects ‘Donation’


Aizawl: 9 February, 2006


Every household from 19 villages in Southern Chin State’s Rezua Sub-Township were ‘asked to donate’ 100 per household for “Artistic Talent Competition,” U Peng Uk, headman of XXX Village reported to Chin Human Rights Organization.


A signed order by U Tin Htun, Chairman of the Rezua Sub-Township Peace and Development Council reads:


“In accordance with a directive that has been relayed to this office by telegram, this Sub-Township has been asked to contribute 100,000 Kyats for instructors of hopeful competitors at the Artistic Talent Competition [to be held in Rangoon]. Therefore, it is hereby notified that without failure every household in the Sub-Township jurisdiction donate 100 Kyats, which has to be delivered by 15 September 2005.”


The affected villages were:


(1)Rizua, (2)Cal Thang, (3)Saw Ti, (4)Sia Ngo, (5)Rua Va , (6)Hring Thang, (7)Sia si, (8)Khua Tua, (9)Ti Nia, (10)Hriang Thang, (11)Thawng Lang, (13)Ram Sai, (14)Lung Phia Lia, (15)Thang Dia, (16)Ti Bing, (17)Lawng than tlang, (18)Zua Mang and (19)Sai tlai




National Convention


Mass-Signing’ Event Held in Support of the National Convention


Chin Human Rights Organization

Aizawl: 20 January 2006


Chin people living in and around the State capital of Hakha were compelled to attend a special event organized by Chin State Peace and Development Council Colonel Tin Hla on 13 January to show their supports for the ongoing National Convention, a local resident who requested anonymity reported to Chin Human Rights Organization.


Colonel Tin Hla, Tactical Command No. 1, ordered town residents and villages in Hakha Township to attend the event in Hakha with warnings of dire consequences for failure of compliance. 50 individuals from villages with 100 households were to come to the ‘mass-signing’ event, and 100 individuals from ones with more than 150 households.


“It was our ‘patriotic duty’ to endorse the National Convention. Whether you actually approve the Convention or not, you simply have no choice. We were afraid of the penalties,” said the local man.


Similar events are reported to be being held in each township across Chin State, in accordance with directives from the ‘top.’



International Campaign



Canada Should Work More Aggressively to Affect Positive Change in Burma



Brief Submitted to Foreign Affairs Canada


Chin Human Rights Organization

at the

18th Annual Foreign Affairs Canada-NGO Human Rights Consultations


February 7-8, 2006

Venue: Palais des Congres

200 Promenade du Portage, Hull, Gatineau



Chin Human Rights Organization is a non-profit, non-governmental organization working to protect and promote the rights of Chin people and to promote democracy in Burma. CHRO monitors, documents and reports on human rights situations in Chin State and western parts of Burma.


Chin Human Rights Organization is grateful to the Canadian government for its continued supports for the promotion of human rights and democratic governance in Burma. Canada’s co-sponsorship of several UN General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights’ resolutions on Burma helps keep deplorable situations in Burma under international scrutiny and attention. At its last meeting in April of 2005, the Commission on Human Rights renewed condemnation of Burma’s human rights practices and reiterated calls for an immediate end to atrocities and systematic abuse of human rights in that country. The Burma Motion adopted last year by the 38th Parliament was a significant gesture of renewed commitment to supporting human rights and democracy in Burma by the Canadian people. The Government of Canada now has a unique opportunity to act aggressively on this motion.


Despite growing international condemnation and pressures, Burma’s military junta continues its stranglehold on political opponents and has, in recent months, intensified repression and atrocities in areas inhabited by ethnic nationalities. The resumption last year of the National Convention without the participation of pro-democracy forces and ethnic representatives was a symbolic gesture on the part of the State Peace and Development Council that it will not allow genuine and participatory democracy to take hold in Burma. In the context of growing consolidation of power at the top of the SPDC leadership and increasing level of repression and human rights abuses, Chin Human Rights Organization is concerned that without sustained and effective international efforts human rights conditions will continue to further deteriorate. Canada is uniquely placed to lead aggressive international effort to affect positive change in Burma.


Human Rights Conditions in Burma: A Focus on Chin State and Western Burma


As an organization that has been documenting human rights situation in Burma’s western region for the last ten years, Chin Human Rights Organization continues to be concerned about the trend in steady deterioration of human rights situations over the last several years. Human rights violations and abuses of civilians associated with militarization have significantly increased during the last several months. There are also heightened concerns about growing abuse of religious freedom by the State and government agents against non-Buddhist religious groups, particularly Christian and Muslim communities.


Forced Labor on the Increase


The expansion of troop deployment in Chin State and immediate areas is a major factor for increased use of forced labor in the region. Despite promises made to the international community to fully cooperate with the ILO in the eradication of forced labor practices, Burma’s military regime still uses forced labor on a massive scale. Since the beginning of 2005, more than fifty instances of forced labor have been documented by Chin Human Rights Organization in Chin State alone, many of them involving hundreds of civilians at a time. Many of the forced labor conscription incidents are directly related to military purposes, but the use of massive civilian populations for developmental purposes is also a very common practice. The following report is a typical example of the use of forced labor by the Burmese army in Chin State:


Major Tin Moe, patrol column commander from Burma Army Infantry Battalion 304 (under Chin State’s Tactical Command No. 2 based in Matupi) temporarily stationed at Dar Ling village of southern Chin State’s Matupi Township requisitioned compulsory labor to build a new military post at Dar Ling village. More than one thousands civilians from 20 villages in the area have been working at the site since the first week of July, 2005.


Starting form 11 to16 July 2005, U Tin Maung and 50 of his villagers were forced to dig a 150-feet long drainage measuring 3 feet in width and 4 feet in depth.

Another 50 civilians and members of the Village PDC from Khuapi village were forced to supply 4,000 round bamboos. Each stick of the 4000 bamboos has to be 10 feet in length. The work to collect the bamboos lasted from 9 to 16 July, 2005.

From 16 to 21 July 2005, for a total of 5 days, 50 civilians and members of the Village PDC from Hlung Mang village (Matupi Township) were forced to dig trenches and bunkers for the army camp.


Civilians from Fartlang village (Thantlang Township) were compelled to supply 50 sticks of wood measuring 10 feet in length. Civilians from other villages engaged in other works such as fencing and building barracks, digging trenches and bunkers, and collecting woods and bamboos.


The work occurs on a daily basis and all workers are required to supply themselves with food and tools for the job. The work starts at 5:00 am in the morning and lasts until 6:30 in the evening. Workers are given breakfast break at 11:00 am and dinner at 7:00 p.m. The work was projected for completion in the month of July and workers are not exempt from working on Sundays, said U Ni Hmung, Chairman of the Village PDC from Khuapi village, Thantlang Township.

“The expansion of military establishment in our areas only brought hardship to the local people who rely on farming for our survival. Now that the new army camp is only 5 miles away from our village, it is predictable the kinds of hardship we will have to keep up with,” complained the village head of Hlung Mang village.


“The patrol column commander has already ordered us to raise chickens, pigs and other livestock. He might even call us for another round of forced labor. He said that we cannot ignore his order because it is our civic duty to comply with army orders. Many people from our village are already fed up with the perpetual forced labor and are contemplating to escape to Mizoram across the border,” he added.


Another instance of forced labor involved children as young as those in primary schools conscripted to porter army supplies during the same period.


On 15 July 2005, commander of Lailenpi army camp Sergeant Tin Soe from Burma Army Infantry Battalion 305 based in Matupi, southern Chin State, forced underage primary school children to carry army rations and supplies.


The ration loads carried by the ten boys included 10 tins of rice, 10 bottles of cooking oil, 10 viss (15 kgs) of fish paste and 5 Viss of dried chili. They traveled a 12-mile distance before being substituted by the 5 villagers.


Even girl children are not exempt from being forced to carry supplies for army patrol units as the following report indicates:


5 girls under the age of 15 were among 18 civilian porters forced to carry army supplies in Matupi Township, a local villager told Chin Human Rights Organization. On 2 August, 2005, Sergeant Thein Win, commander of Sabawngte army outpost from Matupi-based Light Infantry Battalion (304) ordered 18 Sabawngte villagers including 5 teenaged girls to transport army goods.


“Each person, including the girls, was given about 15 Viss to carry. The load was already heavy enough even for men so eveybody had to take a little extra off of the girls. There was no way the girls could’ve travelled 12 miles with such heavy loads on their backs,” explained one of the adult porters.


Abuse of Religious Freedom


The State Peace and Development Council continues to subject non-Buddhist religious communities to discriminatory treatment and persecution. The United States Department of State, since 1999 has singled out Burma as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ severely violating religious freedom of its citizens. In Chin State, where the inhabitants are overwhelmingly Christians, restrictive and discriminatory measures are still actively in place for Christian churches. The SPDC has still not lifted conditions placed on Christian communities to freely construct or renovate church buildings and religious sites. Christian crosses erected beside major towns in Chin State have been removed one after another by order of high ranking military and administrative officials. As recently as in January of 2005, one of the last remaining crosses planted by local churches near Matupi town of southern Chin State was removed by direct order of Colonel San Aung, the second highest ranking military official in Chin State, prompting an international protest by Chin communities worldwide and condemnation by international religious organizations and rights groups.


Torture, Arbitrary Arrests and Extrajudicial Executions


The State Peace and Development Council routinely arbitrarily arrests, tortures and even executes civilians suspected of involvement with, or being sympathetic to, ethnic opposition groups, in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 to which Burma is a party. In December of 2005, Colonel San Aung, military commander of Chin State’s southern region, and Vice Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council for Chin State, reportedly issued a direct order instructing troops under his command to ‘eliminate’ any civilians with suspected ties to Chin rebels. On 15 December, 2005, a 17 year-old local boy was summarily executed by Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion (140). Information received by Chin Human Rights Organization on February 1, 2006 describes the incident as follows;


A boy, identified as Maung Yan Naing Soe, was picked up at his native village of Hringthang and brought to Rezua Town by government troops by order of Lt. Colonel Ye Myint during the first week of December 2005. The Burmese troop also took along the boy’s stepfather.


On 15 December, the two civilians were taken to a secluded hill, located just one mile outside of Rezua. Upon arrival, the stepfather was made to dig the ground with a hoe. Seeing his stepfather tired and exhausted from digging, the boy volunteered to take over. The troops commanded the stepfather to walk home. Moments later, the stepfather heard two rounds of gunfire.


A childhood friend of the murdered boy who wished not to be identified by name explained. “Although I did not witness the execution with my own eyes, I am certain they murdered my friend. I’ve tried to gather as much information as I could on this incident. The stepfather’s account and words from the Battalion corroborated the fact that he was actually executed in cold blood.” He said villagers of the boy’s native place have already performed rites and built a grave for the boy in his village.


On 14 November 2005, a Chin villager accused of supporting rebels was severely tortured by Burmese soldiers under the command of Lt. Thant Zin Oo from Light Infantry Battalion (268).


A local villager (identity withheld), reporting the incident to Chin Human Rights Organization, identified the tortured victim as Ngun Hu, a 32 year-old civilian from Zephai (B) village. He was accused of delivering a letter for Chin National Army. “The cruelty inflicted on him was so severe he might not become a normal person again, that is if he ever recovers at all,” explained the unnamed villager. “All his front teeth were knocked down and the extreme swelling in his face makes him unable to even open his eyes,” he said of the victim’s condition.


The victim was reportedly carried to a local clinic by his relatives. But Lt. Thant Zin Oo threatened to send him to jail in Thanglang instead. Only impassioned plea by his relatives deterred the Lieutenant from imprisoning his victim. “He would probably be dead had he been sent to jail in that condition,” the village said. Each household from the victim’s native village donated Kyats 100 for his medical treatment.


Pu Hmet Lian, telephone operator from Salen village in Thantlang Township was beaten to death by the Burmese army on 18, March 2005.


Captain Aung Naing Oo and his troop from Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (266) came to Salaen village on the night of March 18 to look for the village Administration Officer Tin Uk. At around midnight, the Burmese Captain and his troops summoned village council members and the headman of the village, along with the village telephone operator Hmet Lian. They were accused of failing to report the activities of the Chin National Front members and supporting the rebels.


Captain Aung Naing Oo and his troops kicked, punched, and smashed the face of Hmet Lian with their riffle butts. Hmet Lian was killed on the spot. The other four village council members and the headman were also badly beaten and torture by the Burmese troops. The four village council members and the village headman are now in critical condition. According to CHRO source, the village headman is vomiting bloods and he may not survive.


Conclusion and Recommendations


Canada is uniquely placed to lead aggressive international efforts to address growing problems of human rights and democracy in Burma. The recent move of Burmese government’s headquarters from Rangoon to Pyinmana, and the reorganization and strengthening of military power base demonstrates a willingness on the part of the State Peace and Development Council to consolidate its dictatorial power at all costs, further pushing away any hopes for genuine democratic reforms in Burma. The SPDC unilateral and unceremonious postponement of high level ASEAN Envoy seeking to assist in Burma’s peaceful transition to democracy points to the fact that the SPDC is uninterested in any kind of substantive political dialogue, even with its traditional soft-spoken ASEAN allies, that will pave a way for national reconciliation and democratic transition. Given such conditions, it is increasingly painfully clear that current international measures in place against Burma are not adequate and effective enough to encourage positive change in that country. Efforts to promote human rights and democracy in Burma need to be multi-dimensional—one that embodies effective economic measures with sustained multilateral diplomatic pressure exerted on the regime.


The passage of Burma Motion on May 18, 2005 by the Parliament provided a legal basis for the Government of Canada to aggressively act on Burma. The United States Congress has already imposed comprehensive economic sanctions on Burma in order to encourage speedy transition to democracy. A broader and more effective economic pressure from the international community is needed to produce any significant result in Burma. To this end, Canada should implement fully recommendations made by the previous Parliament in the Burma Motion. More specifically, as recommended in the Burma Motion, the Government of Canada should review the effectiveness of the Export and Import Act to ensure that Burma’s military regime does not profit from lenient measures and legal loopholes. Efforts need to be focused on the economic and financial resources of the military junta, which enable and sustain repressive machinery to operate in Burma.


Canada should also use its influence to persuade current members of the United Nations Security Council, especially those undecided non-permanent members to support a Security Council resolution on Burma.






Rethinking a Parliamentary-Federal Proposal for Burma*


Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Vumson Suantak,

a Chin patriot and tireless advocate for federalism in Burma


Salai Za Uk Ling**

Chinland Guardian




Most observers and participants of Burma’s democracy movement generally agree that federalism provides the best option for the future political arrangement for a country so diverse as Burma. Even among ethnic Burmans, who have traditionally tended to view federalism as a recipe for disintegration and an end to Burman majoritarian rule, there seems to be increasing cognizance of the fact that rebuilding a successful Union of Burma would not be possible without embracing the principles of federalism. The rationale for federalism has been convincingly and effectively argued by both activists and academics alike, and has become widely accepted and endorsed by the international community as the most viable solution to political crises in Burma. Despite the popularity of a federal solution, however, few people have actually looked into what a federal-parliamentary system might entail once it is instituted. There exists little literature, scholarly or otherwise, that looks at in details each area of key components of federalism as they apply to the case of Burma—such studies that will help propel further discussion and speculation on exactly how the different power structures might operate within a federal-parliamentary framework. Among the area of great interests, and perhaps the most important concern in Burma, is the relative power of a federal second chamber to the popularly elected first chamber, in the area of formulating national policy agendas, which affect all constituent members of the federation.


It goes without saying that to have a successful and cohesive Union, the shared national institutions need to reflect the internal diversity of the constituent units as well as to be truly representative of the people. One way to measure the representativeness of internal diversity is by looking at the composition, as well as constitutional decision-making powers, delegated to the federal upper house. It is common understanding that post-transitional Burma, whether it be under genuine democracy that activists advocate for, or military-dominated ‘disciplined democracy’ that may come out of the ‘National Convention,’ will have a bicameral legislature. This situation warrants a careful look and deeper analysis of the nature, prospective functions and operation of the federal upper house since it is this second chamber that will ultimately be a determinant of whether a new Union of Burma will be a successful, cohesive and effective one. The formal constitutional power of the federal second chamber and its subsequent role in important national affairs will largely determine the strength or weakness of the voice of the ethnic nationalities in the political process. Secondary to this, or perhaps even more important, is the kind of political system that will go together with federalism in Burma.


Parliamentary Traditions: Diminished Roles for the Ethnic Nationalities


It is generally assumed that Burma will have a multi-party parliamentary democratic system, a model of government that was once practiced prior to the military takeover of 1962. Clearly the general elections in 1990 were held with this system in mind. Ethnic opposition groups who have long advocated for federalism, too, have expressed support for such kind of a system. But what has long been out of consideration is the possible implications parliamentary system of government will have on the operation of federalism in Burma, especially in regard to the role of the ethnic nationalities in the political process.


Responsible Government


A careful look at the dynamics and operation of federalism in countries that practice parliamentary form of government with federalism, most notably Canada and Australia, indicates relatively weak roles of the Senate, as well as the lack of effective representation of the voices of internal political units. Parliamentary system of government is grounded on the principles of responsible government, a government that is directly responsible and answerable to the lower house of the legislature that is elected on the basis of population. This fact alone excludes any effective and meaningful role of the second chamber in important areas of political power in parliamentary systems. This, in Burma case, will translate into a weakened role for the ethnic nationalities in principal areas of political decision-making, which will put them at a position of double disadvantage since common sense tells us that the ethnic Burmans who are majority in terms of population size will already control the lower house of the legislature.


Fusion of Power in Parliamentary System


Parliamentary system of government is characterized by a unique power arrangement, which is often described as a ‘fusion of power’ by political scientists. This is to say that unlike the American system where there is a clear dichotomy of constitutional division of power among the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary, parliamentary form of government provides a ‘fusion,’ or concentration of power in the hands of a single person—the Prime Minister. In parliamentary democracies, the Prime Minister controls the rein of government as well as the legislature. He also has the power to select judges to the Supreme Court. This, simply put, vests the Prime Minister with enormous and largely unfettered political power—Executive, Legislative, and to some degree, Judiciary powers. By contrast, the principles of federalism provide for a division of powers among the different branches of government, as well as between the different levels of governments, in order to allow for ‘checks and balances’ in the system.


This paints a clear picture of how parliamentary democracy system would have effect on the operation of federalism in Burma: a weakened upper house where the ethnic nationalities could have the most possible influences in important policy areas and a very powerful Prime Minister, predictably from the Burman ethnic group, who has control over both the Executive and Legislative branch of government. This will inevitably result in diminished roles and weakened voice of the ethnic nationalities whose only effective channel of direct influence in the national institutions would be through the upper house of the legislature.


Party Discipline


Parhaps one of the most notable emphases of parliamentary institutions is strong ‘party discipline.” The idea behind party discipline is to achieve cohesion and consistent voice for a political party to ensure effective implementations of policy or ideological objectives for that political party. In theory, a Member of Parliament is supposed to be representing his or her constituency and is always expected to act in the best interest of the people from a particular riding who elected that person. But this is not always the case in parliamentary system where party discipline requires an individual Member of Parliament to conform to party rules and priorities, failure of which could result in penalties such as demotion or, in extreme cases, expulsion from that party. By contrast, the American presidential-congressional form of government provides high degree of independence for individual members of the Congress, which tends to be better representative of the voices and needs of the individual constituencies, rather than of the political party to which he or she belongs.


A quick look at Burma’s political and electoral history during the parliamentary democracy era between 1948 and 1962, as well as voting outcomes in the 1990 general elections in which the National League for Democracy party won more than 80 per cent of contested seats in the People’s Assembly, suggests the [possible] dominance of a single national political party. The military junta never recognized the outcomes of that elections and continues to insist on the successful completion of the widely discredited constitutional drafting process through the National Convention, which basically seeks to entrench dominant military role in any future political process. The landslide victory of the National League for Democracy party led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in 1990 might have been good, both for symbolic and practical reasons, for a country trying express opposition to decades of a one-party Socialist and military rule. There was in fact a desperate need for a strong and united national political party to lead a transitional government that is trusted by both the people at large and the ethnic opposition groups. But given that the NLD had won considerable seats in the ethnic areas, and given that parliamentary form of government provides for a strong party discipline, ethnic representatives elected on NLD tickets might not have been able to able to assert the interests of their constituency as effectively as a scenario in which they are elected from locally-based political parties.


The 1990 general elections were meant for a unicameral legislature with the intention that those elected will lead a transitional government that will draft a permanent national constitution, presumably a federal one, which will have a bicameral legislature. The popularity of the National League for Democracy, a party which could retain considerable seats in the ethnic areas, would have important implications for the way in which the federal upper house operates. Already controlling the lower house, such a political party would also enjoy degrees of control over the behavoir of elected ethnic representatives in the upper house through the mechanism of ‘party discipline’ found in parliamentary traditions. This scenario will mean a weakened representation of ethnic voice in the already weak federal upper house. This has consistently been the case in Australia where voting patterns in the Senate have been found to be heavily ‘party-oriented,’ rather than ‘State-oriented’. The same is true with Canada where the unelected Senate, handpicked by the Prime Minister, tends to vote along party lines rather than for regional interests. In essence, this doubly ensures the success of any legislative agendas for sitting Prime Minister whose party appointed the most Senators.



Conclusion: A Strengthened Upper House for a Cohesive Federal Union


For the ethnic people to have any meaningful and productive voice in the future political process in Burma, the upper house needs to be empowered in such a way that it will have absolute or suspensive veto in all such matters of national importance. The kind of close executive and legislative relationship in parliamentary government especially warrants some sorts of ‘checks and balances’ to guard against excessive dominance of the executive. This is because the overdominance of executive power can have a corrosive effect on federal cohesion. A strengthened upper house will inevitably translate into a strengthened voice for the ethnic people. In turn, this will create a basis for trust, harmony and cooperative spirits among members of the federal constituent units. There is high degree of imbalance in both geographic and population size among the different ethnic groups in Burma. The absence of effective and equal representation in a powerful upper house could serve as a source of frustration for constituent units with smaller population size, which could over time lead to the erosion of federal solidarity. To bring this into context, Chin State, for example, had only 13 electoral constituencies during the 1990 general elections. A very insignificant number out of a total of 485 constituent seats nationally for the lower house. To borrow the words of professor Jim Foulds, a former Ontario provincial Member of Parliament, in raw political terms the 13 Chin MPs would have constituted a mere “begging block” in the lower house of Parliament. However, through equal representation in the upper house that is equally powerful as the lower house, they could easily become a “bargaining block,” a position that could compel the federal government to negotiate, rather than simply ignore the concerns of the Chins.


Scholars researching on federalism have pointed out the fundamental difference in emphasis between parliamentary form of government and federalism. The argument being that whereas the implicit vision of federalism lies in the division of powers, parliamentary system of government emphasizes a fusion or concentration of powers. A combination of what appears to be fundamentally different systems therefore, has significant impact on the political dynamics and operation of the second chamber. This led Professer K.C Wheare, a renowned scholar of federalismm, for example, to argues that “the separation of powers and a strong second chamber go together, and parliamentary government and a weak second chamber go together.”


The intent of this essay is not necessarily to advocate for one particular kind of political system over another for future political arrangement in Burma. It has been written to provide as a basis for further discussion that will explore the wisdom or demerit of a parliamentary-federal form of government for future political arrangement in Burma.




* The author originally intended this article to be an academic essay, which would provide deeper analyses of the topics presented with wider research on comparison and constrast among parliamentary, presidential, and hybrid from of political arrangements. However, due to time constraint and other personal limitation, this informal essay is written with the view of providing introductory insight into the prospective nature of operation and dynamics of federal institutions under the much approved and widely talked about parliamentary democracy in Burma. It is hoped that this article will incite further discussion on the subject.


** Salai Za Uk Ling graduated with a degree in Political Science from Lakehead University, Canada in 2005. A former General Secretary of Chin Student Union, he currently serves as News Editor for Chinland Guardian Newsgroup, and Associate Editor for Rhododendron News, a bi-monthly newsletter published by Chin Human Rights Organization, which informs current human rights situations in Chin State and western Burma.




Back Cover Poem


Unity against Colony

(Chin National Day)


By Van Biak Thang


Chinland Guardian

February 20, 2006


We were born free before the colony

In the land of beauty and liberty;

Life had its own right and identity.


We were decreed after the colony

In the hands of levy and cavalry;

Life made its own sole no more history.


We there rallied against the colony

Like a band of voices in harmony;

Life bade its own men call for legacy.


We here come and sing as a family

To the land on the day of unity;

Life has its days of yore in memory.


We here keep the day, holy and merry

For the land we did stand and stand firmly;

Life makes its own day, national and free.



Rhododendron News


Volume IX. No. II. March-April 2006


Chin Human Rights Organization












Burmese Soldiers Stopped Worship Service, And Took Them For Potter

Civilians Forcibly Conscripted For Militia Training

Civilians Flee To Mizoram As Burma Army Targets Relatives Of Chin Rebels For Arrest

Increasing Of The Death Of The Hard Labors Prisoner Under The State Peace And Development Council

Thousands Forced To Attend Anti-Opposition Rallies

Police Officer Extorts Money For Illegally Collecting Wild Orchids

Church And 26 Houses Gutted In Fire In Chin State





Appeal To Senior General Than Shwe

Appeal To The Students And Youths

Appeal To The Minorities In Myanmar





Statement Of Chin Human Rights Organization On The Us Patriot Act Of 2001 And The Real ID Act Of 2005







Political Affairs Committee Of Chinland Calls Chin National Assembly

Victoria Agreement

Statement Of Chin Consensus Building Seminar















A villager reported to CHRO that in Satu village, Matupi township, southern Chin State, the Burmese soldiers stopped Sunday church service, and taken the villagers for portering on Sunday, second week of January, 2006. Patrolling army Captain (unknown) from Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (30) along with 20 soldiers came to Satu village on Sunday (8, Jan, 2006) while they were attending worship service. The sergeant ordered Mr. Vansen, Church president, to stop the worship service, and demanded 20 persons for porter, 3 chickens, and 2 buckets of rice to arrange within an hour. Out of fear, president Mr. Vansen, selected 20 men, including 2 church elders, and a girl, called Ma Yin (15 years old). And then the president managed 3 chickens, and 2 buckets of rice at once.


Those soldiers leaved Satu village at 2:00 pm, and when they reach to Boiring village, a villager, who went along with the Burmese soldiers as a porter said that they demanded another 2 chickens, and 2 buckets of rice from the village.








April 1, 2006




Hundreds of civilians have been forced to take militia training since the second week of March for a period of 45 days in Mizathit village of Paletwa Township, Southern Chin State by Burma Army Infantry Battalion (538), a local village has said.




Started on March 10, the basic military training for civilians is to last until 25 April under the supervision of Deputy Battalion Commander of LIB (538) based in Yateh Taung of Arakan State. A total of 25 Village Tracts in the area were notified to send civilians to the training. Each Village Tract is required to produce 20 able persons. Although no written order was issued, summons was made through concerned Village Tract administrative officials. A villager of Alinwa Village said eight persons from his village were summoned through the Chairman of Pinwa Village Tract, saying that the order originated with the Battalion Commander.




“Trainees have to bring their own food supplies for during the training and all expenses are to be paid for by local villagers,” the villager said. He said that 20 persons from his Village Tract are attending the training, which consists of 4 villages. “The Army does not provide anything except for a set of army uniforms issued to each trainee. Each household in the area is required to put in 500 Kyats to cover the cost of food supplies for trainees for the entire training period,” he further explained.




No specific penalty was explicitly mentioned although one Village Tract official indicated confinement and monetary fine for failure to appear to the training. Weapons provided to trainees are to be stored at the house of local village headmen upon the completion of the training.




Trainees will be allowed to attend to their respective works for one week after the completion of the training after which they must perform village defense duty on a rotating basis.












3 April 2006




Some civilian relatives of opposition Chin National Army are fleeing to India’s Mizoram State to escape secret arrest and abduction since earlier this year by Burmese troops from Matupi-based Tactical Operation Command No.2, commanded by Colonel San Aung.




Pu Zing Huh whose son Kanhtat is a member of the C.N.A and who escaped to India for fear of arrest explained, “Burmese soldiers started frequenting our village to gather information since the beginning of 2006. They are always accompanied by an informant named Lian Bik (alias Okla Bik) from Ok La Village. While I was away, the informant came by our house and asked my family members how I was doing. They lied to him I had already fled to Mizoram.”




U Pampa from Nga Pang Village was arrested and tortured by Burmese troops. On February 17, Burmese troops numbering ten soldiers stationed at Madu and Leisin Village arrived at Nga Pang Village to look for U Pampa, who is also serving as Chairman of the Village PDC. Villagers told the soldiers their headman was going to Matupi. They immediately went after U Pampa. The next day, the troop arrested U Pampa on his way back to his Village and took him away to Matupi where he was interrogated and tortured.




Soon after hearing news about the arrest of U Pampa, Pu Zing Huh said he and his wife went into hiding at Aica Village of Paletwa Township. However, uncertainties about their survival and concerns about their safety compelled them to flee to Mizoram on March 13, 2006. “We came to Mizoram with a single blanket and clothes on our body to escape arrest in our village,” explained Pu Zing Huh who has both of his sons serving as members of the Chin rebel group.




In a similar incident, during the first week of March, 2006 Burmese troops from Madu army camp arrested U Za Hre, Chairman of Ling Tui Village PDC, and U Kui Haih, a villager of Bel Khoeng whose son-in-law is a member of Chin National Army.








(30, March 2006)




The number of the death of hard labors prisoner increasing in constructing new hospital in Tedim township, Northern Chin State of Burma under the state peace and development council because of the lack of health care. A villager from the local area reported to CHRO.




The construction of the new building has been started from the midst of 2005 in Lawi Bual block, in the city, by using about 200 hard labors prisoner, brought from main land. Five peoples died due to various diseases inflicted to them, and one died out of quarreling among the prisoners in hard labors’ camp. Prisoners at hard labors’ camp are divided into different groups comprising 20 to 30 prisoners in one group. The occasional lost of prisoners is due to malnutrition, and shortage of medicine supply.




When a local man saw a hard labor prisoner, Rakhaing ethnic, sent to hard labors’ camp because of human trafficking case, was brought to hospital due to severe malnutrition, he sympathized by seeing his unhealthy condition, and told him that he would like to bring some kind of foods for him. The man replied, “Bringing foods will not help me, I’m only thinking of my family, because they all are arrested just because of me. We all are divided and sent to prisons in different places, and I don’t know where my wife and children are. I only want you to help me to send a letter to my mother”. So he promised to send a letter to his mother. After receiving a letter for his mother, and leaving the hospital, about two hours later he heard the news of his death.The ongoing construction of the hospital has finished up to two stores, but the decision of the continuous building is undecided. According to a local report, within the year of 2005, during the road construction out of Tedim township, when 14 hard labors ran away, and 6 persons were caught, the soldiers in duty beated them merely to death.








Aizawl: 25 February, 2006




On 11 February, 2006, more than ten thousand civilians were conscripted to join a rally denouncing Chin National Army in Matupi Town of Southern Chin State. The rally was organized by Colonel San Aung (spelt Hsan Aung in state media), Vice Chairman of Chin State Peace and Development Council. A local civilian who participated in the rally reported the incident to Chin Human Rights Organization.




Colonel San Aung’s written order was sent out to all local and village administrations in Matupi Township, stipulating that every person between the ages of 15 and 50 in the area make a trip to Matupi Town to participate in the rally to denounce Chin National Army. The order make it punishable for anyone who failed to comply. Those coming from out of town and rural areas were billeted with local town households, with each household having to accommodate at three persons at their own expenses. Local residents were pre-warned to stock up extra food in preparation for the arrival of the out-of-town guests.




“We only went there because we had to. Coming from a remote village, it took me three days of walking to make a return trip. That means three days of wasted labor for my family’s survival. Not participating in the rally would not only have resulted in punishment but also suspicion on us. But it was a good thing we could do something that pleases them (army authorities),” the civilian explained.




“We chanted ‘We don’t want the C.N.A , We don’t like them and We will not support them,” he explained, saying that the public was assembled at the school yard of Basic Education High School (BEHS) No. (2) at Sanbwang Ward at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. At 8:00 a.m they paraded towards BEHS No. (1) at Lawngban Ward. Later, they were assembled at a soccer field, where the Township PDC Chairman and six other persons gave speeches. The procession ended at 10:00 a.m.




The mass rally against Chin National Army was believed to he held in order to get the public into believing that the members of the C.N.A were responsible for the fatal shooting incident between the Burmese soldiers in November 2005 during the closing ceremony of a soccer tournament, which resulted in the death of two civilian youths and injuries of four others.








Aizawl: 10 February, 2006




On 15 January, 2006, Sub-Inspector Ko Ko Lat, station officer for Hmawntlang Burmese police outpost, extorted 400,000 Kyats from a villager after accusing him of illegally collecting wild orchids for commercial purposes.




U Ngun Cung, a middle school teacher by profession from Laitak (B) village, testified to Chin Human Rights Organization about the extortion.




“A middle school teacher pay is grossly inadequate to make family’s end meet. That’s why I had to collect these orchids in the forest to supplement our income in my spare time. I explained this situation to the Officer who asked me for the money, but he didn’t care. I had to finally pay the money by borrowing it from a friend of mine in Hmawngtlang village. Of course, naturally I was afraid that my job as a teacher might


be adversely affected, and he might even confiscate all the orchids in my possession if I didn’t pay him the 400,000 Kyats that he asked,” the victim explained. He said that in Hakha one Viss (1 ½ Kgs) good quality wild orchids could sell 8000-9000 Kyats while poor quality is worth about 6000-7000 Kyats per Viss.




The same police officer has been responsible for other extortion and looting incidents involving cross-border traders since late last year.








A fire that broke out in a village of southern Chin State on 22 March gutted 27 buildings, including a church, said a local source.




The village of Auak Ba Hlaing under Paletwa Township, Chin State, lost properties worth about 10 million kyats in the fire. 145 people have been left homeless and 4500 baskets of paddy were damaged in the blaze.




The fire was started at 9 pm on the 22nd as two children of U Kyaw Zan, from the village, were playing with an oil lamp in their house.




There were no casualties in the blaze. #












Date: January 13, 2006




Dear Senior General Than Shwe and SPDC members,


I am Dr Salai Tun Than; a 78-year-old retired professor who was imprisoned one and a half years in Insein Jail because of my belief. From 1943-45, I was an aid member and later elite member of Burma Independence Army. From 1946-47, I was a student cadet and later district commander of Chin Defense Organization (CDO) and in 1969-74, a commanding officer of University Training Corps in Mandalay. In 1949, as a college student, together with 1st Burma Regiment, I had participated in combat against a Communist force near Hmawbi Farm and against KNDO near Danyingon.




It is not necessary to describe the awesome and merciless social catastrophe suffered by the people of Myanmar since the army took over the state power from the legally elected government starting in 1962. I still assume that all of the SPDC members are patriots who love Myanmar and all minorities. However, your actions are just like that of a rich father who does not know the way he treats his son yet actually spoils him.




In order to escape from these miseries you have to carry out as a Myanmar saying: “Let the bee swarm be attached firmly on a branch leaving for squirrels to walk along it safely.” If you all carry on the present policy, we call will be dumped into a great whirlpool of self-destruction in a very near future. To avoid this monstrous political calamity, may I suggest the following?




1. Release all variously accused political prisoners including house arrests without any conditions.


2. Let all the politicians freely travel, organize and form political parties.


3. Surrender unlawfully acquired state power to the original owner, the people of Myanmar as soon as possible.




Execute the above 3 points within 4 months completely. The people of Myanmar may forgive you as they gain liberty unexpectedly. Please take all the soldiers and officers who are working in the civil departments back to the barracks. For suggestion number 3, you may choose one of the most appropriate options that I have suggested below:




(a) Surrender the state power to the 1990s election winner organization without any condition. You may gain the blessings of all the people Myanmar, ASEAN, ASIA, EU and other countries and the UN. If you want your feet more effective, stand 5


before the TV cameras and reporters, both you and your associates and beg the pardon of the Myanmar people just as Chung Du Huan of South Korea did. Please note that this takes much more courage than doing daredevil acts. All the people and good sprits (Nats) will declare Sadhu (well done) generals! Remember the fate of U Ne Win and you have a chance to write a good ending to your own history by taking this option.




(b) In case you do not like above option, form a civilian interim government and let this government hold a multiparty general election within 6 months. That election has to be supervised by ASEAN and UN officials. Let anybody stand for the election if he/she is legally acceptable. The generals may also participate in that election as civilians, not in uniform. Then transfer the state power to any winner organization as soon as possible without any conditions. Let the officials of ASEAN and UN be sent away only when the newly elected government can run the administrative normally and smoothly.




(c) If you are not interested in the above two options there is a third option. This is to have a tripartite conference consisting of true representatives of 135 nationals both underground and above ground, 1990 election winner party representatives, and representatives from the military. This should be some sort of national convention without a fixed agenda and time stalling schemes. There must be concrete results within 3 months.




The convention you are holding now is a laughing matter for the world and Myanmar. Time stalling and your demands are quite farcical for any sane person and it is disgraceful for Myanmar too. It is suggested that you discontinue the present convention as soon as possible. Remember that genuinely elected representatives should draw the constitution.




The results obtained in 3 months and their execution should be finished in 4 months. As a man and solider, you should keep the promise diligently. If you turn a deaf ear to my suggestions, then I will not waste time anymore but have to continue what I call “general disobedience movement” by the mass of Myanmar people in which they need not go outside their homes at all. My first step is so simple you may even laugh at it. But the progressive steps will be so serious that they will pop out your eyes at the final step. We are going to carry out this program peacefully for the acquisition of democracy for all Myanmar people. As a Burmese saying goes, we are calling you “Maung Maung” softly and tenderly. Please answer, “Yes, here I am.” Do not let us call you “Aung Kyaw.”




If you had the attitude of I could not care less even at the end of the final step of acquisition of democracy by peaceful means, then I will come in the broad day light wearing white prison uniform for suicide bombing. Why do I come in broad daylight wearing prison uniform? During the De Pe Yin national intrigue you filled to kill Aung San Su Kyi because it was dark and probably your assassins did not know Aung San Su Kyi well. Thus I will come in broad daylight wearing prison uniform so that your assassins can see me and identify me. Be sure to kill the right person but no one else even if there are white uniform wearing person; I am 78 year old, not stooped yet and my height is only 5 feet 3 inches.




Please do not alarmed as I mention suicide bombing. This bombing is not intended to kill you, only your thinking and scheming mind resulting in the changing of your heart.


Nevertheless you may kill me. The bomb is a truth bomb wrapped with love and forgiveness. I will write my family members, the next government and Myanmar public not to bring a lawsuit against my killers when they can be identified. These letters will be sent to you, the persons concerned, Myanmar embassy in Washington DC, the UN, and they will also be in the pocket of my dead body.




In the great Maelstrom of the cycle of rebirths (Samsera) if I happen to meet my killers; I as a mighty man and my killers as needy persons, naked, hungry, stricken with sores and diseases and wander in the darkness without hope may I be able to clothe you well, to feed you to the full, and cure you not only from the diseases but also gives the hope of life to escape from the darkness of wandering. Yes, I do pray to the most Holy Almighty God for my ability to carry out these and I love you and care for you always. You may do whatever you like with my dead body.




I do not want to be a hero or a martyr. This is quite evident that I have shielded my last action with statements, urging the junta to yield the state power voluntarily and lastly the people’s ‘general disobedience movement, I cannot deny that I am a coward if you accused me, yet I am not easily scared if I have to sacrifice my life for the betterment of Myanmar people.




Any action based on sincerity and the people of Myanmar will accept truthfulness. Please do it daringly as it would benefit everybody. In conclusion, may I warn you when I die a strong vine of democracy is going to be raised instantly out of the soil and wrap itself around you so tightly that you will all be choked to your last breath? So please treat cautiously when you deal with democracy. Remember your fate could be worse than that of U Ne Win. Try to make up for your cycle of rebirths (Samsera) now.




An open arm welcomes for the future of prosperous Myanmar. True courage will make you free.


With kind regards,


Dr. Salai Tun Than


Retired Professor


Presently USA






Date: 02/10/2006


Dear students and youths,


I am a 78-year-old retired professor, who was imprisoned in Insein Jail for my solitary demonstration against the Burmese military regime in front of Rangoon City Hall. The people of Burma have been flattened under the regime’s military boots for over 43 years, since 1962. Our education, health, living conditions, human rights, and political rights have been stamped out by the tyrants, who are tenaciously holding on to power.




Attempting to cover a dead elephant with a goat’s skin, they often boast that things have dramatically improved during their rule; they continue spread their propaganda through state-owned media, such as newspaper, radio, and TV.




Our miseries are made worse by some of the leaders of Burma’ neighboring countries. Therefore, we cannot expect external forces to relieve us from our social distress; we must rely on ourselves. Remember the late General Aung San, who drove out both the colonialist and fascist by uniting the people of Burma and launching the Burma Independent Army. Burma’s ruling tyrants, General Than Shwe and his gang, are worse than the colonialists and fascists combined. Like foxes, they relish in devouring their own kin’s flesh. Nevertheless, my upcoming campaign is not a personal attack motivated by hostility against the Burmese generals; it is a campaign aimed at achieving a peaceful transfer of power back to the people of Burma, where it rightfully belongs.




I urge you, students and youths inside and outside Burma, to join me in my upcoming campaign. I issued an ultimatum to the SPDC on January 13, 2006; should they fail to meet my demands, I earnestly beseech you, those inside Burma, to launch the initiatives outlined in my civil disobedience plan. And I encourage you, students in exile scattered across the world, to reinforce the efforts of your comrades by any means necessary.


Military tyranny must go down, must go down! The cause of national uprising must be won, must be won!


With love and respect,


Dr. Salai Tun Than


Retired Professor


Presently U.S.A.






February 12, 2006




Dear Minority Brothers and Sisters,


I am a 78 year-old retired Professor Dr. Salai Tun Than who belongs to Asho Chin minority and was imprisoned in Insein Jail because of my belief. We all know that General Ne Win and his lackeys took the state power unlawfully from a legally elected government 43 years ago. When students, monks, and some military personnel demonstrated together with the public, General Saw Maung and Than Shwe and his thugs again took back the state power by killing thousands of people including school children. Not this many people had been killed even during the colonial and fascist regimes combined. They are like carnivorous foxes, which devour their own kin’s flesh and are still at large.


Ever intimidating generals often proclaim fraternity of minority racial groups, yet they have taken out houses and lands without compensation. They also destroy and set fire to our places of worship and arrest, beat up, and fisted our religious leaders for no reason. They also carry out divide-and-rule policy, and rape our comely damsels systematically and ruin their lives forever. We, minorities and Myanmar public have reached the end of the worst human misery. We hope to wipe our tears with out own knees and we are in a hopeless situation looking for someone to save us.




In this deplorable and miserable situation let us forget our past differences and unite with never ending love and forgiveness and march again forward. As General Aung San had quenched the cruelty of colonialists and fascists with the unity of minorities, general Burmese public, and his People Army, let us again join hand with renewed strength and energy with unbreakable unity.




This is a time to start the general disobedience movement to drive out the ruthless military tyranny thoughts from General Than Shwe and his gangsters minds, until they come to their knees with some saneness. In this movement no body need to get out of their houses. Let us carry this out with passionate love and charity but with malice none, employing a non-violence method.


Military tyranny must go down, must go down!


The cause of national uprising must be won, must be won!


With respect and love,


Dr. Salai Tun Than


Retired Professor
















April 17, 2006


CHRO is deeply concerned about provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001 and the REAL ID Act of 2005 that are hindering Chin asylum seekers and refugees from gaining protection in the United States. CHRO calls on the United States to continue to uphold its commitment under the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees. CHRO also calls on the United States Congress to revise legislation that is threatening to unjustifiably bar genuine asylum seekers and refugees from accessing immigration benefits in the United States.




For the past several decades, the United States has generously provided a home to asylum seekers and refugees from Chin State. However, under the USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001 and the REAL ID Act of 2005, the Chin people are at risk of being inappropriately labeled as “terrorists” and subsequently rendered inadmissible to the United States. As the law stands, the definition of “terrorist organizations” and people engaged in “terrorist activities” effectively includes groups organized to defend themselves and their people against authoritarian governments that rule through intimidation and unspeakable brutality. Furthermore, anyone who at anytime provided material support to such organizations or persons, regardless of the magnitude of support or context under which the support was given, is subject to the inadmissibility bar.




A majority of Chin asylum seekers and refugees have provided some form of support at some point in their lives to the Chin National Front (CNF), an armed resistance group organized to promote democracy in Burma and defend the people of Chin State from annihilation by the military regime. Although the U.S. government has never officially categorized the CNF as a terrorist organization, under the overly broad definitions accorded by recent legislation, participation in or support of the CNF is jeopardizing the eligibility of Chin asylum seekers and refugees from gaining sanctuary in the United States. Even minimal forms of support, such as clothing, food, water, or temporary accommodations, are sufficient to activate the inadmissibility bar. In addition, Chins who have been granted status and have made a home in the United States are at risk of being barred from ever obtaining lawful permanent residency or citizenship under the same provisions.




The 2001 and 2005 leg




Rhododendron News


Volume IX. No. IV. July-August 2006


Chin Human Rights Organization












Village Headman House And Huts Of Villagers Burned Down By SPDC

Mother And Infant Child Arrested

SPDC Arrest People Who Refuse To Serve As Village Council Chairmen

SPDC Prohibits Headmen From Resigning From Their Posts

SPDC Soldiers Burn A House

SPDC Authorities Close Down Orphanage School

SPDC Ordered Village Self Supported Middle School to Close

Unfair Tuition Fees Demanded

SPDC Force Local People To Sell Timber Planks At Unfair Price

Burmese Army Collect Rations From Villagers

Burmese Army Demand Chicken From Villagers

Police Arrest Cross-Border Trader And Confiscate Goods

SPDC Lieutenant Took 200,000 Kyats From A Woman Trader

Military Officials Need Permission To Go To Capital

SPDC Ignore 23 Deaths Caused By The Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever



Village Headman Killed, Two Forcibly Recruited As Soldiers

Villagers Forced To Attend Two Months Military Training

Local Residents Forced To Take Militia Training



Castor Oil Plantation Project A Problem For The People

SPDC Authorities Fine People Who Fail To Plant Castor Oil

SPDC Re-Issues Order For Castor Oil Plantation

Land Confiscation Continues For Jathropas Plantation

Death Sentence To People Opposing Jathropa Plantation



SPDC Authorities Collect Money From Local Residence For Buddhist Water Festival

Fifty Households To Be Evicted For Monastery Expansion

Land Confiscated For Buddhist Monastery



Chin Workers Arrested In Malaysian Immigration Raid



Tahan Market Reduced To Ashes

Chin Student Union Of North America Formed

Gathering Strength: Exiled Chin Christians Merged For A Joint Mission

Chin Community Of Germany Hosted Chinland Constitution Consultative Meetings

The Chin Community In Norway Successfully Hosted Chinland Constitution Consultative Meeting

ENC Goes Online CNF Ratifies Anti-Landmine Treaty



Reconciling Identity And Integration (By Bianca Son: Mang Khan Cing)



A Bedbug (By Van Biak Thang)




28 July 2006


Sergeant Mya Maung and troops of LIB 550 based in Pon-na Island, Arakan State stationed in Marane-wa Village, Paletwa Township, Southern Chin State, burned down the house of Hen Ngaih, Sap-Chain Village headman, on June 26, 2006 accusing him of not reporting the presence of Chin National Army soldiers in the village. In addition, they also destroyed all the village farm huts. The incident was reported to CHRO by the village chairman who escaped.


The village headman was summoned by Commander Tun Tun Aung of LIB 550 based in Tu Rah Aing Village to explain the presence of the Chin National Army soldiers in the village. The village headman Hen Ngaih sent Phoe Kyaw to report the incident to Commander Tun Tun Aung with two chickens, four kilos of rice, a bottle of cooking oil, and a packet of cigars to please the soldiers. However, the Commander was not satisfied and threatened the village headman to be arrested. Fearing for his safety, the village headman fled to Pauk Toe Wa Village on June 18, 2006.


A few days after the headman fled, Sergeant Mya Maung and seven soldiers from Ma Rane Wa Battalion went to the village and threatened the villagers. They ordered the villagers to burn down the house of the chairman. They also took over the village headman’s possessions and properties. At the same time, they issued an order prohibiting villagers in most of the upper villages of Paletwa Township from sleeping overnight at their farms. The farm huts were burned down because the villagers were accused of storing rations for armed groups in the huts.


After hearing of the events, Hen Ngaih fled to safe place at India border on July 3, 2006.




5 July 2006


Captain Aung Kyaw and his troops from Light Infantry Battalion 304, based in Matupi Town of Southern Chin State, attempted to arrest five village chairmen from the Matupi and Paletwa region during the first week of June 2006 under accusations of having connections with a foreign-based Chin pro-democracy organization. One village chairman, Lung Thui, fled to Mizoram to escape arrest and reported to CHRO that Captain Aung Kyaw and his troops had arrested his wife and two month old baby.


According to Lung Thui, he had no desire to continue serving as the Chairman of the Village Council but the Tactical Commander from Matupi forced him to continue to serve for the past year.


“During my visited to Matupi to buy daily necessities, the Burmese Army led by Captain Aung Kyaw and 30 of his soldiers went to our village. On 9 June 2006, I received information about the visit. I dared not return to my village. Instead I hid for three days and three nights in a paddy field near the village. While I was hiding in the paddy field, my younger brother provided me with everything I needed, such as food and other things. My brother informed me that my wife, Sun Par, and two-month-old baby were arrested by Captain Aung Kyaw and his troops on 14 June 2006. They took them back to Matupi,” said Lung Thui.


“As soon as I heard of the arrest of my family, I went to the village to see my three older children. Although I am very sad and disappointed, I can do nothing for my family. As I had no other choice, for my own security, I decided to flee to a safer place. Even though now is the rainy season in Chin State, I dared not go along the proper hill road fearing the Burmese Army would find me. Instead I ran through the jungle, across the mountains and forests. Eventually, I reached the Indo-Burma border on 30 June 2006 after struggling through storms and heavy rains,” said the victim.


The names of the chairmen who were arrested on 9 June 2006 are as follows:


U An Ri from Kingkang Kung Village of Paletwa Township;

U Va Maw from Lungzaw Kung (A) Village of Paletwa Township;

U Pawk Tha from Lungzaw Kung (B) Village of Paletwa Township; and

U Nga Vang and his son from Khuahung Village of Paletwa Township.


All the chairmen were safely taken to Matupi, except for U An Ri, chairman from Kingkang Kung Village. According to a person who fled to the Indo-Burma border, U An Ri was shot to death by a soldier from the Burmese Army on the way to Matupi. U An Ri has not been heard from since the date of his arrest.




5 July 2006


“On June 15, 2006, Burma army tactical 2 Commander Colonel San Aung, based in Matupi Township, Southern Chin State, arrested and punished four people who refused to serve as the Chairman of the Village Council accusing them of being rebels,” a local villager reported to CHRO.


On June 13, 2006, the Tactical commander sent the Captain and Camp Commander with his troops, including the head of the Matupi Township Peace and Development Council to hold elections for the Chairman of the Village Council in Lei Ring (B) Village, which is 25 miles west of Matupi Township. The names of the selected persons for Village Chairmen and the villages are:


1) U Tlung Om – Lai rhing (A) Village

2) U Han Cang – Lai rhing (B) Village

3) U Pa Ang – Bung Hung Village

4) U Lal Sang – Kho Bal Village


When the selected nominees refused to serve as Chairman of the Village Council, the Burmese authorities recorded their names and identity cards. They forced them to sign a statement accusing them of being rebels, then took them to the Tactical Office and arrested them on June 15, 2006.


It is not known how long the people who were arrested for refusing to serve as the Chairman of the Village Council will be put in jail for their refusal.



6 August 2006


Pu Lai To, the current Chairman of village council in Thantlang Town, Northern Chin State, was ordered by the SPDC saying that village council chairmen are not allowed to resign from their post. Those who resign are threatened with punishment, a local resident reported to CHRO.


Last year, village headmen were forced to assign villagers to perform labor for the Army, report visitors to the village, and summon villagers for interrogation and torture at the army camp. Furthermore, while serving as the chairman of the village council, there is no time to work in their own farm or earn a living. As a result, chairmen are at risk of starvation. Because of these hardships, no one wants to serve as village chairman. Due to an unwillingness to serve, Lai To has been issued an order to prohibit chairmen from resigning.


The villages who received the new order are: Banawh Tlang, Bel Har, Tluang Ram A, and Tluang Ram B. Village chairmen are not elected to the position but are instead chosen by village elders.




12 July 2006


The Company Commander from Light Infantry Battalion 550, based in Maringwa Village, Paletwa Township, Southern Chin State, burned down the house of anti-government organization Chin National Front CNF member, the relatives of the family who live near the border reported to CHRO.


The Company Commander along with his troops went to Saih Sin Village to arrest the family of Khin Soe, who has been serving in the Chin National Front since June 2006. Khin Soe’s father heard that the news that the troops were coming to arrest him and thus ran to another village.


Aung Linzo, the 20 year old brother of Khin Soe, was arrested by soldiers at Rakei Village while he was retuning from Paletwa. The Burmese soldier said that they arrested him because he had left the village without permission. Aung Linzo did not know that his family was targeted by the Burmese army and they were in danger. Aung Linzo was kept by the Burmese soldiers in Tharuan jail. While he was in jail, he got into a fight with the policeman who was guarding him. Aung Linzo took the officer’s gun and escaped on June 18, 2006. He disposed of the gun and ran to Tuidang, Mizoram on June 23, 2006.


Thereafter, the SPDC came to Saih Sin Village and burned down the house of Aung Linzo, the CNF member.



3 August 2006


SPDC chairman of Chin State commander Colonel Tin Hla ordered to close the orphanage school in Toi Hmawng Rawn, 3 miles from Hakha, without any reason during the month of June 2006, according to a local person who wished to remain anonymous. The orphan children were sent to join the school in Hakha, however, the admission process for 2006-2007 had already closed, the local villager continued.


The orphanage school was established by a pastor namedxxxx six years a go to help the ophans from Hakha township. The school had 300 students, three volunteer teachers, and two cooks. The school went from nursery to fourth standard. Not only orphans attended the school but other students also joined because of the high quality of teaching.


After the school closed, the non-orphan children were able to join other schools in the area, but for the orphan children, who are the majority have no one to help for them to join other schools. Moreover they cannot walk to other schools, which are at least 3 miles away. The local people are furious about the school closure and they have no idea why the authorities ordered to close the orphanage school, said the local villager.



5 August 2006


Students from Hniarlawn Village, Hakha Township, Northern Chin State are forced to give up their education following an order by Commander Tin Hla to close the 8 Standard Middle School on the second week of June 2006. No reason was provided for the closure. The students who cannot afford to go to school in Hakha Town are forced to give up their education, a local villager said.


The self support Middle School at Hniarlawn Village was established 20 years ago by the villagers to ensure their children had access to an education up to middle school level. After the closure of the school, the 8th grade students have to go to school at the nearest town of Hakha which is about 8 miles from the village. It is very difficult for the students to commute 8 miles on foot to attend class. Thus only a few students could afford to continue their education.


The school had 30 students, two teachers appointed by the government and three private teachers are hired by the villagers themselves.


Parents of the students who could not afford to go to Hakha Town for school felt discriminated against and are bitter that their children’s future has been taken away.



7 August 2006


Township Education Head Officer residing in Than Tlang Town in Southern Chin State demanded unfair admission fees from school children for the 2006- 2007 academic year. The fee is much more than what was required in the past for tuition. Students from poor family are unable to pay the fee, a local resident reported to CHRO.


School children submitted admission forms for the 2006- 2007 academics year during the first week of June. They paid 100 Kyats per admission form. High school students were required to pay 3500 Kyats while middle school students paid 3000 Kyats and primary students paid 2500 Kyats for admission fee, said a local resident.


The admission fee does not include the costs of books and uniforms. With this increase in fees, the total cost for one student to attend school for one year is over 20,000 Kyats. Moreover students boarded in a private hostel must pay at least 100,000 to 120,000 Kyats per year, said a local resident. For poorer families, it is very difficult to pay this amount of money for school.


There is one high school, one middle school and four primary schools in Than Tlang Town. The approximate total number of school children is over 20,000.




28 July 2006


Colonel San Aung, commander of tactical command II for Southern Chin State, forced local people to sell him timber planks below fair market value in order to build a stage for the Matupi- Mintat road opening ceremony, one of the local people reported to CHRO.


The ceremony was celebrated on July 3, 2006. Beginning on June 18, 2006, 6 soldiers, including a commander, the immigration department, and the forestry department searched for timber planks to build the stage.


The victims and the quantities of timber planks taken are from Bal Dung (20 cubic feet) and Cakoek (15 cubic feet). They were paid only 2,000 -3,000 kyats. 150 cubic feet were also taken from other people under the justification that the timber was needed for the ceremony. In reality, however, only 50 cubic feet was used for the stage. The remaining planks were used for buildings in Tactical Hill, the local villager added.



6 August 2006


Second Warrant Officer Khin Maug Sing and his troops from LIB 16 staying temporarily in Lailen Pi Village, Matupi Township in Southern Chin State arrived in Lailen Te Village on 15 July 2006 and collected rations from the villagers. On the next morning, 6 villagers were forced to carry their rations up to Lailen Pi Army Camp, a local resident reported to CHRO.


During their stayed in Lailen Te Village the Army collected four chickens and 12 kilograms of rice from the villagers. The villagers did not receive any money for the chicken, rice, or wages for the portering, according to one of the porters. The officer also ordered thirty villagers to attend military training under threat of punishment.




9 July 2006


Platoon Commander, Captain Aung Kyaw Thein from Light Infantry Battalion 355, based in Shinletwah Village, Paletwa Township, Southern Chin State, regularly collects five chickens every month from the surrounding villages for his troops in Shinletwah Camp, a local villager reported to CHRO.


Captain Aung Kyaw Thein told U Duhawma from Pathian Tlang Village to send chickens to the Shinletwah Army Camp on May 25, 2006, and also to collect five chickens from Pathian Tlang, Pintia, Hemate, Hemapi, Sia O, and Para Villages. When they collect chickens, it does not matter the number of houses in the village. They all have to give the same number of chicken. According to a local villager, the current price of chicken is 3,000 Kyats per chicken, and so 5 chickens cost 15,000 Kyats.


They started collecting chickens in the beginning of 2005. When they send chickens to the army camp, the villagers are not compensated for the chicken or the time spent delivering the chickens, the local villager reported.




26 July 2006

Police officer, Yay Chan, and his troops in Tidim Town, Northern Chin State arrested Lang Za Pau, accusing him of bringing illegal products into Saizaang Village on June 10, 2006. Lang Za Pau was carrying more than 300 packages of chewing nuts worth about 380,000,000 kyat, according to a merchant at the border.


The chewing nuts were imported from India. While transporting the nuts from Rih Town (2) to Kalaymyo by truck, the police officer and his troops arrested him in Sai Zang Village, Tidim Township. In addition, Cin Khan Lam, who lives near the location of the arrest, Zung Tang, the driver of the truck, and Do Vung Khan, the cargo handler, were also arrested along with the owner Lang Za Pau, who lives in Kalamyo. They were taken to Tidim Town.


Lang Za Pau will be charged under Temporary Act 51. Cin Khan Lam, Zung Tang, and Do Vung Khan will be charge under Temporary Act 53.


The chewing nut is called Zarda, which has 3 kinds, and is produced in India. There are 25 dozens in one packet. The nuts cost 420 Rupees in Aizawl, India and they sell for 26,000 kyats in Mandalay. This product has been imported into Burma since 2002 by the Rih- Haimual road.




9 July 2006


SPDC Lieutenant Commander Major Htay Aung from Light Infantry Battalion 266, based in Hakha Town, the capital of Chin State, and 15 soldiers threatened and took 200,000 Kyats from Daw Mang Iang, who was going to sell her goods, carried by 32 horses to Mizoram State of India, a woman trader who crossed the Indo-Burma border reported to CHRO.


Daw Mang Iang, and her group were crossing Nga Lang Village in Thantlang Township when they met SPDC soldiers on patrol. The Lieutenant Commander, Major Htay Aung, stopped them and threatened them with his gun saying, “You can’t cross the border. You must follow us up to Vuangtu Camp, unless you give us 200,000 Kyats.” Daw Mang Iang was frightened by their actions and tried to negotiate with them through the Chairman of the Village Council, but the Lieutenant Commander repeated that she must give him 200,000 Kyats. Finally, she gave him the money, as she had no other choice.


Daw Mang Iang is a resident of Cawng Thia Village, Thantlang Township and a mother of four children. She had borrowed 800,000 kyats from her relatives. She bought clothes and food from Mandalay and was on her way to trade the good in Mizoram to try to solve the financial difficulties of her family. Now she is upset at being threatened and having her money taken unfairly.




15 August 2006: Orders have been issued to military officials of North Western Burma to obtain permission if they want to travel to the Capital.


Sources close to the Burmese Army said that military officials below the rank of Majors have to obtain permission to travel to Naypyidaw, the new capital of Burma, from the Tactical Operation Command (Dah Cah Khah). An application for permission has to be made five days prior to departure.


The application reportedly requires that the officer state the reason for travelling to Naypyidaw, the venue of his lodging and inclusion of a list of fire arms he is carrying. The Tactical Operation Command of Kalay Myo has to guarantee that the official will create no disturbance in Naypyidaw.


Sources said, “All top officials of Burma’s military junta are based in Naypyidaw. They are apprehensive of a coup in the armed forces. They don’t trust each other and it is not very surprising given the military history of Burma.”


The order includes the requirement of an approval of the Defence Investigation Department for the inclusion of fire arms when travelling to Naypyidaw.


Military analyists opine that Brigadier General Myint Swe, Commander of Tactical Operation Command, issued the order to prevent chances of a coup.


This is the first order of its kind in North West Burma. It is yet another security measure to guard Naypyidaw, the new capital of Burma around 320 miles from the old capital Rangoon. -KNG



8 August 2006


Since 14 July 2006, 773 patients from Mindat Township in Northern Chin State have suffered from the dengue hemorrhagic fever. As of the end of July 2006, 23 people have died from the fever. The Township Health Department, however, has not taken any action to prevent the illness or treat the sick, a local resident who preferred to remain anonymous reported to CHRO.


The first reports of the fever began in Me Me Village and cases gradually spread to other villages. Sick villagers informed the nearest health department as soon as they developed signs of the illness. The health department verbally agreed to provide medicine to the sick. Up to this day, however, they have not provided any medicine, a local resident confided to CHRO.


Although the SPDC knows that the sickness is transmitted by mosquitoes, they have not taken any measures to prevent the spread of the disease other then cleaning the campus and dam. Without any medical support or preventative measures by the SPDC, the villagers are nervous about the future spread of the disease.





Khonumthung News


13 July 2006: A village headman in southern Chin state, Burma was killed in June by Burmese soldiers for his failure to report the presence of an armed group in the area.

The headman of King Kang Kung village, Lawng Zaw Kung tract, Paletwa Township, Chin state, Andry (40), was kidnapped and killed by Burmese soldiers in the last week of June. He was abducted and killed by the Burmese Army’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 140 for failing to report the presence of the Chin National Army (CNA) in the area to the authorities, said sources.


Village headmen of King Kang Kung, Pin Kung, Sa Khi Ha and Lawng Zaw Kung villages were arrested and taken to Matupi town, for interrogation regarding the movement of the CNA in the region. Andry was killed on the way to Matupi town. The exact date and reason for his murder could not be established.


Andry was murdered in cold blood in Kaisi Mountain, near Matupi town. The other headmen cannot be contacted because they are in army custody, said a source.


The commander of LIB 140, Captain Aung Kyaw had apprehended Mr. Nga Vang (36) the headman of Khua Hung village and Mr. Maung Hlah (25) the secretary of Khua Hung, who was sent to deliver a message to the headman of La Lui village, in the second week of June. The duo has been taken to Pakkoku by the troops.


The Burmese Army has threatened to imprison those detained. They have, however, been given the option of joining the army. The apprehended village authorities of Khua Hung. Mr. Nga Vang and Mr. Maung Hlah reportedly chose to join the army to avoid a long prison term.


A Matupi villager told Khonumthung, “The Burmese Army has never taken such excessive action against the people in previous years. This has happened due to the movement of the CNA in the region. It could have been revenge for the Matupi Football Match Tragedy by the Tactical II Commander, Colonel San Aung.”


Various headmen were arrested by the Burmese Army after the presence of the CNA in the region was reported in the last week of May. The Burmese authorities reportedly accused the people of supporting the CNA in their movement for the restoration of democracy in Burma. The headmen were apprehended for not reporting the presence of CNA.


The Burmese Army had killed the headman of Tiphul village in May in connection with the presence of CNA in Hakha Township. -KNG



7 July 2006


Second commander of Burma army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 550 from Pon-na Island, Arakan State stationed in Shinletwa Village, Paletwa Township, Southern Chin State, ordered 9 villages under his control to send 30 villagers from each village to attend two months of military training from September to October, according to a local man who wishes to remain anonymous.


Starting on June 23, 2006, the headmen from each village began selecting the trainees in accordance with the order. The villages forced to participate in the training are: Para, Sia O, Pathiantlang, Ma Oo, Wa Zong, Sin Oo Wa, Shwe Le Wa, Kung Pyin, Shinlewa. Altogether 210 persons will be attending the military training.


During the trainee registration process, each trainee had to provide their name, names of their parents, their ID number, occupation, race, and religion. The chairman of the Township Peace and Development Council had to send the registration lists to the Shinlewa Battalion before June 27, 2006. The selected villagers must report to Shinlewa Battalion to have passport-sized photos taken, which will be sent to the main office.


The reason for the training provided by the commander was to ensure security for the village, the battalion and other camps, and also to assist the SPDC militarily. The village council was informed that they would have to bear the cost of the training, including the uniforms bear. Following the order, villagers have fled to India fearing increased military operations and abuses in the area, said a local villager.



7 August 2006


Colonel San Aung, commander of Tactical Command II for Southern Chin State based in Matupi Town, issued an order requiring three villages from the southeast region of Matupi Township to send 30 persons per village to attend militia training, a local resident reported to CHRO.


The order was issued on 20 July through the company commander based in Lai Len Pi Village. Chairmen of the village council were ordered to select the trainees. The names of the impacted villages are: Lai Len Pi, Lai Len Te, and Aru. Each village sent 30 trainees. In total 90 people were sent to attend the militia training.


The villagers were forced to leave behind their farms and were unable to cultivate their crops. However, they dared not refuse the order fearing persecution.






Khonumthung News

The military regime’s Castor oil plantation project is creating a major problem for the people in North-western Burma. The military government’s insistence that people be involved in such plantations will give them no time to eke out their livelihood.


Reports received indicate that the people and government servants have been ordered to collect the bio diesel producing six inches high Castor oil plant. Colonel Tin Hlah issued the order, according to sources.


Each household has been ordered to find 1,200 Castor oil plants. Failure to comply with the order will result in buying four kilograms of the plant’s seed from the army. A kilogram of the seed costs 1,000 kyats, a villager told Khonumthung on the Indo-Burma



“Skills related to Castor oil plantation has been taught in public meetings,” says a villager from Thantlang Township. Colonel San Aung also ordered the planting of castro oil in old jhum areas in southern Chin state.


The villagers have been directed to plant Castor oil over a two-acre area in Rizua township, said a villager. About 1,000 plants are to be planted over the two-acre area. The authorities in southern Chin state have not fixed the cost of the seeds and Castor oil plants in nurseries.


The government servants including United Solidarity Development Association (USDA) of Rizua and the people of Indo-Burma border area have to buy the seeds from the military authorities as Castor oil plants found in the forests will not be sufficient to fulfill the demand of the military regime.


“Castor oil plantation will take up all the time and there will be no time left for other work needed to be done for subsistence. Castor oil has to be planted alongside the road, where the authorities can see. Yet the fertility of the soil for the plantation has not been tested. The project will not succeed,” said a villager in Rizua.


SPDC authorities have stated that the Castor oil plantation project will not benefit the authority but the people of Chin state.


The military regime had once started a project called “Chin state as Tea state” which was a complete failure. The authorities initiated the bio-diesel producing Castor oil plantation project again in 2006. – KNG





17 July 2006


U Zaw Win Htay, chairman of the SPDC from Falam Town in Chin State, fined any household 3,000 Kyats each for failing to plant castor oil, a local resident who wished to remain anonymous for reasons of security reported to CHRO.


U Zaw Win Htay forced people to plant a quota of two full cups of seeds. Those who failed to plant the quota had to pay a fine in cash. Those who could not pay all the money at once were forced to pay 500 to 1,000 Kyats per month until they cover the required amount.


A government servant who was busy planting castor oil everyday said “we are not government servants but instead are forced laborers”.


In the beginning of 2006, the Chairman issued the order for compulsory plantings. Each household from every village in Falam Township has been ordered to plant a one-acre area of castor oil plants in nurseries. In Falam Township alone, the total acreage of the castor oil plantation project is 9,000.



9 August 2006


Company Commander Captain Pyi Ngiang from Vuangtu Village Light Infantry Battalion 266 based in Hakha, Northern Chin State ordered villages under his control to plant a one acre castor oil plantation and arrange the seeds to form a fence before the end of June 2006, a local resident who preferred to remain anonymous reported to CHRO.


According to the order, the villagers were forced to obtain castor seed from Mizoram in India. At minimum, they had to plant 50 full milk tin cups. On 20 June 2006 the Land Department went to the village to check that the order had been completed and record the amount of acreage. However, they realized the project was not successful, said a local resident.


Police Officer U Uk Hlei and a member of the Township Peace and Development Council ordered each household to plant another 1000 plants. Moreover, he issued a new compulsory order of a school quota, requiring every primary school in Thantlang Township to plant four full kilograms of castor seed in four acres, the headmaster of the primary school reported to CHRO.


Every villager in Thantlang Township, including farmers, civil servants, pastors, widows, and single mothers, are forced to participate in the castor oil project. Now is the busy time of the year for cultivating the paddy fields and other types of farm work. However, the farmers do not have time for their own work because they are forced to work on the castor plantation. They are too afraid to not comply with the order, a villager reported to CHRO.



Khonumthung News


12 August 2006: In an all out bid to transform Chin state to a bio-gas producing state, the military junta continues to confiscate farmland to convert it to jathropas plantations.


According to late reports Mr. Zaw Win Htay, Falam Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) Chairman, confiscated farmland (jhum) in Lungrang and Lungpi villages of Falam Township, Chin state, Burma in the second week of July. The confiscated land was estimated to be around 80 acres, situated in the Indo-Burma trade route between Falam and Rih towns.


Some areas of the farmland were reportedly confiscated for tea plantation and Jathropas will be collectively planted in the confiscated land. This farmland was reserved for the villagers for Jhum cultivation, sources said.


“We are not sure whether to stay or migrate. We will not be able to survive without food if the authorities force us to stop farming. We might be forced to migrate,” a villager said.


The Indo-Burma trade route passes through Lungrang and Lungpi villages and Lungpi-Gangaw highway was initiated by SPDC. The Lungrang and Lungpi village areas have been reportedly proclaimed as ‘Special Area Zone’ by the Burmese authorities.


The authorities confiscated eight acres of farmland belonging to Pastor Rev. Khup Hlei Thang, Bomba village, Falam Township in May. It is common in Chin state for the authorities to confiscate farmland of the people for tea and Jathropas plantations without paying a Kyat in compensation. –




Khonumthung News

26 July 2006: The Burmese military authorities have warned people that it would award the death sentence to anyone who speaks about the drawbacks of Jathropa plantations in Chin state.


In the first week of July, the Tactical I commander of Chin state, Colonel Tin Hlah warned about awarding the death sentence to people critical of Jathropa plantations. The commander of Tactical I in Hakha, the capital of Chin state issued this warning during his official visit to Thantlang.


Col. Tin Hlah cautioned the people during a government inter-departmental meeting during his visit. The Colonel reportedly does not entertain any talk about the plantation’s success or failure.


A Thantlang villager told Khonumthung, “The officer regards a Jathropa tree more precious than human life.”


Jathropa has been forcibly planted by confiscation of land, five miles from Thantlang town since 2005. The people are forced to work in this plantation at least three times a week, sources in Thantlang added.


A farmer said, “June, July and August are hectic months for people working in the fields. The authorities force us to work in the Jathropa plantations even during these months. Nobody dares to oppose forced labour.”


Meanwhile, some people opined that it is because the State Peace and Development Council wants all the people to work in the plantations that they have warned of awarding the death sentence to those against it.


This is the first ever death warrant to the people against the plantation of Jathropa in Chinland.






18 June 2006


Colonel Tin Hlah, chairman of the SPDC, collected money from stores in Hakha, the capital city of Chin State, for the Buddhist water festival. During the first week of April 2006, Colonel Tin Hlah forced the owners of stores in Hakha to pay 200 to 500 Kyats in order to cover the expenses of the Buddhist water festival.


Colonel Tin Hlah assigned local block leader to collect money from the stores. They collected 500 Kyats from big stores and 200 to 300 Kyats from smaller stores. They built a stage and bought water festival uniforms with the money collected from the shops. They gave clothes for the water festival to single, elderly women and asked them to perform cultural dances, said a local residence.


The money collectors assigned by Colonel Tin Hlah visited one shop after another. While they were collecting money, one shop owner lady said, “I am not a Buddhist. I am a good Christian so I cannot give you money.” One of the money collectors threatened her and told her to shut up and that it was ordered by the authorities.


Moreover, the people who participate in the Buddhist water festival are expected to purchase water festival uniforms but the local elderly encouraged residents not to participate because it could damage their own culture and religion. A majority of the residents of Hakha are Christian. Even though they tried to persuade people not to participate, people were threatened and ordered by the authorities to participate, a local resident reported to CHRO.




Khonumthung News


29 August 2006: In yet another instance of brute oppression, the military junta is set to deprive 50 households of their land for the expansion of a monastery in the northwest capital of Chin State in Myanmar.


According to local people, the commander of Tactical (1) Colonel Tin Hla directed the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) in July to acquire houses in the heart of Hakha, Chin State near the monastery.


Even though the authorities are yet to inform to people regarding where to shift and how, the land owners and heads of the local community facing eviction met the Commander of Tactical (1) on August 16, seeking that he reconsider his decision.


The military authorities intend to drive away the owners of the houses situated on the upper road of the highway from Hakha to Kan Gaw.


The authorities built the Buddhist monastery at a place which is very crowded and a market area about 45 years ago. Now they are planning to take over five concrete buildings and small houses.


“The authorities will take over some of the houses and the land which are vacant in the town. But they will never pay compensation or provide some relief in terms of money to the owners” said a local in Hakha.


The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) started construction of Buddhist pagodas and monasteries around Chin state and at the same time they deprived local people of land and homes.-KNG




25 July 2006: The military junta in Burma has confiscated land for the construction of a Buddhist monastery in Chin state bordering Sagaing Division.


About 13 acres of land (40 blocks) was confiscated in Tedim Township, Chin state bordering Kalay Myo Town, Sagaing Division for the construction of a Buddhist monastery–cum–orphanage. The confiscated land is situated in Chin state’s Khai Kam border village and is also called Koe Mai or Tai Kua, and is nine miles from Kalay Myo town.


The military government issued an order for confiscation of the land and construction of the monastery-cum-orphanage in January 2006, in keeping with the wishes of the Buddhist Mission. No compensation was paid to the owners of the land, our sources in Kalay Myo said.


A land owner told Khonumthung, “My family is not the only one losing land, however, I feel bad as it is an extension of Buddhist land.”


The monastery-cum-orphanage will be built under the patronage of Colonel Aung Myo Myint. The land confiscated is adjacent to Kalay University, in Chin state.


Different kinds of education are imparted in the monastery-cum-orphanage in accordance with Buddhist teachings. Various Chin orphans have been reportedly admitted to this monastery-cum-orphanage.


Many Chin youths have also reportedly sought work in the monastery-cum-orphanage. The orphans and workers of the monastery-cum-orphanage have to convert to Buddhism prior to admission to the institution.






Kuala Lumpur: On 5 August 2006, some 30-40 Chins along with many other undocumented workers were arrested by the Malaysian immigration authorities during a workplace raid on a construction site of “The Pavilion Residences” in downtown Kuala Lumpur.


According to a Chin worker at the site, the raid began around 3 o’clock. By 5 o’clock ten lorries carried hundreds of undocumented workers away from the site, including several UNHCR recognized Chin refugees. As of Sunday morning, none of those arrested had been released.


This is the third large-scale raid that has affected the Chin community in the past two weeks. On 23 July 2006, 76 Chin were arrested from the Sampaing area of KL and taken to Lenggeng detention facility. On 30 July 2006, around 2 am, 84 Chins were arrested from Putra Jaya and detained at Seminyah. 32 of those arrested from Putra Jaya are registered with the UNHCR and are awaiting refugee status determination interviews. 8 of those arrested have already received UNHCR refugee recognition. All of those arrested in the raids remain detained by the Malaysian authorities. It is believed that these raids are part of a larger campaign to crackdown on undocumented migrants living in Malaysia.


Most of the Chin people have been forced to flee their homes in Burma to escape severe ethnic and religious persecution and torture committed by the military regime. The people of Burma have been living under brutal military control since 1962. As a primarily Christian community in a predominantly Buddhist country, the Chin people are particularly targeted by the military rulers because of their minority status.


There are currently over 16,000 Chins living in Malaysia. Most are asylum seekers and refugees who have come to Malaysia in the hopes of finding a safe haven from persecution. The Chin people in Malaysia, however, live a precarious existence. The Malaysian government refuses to recognize the Chin population. Chin asylum seekers and refugees alike are treated as illegal immigrants. Without legal recognition by the Malaysia, the Chins living there are at constant risk of harassment by the authorities, arrest, detention, and deportation. In addition, they are unable to work, receive an education, access healthcare services, or find acceptable living accommodations.






15 August, 2006: The fire broke out in the main market in Tahan, Sagaing Division at 9:00 p.m. (Burma Standard Time). It is yet to be established how the fire started.


Tahan Bazaar is also referred to as “Chin Zay” or “Chin Market” by Burmese shoppers.


“It was such a lovely, cozy market. You could get all kinds of stuff: Chin traditional dress, small piglets fresh vegetables, goods from India, etc. and a favourite photo spot among foreign visitors” said Pakai from Australia,


Some residents of Tahan believe that the fire started from a stove of a restaurant or a short circuit. Meanwhile, eye witnesses say that the fire started all around the market simultaneously as if petrol was on fire.


“If the fire had not started all around the market at once, we could have saved some of our goods,” a shop keeper lamented.


Four fire department vehicles reached the spot promptly but could not be engaged as the equipment did not function. Rain helped in extinguishing the fire, sources added.


Tahan market had around 300 shops. The market area is 200 feet long and 150 feet wide.


The outer buildings of the market were made of concrete and there were around 200 makeshift wooden stalls in the inner market. No goods could be saved and commodities worth an estimated Kyat 100 million may have been lost in the fire.


“Tahanzay is like a museum of all Chin national utilities. If some one wants to know about the life of the Chin State, Mizoram and Manipur Hills, it is the place where to look for. It is very sad that it was burned.” Lamented Pu Lian Uk, an elected MP from Hakha constituency during the general election in Burma which the ruling military regime in Burma is ignoring to honor.





By Elaisa Vahnie

Chinland Guardian


21 August 2006 – The first North America Chin Student Conference, a historic gathering of Chin students studying in various universities and colleges across Canada and United States of America, was successfully held on 19th and 20th of 2006, at Indiana University-Perdue University, Indianapolis, Indiana State, USA.


During a two-day long conference, attended by 53 Chin students, the participants unanimously agreed to form a student body to be known as the Chin Students Union of North America (CSUNA).


Participating in a conference as a special guests were the Honorable Pu Lian Uk, an elected Member of Parliament from Hakha Constituency in 1990 general elections, and Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, a former General Secretary of Chin Literature and Culture Committee (CLCC), and current General Secretary of the Ethnic National Council (ENC), a supreme political body of the non-Burman ethnic based political parties. Two other guest participants include Pu Val Thang and Pu Kap Thio, both of whom were former Chin university student leaders in Burma.


“I am very impressed by the enthusiasm and the willingness expressed by all student participants to work together for the educational development of our Chin people,” says, Salai Za Ceu Lian, the newly elected President. “For our Chin people, it is undeniable fact that what we have in common, which unite us as a unique and one people is much greater than what divides us. Now the time has come for us to realize once again that we are one people with shared values, history, and shared destiny” he adds.


Conference programs also include a special entertainment night where two Chin music bands, Abandon from Maryland and Lai & Heart from Indianapolis rocked their audience with Chin, Burmese and English songs. Also in the program was various presentation of cultural dances presented by Chin youths in Indianapolis.


Commenting on the successful implementation of the much-awaited Chin students Conference of North America, Pu Hre Mang, one of the initiators for the conference says “I am happy that we have accomplished to form North American Chin Student Union. This, I think, will last forever as long as the Chin people live in North America and their young ones go to school.. Moreover, the formation of the CSUNA has proven that our generation has stepped one step ahead in building unity, unity in purpose. I hope that Chin students in other countries will also organize themselves the same way that would eventually help to establish the global Chin student organization in the near future”.



By Salai Elaisa Vahnie

Chinland Guardian


August 3, 2006 – Battle Creek, MI: A three-day long conference under the banner of Chin Baptist Fellowship of America concluded here tonight in Michigan, USA. About 500 Chins expatriates living in the United States gathered in the town of Battle Creek to praise and worship together, and above all, to share fellowship with one another.


But the conference participants also discussed about ways to help Chin people in Chinland and to reach out to refugees from Burma who have been displaced by war and repression in their home country.


“The purpose of the conference is basically to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, to build better fellowships among Chin Christians in North America and to come together and work together for a joint mission,” said Dr. Rev Thlaawr Bawihrin, coordinator of the conference and a pastor of Chin Christian Church-Indianapolis.


The conference elected Rev. Bawihrin to be the first General Secretary of CBFA. While it is not a political organization, Rev. Bawihrin said the organization’s mission will not be limited only to spiritual affairs, but it will be engaged in wide-ranging social programs such as helping needy and helpless people inside Burma. A whopping $30,000 US has been budgeted for the initial annual mission project, which is to be carried out by the newly formed committee.


This initiative maybe a very small step, but it still is a great achievement that we have been dreaming for, for many years, said Rev. Dr. Chum Awi, current minister of Dallas Chin Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, USA.


When asked if he wants to see a more inclusive Chin Christian body, the former Secretary-General of Zomi Baptist Convention and newly elected Chairman of CBFA, said that he hopes for an even bigger merging of all existing churches and fellowships under one umbrella. He refers to such existing associations as the CBFA, the Zomi Baptist Convention, the Mara Evangelical Church, as well as other smaller churches and denominations that are not members of any larger association.


In his short speech delivered at the coference, Pu Lian Uk talks about the importance of the roles of Chin Christian Churches in preserving Chin literature and culture.


“As a full-fledged member of the Unrepresented Nations and People Organization (UNPO) we, as a people, must fully understand that we are historically free people. The Church should continue to play such active role to continue to preserve our national identity,” said the 1990 elected Chin MP. UNPO is widely regarded as a shadow United Nations Organization (UNO) and is comprised of indigenous peoples, occupied nations, minorities and independent states that are not represented in formal international inter-governmental bodies such as the United Nations.


Only eight out of over twenty Chin churches in North America participated in this historic conference. Participating churches and fellowships include Battle Creek Chin Baptist Church, Chin Baptist Mission Church, Chin Christian Church, Chin Evangelical Baptist Church, Dallas Chin Baptist Church, North America Matu Christian Church, Ottawa Chin Baptist Church and Vancouver Chin Christian Church.


The conference successfully formed a committee to carry out the tasks of its mission. The next bi-annually conference is slated to be held in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Chinland Constitution Consultative Meetings

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Aug 20 2006 at 7:40 PM




15-16 July 2006, Frankfurt am Main, Germany




With the generous financial support of the Euro-Burma Office, the Chin Community Germany (CCG), in close co-orporation with the Chin Forum, managed to jointly organize Chinland Constitution Consultative Meetings on 15-16 July at Frankfurt am Main.


In addition to the Executive Committee of the CCG and its members there were eight members of the Chin Forum Managing Board from Germany, Thailand, United States, Sweden and India in attendance. Five persons from Germany, India, Canada and Japan participated as special invitees.


The event was mainly organized by the CCG as the local host while the Ottawa-based Chin Forum was mainly responsible in conducting the Meetings. All members of the CCG and selected members of the Burmese and other communities were invited to the meetings. Altogether there were around 100 attendees during the two days public consultative meetings.


The main discussions were aimed to gather comments and suggestions from Chin communities and other participants towards the development of the fifth draft of the Chinland Constitution. Apart from that the Chin Forum, along with other leading Chin activists, had the opportunity to address the exile Chin communities in Germany about Burma’s current political trend in general and in particular the Chin federal movement which is more visibly carried out in the form of drafting and public disussions of the Chinland Constitution. Moreover the detail episode of the emergence of the Ethnic Nationalities Council and the recent formation of the Chin National Council along with other Councils from different ethnic homelands was addressed by the Chin Forum for the general information of the public.


One of the most popular topics raised during the meetings concerns provisions regarding Chin citizenship in the draft Chinland Constitution. Concerns were raised regarding ways to protect the distinct Chin ethnic identity in the context of a multi-ethnic setting in a federal constitutional framework. All discussions and feedback were carefully recorded for reference and consideration in the development of future draft. Another interesting aspect of the meeting in Germany was that a “German Constitution Study Group,” of the CCG, gave a 30-minute presentation on important aspects of German federalism: federal-lander/state relations, division of powers in the federal institutions etc, issues that have close relavance to the Chinland Constitution.


Other events:

Taking opportunity out of the on going formal Meetings, informal gatherings with the Chin community members were conducted in the evenings at private homes to exchange information on situations of refugees and political asylum seekers in Germany, Malaysia, US, Canada and Japan. Interest and wider awarness of the difficulties facing Chin refugees in different parts of the world was raised among the participants. Topics ranging from questions about specific provisions to general questions about the movement for democracy and federalism in Burma were also discussed during the informal gatherings outside the Consultative Meetings.



The Chinland Constitution Consultative Meetings at Frankfurt am Main , Germany was a great success. Most significantly, the Meetings promoted greater awareness about important political and constitutional issues, as well as update the public about its undertakings and ongoing activities. Many participants also appreciated and were very satisfied to have the chance to hear in detail about the emergence of the ENC and CNC etc.


During the Consultative Meetings in Germany the following individuals from the Chin Forum, Chin Community Germany and other participants play vital roles by giving key note speeches, speeches on various topics and leading the discussions:-

Pu Lian Uk Chin Forum / Elected MP

Dr. Za Hlei Thang Chin Forum / Chin National League for Democracy/ Elected MP Pu Thomas Thang Nou Chin National Front

Pu Salai Ngun Cung Lian Chin Forum

Pi Cherry Za Hau Women League of Chinland

Pi Julia Mang Ngaih Hau Chin Women Organisation – Japan

Pu Nang Lian Thang Chin Forum / Chin National Community – Japan

Dr. Lian Sakhong Chin Forum / Chin National League for Democracy

Pu Salai Kipp Kho Lian Chin Forum / Chin Community Germany

Dr. Sui Khar Chin Forum

Pu Victor Biak Lian Chin Forum

Pi Bianca Mang Khan Cing Chin Forum

Dr. Rodinga Chin Forum

Pu Bawi Lian Mang Chin Human Rights Organisation

Michael Siang Chin Community Germany

Christine Pum Chin Community Germany

Thomas Khaipi Chin Community Germany




July 28, 2006


The Chin Community in Norway (CCN) held Chinland Constitution Consultative Meeting with the Chin Forum Management Board (CFMB) in Egersund, Norway on the 24 July, at where not less than 80 Chinsfrom political, social and religious backgrounds participated in the consultation of drafting the Constitution. In the program that lasted for about 7 hours – ideas, experiences, processes, and rationales on the draft Chinland Constitution were exchanged, debated, and discussed among the participants cordially.


As of today, there are about 550 Chin immigrants living in more than 20 municipalities throughout Norway and most of them left their homeland due to their fervent contribution to the operation of Chin National Front (CNF) that is the leading Chin National political organization – which strive for regaining self-determination right of the Chin people, establishment of Federal Union of Burma, and restoration of democracy and human rights in the Union of Burma. Due to the systematic human right violation and political suppression committed by the Military Regime in the Union of Burma, there are 50, 000 and 20, 000 in Indiana and Malaysia respectively struggling of their daily su




Rhododendron News


Volume IX. No. V. September-October 2006


Chin Human Rights Organization






SPDC Authority Forced Hundreds Of Local Villagers To Repair India-Burma Border Trade Road

Villagers Forced To Construct Army Camp

Villagers Forced As Porters

SPDC Force Villagers To Search For A Lost Gun



SPDC Conscripted Villagers For Militia Training, Collect Ration And Money From Civilians

200 Local Civilians Trains For Militia



VPDC Chairman Got 6 Months Imprisonment For Failing To Attend The Meeting

Police Threaten 2 Merchant Women And Demand 20,000 Kyats

SPDC Troops Confiscate 1,000,000 Kyats And Four Cattle From Traders

Chin Woman Forced To Abort Her Pregnancy By A Lieutenant Commander



Chin Asylum Seekers From Burma Detained In Malaysia Immigration Raid

Update On Arrests Of Chins In Malaysia

Chin Asylum Seeker Died

Chin Asylum Seekers Held Captive By Thai Agents

Mizoram Police Arrest 30 Illegal Burmese Migrants



CHRO Welcomes Chin Waiver

The Department Of State Decides Material Support Inapplicable To Chin Refugees From Burma

An Open Letter To Young Mizo Association (YMA)

Proposed Measures To Be Taken By The YMA Against Foreigners And Others Staying Illegally



Self-Decision Making Training For Women Concluded

Chin Youth Conference Successfully Concluded

Rights Group Praises US For Allowing Myanmar ‘S Chin Refugees

Rice Exempts Chin Refugees For US Resettlement, Welcomed By CHRO



The Threat Of HIV/AIDS Among Chin People (By Piang Lilian)



A Land Abandoned (By Van Biak Thang)






October 13, 2006: According to the villager who wants to remain anonymous inform the CHRO that 11 villages from Northern Chin state along India-Burma border trade road were compel to work repairing the road for six days without pay. The forced labor ordered was issued by the chairman of Townships Peace and Development Council in Tedim town, northern Chin state and 11 villages in the area were engaged in forced labor repairing the landslide damaged road for 6 days September 4 to 9, 2006.


Among the six villages those who were compel to work on road repair, 67 villagers are from Zimte village led by a local name Khaw Neih Lal. We have to bring our own food tools and everything said one villager. The villagers inform CHRO that there were 275 people from other villages working in the road repair.


Those villages compel to engage in the forced labor are from; Lamzang, Laitui, Haimual Khuahlun, Haimual Khuathar, Zimpi, Zimte, Rihkawdar, Tio, Lentlang, Kaptel and Tihbual.


CHRO source said that it is impossible for the villagers to refuse the order for forced labor as the order is coming from the office of Township Peace and Development Council.


Townships Peace and Development Council take this road repair seriously because when Colonel Tin Hla from Tactical Command 1 visited Tedim town in August, he went to Tio village, near Indo- Burma border. On his return to Tedim, he called the whole townships meeting and ordered the Township Peace and Development Council to repair the road saying that the road he traveled is not good for the security.




6 October 2006: Villagers from Chin state, Burma were conscripted by the Burmese Army in the first week of September to construct bunkers encircling military camps on the Indo – Burma border area.


In what is yet another form of harassment “ We are involved in bunker construction for five days a week and our working hours are from 7:a.m. to 6 p.m.”, said Mr. Paik Hmo who was involved in building bunkers.


On September 8, Sergeant Kyaw Maung Win from the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. (16) Headquartered in Monywa town, Sagaing Division, along with his soldiers on patrol arrived in Pintia village in Matupi Township. He directed U Ngawn Thawng, village head of Pintia, to send six villagers to the army camp at once.


Afraid of defying the order of the military, the villagers got down and started digging trenches. The measurements of constructed bunkers are 250 ft in length and 2 feet in width.


Mr. Paik Hmo added, “we were able to take rest only during lunch which was from 11 a.m. to 1p.m”. In a bid to beef up military presence in Chin state, 15 security personnel,

fully armed, from LIB (16) arrived and were stationed at Darling Village in Matupi township in the first week of June this year.




10 October 2006: Burmese soldiers patrolling the Indo–Burma border are engaging villagers from southern part of Chin state in Burma to carry army supplies.


Major Aung Lin Thwat, and 15 soldiers of the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. (16) camped in Sabawngte village in Matupi Township in the first week of September. They began patrolling the Indo-Burma border area.


Burmese soldiers called up seven villagers from Sabawngte and forced them to carry backpacks and rations to the military camp in Darling Village.


According to villager from Sabawngte village who was forced to work as a porter, the goods carried by each villager weighed around 12 kilograms.


Villagers residing on the patrol route relayed army supplies from one village to another.


Likewise, on September 14, Captain Han Linn from LIB 550 leading 13 security personnel reportedly directed U Thet Do, head of Pintia village in Paletwa Township, to provide two chickens and four kilograms of rice.


U Thet was also instructed to recruit villagers as porters. Ten villagers along with him had to start transporting army rations and personnel stuff on the same day. They arrived at the Shinletwa army camp on September 15.


Moreover, it was also learnt that Burmese soldiers had hardly provided food, labourers wages and reimbursed expenditure villagers incurred in transporting army supplies.




22 September 2006: In Matupi Township in Southern Chin State, Burmese troops led by a Major from LIB 304 were returning from patrol in the area during the last week of July. When they reached the Valawn stream, which is about 10 miles away from Matupi, a Corporal lost his G3 gun in the river. Villagers and travelers near the river were forced to search for the gun for one week, one of the villagers who participated in the search reported to CHRO.


The place where the SPDC lost the gun is near Lungtum-Kingsing River at the lower part of Hnawte village. The corporal lost his gun as he was crossing the river at 8:00 pm. The troop gathered villagers from the nearby village and forced travelers to search for the gun. On the first day, a man dove into the thick river after tying a rope to his waist. Another man then had to pull him to the side of the river. This is how the search proceeded.


When they could not find the gun, they had to build a small dam to change the direction of the river. But due to the heavy rains, the river was not affected. While searching for the gun, the troops ordered the villagers from Hnawte and Tinglong villages to bring 10 bags of rice from each village. Each family from the two villages also had to bring a chicken.


The troop also ordered all the government departments from Matupi town to send 3 persons each plus 10 persons from each block of the town to the river to search for the gun. U Oon Lwin, secretary of Union Solidarity Development Association , and U Cang Va, chief of Immigration department, were in charge of sending the villagers.







September 10, 2006: According to a villager who want to remain anonymous inform CHRO that Tactical Commander Colonel San Aung, based in Matupi Township, Southern Chin state issued order to be collected 4, 000 Kyats, and 25 cups of rice from every household in the area. The money and the ration is to be used for the second military training in the area which will take 40 days starting from August 20.


Villagers who are between 35, and 45 years of age from 12 village tracks are compel to join the military training. The training has taken placed in Phaneng village’s playing ground which is about 4 miles from Matupi town. The villagers who are in the training have to pay 2, 000 Kyats at the beginning of the training and the trainees will be asked to pay as the authority demand them through the training. More over, the local villagers also have to provide the daily for the 4 trainers, including an army Major from LIB 140, and 3 police men a sergeant and two corporals. The villagers are not happy about doing this,

but they have no choice said the source.


The SPDC did not provide accommodation for the trainees. Local families also had to accommodate trainees who came from other villages because there was no other lodging for them. The villagers who did not participate in the military training had to work in the farms of the families who were at the training. As a result, the trainees and the local villagers lacked adequate food supplies, according to the villager.


The villages that were forced to participate in the military training were;

Phaneng, Ngaleng, Vuitu, Kace, Khongang, Tangku, Cawngthia, Tinglong, Hnawte, Valangpi, Valangte, Leisin, Hlangpang.


According to source, the authorities are planning to call women for the next militia training, and the limit of age will be between 45 to 55 years of age.




12 September 2006: The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has opened a militia training centre in Chin state Matupi, and are now training over 200 villagers of the ages between 35 to 45 from 11 villages.


The training started on August 20 at the play ground in PhaNeng village in Matupi townships. A local said that the authorities have ordered to train one person from each family.


Lieutenant Colonel Ye Lyun, commander of Light Infantry Battalion 140 is leading the training. For the trainees each family has to provide two kilograms of rice and Kyat 1,000 per week.


Besides, the other family members will have to clean the trainees’ farms thrice a week. If they fail to clean, the authorities will punish them, said a local.


According to reports, the villagers from Phaneng, Ngaleng, Cawngthia, Tibaw, Hnawte, Valangpi, Tinlawng, Leiring, Khuangang, Vuitu and Tangku tracts are to be included in the training which will end in September 17.


The order states that if 25 persons cannot attend in one group they will give extreme punishment.


The SPDC used to have army training centres in Chin state and they forced the public to attend the training every year in order to protect the nation.






12 October 2006: U Ngai Za Thang, Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) chairman from Cinmual block, Falam townships in Northern Chin State, was arrested and sentenced to six months imprisonment under charges of state mutiny for failing to report in a timely manner to meetings, according to a local resident.


The President of the Falam Regional Peace and Development Council invited the VPDC chairmen of four blocks in Falam to attend meetings in the first week of September pertaining to the burglary of the Falam Bank during the month of June. The chairman from Cinmaul block was absent twice and reported to the meetings late. He was then accused of being not interested in the meetings, arrested, and charged with state mutiny, the local resident reported.


The President of the Regional Peace and Development during the arrest said, “The bank burglary happened in your area. You did not uphold your duty as chairman, and you do not respect the meetings, so action will be taken against you according to the law.”


U Ngai Za Thang was arrested on the first week of September and interrogated. In early September he was imprisoned for six months under Article 4 for state mutiny, said the local man said.


The chairmen from Tlangrawn block, Balai block, and Farthawk block were also invited to the meeting in September by the President who was heading an inquiry into the bank burglary. Whenever there is a problem in a particular block, the chairman is the first to be interrogated and threatened.


The chairmen of VPDC do not receive a salary for their service and they are forced to serve. Their only exemption from service is from conscription of forced labor. Every year when a new chairman is selected, whoever has no exemption is forced to accept the position.




22 September 2006: Police Sergeant Tin Thang and three police officers including the Police Commander associated with SPDC from Hmawng Tlang, Than Tlang Township in Northern Chin State threatened three merchant women, who were bringing goods to Mizoram, and demanded 20,000 kyats from them, reported by the women to CHRO.


The women were transporting snacks, soft drinks, juice, soaps, and pickled fish to Mizoram. The total amount of their goods was 200,000 kyats. They brought the goods from Hakha Town by hiring 15 horses, which cost 15,000 kyats per horse. On 20 September 2006, near Cawngthia village, policemen threatened them with guns, accusing them of being illegal smugglers. The police forced them to give-up their money. They begged the police not to take their money, but they did not listen.


The two women, Nu Iang Ku and Nu Hnemi said that the place where they were robed is the place where the police and SPDC troops used to rob from cross border traders in the past.




12 October 2006: On 29 September 2006, the Sergeant from Falam-based LIB 268 stationed in Vuangtu village in Thantlang township, Northern Chin State, along with his troops took 1,000,000 kyats and 4 cattle from cattle traders in Lungcawipi village who was traveling to Mizoram State, India to sell 29 cattle, a relative of one of the traders reported to CHRO.


The traders are from Daidin village, Ganh-Gaw township, Maguay Division and they brought 29 cattle to sell in Mizoram State. When they reached Lungcawipi village they were approached by the Sergeant along with his troops. Immediately, the Sergeant arrested the traders along with their cattle and threatened that they would confiscate all the cattle if they did not give 1,500,000 kyats.


The traders borrowed money from villagers in a nearby village, but they could not get the full amount of money demanded by the Sergeant. The Sergeant and troops took the money but returned only 25 cattle to them, according to the trader’s relative.


The cattle traders later heard that the Sergeant took the four confiscated cattle to the Village Peace and Development Council of Lawngtlang village and sold the cattle for 480,000 kyats. Meanwhile, the Sergeant and his troops went to Khawbung village where they confiscated more than 5,000,000 kyats from other cattle traders.




September 25, 2006: A Lieutenant Commander from Burma army Tactical 2, based in Matupi town, southern Chin state has forced Ms. Xxxx (name withheld for sensitivity of the issue), daughter of U Thang Oe to abort her five- month old pregnancy, a villager from the local community has reported to CHRO. Daw Thim Ding, a mother of a child, has been a phone operator working for the communication department, Matupi township, Chin State.


Though a lieutenant commander is a married man, he has been secretly living together with Ms. Xxxx for quite some times without the knowledge of his wife, whom he left in his native place. “The fact that the commander forced Ms. Xxxx, an ethnic Chin woman, to have her abortion indicated that he deliberately tried to spoil and discriminate her because of her race as ethnic Chin woman,” the local residents recounted.


According to an eyewitness, Ms. Xxx was forced to commit her abortion in August 2006. “Due to the severity of her abortion, she was physically so weak and frail,” eye-witness added.






Chin Human Rights Organization

October 5, 2006: Early this morning, the People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) raided the urban neighborhood of Jalan Imbi in Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, taking into their custody over two hundred individuals, including over 50 asylum seekers from Burma. Forty-five men and seven women from Burma’s Chin State have been taken to Lenggeng detention camp in Selangor State, located two hours outside of Kuala Lumpur. Hundreds of thousands of Chins have fled from Chin State to escape severe ethnic and religious persecution committed by the military regime.


The raid began around 3:00 am and lasted over one hour. Over 100 RELA volunteers, Malaysia’s controversial untrained reserve force charged with frequent misuse of powers, ordered some 2,000 residents living in the Jalan Imbi area out of their urban flats and into a parking lot. They then systematically checked for immigration documents. Those holding official UNHCR cards were released while those whose cases are pending before the UNHCR were put on lorries and taken to the local Rela office. Most of the residents in the Jalan Imbi area are Chin asylum seekers and refugees.


Altogether about 93 Chin asylum seekers were taken to the Rela office. Forty-one UNHCR-registered Chin asylum seekers were later released after verification of their documents by UNHCR. Fifty-two Chin asylum seekers, including seven women, who are not registered with UNHCR were sent to the Lenggeng detention camp where they will await deportation. The UNHCR registration process has been closed since July 2005, leaving thousands of genuine refugees unable to obtain official refugee status or obtain any documents from the UNHCR.


Facing persecution, torture, and even death in Burma, thousands of Chin have been forced from their homes and seek refuge in nearby countries. The people of Burma have been living under brutal military control since 1962. As a primarily Christian community in a predominantly Buddhist country, the Chin people are particularly targeted by the military rulers because of their minority status. Reports of violations of basic human rights are widespread throughout Chin State.


As of 4 October 2006, over 16,863 Chins are living in Malaysia. The Chin people in Malaysia live without any security. The Malaysian government refuses recognize or provide any protection to the Chin population. As a result, the Chin people are at constant risk of harassment by the authorities, arrest, detention, and deportation. In addition, they are unable to work, receive an education, access healthcare services, or find acceptable living accommodations.


Included in those facing potential deportation are five members of the Chin Refugee Center (CRC), a community-based organization dedicated to helping the Chin people living in Malaysia. The CRC staff includes two teachers who conduct courses for more than 120 Chin children that are barred from attending schools in Malaysia, two female office workers, and a member of the Chin Student Organization who is also a Chin interpreter for Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF).


The latest sweep has been preceded by warnings that the government intends to crackdown on undocumented immigrants living throughout Malaysia. RELA has come under attack for their frequent abuse of power and use of violence, particularly against refugees and asylum seekers who have been assaulted and humiliated during RELA operations. Numerous complaints have been lodged in 2006 against the RELA for corruption and human rights violations. RELA’s tactics have also been heavily criticized in the past by many human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Malaysian rights group Voice of the Malaysian People (SUARAM).




RELA Operation updates;

On 14 / October / 2006 hundreds of RELA ( Civilian Volunteer Corps ) conducted mass arrests of suspected illegal immigrants in the vicinity of Cheras Alam Jaya which located outside of Kuala Lumpur where 500 Chin asylum seekers are staying in low-rental apartments and detained 172 Chin refugees and directly taken them to Lenggeng Immigration Detention camp and Semenyih Immigration Detention Camp. The RELA deliberately targeted the areas where Chin asylum seekers are staying. Only within 14 days since October 1, 2006 the RELA conducted raids in three different places where mostly Chin asylum seekers are staying. All the three raids were conducted at 3 or 4 a.m while most of them are asleep.


( 1 ) The First RELA operation against illegal immigrants was conducted on October5, 2006 and targeted Jalan Imbi areas where 52 Chin refugees including seven Chin refugee women were arrested and detained them in Lenggeng Immigration Detention.


( 2 ) The second RELA operation was conducted in Limau Manis jungles where about 200 Chin refugees are sheltering in makeshift huts and arrested 7 Chin refugees as most of them luckily evaded the arrest. Those seven arrestees are sent to Semenyih Immigration Detention Camp.


( 3 ) The third RELA operation was conducted in Cheras Alam Jaya where over 500 Chin refugees are staying and detained 172 asylum seekers. There are about 40 refugees women including their children are detained. Most of the women are carrying UNHCR documents as they are registered at UNHCR and waited for their refugee status determination interview. They are all sent to two diiferent immigration detention camps.


There are already 144 Chin refugee detainees in Lenggeng Immigration Camp as the previous arrestees are still in this camp. According to CRC available information, there are about 500 Chin refugees in different immigration detention camps nationwide. The sweeping raids within just days apart and only targeting mostly the Chin asylum seekers in Malaysia is haunting the rest of the Chin refugees who can not even submit their asylum application at UNHCR office. The tormenting situation in which ignored Chin refugees are now walking towards hopeless destination to find protection in Malaysia as UNHCR office is closed down for new asylum seekers. After escaping from prison-nation Myanmar where evils are still at large over innocent civilians, the fear of arrest and deportation in Malaysia is now doubling almost everyday among the helpless Chin asylum seekers.



Chin Refugee Committee (CRC)

Re: The death report of a Chin asylum seeker

Sept 21, 2006: This is to report that Mr. Aung Thie, an ethnic Chin from Myanmar who is scheduled to be interviewed on 11 December 2006 at UNHCR Liaison Office here in Kuala Lumpur was knocked down by an Intra Kota Bus on 20 / Sept / 2006 afternoon at Pudu where he died on the spot. According to two eye-witnesses, a plain clothed policeman stopped them at Pudu Pasar where they were shopping at the time. The police was on motorcycle when he stopped the three men and seized all the things from them. The police ordered them to follow him to Pudu Police station. As the policeman already crossed to the other side of the road, he ushered the three to come toward him to the other side where he waited them. When the three men tried to cross the road, the oncoming bus knocked down Mr. Aung Thie where he died on the spot. The plain clothed policeman ran away from the scene with all the things he seized from the three men.


The ambulance took the body to UKM hospital. The Intra Kota Bus that knocked Mr. Aung Thie dead was identified together with the driver to police. The details and application paper of Mr. Aung Thie to United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) is attached together with this report. Any information related to Mr. Aung Thie can be enquire at CRC office.





By Salai Za Uk Ling

Chinland Guardian

22 October 2006 – Kuala Lumpur: More than 30 Chins are being held captive by Thai agents at the Thai-Malaysia border, two Chins who were freed after paying huge sums of money to their captors reported. The two, age 29 and 31, arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning along with 17 others after friends and relatives paid 2000 Malaysian ringits to their Thai captors.


The detainees are asylum seekers who were arrested by Malaysian authorities during a raid in their jungle camp near Malaysia’s new administrative quarters of Putrajaya in July. They spent nearly three months in two different detention camps before Malaysian immigration dumped them at Thailand border and reportedly sold them to Thai agents for 800 Ringits per person.


“UNHCR staff visited us and interviewed us in detention on September 18. But Malaysian immigration secretly transported us to the border and handed us over to Thai agents on 16 October,” one of them told Chinland Guardian. He said more than 90 people were housed in a 15 foot square room with no ventilation. “We could hardly breathe and it was extremely hot and stuffy.” He said a 17-year-old Chin asylum seeker is among the captives still being held at the border town of Pandang Pasah.


The armed captors demanded 2500 Ringits from each detainee with a promise to smuggle them back into Malaysia. “We told them we didn’t have that much money and tried to negotiate with them but they said they bought us from Malaysian immigration for 800 Ringits and they had to make a profit,” explains the freed captive. The Thai captors reportedly threatened them with selling them as slave laborers to Thai fishermen.


“What I am worried about it is the fate of the remaining captives. Who knows where they will end up if they couldn’t come up with the money,” one of them said.


Malaysian government has recently stepped up a campaign against undocumented migrants, resulting in the arrest and detention of hundreds of Chin asylum seekers and refugees and other undocumented migrants.




Khonumthung News

25 September 2006: In an operation launched last week, 30 illegal Burmese migrant workers were arrested by the police from Lunglei town, the second capital of Mizoram state, India


“They have been detained for their illegal presence in the region. We will continue with the operation and crackdown on illegal workers”, Mr. Vanlalzawmi, an inspector from Lunglei police station told Khonumthung News.


“We have taken the arrested Burmese in police custody and they will be produced in court. After which usual action will follow,” Vanlalzawmi added.

However, he did not mention the kind of action that would be taken.


Mr. Lalsiamlaina from Burma reportedly hit Mrs. Lalthanpari who lives in Venglai block of Lunglei town with a hammer in the first week of this month. Mr. Lalsiamlaina was arrested the same day by the police and sent to Lunglei prison.


Some believe that the recent police crackdown on illegal Burmese migrants could have been triggered off by this case.


The Mizo student Union (MSU) from regional headquarters in Lunglei and the Mizo Women’s League in Lunglei (MHIP) had strongly condemned the incident. A statement issued on September 12, demanded that the Burmese be driven out of the state to prevent such mischief against local people.


Soon after the women’s group and students released the statement, the crackdown on Burmese migrants began. The majority of migrants are Chins.


“I found a lot of Burmese in jail. I am worried about my relative who is supposed to come here”, said a Burmese, who witnessed the operation.


Most migrants from Burma in Lunglei town are working as traders, laborers, cow traders and housemaids.






Chin Human Rights Organization


25 October 2006: The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) applauds the recent action taken by the U.S. Department of State and the tireless efforts of the many advocates, organizations, and concerned individuals to secure a waiver of adverse provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act for Chin refugees living in Malaysia, India, and Thailand.


On 11 October 2006, the U.S. Secretary of State signed a waiver to exempt Chin refugees living in Malaysia, India, and Thailand from provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that threatened to render them ineligible for resettlement to the United States. Thousands of Chin refugees have been waiting resettlement to the United States after their cases were put indefinitely on hold due to inappropriately broad provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that effectively excludes from the United States genuine refugees as “terrorists.” This waiver will allow the resettlement process to resume for Chin refugees, some who have been waiting for over one year in increasingly oppressive and hostile host countries. Resettlement to the United States for Chin refugees for many is the promise of a new life and the hope of a brighter future.


Chin refugees have been subject to the inadmissibility bar due to widespread support of the Chin National Front (CNF), an armed resistance group organized to promote democracy in Burma and defend the people of Chinland from annihilation by the Burma military regime. Under the current reading of the USA PATRIOT Act, anyone who has participated in or demonstrated support of an armed group may be excluded from the United States as a terrorist. There is no exemption for groups organized to defend themselves and their people against authoritarian governments that rule through intimidation and unspeakable brutality. Furthermore, anyone who at anytime provides any form of support to such an organization, regardless of the magnitude or context, is subject to the inadmissibility bar. Cases have been put on hold for contributing even minimal forms of support, such as clothing, food, water, or temporary accommodations.


CHRO is grateful to the U.S. government for renewing their commitment to protecting refugees by granting a waiver to the Chin people, and urges the U.S. Congress to revise the USA PATRIOT Act to ensure other groups of genuine refugees are not unjustifiably excluded from the United States. CHRO is also grateful to all those who have contributed to the efforts to highlight and promote the issues impacting the Chin people. In particular, CHRO would like to extend a very special thanks to the members of the Refugee Council of USA, who continue to fight for increased rights and protection of all asylum seekers and refugees worldwide. CHRO would also like to thank the Chin churches from North America, Europe, Australia, church communities and concerned individuals across the world that have supported the Chin people through their words, their work, their financial contributions, and their prayers.



Thousands of Chins are forced to flee from Burma every year as persecution by the military regime against the Chin people persists. Reports of summary and extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, torture, rape, forced relocation, forced labor and other violations of basic human rights in Chin State are tragically widespread. Currently there are more than 80,000 Chins living in exile in Malaysia, India and Thailand. None of these host countries, however, have signed onto the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. As a result, the Chin people are afforded with little to no protections. Without official recognition, Chin refugees have been unable to work, attend school, access, health or social services, or obtain adequate living accommodations. Moreover, refugees are vulnerable to extortion, theft, sexual abuse, arrest, deportation, and many other difficulties.

Chin Human Rights Organization

October 25, 2006




Media Note

Office of the Spokesman

United States Department of State

Washington, DC

October 19, 2006

The Secretary of State, on October 11, exercised her discretionary exemption authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act, so that Chin refugees from Burma living in Malaysia, Thailand, and India can resettle in the United States even if they have provided “material support” to the Chin National Front (CNF) or Chin National Army (CNA). The applicants must meet all other eligibility requirements for resettlement — including that they pose no danger to the safety and security of the United States. This determination will allow the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve otherwise eligible Chin refugees for admission to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security is the agency responsible for adjudicating refugee applications for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.


Exercising the exemption authority allows the United States to resume significant processing of the thousands of extremely vulnerable ethnic Chin refugees living in Malaysia and elsewhere.


The Secretary of State has twice previously exercised this same inapplicability authority with respect to Karen refugees in camps in Thailand who were found otherwise eligible except for having provided material support to the Karen National Union or the Karen National Liberation Army.



Released on October 19, 2006

http://www.state. gov/r/pa/ prs/ps/2006/ 74761.htm






To: Pu J.H. Zoremthanga


Young Mizo Association (YMA)


Mizoram State



September 25, 2006


Dear Mr. President,


Chin Human Rights Organization would like to congratulate the Young Mizo Association (YMA) on completing 76 successful years of working for the people of Mizoram. Through these difficult years, the YMA with such broad membership has proved itself to be one of the most enduring and successful grass-root organizations in Asia and around the world. The YMA deserves commendation and appreciation for its long-standing tradition of volunteerism and humanitarianism and for its significant contribution to social progress in Mizoram and elsewhere.


The YMA has long upheld these noble traditions through a firm policy that transcended national borders in its vision. And we understand that the YMA stands to protect and to lend a helping hand to the vulnerable and the needy.


Chin Human Rights Organization has learnt that the Central YMA has recently issued directives to all local branches in the State to take measures to evict ‘all foreigners’ from the State of Mizoram. We are particularly concerned over the initiative taken late last week by the YMA Sub-Headquarters in Lunglei to compel those its considers to be ‘foreigners and illegal migrants’ to involuntarily move out of the town of Lunglei and its surrounding areas.


We believe that these ongoing measures of the YMA will negatively affect thousands of innocent Chin refugees from Burma who have sought shelter in Mizoram to avoid serious human rights violations perpetrated by Burma’s military junta.


The United Nations Security Council has recently branded Burma as a country breaching international peace and security for conducting terror against its people and forcing millions of its citizens into exile. Mizoram now generously hosts thousands of the SPDC terror victims by allowing them temporary shelter in the state. We remain indebted to the people of Mizoram for their generosity. But we are concerned that the action of the YMA in Lunglei and elsewhere will put the lives and security of refugees from Burma at risk.


As a responsible member of the international community and as a regional and emerging world power, India is bound by the principle of Non-Refoulement. This international legal norm protects against deporting people with fear of persecution in their home country. The current action taken by the YMA is placing thousands of refugees at risk of being forced back to Burma where their lives will be in serious danger. We believe that this will not only be in breach of international law but will also stand contradictory to the very principle of “volunteerism and humanitarianism” on which the YMA is founded.


The Chin Human Rights Organization further believes that the problems of illegal migration and the resulting social burden that may have been caused by the presence of Chin refugees in Mizoram cannot be remedied through such summary measure as eviction. Unfortunately, the problem of refugee inflow into Mizoram will continue until the root cause of such flight has been addressed. Only the reinstitution of democratic governance and guarantee of human rights in Burma will assure against refugee problems in India.


For these reasons, Chin Human Rights Organization is ready and willing to work together with the YMA for finding favorable solution to refugee problems in Mizoram. Chin Human Rights Organization would also like to request that until such solution has been found the YMA put on hold any activities that will harm the safety and well being of refugees from Burma.




Salai Bawi Lian Mang


Chin Human Rights Organization

3112 Deakin St.

Berkeley, California

United States

Tel/Fax: 510 981 1417

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




1. Every branch should take measures to prohibit (and discourage the presence of) foreigners against settling illegally within their jurisdiction. And, every branch should report about the measures taken to this effect to their respective YMA Sub-Headquarters.


2. To this effect, every branch is encouraged to work in cooperation with the Village Councils, Voluntary Organizations, Political Parties and the Church. Even if cooperation is not forthcoming from such bodies, every Branch will nevertheless work on its own.


3. Every Branch is expected to have a Village Population Census, which is to be updated annually. If there are any foreigners, a separate Foreigner List should be prepared.


4. Appeals should be made and awareness spread among the people against leasing out their land and renting out their houses/property to illegal-foreigners. In case such a situation has already been obtained, the concerned Branch is to take corrective measures to remove the foreigner.


5. It shall be the responsibility of every branch to find out if any illegal-foreigner is in the possession of a house-site or plot of land within their jurisdiction. If found, the Revenue Department should be approached for cancellation of their ownership Pass.


6. Measures should be taken against the entry of names of illegal-foreigners in Ration Card.


7. If any foreigner is found to be in the Electoral Roll, all necessary steps should be taken to remove the names of such persons, and also to prevent the further entry of foreigners in the Electoral Roll.


8. Every Branch should take necessary measures to ensure that Birth Certificate is issued only to genuine citizens. The Registrar, Birth & Death within their jurisdiction should be approached to this effect.


9. Political Parties should be dissuaded against rallying after foreigners.


10. Steps should be taken to prevent the foreigners from establishing a new village or settlement. If such settlements are found to have existed, the YMA Sub Headquarters is to be informed as soon as possible.


11. In case any foreigner dies, the rite of passage should not be on par with the sons of the soil.


12. Appeals should be made to the different Churches against inducting foreigners as permanent members and also to discontinue to support or participate in their Fellowship. If such a Fellowship exists within their jurisdiction, it will be the responsibility of that Branch to request for its discontinuation.


13. Foreigners should not be issued documents of relocation.


14. Relevant document should be procured to authenticate/proof the identity of a foreigner.


15. Awareness should be spread among the people that the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (ILP) is one of the most important Act which insulates our society, culture and the land from unwanted outside influences, and that their responsibility towards their motherland should be made known to them in the context of ILP Sponsorships that they make.


16. To flush out illegal-foreigners and outsiders and to hand it over to the concerned authorities.


Lunglei Report: A census operation of the Burmese foreigners is to be undertaken wherein every branch is to collect information within their respective jurisdictions. The final list is to be submitted to the office of the YMA Sub Headquarters, Lunglei; whose office will in turn submit it to the concerned authorities in the Government. If the government fails to act upon the information by taking the necessary measures, the YMA Sub Headquarters, Lunglei has underlined its intention to take the onus of rounding-up the Burmese foreigners. Every Branch will be charged with the responsibility of catching the foreigners residing within their area, and those apprehended will then be handed over to the police.


The YMA Sub Headquarters had served a quit notice to the illegal immigrants setting the dead line as 23rd September 2006.






Khonumthung News

31 August 2006: The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) concluded ‘a self-decision making’ training program for women today that focuses on gender balance and will help in Chin women playing a leading role in society and politics.


Thirty delegates of political parties and women’s organizations from inside and outside Burma participated in the training.


“Indigenous women struggling under the oppression of the military dictatorship are denied participation in family decision making and other social activity. No seat is conceded to them by men. That is the main reason why we are giving the training so that the women can involve themselves in decision making” said Mrs. Dawt Chin, in-charge of Women and Children’s Affair of the CHRO.


Dawt Chin also urged Chin women, accounting for half of the Chin population, to involve themselves in decision making and to eradicate the traditional prejudices. She also said that instead of standing behind, the women need to come forward in political and social sectors.

The training has been arranged for the majority of the women to attend in order to strengthen their capacity in different fields.


“I understand that because of our traditional beliefs we did consider and give space to women. We need to uplift their qualification and give them space” said a trainee.


Chin women and human rights organizations have come forward to see that the women who lost the role of decision making according to Chin traditional custom and culture, start to focus again and make capacity building of women so that they enjoy equal rights with men.


“I feel so satisfied with this sort of training. Before the training I never thought it would be so” said a woman trainee from Saiha.


The training was held from August 28 to 31.


Chin Human Rights Organization was formed in 1995 and often holds human rights and women’s training programmes on the Indo–Burma border.




By Our Staff Reporter

Chinland Guardian

September 4, 2006- Dallas, Texas: The Third North America Chin Youth Conference organized by the Chin Youth Organization of North America was successfully held on 2nd and 3rd of September, 2006, in Dallas, Texas, USA.


During a two-day long conference, attended by about 400 Chin students and youth, the participants engaged in various sports and other activities such as soccer, volleyball, fashion show and beauty contest. The competitions organized on various items include a Chin cultural related drawings, extemporaneous speech on Chin related topics, essay writings on a given topics, and singing competitions.


“This kind of gathering is very good and necessary because this is the place where we the young people get a chance to get together to promote mutual understanding among us”, said Monica Uk, a sophomore Biologic student at Hook College of Maryland, who led the audience during the singing of the song entitled “Ahme Ram Lai Tlang” what could be considered as National Enthem of Chinland.


In his address to audience in the conference, Salai Elaisa Vahnie, a delegate from the newly formed Chin Student Union of North America emphasized the importance of coming together and working together as Chin youth. “We must work together where our objectives and goals are similar so as to eliminate the gap between youth and student while working towards bringing about the betterment of the future Chin society as a whole. We also must be convinced ourselves that CSUNA and CYO are not doing any individual’s interest, but our National interest”, said the delegate.


During the conference, leaders of CSUNA, CYO, and Dallas Chin Community also discussed means and ways to strengthen a unified effort to build national unity and solidarity among the Chin people.


Commenting on his appointment as newly elected chairman of the CYO, Salai Lairamthang says, “As I have been here in the United States for a short period of time, taking the chairmanship role of CYO indeed is a bit challenging for me because at this time, I am not so familiar with the thinking and attitudes of our Chin youth on which I want to spend sometimes actually”.


“However, if our young men and women are to stand with me and support me in behind, I am ready to lead. With the close cooperation and solidarity of all youth in our future movement, I am confident that we can move our Chin Youth Organization (CYO) from regional level to the national level where all youth from different tribes of the Chins together join and be accommodated”, he adds.


CYO was founded in December, 2000 with the aims to preserve social, national and culture heritages of the Chin, and to promote and protect the Chin literature and traditional values. The next conference is slated to be held in Washington DC.




Agence France Presse

(AFP) October 25: A rights group that advocates for Myanmar ‘s ethnic Chin minority Wednesday applauded the US government for waiving a law that would allow Chin refugees to come to the United States .


More than 80,000 Chin refugees currently live in Malaysia , India and Thailand . Many fled their homes in western Myanmar due to fighting between Chin rebels and the country’s oppressive military regime.


“This will give the Chin the opportunity to live a normal life,” said Amy Alexander, legal consultant for the Chin Human Rights Organization.


The waiver exempts the Chin from a provision in a US anti-terrorism law — put in place after the September 11 attacks — which bars refugees who have supported armed groups from resettling in the country.


Many Chin refugees provided support for the Chin National Front or its armed wing, the Chin National Army, which has battled Myanmar ‘s military regime for autonomy since 1988. Myanmar ‘s government stands accused by rights groups of killings, torture, rape and other abuses against ethnic minorities.


The secretive regime is also regularly criticized over the treatment of political opponents, particularly prodemocracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for most of the past 17 years.


The Chins, who are 95 percent Christian in a mostly Buddhist nation, have also been persecuted for their religious beliefs.


Many fled to neighboring countries where they have received few protections, often unable to work, attend school or access social services.


“The Chins are living in pretty deplorable conditions in exile,” Alexander said. “They are treated as illegal immigrants.”


The waiver could allow up to 2,000 Chin refugees into the US annually, according to the Chin Human Rights Organization.


In addition to the Chins, the Karen, another ethnic minority in exile in Thailand , received the same waiver in August.


“Hopefully this is a sign that the US is looking to extend waivers to other groups,” Alexander said. Some 17 ethnic groups have battled Myanmar ‘s government to seek autonomy for their regions. Although most have now signed ceasefires, the Chin have not. A 2002 Human Rights Watch report estimated that the Chin National Army had about 500 fighters.





Mizzima News

October 20, 2006 – The Chin Human Rights Organisation today welcomed the decision of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to allow Burmese refugees into the United States even if they have supported rebels fighting against the Burmese government.


Rice exercised her discretionary exemption authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act, to allow Chin refugees to resettle in the United States even if they have provided “material support” to the Chin National Front or Chin National Army.


“This is a welcome message,” said Victor Biak Lian, a member of the board of directors of the CHRO, adding that the waiver would generate new hope to the many vulnerable Chin refugees, who have been on-hold for resettlement to the United States.


Chin refugees from Burma have fled mainly to Malaysia, Thailand, and India in order to escape the random human rights violation of the junta.


Under the exemption order, those who are accepted “must meet all other eligibility requirements for resettlement — including that they pose no danger to the safety and security of the United States,” said the announcement of the US state department on Thursday.


“Exercising the exemption authority allows the United States to resume significant processing of the thousands of extremely vulnerable ethnic Chin refugees living in Malaysia and elsewhere,” said the announcement.


Under the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and the REAL ID Act of 2005, persons including refugees and asylum seekers who have provided support of any kind including material support to “terrorist organizations” and people engaged in “terrorist activities” are barred from entering US territory.


However, rights advocates, campaigners and critics have severely criticized the law, which was principally aimed to protect US citizens from terrorism, saying it has negatively impacted refugees and asylum seekers whose very reason of becoming refugees and asylum seekers is terrorism.


The CHRO, which has been advocating and lobbying the US government to waive the US law for Chin asylum seekers, in their statement released earlier this year admitted that a majority of Chin asylum seekers and refugees have provided some form of support at some point in their lives to the Chin National Front.


However, both the CNF and CNA, which have been waging a low-level rebellion against the Burmese military junta since 1988, are not on the State Department’s list of international terrorist organizations.


“This move (exemption order) shows that the US understands that Burmese pro-democracy organisations (both armed and non-violent groups) are not terrorist

groups as claimed by the Burmese junta,” said Victor Biak Lian.


The decision will now allow the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve eligible Chin refugees for admission to the United States.


The Burmese junta, however, claimed that there are no Burmese refugees and the so-called refugees are families and relatives of terrorists, who the junta term as ‘destructive elements’ wishing to create mayhem and instability inside the country.


The Secretary of State has twice previously exercised this same inapplicability authority with respect to Karen refugees in camps in Thailand who were found otherwise eligible except for having provided material support to the Karen National Union or the Karen

National Liberation Army.






By Piang Lilian

27 September, 2006


“What about A.I.D.S? Should we be fearful of it?” A Chin church leader asked me in Rangoon in the early 90’s.


“Yes,” was all I could muster, feeling somewhat guilty as my knowledge in the epidemic was very limited at the time. For most of Chin people, HIV/AIDS, locally referred to as A.I.D.S. (pronounced letter by letter), was some thing relatively new, even exotic, back then, and you hardly heard of any cases of AIDS among Chin people.


The situation has since changed completely in a span of only 10+ years. HIV/AIDS has spread among Chin people like a wild fire, including among those living in remote villages. If you visit any town or village in Chin State right now, it is hard to find any one whose relatives, neighbours, or friends have not been affected by the disease. Here are some anecdotal evidence that HIV/AIDS has spread beyond our wildest dream — or, rather, nightmare — only a decade ago:


– A young man came home to a village in Thantlang township from Phakant, the famous jade mining town in Kachin State where the HIV infection rate among injecting drug users is said to be over 90%. With good looks and plenty of money he brought back, he was popular among young women in the surrounding villages, many of whom he dated before eventually marrying one from his own village. Only a few years later, he fell ill and died from AIDS, and his widow has also fallen ill and is diagnosed with AIDS. He was believed to have had many sexual partners before getting married. Every one is on edge but, to make the matter worst, there are no medical facilities in the area where they can get blood test, let alone treatment for AIDS.


– A Sunday school teacher from Falam had a neighbour who was sick all the time with various illnesses. He was in the hospital for quite a long time after which the doctors finally gave up on him and was carried home to die. A nurse accompanied him home and told his family, in front of visiting neighbours, that he was suffering from AIDS.


– A Sizang/Zo church leader confided that some apple growers from his home town, after transporting and selling their crop in Mandalay, liked to visit entertainment venues with their hard-earned money. Unprotected sex with commercial sex workers is an extremely high risk activity, with a one-in-four chance of contracting the HIV virus (see statistical data below).


According to UNAIDS (, HIV prevalence rate among adults (age 15 to 49) in Burma is 1.3% in 2005 (it is 1.4% in neighbouring Thailand). Groups with the highest risk are injecting drug users (prevalence rate 37.1%) and female sex workers (26%). And Chin State is no exception. In fact, it may be in one of the worst-effected areas.


According to a report titled “HIV and National Security: Where Are the Links?” by New York based Council on Foreign Relations, various new strains of HIV virus infecting mainland SE-Asia originated in Burma, and spread via four separate trade routes. One of these routes passes through Kalewa-Tamu area where many Chin people live.


What is being done?


There are a number of international NGOs and UN agencies providing services related to HIV/AIDS (raising awareness, counselling, treatment, care, etc.) in Burma. However, only a limited number operate in Chin State. They are:


1) WorldVision:


WorldVision Myanmar has set up a project office in Tedim and are now said to be in the process of building up the team. Services provided may include raising awareness, advocacy, limited treatment and care, and rehabilitation.


2) Population Services International (PSI)


With a project office in Kalaymyo servicing Chin State, PSI’s strategy is to concentrate of one of the major modes of transmission: heterosexual intercourse. PSI is known as the “condom people” (they promote the use of condom), which is some what unfair, as their real approach is what they call “ABC”:

A – Abstain (from sexual intercourse)

B – Be faithful (to your partner)

C – use Condom to prevent HIV/AIDS (if you cannot control yourself).


3) Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC)


MCC engages in awareness campaign and provide limited financial assistance and counselling to people living with AIDS.


4) Community groups under the auspices of MCC


There are community groups in Falam, Haka, Kalay-Tahan, and Thantlang areas raising HIV/AIDS awareness since 2002. This umbrella group has more than 25 full-time community workers travelling to towns and villages and providing the awareness education door-to-door. They also visit target high-risk groups and areas. Their aim is to educate the general public about HIV/AIDS and obtain a change of behaviour in order to avoid risky activities.


The group also provides educational material (leaflets, sample condoms, protective gloves) and limited information on other diseases such as TB and malaria.


5) Bible Colleges


HIV/AIDS education is incorporated into the curriculum in Myanmar Institute of Theology in Rangoon and most bible colleges in Chin State. The aim is to get graduates pass the information onto church members and the public when they go back to their own community.


6) Care Myanmar and Salvation Army are also active in Kalay-Tahan area, but no information is currently available as to what their objectives and strategies are.


What can be done? What needs to be done?


a) Be aware of the extent of HIV prevalence in your area (i.e. your native town or village). Also find out what groups or agencies, if any, are active in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and provide any assistance whenever possible.


b) If there are no groups or agencies working in your area, encourage local churches and civic groups to start working on raising awareness. Help them find resources (funding, training, support material, networking, etc.) to get started. UNAIDS, UNICEF, most large

international NGOs, [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , MCC, etc. can point you in the right direction. Or send me an email.


c) At a personal level, learn more about HIV/AIDS, how it can be transmitted, how to protect yourself, and what to do should you ever contract the virus. Also learn about how to treat people with HIV/AIDS with respect (i.e. you can live normally and safely with people with HIV/AIDS as long as you avoid risky behaviour).


d) Share what you learn with your family members and friends. Remember Chin people living overseas are also at risk.






By Van Biak Thang


Upon those ranges of high mountains,

Lonely as though having no companions,

There lies a land of beauty and biota

Along the north-west margin of Burma.


Captured and tortured like a prisoner,

A land, once but free and reached no longer,

Still threatened and shaken by the junta,

To be heard and cared has only a cicada.


Ill-treated, malnourished and unattended,

Its people, still forced and commanded,

In the land, not forgotten but downtrodden,

Alone are left just to suffer and be beaten.


Rejected, neglected and isolated

Away from the world, if mentioned,

Chinland, being cleansed and dictated,

Not forgotten but still remains abandoned.




Rhododendron News


Chin Human Rights Organization






• Village Headman Shot To Death



• Burmese Soldiers Rape Mother Of Four Children



• Burmese Army Tortured Village Headman And 3 Villagers

• Burmese Police Tortured A Chin Trader Who Drives Animal To Mizoam And Asked Huge Amounts Of Money



• Assistant Police Officer Illegally Demanded Huge Sums Of Money From A Female Trader

• Burmese Army Demand Bribes From Cross-Border Traders

• Immigration Officers In Tonzang Township Play Hoax On Civilians

• SPDC Authorities Illegally Collect Excessive Farm Tax

• SPDC Fined A Villager After Killing Her Pig



• Civilians Forced To Cut Timber Planks For The Construction Of Buddhist Monastery In Military Camp

• SPDC Forced 25 Villagers To Work In Their Camp Everyday

• SPDC Soldiers Force Civilians To Work On Matupi Town Road Extension

• Burmese Army Forces Villagers To Repair Army Camps Without Payment

• Burmese Army Use Villagers For Forced Portering

• SPDC Soldiers Call Villagers To Work For 30 Days

• SPDC Use Labor Of Villagers For Personal Profit

• SPDC Forced Over A Hundred Local People For Road Maintenance



• Chin Refugee Community In Malaysia Held 5 Funerals In A Week

• Chro Called For Action (Letter Writing Campaign)



• A Legacy And A New Battle Cry

• Judging Our Political Parties



• Chin Freedom Coalition Statement To Support Dr. Salai Tun Than’s Mission For The Re-Emergence Of Democracy In Burma



• A Traumatised Child




May 24, 2006: A police man arbitrarily shot to death a village headman from Chin state on May 21, 2006. Report said that Mr. Chawng Ting 45 years old village headman of Tiphul village in Hakha township was shot to death by a police man for not providing sufficient local rice wine and chicken.


A joint patrol team of 10 Burmese soldiers and 5 police personnel were traveling in Tiphul area and camped for a while in Tiphul village. According to the report the village headman provided two chickens and two bottles of rice wine for the soldiers and one chicken and a bottle of rice wine to the police personnel as per their request.


On the next day as soon as the soldiers left the village, the police man started to complain the village headman that he was giving favor to the solders by providing more wine and chickens than the police men.


The village headman explained that he provided chicken and wine to the solders and the police men reasonably. There were 10 soldiers and he provided two chicken and 2 bottle of wine and there were only 5 police men and he provided 1 chicken and a bottle of rice wine which is very reasonable, explained the village headman.


The police man was very angry and accused the village headman of arguing with him and he started to punch and kick him then the other police man pulled his gun and shot him.


The dead body of village headman Pu Chawng Ting was brought to Hakha hospital for postmortem. The dead body of the victim was brought back to Tiphul village from Hakha, the capital of Chin state. Report said that the people from Hakha area are furious by the unlawful killing of the village headman and many civilians follow the body from Hakha to Tiphul village.




27 May 2006: On the night of 9 April 2006, three Burmese soldiers raped a mother of four children at her residence in Lailenpi village in Matupi Township of southern Chin State, using sharp bamboo sticks as a weapon, according to a local resident.


Three Burmese soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 304, stationed in Lailenpi village, Matupi under the control of Tactical 2 Captain San Myint, raped a widow named Daw Simai at her residence. The perpetrators were intoxicated with alcohol and raped the mother of four children while she was alone at home. They threatened the victim by using the sharp bamboo sticks saying, “We will kill you if you move or shout for help.”


The next morning the victim went to the second commander and reported the incident. Soon after the report, the second commander called all his troops and made them form a line. The second commander asked the victim to pick out the persons. As the raped took place at night and the place was dark, the victim could not identify them. However, the second commander threatened the victim saying, “If you are unable to pick out the perpetrators, we will prosecute you in accordance with law.”


The perpetrators still have not been identified, said a local resident.




Aizawl : 20/06/2006: Battalion commander Lt. Colonel Win Bo and his troops from Burmese Army light infantry battalion 268 base in Falam town of Northern Chin state cruelly victimized the village headman of Thlanrawn Mr. Sial Hre and three villagers on May 21, 2006 on the account of failing to report on Chin National Army entering in Thlanrawn village, one of the victims relatives reported to CHRO.


The incident occurred on May 21, 2006 after the Sunday worship service. Battalion commander and his troops arrested and brutally beaten and tortured Mr. Sial Hre the 52 years old village headman, Mr. Bawi Nawl the18 Years old son of the village headman, Mr. San Lian 44 years old working at school and a villager name Van Nei Thang.


The Burmese soldiers hung the village headman Mr. Sial Hre upside down from the roof of his own house and hit by their gun butt for several times. He was also punched and beaten unconditionally. The other three villagers were tied their hands behind their back and the Burmese soldiers tortured them the way they did to the village headman.


The torturing ordeal of the village headman and four villagers lasted for two hours. After the tortured, the Burmese army detained all the villagers including children, women and elderly people at the army nursery school in the village from 2:00 Pm to 5:00Pm.


The next morning at 8:00 AM tactical commander colonel Tin Hlah arrived at the village from Falam and warned the villagers that unless they disclose the incident in detail the army will not send the victims, who are suffering from serious injuries they have obtained from the torture, to the hospital. He further threatened the villagers that the soldiers will kill them unless they reveal the activities of the Chin National Army in detail.


Lt. Colonel said that this kind of incident should not be occured in the future. If Chin National Army entered to the village you must provide us information immediately warned the Lt. Colonel Win Bo. He threatened the villagers that if they fail to provide information on time the army would burn down the entire village, said a local resident.


Latter on, the villagers sent the victims to Falam hospital. The victims relatives and the villagers have to borne all the expense for the treatment as the Burmese army purposedly denied to take responsibilities for medical treatment.


Out of the four victims, three of them were discharge from the hospital after a week. However one of the victims Mr. San Lian was refer to Kalaymyo hospital due to inward effects from the torture. With the help of relatives residing in Kalaymyo and Tahan, he could merely received medical treatment from Wesley private hospital in Kalaymyo.


One of the victim Mr. Sial Hre ( The village headman) is still suffering from blood vessel pain even after he was released from the hospital because tied from his legs and hung up side down for such along time while he was tortured by the Burmese soldiers.


Mr. San Lian have to get major operation as the blood came out from his stomach. Report said that several decay blood were taken out from his stomach during the operation. While writing this report Mr. San Lian could not eat.




02/06/006: Burmese Police officer Myint Myint Lin and his troop Kyaw Chin Lun from Rih Town No (2) police station on duty in Zokhawmawi, Tio River between Indo-Burma trade roads, accused Lalkaithianga for illegal driving cow toward Mizoram. He was detained for two days and badly beaten up by the police then they asked 30000 Kyats. The police released min only after he paid 30,000 kyats on 27/05/2006, a relative reported to CHRO.


According to the report Lalkaithianga from Lentlang village Falam Township of northern Chin state drive his own cows to Mizoram for covering family daily need. When he arrive Losau village he encountered with Burmese police and the police arrested him on 24/05/2006 and put in lock-up where he was badly beaten up.


During the two days detention, he was tied up side down in the police Lockup. The police officer Myint Myint Lin forcefully tore his jean pant with a sharp knife, put the torn pieces of the pant into the victim mouth, light up matches and burned the piece. After Lalkaithianga spent two days in police lockup, his well-known friends lecturer No Kap of Champhai (Mizoram) and Pastor Lalthanzauva of Tibual bailed him out with 30,000 Kyats on 27/05/006.


Lalkaithianga is a father of three children who is merely a trader who struggled for their family survival. He said that he would not likely to be able to work soon due to the injuries he got from the torture.





27 May 2006: U Win Tin, assistant police officer from Thantlang town police station, accused Pi Pen Cuai, a woman trader, of carrying her goods through an unauthorized land route and threatened to imprison her for 3 months if she could not provide a bribe of 41,000 Kyats, according to a local resident.


Pi Pen Cuai, a trader from Thantlang in northern Chin State left on 11 May 2006 with three horses carrying goods to be sold in Mizoram. After she left, U Win Tin, the assistant police officer, chased her with three other junior policemen. Pi Pen Cuai was stopped near Lahva stream. Pi Pen Cuai was arrested and her goods were seized. She was brought back to the police station in Thantlang town. Assistant Police Officer Win Tin said Pi Pen Cuai was accused of taking an unauthorized land route to sell her goods in Mizoram State, India.


U Win Tin also threatened to put Pi Pen Cuai in jail for 3 months and keep her goods if she could not give him a bribe of 41,000 Kyats. Pi Pen Cuai was disappointed but she was forced to give 35,000 to avoid a 3-month imprisonment and 6,000 Kyats to recover all her goods. She gave a total amount of 41,000 Kyats to the assistant police officer of Thantlang police station.


Pi Pen Cuai is a widow and mother of two children. In order to cover her family’s daily expenses and her two children’s school expenses, she borrowed a total amount of 500,000 Kyats from relatives and friends with interests. She purchased all her goods from Mandalay to sell in Mizoram, India.





9 May 2006: On 29 April 2006, the Burmese Army demanded Kyats 150,000 from two Chin cross-border traders on their way to the Indo-Burma border to sell groceries and cloth in Mizoram State of India, according to a friend of the cross-border traders.


Unexpectedly, while on their way to Mizoram, two Chin cross-border traders traveling with thirty horses carrying their belongings came across five soldiers of the Burmese Army from Light Infantry Battalion 268 based at Vuangtu Camp in northern Chin State. The soldiers searched the cross-traders belongings. Finding that all their belongings were legal, the soldiers demanded 250,000 Kyats from the traders as an unofficial border tax. The traders protested and explained that if they paid this amount, they would be left without any profit. After negotiating with the soldiers for some time, they finally gave 150,000 Kyats for the unofficial border tax.


The groceries and cloth are brought from Mandalay. As there is no road to the Indo-Burma border, the cross-border traders hire horses at 15,000 Kyats per horse in Hakha and cross the border through the jungle. It is a difficult journey. The Burmese Army regularly extorts money from the Chin people, particularly from cross-border traders.




21 May 2006: Officers of the immigration office in Cikha municipality in Tonzang Township have taken advantage of people’s trust by delaying the issuance of national identity cards for some civilians. Some civilians have paid large amounts of money to the immigration office in order to get a national identity card. The officers, however, have continued to delay the issuance of the national identity cards up to today, according to a local resident of Cikha municipality.


U Thun Hlah Zaan, head officer of the immigration office of Cikha municipality, demanded 10,000 Kyats per person and promised needy civilians that the national identity card would be issued within two to three days. Those civilians, however, have not received a national identity card by the immigration office up to now.


According to the government rules of the immigration office in Burma, it costs an individual 170 Kyats to be issued a national identity card. But in Cikha municipality of northern Chin State, the officers of the immigration office are deliberately issuing national identity cards at different rates for students and civilians, according to the local resident of Cikha municipality.


A single student in Tonzang town has to spend 1,000 Kyats while a non-student or a local resident in Tonzang town has to spend 5,000 Kyats to get issued a national identity card by the immigration office. Moreover, a resident of Cikha municipality has to spend 10,000 Kyat while a student in Cikha municipality has to spend 1,000 Kyats to get issued a national identity card from the immigration office.





22 May 2006: The staff of the Land Record Office in Cikha, a sub-township of Tonzang in northern Chin State, is collecting excessive farm tax from the local people, said a local resident. Farmers who do not give 500 Kyat per acre are denied permission to cultivate by the staff posted in Cikha. This practice has been in force since 2004.


The government rate for an acre is 3.50 Kyats but the staffs are making personal profit with the tax. The local farmers have no choice but to pay the tax. Though tax for cultivation is paid regularly, the farmers do not harvest regularly due to climate changes, said the local resident.




Aizawl 2/06/2006: Sergeant Soe Myint from LIB –140 based at Lailente village, Matupi Township, Southern Chin State accused Ma Haih of Satu village for letting out one of her 5 pig’s from the hedge and the sergeant immediately took out his rifle and shot a pig on May 1, 2006. When Ma Haih asked the Sergeant the reason why he shot her pig, Sergeant Soe Minth ironically commanded her not to speak out a single word from her mouth and he slapped vigorously five times on Ma Haih face.


Moreover, the sergeant forced Ma Haih to pay him Kyat 5000 for a bullet used for killing the pig and divided the pig into two pieces. One piece for the owner (Ma Haih) and the sergeant forced Ma Haih to carry another half from Satu village to Lailente village based military station for his troops. Although Ma Haih was dissatisfied with the Sergeant Soe Myint, he has no other choice but to keep her mouth shut. Said a villager.




29 May 2006: Assistant Director of the Warrant Officer General Hlah Win of LIB 304 based at Sabawngte village, Matupi Township, southern Chin State forced 16 civilians from four nearby villages to cut timber planks for the construction of a Buddhist monastery inside the military camp beginning on 3 May 2006. The construction of the Buddhist monastery in Sabawngte village military camp is due to begin in June 2006, according to one of the laborers working on the construction of the Buddhist monastery.


Assistant Director of the Warrant Officer General Hlah Win summoned village headmen from Hlungmang, Sabawngpi, Lungcawi and Sabawngte villages on 1 May 2006 to discuss the construction of the Buddhist monastery at the military camp. During the meeting, the four village headmen were ordered to produce four laborers from each village for the construction of the Buddhist monastery. A total of 16 villagers from Hlungmang, Sabawngpi, Lungcawi and Sabawngte villages arrived in Sabawngte village on 2 May 2006 to construct the Buddhist monastery in the military camp.


Assistant Director of the Warrant Officer General Hlah Win forcefully ordered the 16 villagers to cut 200 cubic timber planks in seven days to be used as building material for the Buddhist monastery. The timber plank was cut three miles away from Sabawngte village and General Hlah Win himself supervised them. The villagers brought their own rations and tools from their respective villages for the seven days while they cut the timber for the construction of Buddhist Monastery in Sabawngte village based military station.






19 May 2006: The Burma Army stationed along the Indo-Burma border has been forcing civilians in the surrounding village to construct an army camp since January 2006. Between 25 to 30 villagers are working at the army camp everyday, a local resident reported to CHRO.


The second commander of the Burma Army based in Tihbual village of Falam Township in northern Chin State has been forcing villagers from Tihbual, Mual Kawn and Laikual to construct an army camp since the first week of May 2006, according to one of the cross-border traders in Mizoram.


The forced laborers have to bring their own tools and food. In addition, the villagers are forced to provide the raw construction materials, such as wood for the poles of the building and thatch for the roof. Between 20 to 30 villagers are working at the army camp. When Light Infantry Battalion 269 changed battalions, the new arrivals forced civilians to repair their camp until they were satisfied.


The villagers are facing a lot of difficulties due to the forced labor practices in the region, a local resident reported to CHRO. According to the orders of the army officers, whenever the villagers go to the camp they must bring chickens, eggs and vegetables as gifts for the army officers. Although it is now harvesting season for chili, the villagers do not have time to work on their own farm work because of the forced labor. He further said that the villagers do not want to go to the construction site at the army camp but they are afraid not to go. If the civilians fail to report for work at the army camp, they are fined large sums of money.


Burmese soldiers posted at the Indo-Burma border in Chin State occasionally force villagers to construct army camps, fetch water for the army, and perform other duties without being paid.




24 May 2006: Tactical commander (2) Colonel San Aung based in Matupi town of southern Chin State forced the local people living along the town road to widen the road up to 5 feet in front of each residence without pay. The road extends into the property of some residents living in the lower area of the town, said a local resident.


U Lu Voei and U Hu Hna who owned houses at the lower area reported the matter and the military command verbally agreed to pay 10,000 Kyats in compensation for them to move their houses. However they still have not received any compensation after having moved their houses.


Their former houses were located at the western part of an area called the Old Block on Talpawn road, which joins Sungvan in Ngala Block and western Khoboi. They were moved to the roadside of Old Block, about 100 meters away from their previous residence.


The SPDC widened the town road enough to enable two cars to pass at the same time. The project started in the early months of 2006. The region is located on the slope of a mountain. Due to erosion, the houses would have had to move eventually, said a local resident.




12 May 2006: Beginning on 16 March 2006, villagers from four villages were forced by soldiers of the Burmese Army to repair the army camp in Tih Bual village, Falam Township in northern Chin State for three days without any payment, a local villager reported to CHRO.


The colonel of Light Infantry Battalion 87 based in Tih Bual village called on villagers from Cicai, Ngailen, Haimual, and Zawngte villages on 16 March 2006 to repair the army camp. They were forced to work for three days. Fifteen villagers from those villages were forced to go to the forest, which is one mile away from the village, and cut wood. The villagers were forced to work from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm continuously for three days.


“These sub-army camps regularly force villagers to make repairs twice every two years. The villagers have to provide their own tool and food without receiving any wages,” said the local villager.





15 May 2006: “The villagers from Haimual village, Falam Township in northern Chin State were forced by soldiers of the Burmese Army into portering for two days,” a local villager who worked as a forced porter reported to CHRO.


Colonel Thay Aung along with 13 soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 266 based in Hakha forced villagers from Zawngte village in Falam township for porters. The soldiers Camped in three houses of Haimual village which they confiscated from the local villagers instead of building a temporary camp. On 18 March 2006, they called four villagers from Haimual village and forced them to carry their weapons, rice, and the soldiers’ bags. Each person had to carry more than 18 kilogram to Zawngte village, which is 16 miles away from Haimual village.


When they reached Zawngte village, the four porters were substituted with four other villagers who were forced to carry on to Rih village, the local villager reported to CHRO. When the soldiers arrived at the village, they collected food, such as rice and chickens, from the villagers. They never paid wages to the porters.





15 May 2006: “In Lailente, and Aru villages, Matupi Township in southern Chin State, villagers have been forced to work on road construction for 30 days by the SPDC authorities,” a villager who wishes to remain anonymous reported to CHRO.


Colonel Win Zaw Naing, Light Infantry Battalion 140, under the control of Tactical (2), based in Razua camp, commanded Hli Chawng, chairman of Township Peace and Development Council, to organize 195 villagers from Lailente and Aru villages to build a road between the two villages. The order said that the road must be built from 25 February to 28 March, and must be 3 feet wide and 8 miles long. The SPDC authorities plan to construct the remaining portion by the machine, the local villager said.


The villagers forced to work on the road construction must provide their own tools, equipment, food, and medicines for one month. Moreover they are not getting payments for the whole month of labor, the villager said.





12 May 2006: Villagers were forced by Burmese soldiers in southern Chin state to cut bamboo. The Burmese Army said that the bamboo would be used to repair the Sinlehwa army camp in Paletwa Township, southern Chin State but instead the soldiers sold the bamboo to Chodaw Town in Arakan State for personal profit, according to a person forced to cut the bamboo.


On 13 March 2006, Company Commander Captain Aung Ting Kyaw from Light Infantry Battalion 355 based in Chodaw town, Arakan State forced 150 villagers from 10 villages to cut bamboo and wood. The captain ordered the villagers to cut 500 pieces of wood and 7500 pieces of bamboo within three days. The villagers carried the wood and bamboo on their shoulders to the army camp, which is three miles away from the Sinletwa army camp. The captain used only the wood for repairing camp. The bamboo was sold to Chodaw town of Arakan State for personal profit.


The captain also forced a middle schoolteacher as well as an owner of a boat to carry the bamboo along with Kaladan River toward Chodaw, which is a one-day journey from Sinletwa.


The present price of one bamboo is 20 Kyats. The boat owner and villagers were not paid even a single Kyat for their labors, said a person who was forced to cut the bamboo.





15/06/06: U Mu Oo, head of Rih Sub-township administration department in Northern Chin State forced over a hundred local people for the whole day on June 8, 2006 for road maintenance reported a villager on condition of anonymity.


During the labor, chairman of village peace and development council Pa Thai from No.1 Rih Sub-township supervised the villagers from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The villagers had to bring their own food, all men dug the ground and women were made to carry the soil said a local resident.


Most people in Rih Sub-township earn their living by farming and they cannot pay well attention to their farms due to frequent forced labor and portering. As a result many villagers can not survive and migrated to Zokhawthar, Mizoram State said a local resident to CHRO.




The last week of June 2006 is very unusual and unfortunate for Chin refugee community in Malaysia. 5 men from Malaysia Chin refugee community have died in this week and Chin communities around the world are in shock of the tragic news.


According to the report, Mr. Dai Khan Thang the 38 years old Chin originally from Teddim township have died due to unknown cause and his funeral was held by Chin Christian Fellowship on June 24, 2006. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Hrang Kap of Chin Christian Fellowship pastor in Kuala Lumpur.


Mr. Chan Hmung 28 years old Chin refugee from Belhar village of Thantlang township have died in the hospital due to kidney failure in the hospital. He came to Malaysia in 1997 live there ever since. He was arrested by Malaysia police and detained him for over 9 months. While in the detention center, he suffered serious kidney problems. The authority sent him to the hospital only after he was seriously ill. He died at the hospital soon after he was hospitalized. His funeral service was held along with Mr. Dai Khan Thang on June 24, 2006 by Rev. Hrang Kap of Chin Christian Fellowship in Kuala Lumpur.


In another incident, Mr. Kam Bawi 30 years old from Hmawngtlang village of Thantlang township have died due to heart failure in the hospital. Report said that he have been suffering from heart disease since he came to Malaysia. However, he did not went to see the doctor and the hospital as he did not have any legal documents in Malaysia. He was hospitalized by friends only after he was seriously ill. He died soon after he was hospitalized. His funeral service was held on June 26, 2006 by Chin Christian Fellowship in Malaysia.


In another incident, Mr. (name to be confirmed) from Teddim township of Chin sate have died as he was run over by a car. While writing this report, it is said that his body is now in hospital and yet to be claimed by the Chin community. It is usually very difficult for Chin refugee community in Malaysia to claim the dead body for proper burial as most of the refugees do not have any legal paper or document.


Another man from Teddim township, (name to be confirmed) have died due to unknown cause while sleeping.



Dear Fellow Chin People,


The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) would like to request you to join us in letter writing campaign in supports of thousands of Chin refugees in Malaysia who are affected by the measures posed by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and REAL ID Act of 2005.


Urge the U.S. Congress to revise the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and the Real ID Act of 2005 to ensure asylum seekers and refugees in need of protection are not unjustifiably denied sanctuary in the United States.


The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the REAL ID Act of 2005 threatens to end the process of asylum and resettlement for thousands of victims of persecution. Under the legislation, the definition of terrorism has been unreasonably expanded to effectively render inadmissible to the United States any member or supporter of an armed group, including resistance groups organized to oppose and defend against illegitimate totalitarian governments. As a result, genuine asylum seekers and refugees who have suffered severe violations of human rights at the hands of brutal government forces are being denied relief in the United States.


It is imperative that the overly expansive provisions of the 2001 and 2005 legislation are revised by the U.S. Congress to ensure the United States continues to provide a place of refuge and relief for asylum seekers and refugees. Please write or contact representatives in Washington DC to demand immediate action on this issue. To look up congressional representatives, go to and Feel free to use or revise the following letter.


(Insert Your Address Here)




(Insert Representative’s Name)

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515


(Insert Senator’s Name)

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510


Dear (Insert Representative/Senator’s Name):


I am deeply concerned by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the REAL ID Act of 2005 and the impact this legislation is having on asylum seekers and refugees seeking protection in the United States. By signing onto the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, the United States has maintained a long and proud tradition of opening its shores to the oppressed, tortured, and persecuted masses. The 2001 and 2005 legislation, however, threatens this tradition by imposing an unreasonably broad definition of terrorism to effectively exclude otherwise eligible and genuine asylum seekers and refugees. Please ensure the United States continues to provide a home to those unable to return to their country by revising the pertinent provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and the REAL ID Act.


The USA PATRIOT Act and REAL ID Act expanded the definition of terrorism to include any member or supporter of an armed group, without exempting resistance groups organized to oppose and defend against brutal totalitarian governments. In addition, the inadmissibility bar extends to anyone who at any time provided any form of “material support” to such resistance organizations regardless of the magnitude of support or context under which the support was given. These provisions were meant to protect the U.S. from genuine terrorists. In practice, however, the legislation effectively excludes victims of terror and people persecuted by illegitimate governments from securing immigration protection in the United States.


Members of the Chin community of Burma are particularly affected by the measures posed by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and REAL ID Act of 2005. As a largely Christian community, the Chins are especially targeted for persecution by the predominantly Buddhist regime. However, most members of the Chin community have provided support to the Chin National Front, an armed resistance group organized to fight for democracy and defend the Chin people from annihilation. Even minimal forms of support such as clothing, food, water, or temporary accommodations are sufficient to inhibit access to asylum and resettlement relief in the United States. Due to the expansive definitions of the 2001 and 2005 legislation, a majority of the cases in Malaysia scheduled for resettlement to the United States have been put on hold. In addition, Chins who have been granted status in the United States are at risk of being barred from ever obtaining lawful permanent residency or citizenship under the

same provisions.


Please ensure the United States continues to provide a refuge and a home to those fleeing from persecution and tyranny. Please urge your colleagues in Congress to narrow the definitions or create a waiver to ensure asylum and resettlement relief is accessible to those in need of such protections.




(Your Name)




The coming 26th June marks the 30th. Anniversary of the military dictators’ killing of our beloved and respected student leader Salai Tin Maung Oo, one of the Great Sons of Chinland.


In commemoration of the 30th. Anniversary of the heroic death of Salai Tin Maung Oo, let us collectively and solemly pray for him and for the total liberation of the entire oppressed people of Burma in all our Chin/Zomi/Cho/Laimi/Mizo/Asho/Kuki etc. churches around the world.


He /is/ a true Salai, bearing the imprint of a courageous son of the soil (Zoram/ Chinland) who had sacrificed and laid down his precious life at the alter of the democracy revolution for the sake of the oppressed people. He /is/ a high flying Horn Bill, taking no weapon except the spirits of a true Salai and ceaslessly fought many battles from inside the campus of Rangoon which is universally known as the most blood-stained campus of the world.


– As we walk along the path to freedom we must remember our fallen heroes, lest we falter!

– Let us utter the name “Salai Tin Mg Oo” – a name most repeatedly pronounced during the last three decades not only among the Chin people, but also in the hearts of millions of Burmese people!

– Let us not forget to salute our great hero!

– Let us not forget our legendary hero who, through his heroic death, has become a living legacy!

– Let us be inspired with these Truths in our hearts.


Hear Ye! Oh brothers and sisters, yet another battle cry from our beloved hero Salai Tun Than that has been ringing so loud inside every receptive ears. His battle cry is not that of hatred but of love – Yea! verily I say is he a genuine Salai; nor has his battle cry to do with bloodshed and turmoil but that of peace and courage. His only weapon is the Freedom from Fear of Death! Let us remind ourselves with the words of wisdom and courage of Martin Luther King who said to the oppressed: “Don’t be afraid! When I said don’t be afraid I mean don’t be afraid even to die. The moment you are no more afraid to die – You Are Free!”


Salai Tun Than will land on our beloved country on the 19th June, the birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as a Free man to face Death that he is not afraid of. To show us the way to Freedom Salai Tun Than has taken a Peaceful path. Let us throw our full support behind him with all our strength in spirit and deed and always remember him in our prayers!


Salai Kipp (Zoram)






Salai Za Ceu Lian

18th May, 06


I have funs reading a handful of politically fledgling friends talking about the need to have a national party or umbrella organization representing the whole Chin people by portraying some of our leading political parties even as tribal based party.


When they (critics) judge our political parties, they should never judge our parties on the only question of who represented and who are not. That is not the most salient point when judging our Parties. It doesn’t matter how many parties we have either. Can anyone say that CNLD, CNF or ZNC do not welcome any Chin to join their parties? If any one can pinpoint with the articles in their constitution restricting membership only to a certain tribe of the Chin, I would agree with a handful of those constantly making a baseless statements bemoaning that the existing parties work for a certain tribe and not the whole Chin. What nonsense it is!


While judging our parties, the only important element that matter the most is the scope of the political parties- whether their aims and objectives reflect the whole national interest of the Chin people or only certain geographic region within the Chin. Whether or not the works they are doing politically are in consistent with their declaired objectives. That’s how we should judge the parties, and not by who represented in the given party.


For the clarification sake here, let’s take the Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) as an example. If one ask CNLD a question like who do you (CNLD) try to represent and what do you stand for? The answer would be the Chin people and for the Chin people. That is what important and matter the most here. The question of whether all diverse tribes feel represented in the CNLD would be judged upon by the works the CLND will do and not the people who represented in the CNLD.


Likewise, if the Republican Party or Democratic Party in US is asked to whom do they try to represent and stand for, the answer would be the American people irrespective of who lead the party. If you look a round the world and how those nationally contested parties function on the ground reality, that is how the nationally governing parties are formed and contested in the election to form the government regardless of who lead their party or what bacground he or she is from. That is the same thing for the existing Chin political parties. The only hurdle for our parties is they do not have time to do power politics at this time.


Having said that, in line with its scope and objectives, it is the sole responsibility of the CNLD as a national party to try its best to expand and broaden its political horizon and appeals, making sure that women, visible minorities, tribes across Chins etc. be represented and warmly welcomed in CNLD. When we have time to do power politics in a future democratic Chin politics, what I just said would be seen.


In this revolutionary era, as long as all our major parties come together which they did already as a coalition, united, and driving front/force for the common cause that unite us as one people, that is more than enough to work in unison towards achieving our national liberty. They are now in the right direction towards bringing all the tribes to be a part of the ongoing process of building the political platform where all voices across Chin tribes be heard and politically accommodated. Don’t expect them to turn the whole page overnight. It will take time. The recently concluded Chin National Assembly already paved the way now and the ONLY thing needed is to stand behind them, suggest them,

encourage them, and be a part of the movement as soon as we can as they move towards accomplishing their mission. Let us get involve collectively in the ongoing process and make our voice heard instead of barking like a dog from our comfort zone. The time has come for the great Chin men and women to stand up and work hand in hand for the liberation of our people.


In conclusion, I would like to thank all the participants and supporters of the first Chin National Assembly, the historic gathering of our leading political parties, all individuals, civil organizations and societies, for standing up for our common cause and the political

well-being of our Chin people. May your days a head be smooth and successful as you continue the historic mission to defend the self-determination of our people and to free our people from the bondage of the military dictatorship.





The Chin Freedom Coalition, and other Burmese democratic forces will hold a ‘Candle Light Vigil Prayer Service’ in Washington, D. C. in front of SPDC representative’s residence in concurrence with Dr. Salai Tun Than’s mission for the re-emergence of democracy in Burma on June 10, 2006. This event is part of the global campaign urging the junta to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; and all other political prisoners in Burma and hand over power to the genuine owner, the people of the Union of Burma


While the leader of the Union of Burma’s democracy activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is still under house arrest and cannot active as she should be for her beloved people of the Union of Burma, Dr. Salai Tun Than has become the “Light of Hope” for the people of Burma.


This non-violent protest movement is engendering a good chance for victory if all the peoples of the Union of Burma participate concertedly. In this regard, we urge all people around the world to pray for the success of this patriotic mission and Dr. Salai Than’s life safety.


Dr. Salai Tun Than is a retired professor and a democracy activist, who has committed his life for the restoration of democracy in the Union of Burma. In November 2001, he by him self, staged a demonstration asking for democracy in down town Rangoon, Union of Burma. For just asking for democracy, he was arrested and given a seven-year jail term.



Dr. Salai Than Tun recently visited USA, Japan, Korea and Thailand and now will go back home on June 19, 2006. He will enter Burma in white prison uniform and proclaim aloud a written democracy paper at the plane exit and proceed toward downtown on the day of the 61st birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi, the only one imprisoned Noble Peace Laureate.



The CFC urges all the people from Burma around the world to join this mission to restore democracy in our beloved land. Your people from your motherland need your voice and support. The demonstration will continue in the following weeks as necessary.



Democracy must prevail in the Union of Burma!


Chin Freedom Coalition

Global Call For Saturday Prayer on Burma


1. Today, the military regime in Burma is mounting offensives on ethnic Karen people, culminating in their displacement, hiding in the jungles without food, water, and shelter in the country.


2. Also, former political prisoners and student activists are attacked and brutally beaten to death in public and in detention. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo are still held under house arrest and remained incommunicado since the failed assassination attempts at De-pe’-yin. There are also more than a thousand political prisoners languishing in different prisons in Burma.


3. As a result, Dr. Salai Tun Than has called for a non-violent struggle in the form of non-cooperation and civil disobedience movement against the military rule and urged all political activists in Burma and overseas to follow suit in unison as he has outlined. Burma’s democracy icon Suu Kyi’s 61st birthday falls on June 19, 2006, coinciding with professor Tun Than’s plan to enter Burma in a white prison uniform to demand an end to a military dictatorship.


Saturday prayer meetings of all religions nationwide and overseas are called for with the aims – to stop offensive against Karen villages,

– to support Dr. Salai Tun Than’s campaign,

– to drive out the evil spirits bewildering Than Shwe and his military cronies, in

order that they have a change of heart for the better and release Daw Aung

San Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo and all other political detainees and

– to Free Burma.


We call on all peoples in Burma and worldwide to pray on every Saturday for deliverance from the evil and illegal rule of the present ruling military regime, while at the same time struggle in unity and en masse against military rule in our country for our ultimate victory.


List of community prayer meetings


(1) Date: June 10th, 2006 (Saturday)

Time: 8:00 p.m to 9:30 p.m.

Place: In front of Burmese Counselor’s Residence

2223 “R” Street, Washington, DC&a mp;n bsp; 20008.

(The nearest metro station is Dupont Circle North.)


(2) Date: June 10th, 2006 (Saturday)

Time: 12:00 noon

Place: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

310 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13502


For further information, please contact:

1. Mahn Thaung Tin (Utica) U.K.O. (315) 724 6812

2. Saw Lay Kler (Utica) U.K.O. (735) 735 7037 .

3. Khaing Ye Lin (Utica) (315) 797 2137

4. Moe Chan (New York) (646) 643 8689


(3) Date: June 10th, 2006 (Saturday)

Time: 5 p.m

Place: North Carolina


(4) Date: June 10th, 2006 (Saturday)

Place: New York City

(5) Date: June 10th, 2006 (Saturday)

Time: ——






By Van Biak Thang


Chinland Guardian

April 14, 2006


In the middle of the night

A three-year old child in ugly fright

Out of its bed, screams once then sobs

Rushing to its parents as if be no stops;

“I dream of you being taken and beaten,”

Says it out of breath, stricken and shaken,

“And myself being left alone in the dark.”


In the middle of the day

A three-year old child, injured in this play

From what it’s seen, runs for woods and rice

Without telling its parents but in a trice;

“What are these for?” asks its surprised mother

Grim and worried, “For soldiers! They are here!”

Says it in a hurry as if trying to save the ark.


In the middle of the game

A three-year old child, shamed and tame

Out of faith, nods twice then agrees

With downward its eyes, to all decrees

As forced and ruled only to obey always

“I am afraid,” to its father’s why, it says

Since orders and powers sway and bark.




Rhododendron News

Volume IX. No. VI. November-December 2006

Chin Human Rights Organization






• Forced Conscription By SPDC In Chin State

• Villagers Forced To Work In Road Construction

• 2 Minor Boys Among 20 Porters

• Villagers To Relocate Within Deadline

• Junta Orders Closure And Destruction Of Orphanage School

• SPDC Organized Village Council Election Training




• Detained On Christmas

• 43 Chin Refugees Arrested In Immigration Raid

• Malaysia Deports 80 Asylum Seekers

• Chin Refugees Got A Surprise Star Visit

• Struggle Continues For Human Rights Award Winner

• Chin Asylum Seeker Mother And Child Released




• Chin Refugee Committee Wins Human Rights Award In Malaysia

• Chro Wraps Up Lobby Trip In Washington D.C



• Concealed Ethnic Cleansing In Burma

By Mai Mang Khan Cing (Bianca Son)

1. Introduction

2. Ethnic Cleansing Defined

3. Avoidance of Mass Murder

4. Forced Labor

5. Prohibition of Foreign Journalists

6. Isolationism

7. Forced Migration

8. Disconnection from Soil

9. Rape

10. Religious Persecution

11. Eminent Domain

12. Undocumented Cases of Concealed Ethnic Cleansing

13. Conclusion

14. References:



• The Chins In December








December 17, 2006: Several young men from Matupi area in southern Chin state are conscripted against their will starting from November first week. The soldiers have arrested several young men including university students with the direct order from Colonel Sang Aung, the commander of tactical no. 2 command in Chin state.


According to the CHRO source, the Burmese soldiers are roaming around town to capture any young man to be conscripted in the Burmese army. “Video hall and other festivities places are targeted by the Burmese soldiers because there are several people gather around there and they (the Burmese soldiers) can capture more young men in those places” the source reported.


On the 26th of November, there was a charity concert for University Students Charity Fund organized by the students. In the middle of the concert at around 10 PM Burmese soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (304) burst into the concert hall and randomly arrested 15 young men. Among the captured, 4 of them were university students. On the next morning, 4 university students were released after paying a huge amount of ransom from their parents and the rest were taken away by the army truck to the Burman area.


Among the 11 young men captured by the Burmese soldiers were age between 19-20. According to source, some of the young men jump from the truck between Matupi and Midat and their where about is still unknown as of while writing this report.


This forced conscription is carried out to meet the order issued by Colonel San Aung to recruit 500 soldiers from Matupi area. Avery village track was ordered to send soldiers but no Chin wants to join the Burmese army.


On October 15 Colonel San Aung issued an order saying that every village tract must send 2 young men to join the Burmese army.




December 17, 2006: Villagers from Matupi township in Southern Chin state have been forced to engage in road construction that will connect Matupi town and Leisen village which is 35 miles in length.


Starting from September, Burma army tactical 2 commander Colonel San Aung ordered villagers from the area to construct the road. Every village is imposed a certain length of road to be completed as construction of the road has to be done before March 27, 2007 which is observes as Army day in Burma. The opening ceremony of the new road will be held in honor of the Army day.


Villages those who are engage in the road works are; Cangtak, Lungpang, Lingtui, Paro, Vetve, and Thirhong villages.


According to the CHRO sorce, the road construction is divided into two parts. The first part is between Matupi and Valangpi, and the second part is between Valangpi and Leisin village. For the village of Leisen in particular, they have to complete 2.5 miles of which the Burmese soldiers imposed them to complete.


When completed the road will be 7 foot in wide and that will be used to transport army supply between Matupi and Lensen army camps.




December 27, 2006: Captain Bo Ne Lin of Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion (140) based at Leisen in Matupi township have been regularly using villagers for porter to transport army supplies.


The local source reported to CHRO saying that at least 20 peoples from the area have to serve as porters for Captain Bo Ne Lin and his troops every month. The last incident, during the month of November, 20 porters were called up a gain as usual and among the 20 porters 2 young boys were included.


The porters have to carry heavy loads of army supplies between Leisen and Boili village. Even though the two villages were half a day journey on foot, it took the whole day for the porters to walk with their heavy loads.


According to CHRO source, Leisin villagers have served as porters from Leisin to Boili for twice, between Leisin to Lalui for twice and between Leisin to Valangte for thrice. As they villagers have been forced to serve as porter without any compensation, they have no time to work for themselves and that caused untold misery and hardship for the villagers.




November 13, 2006 : The military regime has ordered several villagers from Chin state in Burma to meet the deadline for relocating to a new site.


U Laito, chairman of the Thangtlang Township Development and Peace Council (TDPC) office in Chin state on September 5 directed residents of Tluangram village in Thang Tlang Township to complete shifting to the new site, two miles from the present location, where villages are being relocated by December.


I don’t want to stay at the new place. Instead, I would rather move to a nearby village or Mizoram state of India,” a villager from Tluangram village told Khonumthung.


According a villager, scarcity of water and the bad location of the new villages are the main barriers to moving to the new site.


It is also learnt that TDPC authorities issued the latest instruction because 57 households have stayed back flouting the previous order by the military. About 22 households have relocated to the new place from village in Than Tlang Township in February.


“The 22 households are facing short of water. If we move to that place, the situation will worsen. Only a few people want to move. They are forcibly pushing us to move while the majority are refusing to move,” said villager who has not shifted.


A villager said, “Some people are trying to bribe the authorities so that they are not forced to move but eventually, it will be in vain. The authorities are firm and claim the relocation is based on referendum. The majority in the village are of the opinion that the relocation is absolutely wrong”.


The authorities reportedly want to take action against the disobedient people who are staying in the present location. They will not be allowed stay there anymore. The villages have to find an alternative for a new home.


As a result of the controversy between the authorities and the local people regarding relocation, a primary school in Tlaunram village has been shut down for four months. Moreover, some villagers have been stopped from going to work.


According to a religious leader from Chin state, those who are unwilling to move are very likely to move to Mizoram or some where else.


Tluangram village has been home to people for hundreds of years.


The move to shift Tlaungram village began after the military rulers grabbed power in 1988. – (Source: Khonumthung News)




22 November 2006: Thirty orphans are out on the streets after Myanmar authorities ordered the closure of a school for orphans – the Church of Jesus Christ in new block Hakha, Chin state.

“Tin Hlah, Commander of Tactical Command told us that if we don’t close the school we are likely to face arrest. That’s why we closed it,” said a Christian pastor.


It is learnt that Colonel Tin Hla, SPDC chairman and Chin state Commander of Tactical (1) had ordered the school’s closure before October 2006. The locals closed and destroyed the school.


A local said that Tin Hla ordered the closure of another school for orphans run by Mr. Hawi Cung Tum in new block, Hakha. There are over 100 students in this school.


The school authorities did not want to shut down the school but are mortally afraid of the authorities. So they closed down the school and kept silent.


With the authorities closing and destroying the schools many orphans are in no position to continue their education.


The orphans are from Hakha, Falam and ThanTlang Townships. The school was established in April 2006 and permitted by the SPDC and Taxation Department. The building had two floors including a ground floor. (Source: Khonumthung News)




December 23, 2006: The SPDC authority in Chin state organized training for village council election in Paletwa township of southern Chin state from November 12 to November 26. The training was conducted under the direct supervision of Paletwa township peace and development council.


About 240 civilians from the whole township were compels to participate in the training. During the training session the Township Peace and Development Council did not provided the accommodating and facilities for participants. The trainees were informed by letters that they had to collect 2,000 kyats per house within their region to cover the training expense.


The training was conducted by U Aung Soe Moe (Township General Management Department), and Ko Ko Kyi of township Sub- inspector. According to participants in the training the whole session was lecture on the structure of administration system of State Peace and Development Council SPDC from the highest level to the village level such as the importance of election process of village council members.


Certain levels of restrictions were applied when selecting the training participants and only those who are “qualified” according to the authority were allowed to participated in the training. Many people were disqualified giving lousy reasons by the authority.


It is said that there will be the next round of training which will be conduct soon. The result of collecting money, there was some conflict between the local people or villagers and Village Peace and Development Council.


In recent years no one wants to serve as the Chairman of Village council chairman under the rule of SPDC in Chin state and the villagers believes that this training is to enforced the SPDC administration in Chin state.





By Salai Za Uk Ling

24 Dec 2006 – Kuala Lumpur: Signs of festivities are everywhere as Chin refugee community in Malaysia prepares for festive celebrations. But hundreds of them will be spending this year’s Christmas in detention centers across Malaysia. More than 500 Chin refugees and asylum seekers are languishing in Malaysian jails and detention centers after being arrested for immigration offences. Detainees range from young single males to entire family members; to mothers and pregnant women to children as young as three years old.


Just last week, 43 Chins were arrested during an immigration raid in a construction worksite near Singaporean border in government’s ongoing operation against “illegal immigrants.” Mr. Peng had been working in the site for more than one month to support his wife and two young children before being arrested in last week’s sweep. Like other recognized refugees in the country, Mr. Peng is not legally permitted to work in Malaysia. Last month, he found a menial work in a construction site in Jahor, more than three hundred kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur where he and his family live. He took the job there, though it meant having to leave his family alone. He needed to earn extra money for the family this Christmas. He and his family are awaiting resettlement in a third country and were recently interviewed for relocation in the United States. His plan was to come back to Kuala Lumpur to spend Christmas with his family, but he is now being detained with dozens of his co-workers and is facing prospects of prolonged detention and even deportation. His wife and two children are now spending this Christmas without Mr. Peng.


Hundreds of other detainees are in similar or worse situations. Many of them have spent nearly one year in detention in more than 15 jails and detention centers nationwide. At least two pregnant women and a dozen children under 18 years old are still under immigration custody.


Par Iang was in her late stage of pregnancy when Malaysia’s notorious volunteer corps RELA arrested her in early October. She has been in Kajang prison along with one other pregnant woman for nearly three months. She was expecting to deliver last week and it is not known whether she had already given birth inside detention facility. She was brought to court on December 13, just three days before her expected date of delivery. She and one other Chin woman who is about 5 month pregnant were sentenced to one month in detention – their only crime: illegally entering and staying in Malaysia in search of safety and protection.


Both the women broke down in tears after the judge announced their sentence. Several Malaysian rights group recently took their case to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the Immigration Department and sought their release. They argued that their detention was in violation of international law protecting the rights of women of which Malaysia is bound. Malaysian immigration chief has already agreed to demands for their release, but so far only a few of them have actually been freed.


Festive moods are clearly evident among Chin refugee community in Kuala Lumpur this Christmas. But the community is also all too well conscious of the plight and anguish of their fellow men and women in detention.




By Salai Za Uk Ling

December 16, 2006-Kuala Lumpur: 43 Chin refugees and asylum seekers were among over one hundred ‘illegal migrants’ arrested by Malaysian immigration this morning at a construction worksite in Jahor Baru.


At about 11 a.m. this morning, Malaysian immigration officials raided a construction worksite in Jahor Baru near the Singaporean border where more than 120 Chins were working. But the majority of the Chin workers evaded arrest by hiding inside the multi-storied building. “We had to hide in the ceiling for hours to evade arrest,” says one of the workers who did not have any legal document.


Those arrested in the raid include 43 Chins and 5 Rohingyas, as well as Indonesian and Vietnamese migrants. “The majority of us have UNHCR cards saying that we are recognized refugees, but the immigration arrested us anyway,” says one of the detainees who spoke to Chinland Guardian on a mobile phone from the immigration office where they are temporarily housed.


Speaking on the phone with Suaram, UNHCR personnel described the raid as “very sad,” especially given that it happened so close to Christmas. “Because it happened during the weekend when the office is closed UNHCR will only able to send representatives to the detention center on Monday,” he said.




By Salai Za Uk Ling

28 Dec 2006 – Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian authorities yesterday deported 80 asylum seekers who had been held in immigration detention since early October. The deportation is part of an ongoing effort by the government to rid “illegal aliens” of its soil.


The majority of deportees are ethnic Chins who came to Malaysia at various points in the last years to seek protection from UNHCR. They were taken from Semenyih detention center and transported in trucks and dumped them across Malaysia-Thia border.


A few of them managed to sneak back in overnight and arrived in Kuala Lumpur this morning. But for many, there is no guarantee they will not be re-arrested and detained again before they could approach UNHCR for registration of their asylum cases.


However, recognition by the UN refugee agency doesn’t necessarily guarantee against arrest and detention since Malaysian authorities have recently started arresting refugees under UNHCR protection.


Amidst rumors that immigration authorities will conduct another round-up before the New Year, deportees who managed to re-enter Malaysia this morning can only hope they will not be re-arrested. “The detention conditions were terrible. We were subjected to regular verbal abuse and poor nutrition. I can’t be back in there again,” says a former woman detainee who spent nearly three months in different detention centers.


The Chin Refugee Center is now assisting them with their immediate needs as well as facilitating the process of registration with UNHCR.




November 6, 2006: The UNHCR’s Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Angelina Julie made a surprise visit to refugees from Burma living in New Delhi on Saturday, November 4.


Ms. Julie one of the most celebrated film stars in Hollywood was shooting the up coming movies “A Mighty Heart” in India.


“Actually I am here in India for shooting. As I’ve heard some refugees are residing in Delhi, I come here to see the condition and problem they are facing”, quoted Ms. Julie as saying.


Angelina accompanied by officials from UNHCR office in Delhi did interview to refugees at Women Protection Centre at Janakpuri in Delhi.


“She looks very sympathetic to our living condition and asked me about the problem I am facing here. She is very friendly to us”, said one of the Chin refugees.


After having interview, she also did home visit in Janakpuri. The planning to do home visit to Bindapur area where a lot of Chin refugees are residing was reportedly canceled for security concern.


The surprise visit of Ms. Julie, the most celebrated Hollywood star and the UNHCR’ Goodwill Ambassador was a great encouragement for the refugee community from Burma living in Janakpuri of New Delhi. She also gave away Chocolates, Biscuits and shawls to children and widows from Chin refugee community.



By Soon Li Tsin


Dec 14, 2006-Kuala Lumpur: Despite winning Suaram Human Rights Award last Friday, the founder and former coordinator of the Chin Refugee Centre (CRC) said the struggle continues for all of them.


Victor Sang (left) who has since resettled in Canada told malaysiakini he is grateful for the win as it recognises the efforts of the CRC volunteers.


“On behalf of the Burmese Chin refugees and the volunteers in CRC, we’re really pleased. The award is very precious to all the Chin people around the world,” he beamed.


“But there is work to do everyday and many people need our help,” he said.


Victor explained that the CRC went from being mobile to having its own Kuala Lumpur office in August 2002.


Since then, the CRC has grown and now consists of two other Chin organisations – the Chin Student Organisation and Chin Women Organisation.


The centre primarily acts as a point of contact for Chin refugees who are seeking asylum in the country.


“Since the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) won’t allow people to contact them, the Chins stop by here first as 99 percent of them do not speak Malay or English,” he explained.


According to him, there are almost 20,000 Chin refugees and about 17,000 are unregistered with the UNHCR.


However, the CRC is not registered with the government and the documents that it tenders to Chins have no legal bearings.


Victor said the centre is also subject to raids from both the police and Rela (volunteer action force) but receives help from the Special Branch.

Registration cancelled


“The Special Branch in Kuala Lumpur protects us from the ‘other’ police that come to disturb us and ask for money.”


Chins in Malaysia are concentrated in urban areas with 1,600 in Cameron Highlands, 1,000 in Putrajaya while others are spread out.


Ask as to how far UNHCR has gone to recognise Chins as refugees, Victor said registration with the international body stopped 15 months ago.


“UNHCR cancelled registration of Chin refugees 15 months ago citing backlog as a reason. They say they have a backlog of 7,000 people, we have a big backlog of 17,000 now”, mused Victor.


He also said so far 520 Chins have been detained and a few of them have been deported.


Ten of thousands of Chins were forced to flee from their homes in Burma since the military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), came to power.


As a predominantly Christian community in a primarily Buddhist country, the Chin are particularly targeted for prosecution by the regime due to their military status.


Majority of the Chin asylum seekers cross into India and Malaysia.




By Salai Za Uk Ling

December 16, 2006-Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian immigration authorities yesterday released Chin asylum seeker mother and child. Tial Can and her 3 year-old daughter Dawt Khun Tial had been in detention since July, just days after they arrived in Malaysia to seek asylum with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur. They are now back in their community with the assistance of Chin Refugee Committee.


The mother and child made headlines in the media a few weeks ago when Malaysia rights group SUARAM and six other non-governmental organizations took their case to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and the Immigration Department. They were two of the extremely vulnerable individuals listed in a joint memorandum to the Immigration Department on November 23.


During a meeting with NGO representatives on December 6, the Director-General of Immigration Department of Malaysia indicated his willingness to release children, mothers and pregnant woman detainees on the condition that agencies such as the UNHCR or Ministry of Women Affairs take responsibilities for their well-being.


Three year-old Dawt Khun Tial was reportedly sick and had suffered from malnutrition as a result of poor appetite and harsh conditions in Lenggeng detention center, which has been acknowledged by the Malaysian government as one of the many overcrowded detention facilities around the country.


Philemon Sang, coordinator of the Chin Refugee Committee, who accompanied the mother and child home yesterday from UNHCR office, described the child as ‘looking very pale and weak.’






By Tara Horn

December 9, 2006-Kuala Lumpur: The Chin Refugee Committee was awarded the Suaram Human Rights Award on December 8, at the annual Suaram Tribute to Human Rights Defenders dinner in Kuala Lumpur. Suaram is a Malaysian non-governmental organization “committed to defending and campaigning for human rights in Malaysia and other parts of the world.” Suaram, or Suara Rakyat Malaysia, began in 1989 and is now the leading human rights organization in Malaysia.


The Tribute to Human Rights Defenders dinner was held in conjunction with World Human Rights Day on December 10, to pay tribute to those who work to promote and defend human rights in Malaysia. About 500 guests from civil society, political parties, media, and international embassies attended the dinner.


The dinner began with opening remarks from Yap See Seng, who called on the Malaysian government to respond to the request, made in 2004, for a country visit by Hina Jilani, the United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders. After the opening remarks, Suaram also presented a video statement from Said Zahari, a prominent human rights leader in Malaysia and Singapore. Zahari urged human rights organizations to move beyond protests and develop new strategies for raising awareness among the people of how human rights relate to their daily lives, and for getting them involved in standing up for their own rights everyday.


During dinner, The Chin Refugee Committee’s 20-member cultural troupe performed the Chong Lai Zonh dance in traditional Chin dress. There were also dinner performances by an orang asli, or indigenous Malay, group, and Malaysian singer Mei Chern.


The much anticipated Suaram Human Rights Award 2006 was presented later in the evening by Dr. Kua Kia Soong, the director of Suaram. In total, there were four nominees for the award this year. The three additional nominees were the Bukit Jelutong villagers, a community of plantation workers who fought against unlawful evictions by the plantation giant Guthrie, the Article 11 coalition, a network of groups that campaigned for the constitutional right to freedom of religion, and the Broga No Incinerator Committee, which campaigned against a mega incinerator project at the border of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. The Chin Refugee Committee was jointly awarded the honor along with the Bukit Jelutong villagers.


The Chin Refugee Committee was established in 2001 to support Chin refugees in their pursuit of safety in Malaysia. The CRC staff, all volunteers from the Chin community, advocates for the protection and registration of Chin refugees with the UNHCR and assist individuals with the registration process. They also assist refugees with obtaining care or protection in times of crisis, and network with the police, government, and local NGOs to increase awareness of and services available to the community. There are currently estimated to be around 20,000 Chin in Malaysia. Victor Kham Bil, founder, and Philimon Sang, Coordinator of CRC, accepted the award on behalf of the committee. Victor says of the award, “It will shed light on the situation of the Chin for NGOs, and really show that the CRC is working hard to protect the Chin. They will know that the CRC is something. It is very rewarding and very encouraging, and it will encourage all the CRC members to work harder than before – they will know that even the NGOs in Malaysia recognize our work.” The CRC was nominated for the award by Chin Human Rights Organization, an advocacy group that initiated the formation of the committee in 2001.


The annual Suaram Human Rights Award was initiated in 1999 to recognize local communities and collectives in their outstanding and inspiring endeavors to protect and promote human rights in Malaysia. Both winners will receive as their prize a space to attend the Asia Training and Study Session on Human Rights in Bangkok for two weeks next year. The prize is sponsored by the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia), a regional human rights organization with more than 30 members in the Asian region.




Salai Elaisa Vahnie

December 17, 2006- Washington DC: Delegations of Chin Human Rights Organization were in the capital last week meeting with various non-governmental organizations and the US government officials. Their mission: to promote awareness and to advocate for protection and assistance of Chin refugees in Asia.


Amy Alexander and Salai Ngun Cung Lian, both Legal Consultants with the Chin Human Rights Organization, held a series of meetings with various refugee advocacy groups and the State Department. Part of their mission is to express their thanks to groups such as the Refugee Council of USA, which played an instrumental role in lobbying the US government to waive the Chin refugees from ‘material support’ bar. Their mission was also to give updates on the status of the Chin refugees in Malaysia, New Delhi and Mizoram of India.


Amy Alexander is an American lawyer who has spent more than a year in Thailand, Malaysia and India working with Chin Human Rights Organization on refugee issues. In its latest report, Chin People of Burma: A Struggle for Survival, CHRO says Chin refugees now living in countries such as Malaysia and India are without protection and face lack of access to basic health care and education.


During a meeting with the Refugee Council USA Resettlement Committee, Salai Ngun Cung Lian presented an overview of CHRO’s work and experience of working on refugee issues. He says the organization is now working for protection as well as humanitarian assistance to Chin refugees in Asia.


The delegations also met with and some groups of Chin community and Churches in national capital area to give updates on the situation of Chin refugees and to bridge better cooperation.


The CHRO was formed in 1995 by a group of Chin activists to promote and protect the rights of Chin people. It monitors and documents the human rights situations in Chin State and among refugees in other countries. One of its focuses in recent years has been to promote protection for Chin refugees.






By Mai Mang Khan Cing (Bianca Son)



The modern political history of Burma reads like a checklist of political experiments “gone bad.” Before British rule, Burma consisted of independent kingdoms, princely states, chiefdoms and independent communities. Under British rule, the above mentioned all became a part of British India. After Independence in 1947, the Union of Burma was formed. General Aung San, father of the famous Nobel laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, drafted a Constitution. Part of the draft Constitution was the Panlong Agreement in which General Aung San promised the non-Burman, e.g. the ethnic minorities equality and autonomy. However, just months after the Panlong agreement, General Aung San and his entire cabinet were assassinated. U Nu took over and the draft constitution was altered, betraying both the letter and spirit of the Panlong Agreement. The amendments invalidated the recognition of the formerly proud nations and all were claimed under the same umbrella–the Union of Burma. The former independent states did not then, nor now, identify themselves as “Burmese.” After a military coup, Burma became a military dictatorship under General Ne Win. The military dictatorship continues in present day.


The Military regime is not about politics, rather about power. There are no attempts to invade other countries to gain larger territories, resources or to spread its ideology—whatever that may be. Their primary goal, as it appears, is for economic power—more specifically, money for those in-charge, namely the military heads of power. Burma is abundant in natural resources. It has rich teak forests, mineral wealth and natural gas. Moreover, it is strategically placed within Southeast Asia. The natural resources are often located in the hill areas that are occupied by the ethnic minorities who are, typically, subsistence farmers. Besides the natural resources, the ethnic minorities are also an abounding source of forced labor—and are used till they are, literally and actually, an exhausted human resource. These Ethnic minorities often rebel by creating insurgent groups to fight the Burmese military. Therefore, Burma has no enemies other than its own people—the ethnic minorities. Not only do they rise up as insurgent groups, occasionally alert the international community and report about the atrocities happening in Burma, they also occupy valuable territories. It is, therefore, crucial for the regime to “cleanse” itself of these ethnic minorities. In order to avoid international intervention, the Burmese regime operates to achieve its end in concealment. In this paper, it is argued that the Burmese have managed to conceal overt ethnic cleansing by avoiding outright mass murder, employing isolationism and forced migration.


Ethnic Cleansing Defined


The definition of ethnic cleansing is contested. The scholar, Angelica Means argues the definition of ethnic cleansing, “The term ‘ethnic cleansing’ has a long usage. It refers to the removal of one group to achieve the cohesion necessary for state formation and nation-building. The theory is that ‘one people, one state’ lessens internal violence, and actually makes possible the comity of states.” This is certainly true in the case of Burma. One reason that the Burmese military actively attacks ethnic groups is due, in part, to the high number of opposition and insurgent groups. Vumson (2001) argued that Ne Win fostered insurgent groups in order to justify the attacks, displacement, and killings of ethnic groups. A more appropriate definition may be, “Although ‘ethnic cleansing’ is not formally defined under international law, a U.N. Commission of Experts has defined the term as a ‘purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas. . . . This purpose appears to be the occupation of territory to the exclusion of the purged group or groups.”


In 2003, using the above definition, the United States government passed a bill stating that what is happening in Burma is, in fact, ethnic cleansing. It reads, “ (6) The SPDC is engaged in ethnic cleansing against minorities within Burma, including the Karen, Karenni, and Shan people, which constitutes a crime against humanity and has directly led to more than 600,000 internally displaced people living within Burma and more than 130,000 people from Burma living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.”


The above solidifies the argument that ethnic cleansing is occurring in Burma. Further, it is important to state that the notion of ethnic cleansing may evoke impressions of campaigns. Campaigns are usually held in short periods of time where much energy and focus is given to a specific end. In Nazi Germany, for instance, ethnic cleansing occurred in a relatively short period of time—a matter of five to seven years. The ethnic cleansing of Kosovo also happened in a relatively short period. “Relative” in that other cases of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and or attempts at ethnic cleansing took longer to achieve. The occupation of Korea by the Japanese, for example, took over a century. Although the term “ethnic cleansing” is rather modern, the acts of the Japanese fall under the same definition. The Japanese invaded Korea and forced Koreans to take Japanese names and disallowed the Korean language. Their intent was to take the Korean peninsula and make it Japanese. The English invaded Wales and also disallowed the use of the Welsh language. The Welsh claim, today, that the English attempted to cleanse ethnic Welsh by forcing them to become English. In short, ethnic-cleansing campaigns may take decades to achieve. The Burmese are not rounding up ethnic groups and murdering them. They are proceeding slowly. If they were to do so, the ethnic cleansing could not occur in concealment.

Avoidance of Mass Murder

One way the regime employs ethnic cleansing is by using ethnic minorities as land mine sweepers. Land mines are victim-activated weapons that kill or maim its victims—indiscriminately. Burma is second to Afghanistan in land mine victims–surpassing Cambodia. Evidence suggests that at least one person falls victim to a land mine each day. Further, Burma’s regime has refused to sign the Mine Ban Treaty at the UN in 1999. The regime plants mines on supply and escape routes used by refugees, villagers, or insurgent and resistance groups. Of late, land mines are also planted to “protect” oil pipelines and natural gas pipelines which run through both, Eastern and Western Burma. Some ethnic insurgents group plant landmines to protect themselves against the military regime. However, they themselves are likely to be maimed or killed by these mines. Often villagers who have been forcibly relocated will attempt to return to his/her “motherland.” where they fall victim to a mine.


One interviewee described being a human land mind sweeper for the Burmese military, “…[I] was forced to seek mines using a long sharpened bamboo prod, piercing the ground and removing any found mines by hand.” Along the same journey, two other villager porters stepped on landmines and both of them were immediately killed. “


Other villagers had similar stories. One man reported that, “On 2nd March, the SPDC troops came to my home village in Karen State; just a few hours walk from the Thai border. The villagers tried to escape to the forest, taking with them what they could. When the troops arrived, they caught the chicken, killed the pigs and burned down some houses. They also destroyed the rice stocks. One villager was killed and the landmines planted by the soldiers maimed two thers. Three other villagers were forced to work as army porters, to walk ahead of the troops in the front line.”

Fink (2001) also interviewed an ethnic minority who spoke about his experience as a human land mine sweeper. Cho Zin who lived near the Thai-Burma border explained that in 1996, he along with dozens other villagers were forced to sweep for mines. The Burmese Army told them to clear the route, “…with their legs…” (p. 126). Two land mine sweepers including Cho Zin stepped on mines. The other two died on the spot-instantly. Cho Zin was lucky. Fellow villagers got him to a hospital in Thailand, his lower leg was amputated and he survived. According to Cho Zin, in the four or five villages near his own, there were over a hundred amputees.

Forced Labor


The regime also uses the ethnic minorities as forced labor for numerous projects from creating space for an oil pipeline to building palaces for tourism. According to a None Governmental Organization ( NGO), “Gendersite,” the use of Ethnic minorities as a means of forced labor is widespread and responsible for thousands of deaths each year. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has described forced labor in Myanmar as “an endemic abuse affecting hundreds of thousands of workers who [are] subjected to the most extreme forms of exploitation.”


Forced labor is employed to deforest Burma. Keating (1997) interviewed villagers, “Everyone in an unnamed town and its surrounding area were forced to work in rotating shifts. Each village and section of town was directed to send people to work two of each three months. ‘Each day,’ reported one conscript, ‘My section of town has to send [as many as] 20 people, depending on how many the soldiers demand. There are 60 houses in my section. I’ve had to go twice to cut the trees, for one day each time. We had to take all our own tools, machetes and saws. They make us cut everything down, even the bamboo trees. Then we have to dig out the stumps too, and give them to the Army. It’s all taken away by Army trucks” Keating further argues that as the forests are cleared out, the rainwater runs off instead being reabsorbed. This will eventually lead to drought leaving the people without means for growing their own food.


Another example of forced labor is the “Death Ponds”. About 20,000 people have been forced to dig ponds each dry season. Villagers must provide all their own tools or work with their hands. Each family is assigned two ponds and must also use the excavated earth to build smooth terraces around on which they must plant banana trees. These ponds will eventually serve as cooling off sites for tourists. People who are forced to dig these ponds have named them the “Death Ponds”, because more than 100 people have already died of sickness and exhaustion made worse by sunstroke while working on the project. Officers of the Southern Command have driven out all of the subsistence farmers who used to own this land. This illustrates both, forced labor as well as forced migration.


Prisoners are also a source of labor. The conditions are treacherous, especially in the Mon State, which boasts several mineral and semi-precious excavating mines. Prisoners starve to death, die of exposure, are killed in accidents involving mine explosions, are beaten to death and many commit suicide because of the atrocious conditions.


Further, for villagers to lose a family member for even one week can be devastating in terms of income. Worse is when the family member becomes ill with malaria or dysentery. Many die from work related injuries. Zaw Htun on the Thazi dam in northwestern Burma explains that in 1995, he and his brother were forced to build the dam under constant guard of Burmese soldiers. The soldiers were always drunk; they molested the girls and women and beat them indiscriminately. Some were beaten to death and their bodies were simply thrown into the jungle

Fink (2001). Again, although no overt mass murders are occurring, the ethnic minorities are slowly being killed.


Prohibition of Foreign Journalists


In order to keep the international community from realizing the atrocity occurring in Burma, the military government does not allow any foreign journalists into the country. In fact, even local journalists are under scrutiny.


Burma is not the first nation that has prohibited foreign media. The Chinese were notorious for keeping foreign media out of its borders. The Tianaman Square media coverage came about when a Mikhail Gorbachev was to visit China in May 1989. Students took advantage of the foreign press and created signs and banners designed to gain international attention. The Chinese government appeared to have had trouble managing the protests and thus, did not respond immediately. This way, the international media was not forced out immediately and managed to capture the protests. Eventually, CNN and the BBC were thrown out of the country and coverage was terminated. Still, the Tianaman Square Massacre brought the world’s attention to the Human Rights violations occurring in China. The Burmese government is aware of the impact journalists may have and go to great lengths to avoid international attention.


One paramount event in Burma’s modern history was an uprising that, virtually, eluded the international media. The uprising of students and common people alike occurred in August of 1988 referred to as “8888”. There was virtually no coverage of the protests since foreign journalists had long been prohibited. In this way, Burma was able to shield itself from international scrutiny, from criticism and intervention. That is, the generals in Burma benefited from Burma’s relative low profile on the international stage. In terms of inside Burma, however, paranoia is justified. Although difficult to document, it is said that in every fifth house and every third person in a teashop may be a spy for the regime. It is dangerous to discuss politics and worse yet, to speak to foreigners—everyone is a potential journalist. And journalists may report to the world that the Burmese regime is cleansing itself of ethnic minorities and anyone else who opposes them.


Foreign journalists are not the only ones prohibited. Burmese journalists face even greater risks. That is, media in Burma is strictly state-controlled and functions strictly as a mouthpiece of the government. Media personnel who resist government control are either jailed or forced to leave the country. U Thaung, publisher and editor of a newspaper Mirror Daily, was one amongst them. He was jailed for three years by the government for his criticism against the government. Most journalists eventually leave Burma and continue their work in foreign countries reporting on the ethnic cleansing. However, because the international community is slow to recognize the regime’s actions, many are deported back and are either imprisoned or killed. Some simply “disappear”.



Along with Burma’s admittance to ASEAN, hope emerged that there would be constructive engagement–that ASEAN’s non-intervention policy would be upheld whilst creating a road map for Burma’s future. However, once Burma became part of ASEAN, its members were even more strongly tied to the non-intervention policy. (Guan, 2001) This caused a rift between the European Union and ASEAN and meetings were suspended for several years. When meetings resumed, several EU members did not attend, perhaps in protest. Guan continues by addressing Burma’s economic situation. He focuses on the fact that Burma must reduce its isolationism in order to participate in global economics and that its reliance on China is not viable–economically. However, although Guan’s argument has merit in terms of economics, the isolation Burma employs is not only a means of hanging on to political power, but also to conceal the atrocities committed in Burma. Ganesan (2006) has a similar argument, that ASEAN’s non-intervention policy in Burma is allowing Burma to further slip into poverty. He further argues that Burma’s tentative openness for dialogue involving Aun San Suu Kyi is improving its position. Still, although he mentions the atrocities and ethnic cleansing, Ganesan refers to them as “…secondary issues…(p. 32). Needless to say, the Burmese regime appears to cooperate, yet the reality of its ethnic cleansing remains concealed.


Another country actively employing isolationism is North Korea. It is often refereed to as the “Hermit Kingdom”. It is the only country that had its communist dictatorship pass from father to son. Few outsiders have entered North Korea. When foreigners, be it journalists or potential investors do enter the country, visits are always limited to Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital. Foreigners are never permitted to visit the country side which is said to be a wasteland and where thousands of people are, literally, starving to death while Kim Jong Il holds on to his ideology of “self-reliance.” Like Burma, North Korea realizes that isolationism means protection from the international community. That is to say, if the world were aware of the atrocities occurring in both countries, governments and/or other organizations may be compelled to intervene.


One example of such intervention is Kosova. The ethnic cleansing occurring there were so treacherous that the UN finally elected to stop the overt ethnic cleansing happening in Kosova. A United States Government 2001 Executive summary reads:


“Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo: An Accounting. [It] is a new chapter in our effort to document the extent of human rights and humanitarian law violations in Kosovo, and to convey the size and scope of the Kosovo conflict. The information in this report is drawn from refugee accounts, NGO documentation, press accounts, and declassified information from government and international organization sources. The atrocities against Kosovar Albanians documented in this report occurred primarily between March and late June 1999. This document is a follow-up to the U.S. Department of State’s previous human rights report, Erasing History: Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo, which was released on May 10, 1999. The report reads, “A central question is the number of Kosovar Albanian victims of Serbian forces in Kosovo. Many bodies were found… in June 1999. The evidence is also now clear that Serbian forces conducted a systematic campaign to burn or destroy bodies, or to bury the bodies, then rebury them to conceal evidence of Serbian crimes. On June 4, at the end of the conflict, the Department of State issued the last of a series of weekly ethnic cleansing reports… at least 6,000 Kosovar Albanians were victims of mass murder, with an unknown number of victims of individual killings, and an unknown number of bodies burned or destroyed by Serbian forces throughout the conflict.”


The Burmese regime learned a great lesson from Kosova. If the world were aware of the ethnic cleansing occurring, intervention would be sent and the regime dismantled. That is, the above clearly indicates the power the international community has to stop atrocities. If, again, they are concealed however, atrocities continue without intervention.

Forced Migration


Forced migration is another means of ethnic cleansing. The International Association for the Study of Forced Migration defines forced migration as “…a general term that refers to the movements of refugees and internally displaced people (people displaced by conflicts) as well as people displaced by natural or environmental disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine, or development projects.”

The manner in which forced migration is employed are numerous. Three ways of achieving ethnic cleansing by forcing ethnic minorities to leave their territories, is by attacking the identities of ethnic minorities as related to their belongingness to their soil. Other means are the use of systematic rape and the creation of human zoos on the borders of Burma.


Disconnection from Soil


Malkki (2006) discusses the notion of identity as related to soil. She questions, “…[ is it] necessary to rethink the question of roots in relation–if not to the soul—to identity, and to the forms of its territorilization. The metaphorical concept of having roots involves intimate linkages between people and places…” (p. 24). Malkki emphasizes the fact that scholars have argued that people have emotional ties to their soil. She gives examples such as the fact that bodies and ashes of deceased are often transported back to their original homelands for burial to, “…the land where the genealogical tree of the ancestors grows (p. 27).” Similarly, the Karen report that military soldiers cut down the very trees where Karen bury their miscarried and stillborn infants. The trees, for the Karen, take on a symbolic meaning of life. By cutting the trees down, they, literally become detached from their own soil (Fisher, 2006).


By extension, Malkki argues the fact that deterritorilization and identity are intimately linked as well. Formulating her argument that identity and soil are not necessarily connected and that the assumption of it may have negative impacts; she quotes Cirtautus, “Homelessness is a serious threat to moral behavior…At the moment the refugee crosses the frontiers of his own world, his whole moral outlook, his attitude toward the divine order of life changes… [The refugees] conduct makes it obvious that we are dealing with individuals who are basically amoral, without any sense of personal or social responsibility…They no longer feel themselves bound by ethical precepts which every honest citizen…respects. They become a menace, dangerous characters who will stop at nothing (p. 32).” That is to say, the homeless person, as the Burmese government has assigned its ethnic minorities, are seen as potential dangers and must either be controlled or forced out of their regions. The Burmese government has itself told the international media that they are attacking the Karen State, because they want to protect themselves against “terrorist insurgents.” As stated above, the minorities are often seen as a threat, especially once they are forced out of their own territories.




Another means of forced migration is the overt use of rape. A report released last year focused on the rape of Chin women (Zahau, 2005). Her report is based on actual interviews of rape victims. She interviewed villagers inside Chin State and on the Chin border over a period of five months. All interviewees were aware that their story was one among many. However, in fear of retaliation from the Burmese soldiers as well as fear of social stigma kept many from sharing their stories. The Chin have strong Christian beliefs. Victims of rape often blame themselves and are shamed for having lost their virginity making them impure and unfit for marriage. Silence is often the only option. After the rapes, many victims devote their lives to religion in an attempt to deal with their shame and trauma. Some victims, in an attempt to adhere to their religious beliefs, accept marriage proposals from their rapists. Other victims leave their villages in fear of further attacks.


Zahau further reports that in an effort to further “Burmanization,” the regime supports Burmese soldiers raping Chin women. Burmese soldiers are promised 100,000 kyat should they marry an educated Chin woman. Yet, Chin women who marry Burmese soldiers have no legal protection. If their spouse and/or father of their children abandon them, they have no legal recourse and are forced to raise their children without any financial support; while living in shame within their communities. Brutal beatings and gang rape is also a form of punishment for women who the Burmese authorities suspect supporting insurgent groups.


Kachin women’s rights groups have also issued a report, “Driven Away” which focused on the rape of women and girls in the Kachin State. First, soldiers rape these girls who often opt to escape into China. Some girls are sold to work in brothels or to become of the wives of Chinese men. One young girl explains that her own aunt-a drug addict sold her to a trafficker. She managed to escape and returned home. Many others, however, disappear or are found murdered. The Burmese regime has made no efforts to stop the trafficking of women. (Kachin Women’s Association, Thailand 1999)


Shan women’s organization also published a report, “License to Rape” in which they illustrated dozen of rape cases of Shan women by Burmese soldiers. Their report mentioned migration after rape. It reads, “In twenty-two of the cases documented (13%), the women, with or without their families, moved to Thailand following the rape. In some of these cases, the women moved immediately after the rape, in fear of further assault. In one of these cases, the 18-year-old woman was encouraged to leave by the village headman: Worried for her safety, he told her, ‘If you have a place to go, you should go. If you have a place to move, you should move. You shouldn’t face those soldiers again.’ And so Naang Yin (not her real name) stayed on the move, spending each night at a different relative’s house. Her parents were anxious about her security, but they didn’t dare complain to the military for fear of repercussions. Ten days after her release (from detention and gang rape), Naang Yin’s mother took her to Thailand. (Case 133).“


Other reports of rape are replete. The trauma of rape or the mere fear of rape forces girls and women to flee. In some cases, such in the case of the Arakanese, entire communities flee to Bangladesh. That is, although these women and/or communities are not murdered outright, they are still being cleansed out of Burma. Hence, clearly it is simply a matter of concealed ethnic cleansing.


Religious Persecution


Under the umbrella of forced migration as a means of ethnic cleansing also falls Religious Persecution. One method of attacking the minorities’ religion, recently reported by the Women’s League of Chinland (Zahau 2006), is to force ethnic women to marry Burmese soldiers. Many ethnic minorities such as the Chin and some of the Karen are Christian. Hence, marrying a Burmese soldier means forfeiting her religious beliefs. Burmese soldiers are reportedly paid for marrying, and thus converting, an ethnic minority or a person who practices Christianity. On the other hand, according to Fisher (2006), many of these soldiers “convert” to Christianity temporarily, until they are asked to join a different post, in which case, they denounce Christianity often even leaving the wife and children abandoned. Zahau further reports that although the ethnic community may be aware of the women’s situations, that their ‘husband’ abandoned them, they are no longer willing to accept her as a member of their community. Hence, that woman is encouraged, internally (by herself) and by others to leave the community because she is no longer pure and thus, no longer a “good” Christian. Although leaving the community may not destroy her ethnic identity, but it certainly will be difficult to maintain given that communication is virtually impossible in Burma. Without continued interaction with her community, which fosters identity, she may eventually distance herself completely—as is reported by Zahau.


More open religious persecution perpetrated by the Burmese is the destruction of Christian symbols. A non-governmental organization, the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) reported that in 2005, a giant Christian cross on a mountaintop in one of the ethnic minority districts was destroyed by Burmese troops. It was destroyed on direct order of the highest-ranking military commanders in the region. After destroying the 50-foot cross, Burmese soldiers hoisted a massive Burmese flag in its place and announced plans to build a Buddhist pagoda on that site in the near future.


There is also a Muslim Ethnic minority in Arakan, in the southwestern region of Burma, otherwise known as the Rohinga. The Rohingas have experienced decades of discrimination and have been forced to flee into Bangladesh primarily because of their religious orientation. The Rohinga have reportedly suffered from systematic rape, which has caused entire communities to flee into neighboring Bangladesh (Zahau 2005). The government refuses to give citizenship status to Muslim Rohingas because there is no recorded history of their ancestors having occupied Burma during British rule.


There have been further reports that Muslims residing in the capital of Rangoon suffer religious persecution as well. In 2001, it was reported that several men from the Arakan State were forced off a bus and imprisoned. Some were sentenced to seven years in prison for travelling without proper identification papers. In 2001, a Muslim man was taken off a plane in Kawthaung airport in southern Burma, bound for Rangoon without apparent reason; his ticket was cancelled. Clearly, again, these Muslim ethnic minorities are discriminated against, have their identities attacked and are forced to migrate to avoid further persecution, the rape of their women, or worse risk of incarceration and even death.


The primarily Buddhist Burmese military does not only persecute differing religions, they in fact, persecute other fellow Buddhists as well — ethnic minority Buddhists. In the case of the Shan, which are located in the central eastern region, Burmese military soldiers have reportedly slipped old shoes and underwear into the wet concrete of pagoda constructions to defile the purity of the temple (Fisher, 2006). Hence, religious persecution is a significant means of ethnic persecution not only for ethnic minorities who are Christians or Muslim, but for the Buddhist ethnic minorities as well. Religious persecution is an effective means of attacking identity-forcing minorities to leave their regions, individually or collectively. Once they are out of their territories, it is extremely difficult for them to maintain identity. One reason is that once they are disconnected from their “motherlands”, they are no longer permitted to speak in their mother tongues and are forced to take on Burmese names—further forfeiting their sense of identity (Mirante, 1993, 2005; Fink 2001; Carey, 1999).



Eminent Domain

Another means of ethnic cleansing through forced migration is the regime’s claim of its “eminent domain.” Burma is rich in natural resources such as lush forests and minerals. Most natural resources are located in ethnic minority regions. These regions are also important for the regime in that it lays oil pipelines from and to the Yunnan region of China. Natural gas pipelines are laid in the Arakan State. The government often relocates entire towns displacing whole communities in order to claim the resources or the land.


Recently the Chinese government bought mineral rights to Chin State’s Mwe Taung mining area. in order to harvest the precious and semi-precious minerals. Recently, natural gas was discovered in the Arakan region in Eastern Burma. Ethnic minorities are being forced out of their regions. Gas and oil pipelines now run through towns and land mines are laid to “protect” the pipelines. In fact, it keeps ethnic minorities from returning home to their villages. They are forced to migrate and become displaced either inside Burma or they migrate into neighboring Bangladesh.


The forest is also considered “eminent domain” by the regime and deforestation is prevailing in Burma. A Chin pastor explains, “There is a forest about six miles from a village called Tlauhmun. We call it Aikon forest. It’s a forest that has grown for probably hundreds of years. In 1999-2000 the military forced the people to cut down all these trees. The military had the trees sawed into planks for building. Then they sell the planks and get the money. They sold the lumber to the Public Works Department, which is also a government agency. They used it for bridges – but this “hual” wood is not good for bridges, so in a year or two the wood gets rotten. The vicious cycle goes on. The military get the money for their living. Sometime last year, [a man] was forced to move a log, but he could not because the log was too big. So they shot him, but he did not die. The government gives permits to businessmen, mostly Chinese, to cut the wood, and take the gold and cane for trading. Because of the logging and mining, most of the mountains and the hillsides have been emptied of forests. Everything’s changed, even the wildlife. In the past we heard the sounds of wildlife. But no more. They all ran away. You can hardly see any wild animals in the area anymore.” Eventually the people, like the wildlife, will have to leave their territories as well. Johanson (2003) argues that the “…indigenous people in Burma…have been impressed into slave labor to harvest the world’s last sizable forests of teak by the country’s military rulers…[who have] been logging roads to allow access for oil and gas exploration in indigenous homelands. Many of these forests are home to rare species, such as the Asian Rhino, Asian Elephant among others, as well as the aforementioned indigenous peoples.” (p. 1)

Undocumented Cases of Concleaned Ethnic Cleansing


There are other undocumented incidentes such as the above. Again, because journalism is prohibted and because Burma is extremely isolated, documentation is difficult. However, based on reports stemming inside Burma, other similar cases are and have occurred. For example, forced labor is still occuring. It is reported that 5000 ethnic minorites were rounded up in Myitkyina, the capital of the Kachin State for forced labor. They were abducted at a Cinema. It is said that only 500 survived the forced labor.


Forced migration is also occuirng in concert with ecological destruction. The BBC—Asia reported in 2006 that in Kachin State, thousands of acres of forest has been plundered. Litteraly it was reported that, “…in Kachin State, seven days on foot is now deforsted…”


Ecological destruction as a means of forced migration is also reported in the Shan State. Shan ethnic minorities are rounded up and warehoused until needed for forced labor.


In the whole of the country, HIV infected soldiers are said to be taken to ethnic minority territories to spread the deadly virus. The same means of ethnic cleansing was employed when the Americas were invaded. Blankets infested with yellow fever were given to the Indians knowing that they would perish when infected.


Finally it is said that in the future, the Karen will only be featured in museums.




As mentioned above, Burma’s military has only one real and actual enemy, the ethnic minorities. These ethnic minorities were forced to join the Union of Burma after independence from the British. They ethnic minorities did not then nor do now, identify as Burmese. They view themselves as separate independent groups with inalienable rights. The ethnic minorities occupy areas rich in natural resources. The Burmese, being the majority, have taken control of the country and are engaged in ethnic cleansing. Instead of committing mass murder, however, the regime employs concealed methods of ethnic cleansing. That is, it realizes the power of the international community and therefore operates systematically and under concealment to cleanse itself of the ethnic minorities.


The regime employs, among others, three means of ethnic cleansing. First, they do not engage in overt mass murders. Instead they “use” the ethnic minorities as land mine sweepers and forced laborers, literally and actually exhausting them. The regime, perhaps having learned from other historical events, staunchly prohibits foreign journalists. Another means the regime manages to avoid international attention is by practicing isolationism. That is, although it is a member of ASEAN, Burma’s regime appreciates the non-intervention policy. Burma’s military regime is trying to avoid another Kosovo where the UN intervened. So, although they agree to dialogue with neighboring countries, even including Aung San Suu Kyi, it refuses to address Human Rights violations let alone ethnic cleansing.


A more insidious means of forced migration to achieve ethnic cleansing, is the overt rape. Rape and the mere fear of rape causes entire communities to flee. Religious persecution is also a horrific means of ethnic cleansing and forced migration. The regime also cuts ethnic minorities off from their territories by cutting their “ties” to the soil. Finally, the regime claims that everything within the borders of the Union of Burma is their eminent domain. Hence, they claim territories, relocate entire towns, or displace large communities.


Human Rights organizations as well as Non-governmental Organizations have focused on Burma for over 60 years, yet little has changed. Burma seems to offer little to the world in terms of resources. Although it was once one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia, it no longer has much to offer the international community, other than, perhaps China. Further, interest from scholars has paled. Those in the business of studying areas are declining in number (van Schendel, 2001). That is, the Burmese regime has cleverly “left the map”. By doing so, the regime continues to operate under concealment and may, literally, achieve its end of ethnic cleansing.




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Van Biak Thang


The Chins live in great danger and fears

Though the land itself beautiful appears;

Nowhere can a secure place there be found

Since the hands of the regime touch the ground.


The Chins are under threats and repression

Though the cold breeze blows around the region;

Pastors suffer and so do the members

Since the junta gives curfews and orders.


The Chins sleep awake and worried at night

Though the moon smiles and the stars shine so bright;

No youths dare go and sing a carol song

Since the army enjoys their marching gong.


The Chins can rejoice in Christmas no more

Though cherries bloom and wintry leaves implore;

No peace and joy can people have in mind

Since the dictators ban and spy behind.






To protect and promote human rights and democratic principles