Volume X. No. III. May-June 2007
Chin Human Rights Organization
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN CHINLAND
• SPDC Support Construction Of More Pagodas In Chin State
• SPDC Conscript Villagers In Militia Training
• SPDC Seized And Demolishes Houses For Training Ground
• Tahan Market Reconstruction Controversy Reach Naypyidaw
• Member Of Village Council Arrested For Carelessness
• Villagers Detained For Writing Complaint Letter To Sr. Gen Than Shwe
• SPDC Collected Money From Chin Farmers
• SPDC Soldiers Collect Money From Chin Villagers To Build Army Camp
• Burmese Soldiers Forced Villagers To Mend Their Camp
• 25 Villagers Including Women Forced As Porter And To Repair Army Camp
• Local Villagers Forced To Entertain Visiting Tactical Commander And His Troops
• Villagers Got 80,000 Kyats Fined From Township Authority
• SPDC Order To Sell Alcohol During Christian Youth Meeting
• Villagers Forced To Buy And Grow Rice And Castor Seeds
• SPDC Forced 6 Villages For Porter
• Village Self Support Middle School Order To Stop
• More Chin Refugees Arrested By Malaysia Authority
• CRC Urged UNHCR To Speed Up Registration
NEWS & EVENTS
• First Chin Military Official To Head Chin State
• Chin University Students’ Seminar In Matupi
• CNA Soldier Under Investigation For Molesting A Woman
• Six UNDP Workers Suspended For Corruption
• ENC General Secretary Invited To The White House
• A Chin Medical Student To Observe The Health Care System In The Uk
SPDC SUPPORT CONSTRUCTION OF MORE PAGODAS IN CHIN STATE
May 18, 2007
With no let up in religious persecution by the Burmese military junta in Chin state, restrictions have been imposed on construction of churches but building of pagodas is being encouraged.
The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) authorities were said to have just finished constructing a new pagoda in Falam Township, Northern Chin State with funds from the state’s budget in the first week of May, a local from Falam town said.
Last year, SPDC authorities donated Kyat 54 hundred thousand (around US $ 2400) from the state budget for the construction of pagodas. Construction of the pagoda just completed, was started in Pathankhan in Falam in 2006.
“It is grossly unfair to allow construction of pagodas where they don’t allow Christians to build churches”, a local from Falam said, pointing to the religious bias of the SPDC.
After the SPDC grabbed power in 1988, the ban on the right to construct churches came into effect and they destroyed churches and several crosses erected in Chin state where 90 percent of the population are Christians.
Construction of pagodas are on in the very places where crosses where destroyed and adjacent to army posts in Chin state.
SPDC CONSCRIPT VILLAGERS IN MILITIA TRAINING
May 17, 2007
A member of each family from several villages in Matupi town in Chin state, Myanmar has been forced to undergo militia training. Attendance at the training session has been made mandatory by Colonel San Aung, a tactical commander of tactical (2) stationed in Matupi.
Locals from Lui Vang, An Thaw, Lei Sin, Dai Hnan, and La Lui village tract were selected and forcibly made to participate in militia training that commenced last April.
Colonel San Aung issued a directive to five village tracts that 10 locals from the earmarked villages must join the militia training that is being serially launched once a month.
“It is terrible to attend the training when we are struggling to support our families. Since the training takes the whole month, we get no time for cultivation,” said a local.
The training by military authorities does not provide for food and other necessities for trainees. The locals are told to manage rations during the training.
Though militia trainees have to be over 18 years of age, the authorities are said to have involved under age locals of around 16 years old in the recently held training.
“We attended the training because of the order, though we were bored stiff. We were forced to work in tea plantations in the army camp before the training,” said a local who joined the militia training in April.
It was also learnt that a transfer order for Colonel San Aung from the new capital of Myanmar in Naypidaw was issued in the first week of April. The Colonel is being shifted to Monywe town in Sagaing division.
The Myanmar military regime in Chin state holds militia training for civilians every year where locals from different villages are forcibly made to attend.
SPDC SEIZED AND DEMOLISHES HOUSES FOR TRAINING GROUND
May 19, 2007
Four houses belonging to four families were confiscated and demolished for preparing a training ground for the Myanmarese Army in Kalay Town in Sagaing Division, Myanmar.
The seizure and demolition orders came from Captain Thain Phe, a commander of the Light Infantry Battalion (299) stationed in Kalay Town.
The houses belonging to Mr. Vum Ling, Mr. Hriang Kep, Mr. Zakam, and Mr. Than Cung in a new block in Kalay were demolished by the LIB (299) for preparing a training ground on April 12. The total area on which the houses stood is 400 x 60 sq ft.
“Initially, they (military authorities) promised us new land, but no arrangement has been made,” said a local close to a victim’s family in Kalay.
Till the time of writing this report the owners of the demolished houses have been staying with relatives.
The land and property confiscated for the army training ground is worth about Kyat 140 million. Bulldozers were used for the demolition.
Colonel Tin Hla, chairman of State Peace and Development Council of Chin state, allegedly demolished a school for orphans, which was constructed with the permission of the Township Development Committee and Taxation Department Hakha, capital of Chin state on April 2006. Another school for orphans run by Mr. Hawi ChunTum was also demolished in October 2006.
Under the SPDC regime, Chin people have been deprived of their homes through demolition and are subject to extortion. They have been pushed into forced labour, porter duty, recruitment of children in the army, slaughtering of domestic animals, made to work in construction of army camps and roads and tea and Jatropha plantations.
TAHAN MARKET RECONSTRUCTION CONTROVERSY REACH NAYPYIDAW
May 8, 2007
Officials of the Burmese military regime have summoned six members of the construction committee of Tahan market in Kale Myo, Sagain Division to Naypidaw the new capital of Myanmar. The committee is having problems with the local authorities regarding the reconstruction of the burnt out market.
“We don’t know whether the reconstruction will continue or be stopped. At the moment the work has stopped. Now the committee members have gone to Naypidaw and we have to see what happens,” said a local in Tahan.
Although the head administrator of Tahan, U Soe Win had allowed the reconstruction of the building with two floors, local people wanted to construct three floors and put in a request with Major General Ta Aye, Northwest commander. But he demanded Kyat 70 lakhs from the market construction committee for the additional floor.
When U Soe Win got wind of this, he got angry and cancelled the permission for even two floors. Then he ordered construction of a building with only one floor.
Shop owners those who had already given money for two floors took back their money from the committee. But when the central government heard about it they immediately called the market construction committee in the third week of April. Discussions are on about the construction of the Tahan market.
“Customers are increasing by the day. The people will face problems if the building has only one floor. The people also want to know the result of the discussions. A building with three floors is better. It is not being constructed with government funds and therefore not really related to the authorities,” said a dissatisfied local.
The construction committee was set up with the permission of the authorities after Tahan market was gutted. Though people in Tahan tried to construct their own market some problems among the authorities crept in stalling construction work.
The market caught fire in August 2006 and was reduced to ashes. Shop owners have been selling their wares from the road side near the market.
MEMBER OF VILLAGE COUNCIL ARRESTED FOR CARELESSNESS
May 16, 2007
A member of the Lailenpi Village Council was sentenced to four months in jail by military authorities for lack of awareness in preventing a forest fire which destroyed stocks of paddy in Chin state, Myanmar.
A recent forest fire destroyed around 3,000 tins of paddy stored in a paddy hut near Lailenpi village.
Captain Myo Than Thaih of the Light Infantry Battalion (304), stationed in Matupi town announced that members of the Village Council (VC) have to take the responsibility for the forest fire, and arrested U Hlaing Maung, a member of the council of Lailenpi village, Matupi township in Chin state in the second week of April.
The head of Lailenpi village was not present when Captain Myo Than Thaih and his soldiers on patrol duty arrived in Lailenpi. Therefore, the army, arrested and took Hlaing Maung to Matupi town where he was sentenced to four months in jail in place of the village head, said a local from Lailenpi village.
“The soldiers arrested him for being careless. Nobody could do anything as they were all scared. Hlaing Maung lost his paddy stocks too. We are unhappy about the whole thing,” said a local.
In April, another forest fire broke out in Paisin village in Matupi Township which razed the whole village to the ground. But no responsible persons were arrested for the loss of public property.
Military authorities in Chin state had issued a notification to village heads that in case of a forest fire, the village head would have to take full responsibility and may face trial.
“Paddy is crucial for us. We are facing a problem since we have lost a lot of paddy. There is no assistance or any attempt by the military authorities to solve our problem,” a local said.
Mara tribals of the Chin ethnic groups, from abroad were said to be planning to collect funds for victims of the fire in Lailenpi. Maras from Singapore had donated Kyat 500,000 (US $ 408. 16) to the Mara Church in Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar.
VILLAGERS DETAINED FOR WRITING COMPLAINT LETTER TO SR. GEN THAN SHWE
June 30, 2007:
A letter of complaint on the killing of a villager by army personnel in Chin state, written to Burmese military supreme Senior General Than Shwe, has invited the wrath of local military authorities. The six complainants from Matupi Township in southern Chin state were arrested by the authorities.
On June 25, Burmese Army authorities of the Light Infantry Battalion (274) detained and interrogated the six locals from Sanset village in Matupi Township.
In February this year, accusing villagers of maintaining contact with the Chin National Army (CNA), Colonel San Aung, second tactical commander, ordered the arrest of 17 villagers from Sanset village. Army men arrested and took the villagers to Matupi. But on the way, U Tin Ceu was killed by the soldiers.
On May 30, U Pa Tung Lian wrote a letter of complaint to Senior General Than Shwe detailing the killing of U Tin Ceu. Instead of redressal, the authorities arrested six complainants for reporting the murder to the army brass.
The copies of the complaint letter on the murder were also addressed to the members of State Peace and Development Council such as Lieutenant General Ye Myint, North Western commander Major General Ta Aye and Brigadier Hueng Ngai, said a local in Matupi.
The complaint letter was stated to have mentioned that military personnel led by Major Ye Myint Oo of LIB (140) arrested 17 villagers including U Tin Cue (33) for suspected links with the Chin rebel group and took them to Matupi on February 24. When they arrived in Lotaw village on February 26, soldiers took U Tin Ceu to another place and killed him, a villager in Matupi said.
“There were lot of injures on the body of U Tin Ceu. Though it has been quite a few months since the killing, we haven’t heard of any action being taken for the murder which was committed without any reason”, said a relative of U Tin Ceu.
SPDC COLLECTED MONEY FROM CHIN FARMERS
June 06, 2007
According to a local person who reported the incident to CHRO, the chairman of Rihkhuadar Sub-township Peace and Development Council, Northern Chin State, collected Kyat 3500/- per house hold for plantation of castrol bio nut on June 2, 2007 in the area.
In order to implement the authority plan to grow castrol nut tree a long the two miles distance road connecting Rihkhuadar to Khuadar village, Pu Khua Bill Thang, the village head of Khua Thlir was asked to collect Kyat-3500 from the villagers. And he handed the money he collected from the villagers to Township Peace and Development Council TPDC office on June 02, 2007. He also reported the lists of those who unable to pay the money among the villagers to the office that they are liable to call for military service at any time.
Moreover, the villagers were required to give India currency of Rs.150 per house. Khua Thlir village is situated in Indo-Burma border area, consisting of (80) houses. And they have been repeatedly harassed by Burmese army. As collection of money becomes a burden in their lives, many villagers those who could not pay the money had to go to Mizoram to work on collie for their due payment to the Burmese army. “I also came to Aizawl, Mizoram to wage a collie to get my due payment to the Burmese army” an anonymous woman said.
SPDC SOLDIERS COLLECT MONEY FROM CHIN VILLAGERS TO BUILD ARMY CAMP
June 6, 2007
According to the local source, Captain Aung Soe Win of Burmese army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 34 from Kyaut-Phyu, presently based at Shininletwa village of Paletwa Township, Southern Chin State ordered the local villagers to pay 50000 Kyats per village on April 24 ,2007.
In Para village, the village head man collected Kyats 1000 per household accordance with Captain Aung Soe Win. As Para village is consist of 50 household, the village headman collected 50000 Kyats from the village and handed the money to Shinletwa army camp on April 28, 2007. Every household in the village have to contribute with no exception.
BURMESE SOLDIERS FORCED VILLAGERS TO MEND THEIR CAMP
June 6, 2007
Lieutenant Than Aung of Burmese army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 304 from Matupi presently stationed at Darlin village of Matupi Township, Southern Chin State summoned 15 persons from Pintiya village to work at the camp for two days from April 5-7, 2007. the villagers have to clean the camp surrounding areas including clearing bushes, mending the fences and repairing ditches and bunger.
15 men including the village headman have to work down to dark for two days without any payment clearing and repairing the army camp. The villagers were summoned to repair the army camp because the Burmese army Tactical one commander is about to visit the area. The villagers have to bring their own food and tools to work at the army camp.
25 VILLAGERS INCLUDING WOMEN FORCED AS PORTER AND TO REPAIR ARMY CAMP
June 6. 2007
On April 29, 2007 Captain Min Htat Nyin, of Burmese army (LIB) 304 from Matupi stationed at Sabawngpi village of Matupi Township, Southern Chin State forced 25 local villagers including women to carry army rations and to repair army camp a local person reported to CHRO.
Captain Min Htat Nyin summoned 25 persons from Hlungmang village, including seven women. The army officer not only applied them to work in the camp in fencing up the army camp, they were also used as porter in carrying army rations between Sabawngpi village to Sabawngte Army Camp which is 9 miles away on April 30, 2007.
The villagers were forced to carry heavy load of army ration such as rice, milk, peas, cooking oil. Arriving at Sabawngte Army Camp, they were further forced to work one more day in repairing the fence of the Army Camp without paying any thing.
LOCAL VILLAGERS FORCED TO ENTERTAIN VISITING TACTICAL COMMANDER AND HIS TROOPS
June 06, 2007
Lt. Zaw Myint Oo of Burmese army tactical 2 commander of Chin state from Matupi Township, Southern Chin State in his patrolling tour arrived at Sabawngte village with his troops 45 men on May 6, 2007. Lt. Colonel Zaw Mying Oo replaced the outgoing Tactical 2 Commander colonel Sang Aung who was known as notorious in persecuting the villagers in southern Chin state.
As soon as the commander has arrived at the village, villagers were compel to provided enough food and accommodation for the troops a local person reported to CHRO. Besides, in order to appease the visiting Lt. Colonel Zaw Myint Oo, his deputy Battalion Commander Major Win Zaw asked the Village Council to make the best arrangement of showing traditional dance and to prepare the best food for his boss.
The villagers have to bear all the expense of entertaining and for food which is very costly for the poor farmers. The village has spent Kyat- 90000 for one pig 3 tins of rice, 6 chickens.
After spending two days, Lt. Colonel Zaw Myint Oo and his troops on May 8, 2007 left for Sabawngpi village taking 30 villagers as porters to carry their loads a local person reported.
VILLAGERS GOT 80,000 KYATS FINED FROM TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY
May 20, 2007
A Chairman of Thantlang Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) on April 25, 2007, fined Kyat-5000 per family to those villagers cultivating farm along the side of the car road for failing to reserve a 200 feet long space from the car road, reported to CHRO by a local resources.
Township chairman had sent forest officer Siang Ling on investigation to villages of Van Zang village track such as Vanzang village, Farawn village, Sihmuh village, Sopum. These villagers got fined because they did not reserve 200 feet space between their farm and the road.
“If we reserve 200 ft. long space from the road we have left only very little spot for farming. Therefore, we plead to the village head, but get reject our request,” said a local person.
Sopum village on 25 May had given Kyat- 5000 to TPDC chairman but it was not accepted as the amount did not meet the demand. The order to reserve 200 ft. long space along the road side was already issued 5 years ago, but township chairman started exercising his power this year.
SPDC ORDER TO SELL ALCOHOL DURING CHRISTIAN YOUTH MEETING
May 22, 2007
Major Win Htut of Burmese army company commander from LIB-268, based in Lungler village of Thantlang township told Christian youth from Zahnak village track that unless they sell 120 bottles of alcohol during annual Village track Christian youth conference, the army will not grant permit for annual Christian youth meeting reported the local villager to CHRO.
Major Win Htut told Pu Ral Thang, chairman of Zangtlang to sell 120 bottles of alcohol as the rate of 600 Kyat per bottle during the Christian youth meeting during April 4-5, 2007. He further warned them that the meeting will not be allowed to convene, if they refuse to sell the alcohol.
The villager who reported to the CHRO said that this year Christian Youth meeting was not very productive as many of the boys were drunk and the meeting was greatly disturbed. It is the military’s trap to disturb our faith and an attempt to destroy Christianity said a local person.
In the said Christian youth meeting of Zahnak Village’strack, 200 total delegations from villages such as Dawn, Bungkhua, Fungkah, Ralpel and Zaangtlang villages had attended. But many of the rest villages did not come to attend the meeting as they know that the Army had ordered to sell alcohol to the meeting attendants. Besides, Major Win Htut was also known to force Tlangpi village and Tlanglo village to sell 240 bottles of alcohol according to the local resources.
VILLAGERS FORCED TO BUY AND GROW RICE AND CASTOR SEEDS
May 28, 2007
The chairman of Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC), U Sue Win from Tonzang Town, Northern Chin State, on April 28, 2007 ordered Dar Khai villagers to grow Sweyin-aye rice and castor tree, a local person reported to CHRO.
On February 18 U Sue Win had called all villages’ council meeting of Tonzang Township, and he said “all the villagers in Tonzang Township must hold regular meeting every month from this time to get instruction from the township authority. Every village should send one delegate to the meeting without fail said the chairman.
He further explained all the attendants about the purpose of the meeting by explicating the importance of the implementation of Sweyin-aye rice and Ship-castor tree plantation plan in the whole regions. He informed them that they could get 12 tins of Sweyin-aye rice seed from Darkhai village at the rate of Kyat- 4500 per tin. Every village have to clear 3 acre of land to plant castrol seeds.
As order, the village council members of Dar Khai had collected money from the villagers. Then they received the seeds only after giving Kyat-54000 to township agriculture office. For getting Ship-castor seeds, every house in the villager is assigned to get (5) cup of seed. However, plantation of Sweyin-aye rice and Ship-castor tree has not been successful until now instead of assisting on implementing as the agriculture plan in Chin State. “The village’s council meeting is scheduled to call soon for further works, as plantation of Sewyin-aye rice and Ship-castor is a government plan, it will affect the whole regions in Chin State” a village man said.
SPDC FORCED 6 VILLAGES FOR PORTER
28 May 2007
Major Tun Tun Oo from Burma army LIB 226 presently based at Darkhai village of Tonzang township in Northern Chin state forced surrounding 6 villages as porter to carry army ration on April 28, 2007 according to the local who reported the incident to CHRO.
The villages those who engage in forced porter were Darkhai (a), Darkhai (b), Tuithang, Talik, Zampi, and Lung El village. The porters have to carry heavy load of army ration from Rih army camp to Darkhai village army camp. According to the report from the local villager, the Burmese soldiers forced not only the villagers but also their horse to carry their ration as there is no enough villagers to carry all the load.
Major Tun Tun Oo and his troops come to camp at Darkhai village starting from 2006 December. Soon after the Major and his troops stationed in the village, surrounding villages are regularly forced to carry army ration every month.
VILLAGE SELF SUPPORT MIDDLE SCHOOL ORDER TO STOP
21 May 2007
Authority from Rezua township ordered to stop self support middle school run by Soti villagers according to reliable report received by CHRO from the villagers.
The school was run by the villagers themselves as there is no middle school in the village. The school has 16 students from class 5 to 7 and run by 2 teachers. The teachers pay were covered by the villagers themselves so that their children can get education in the village.
As the villagers does not dare to refuse the order the school was closed that half the students those who could not afford to go to the town school have to abandon their studies.
MORE CHIN REFUGEES ARRESTED BY MALAYSIA AUTHORITY
May 5, 2007
In yet another crackdown on undocumented illegal workers, Malaysian authorities arrested 27 Chins yesterday.
During a series of operations against illegal workers in different construction sites, 11 Chins haling from Myanmar were arrested from a construction site in Jahor Baru at around 1 a.m. (Malaysia Standard Time) and 14 Chins were picked up from Putrajaya Limaun Manis at around 7 a.m.
Malaysian immigration authorities and the police locked up 14 Chins from the Putrajaya Limau Manis site in Lenggeng Camp. The location of the camp where the other 13 have been kept is yet unknown, said Salai San of the Chin Refugee Committee in Malaysia.
The Malaysian government has officially enforced a penalty which involves caning or a jail term for those who work in Malaysia illegally. The caning depends on how long the detainees have stayed and worked in Malaysia. The current detainees are likely to be caned or deported to the Thailand border.
It is not yet known how many Chins among the detainees hold UN recognized refugee cards. If there are card holders among the detainees, the authorities will have confiscated it. Though UN refugee cardholders are released from custody, the authorities are unlikely to return the cards to the holders, according to Salai San.
The UNHCR office in Malaysia is said to be silent and has taken no responsibility for detainees who hold UN cards and have been seeking asylum.
In the raids on undocumented workers that started early this year Malaysian immigration and police have rounded up around 736 Chins.
The Chin Refugee Committee in Malaysia is said to have alerted documented refugees to avoid being rounded up in the operation by the Malaysian Immigration and the police.
CRC URGED UNHCR TO SPEED UP REGISTRATION
June 20, 2007: On World Refugee Day today, the Chin Refugee Committee (CRC) in New Delhi has urged the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to expedite recognition of Burmese refugees. The Committee also wants it to expand implementation of health and education related programmes for Burmese refugees in India.
“It takes about three months, starting from filling up application forms, sitting for interviews and getting to know the results. Some even do not get results even after such a long period and they have to wait for more than a year”, said Mr. Jeremia, secretary of CRC.
“Subsistence Allowance or privileges related to health for refugees provided by UNHCR is insufficient. After paying room rent, nothing is left for medical care when they (refugees) are sick. They take loans from others to avail treatment from nearby clinics. There is also no reimbursement from UNHCR for medical treatment. Therefore, we would like to call on the UNHCR today to reimburse treatments costs to refugees,” he added.
Since 2006, the YMCA, working partner of UNHCR in New Delhi cut off assistance for medical care for refugees except for Tuberculosis (TB) patients. As a result, refugees from Myanmar are facing a lot of problems on a daily basis, the CRC said.
YMCA provides refugee students from Myanmar studying at the primary level from nursery to class V about Rs. 2500 a year and Rs. 3,100 to students between Class VI to Class XII in three installments a year.
There are several children who are unable to continue studies as the UNHCR has phased out Subsistence Allowance (SA) of some refugees from Myanmar. Their parents are also struggling for survival, CRC added.
There are around 1,500 refugees from Myanmar recognized by the UNHCR office in New Delhi and about 600 refugees who are still unrecognized.
NEWS & EVENTS
FIRST CHIN MILITARY OFFICIAL TO HEAD CHIN STATE
May 7, 2007: For the first time a Chin army official has been promoted to the post of tactical commander and head of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) of Chin state since the present military regime SPDC come to power after bloody coup in 1988. He is the first Chin ethnic military official to hold this rank and position. The decision was taken by the military regime In Naypidaw, the new capital of Myanmar in February.
Major General Hueng Ngai, a Chin national from Mindat Township, Chin state, took over from Colonel Tin Hla, the former tactical commander and head of State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) of Chin state, said a local in Hakha, a capital of Chin state.
The promotion of Major General Hueng Ngai seems to have a link with Naypidaw’s future nominee for Chin Affairs Minister. The SPDC is also preparing to hold a general election after its national convention in keeping with the military junta’s seven-step road map to democracy in Myanmar.
“It won’t be any different for us because of his being a Chin general. We will have to carry out our duties as ordered from above. The surprise is a Chin being asked to head Chin state,” a local said.
Hueng Ngai is the second army official from Chin ethnicity to be promoted to the rank of Major General after Major General Taung Za Khai in the era of Burma Socialist Programme party (BSPP) led by U Newin, a former ruler of Myanmar.
Being a Buddhist is another reason for Major General Hueng Ngai, to be promoted in the military hierarchy, according to sources in Chin state.
Military personnel from among Christian minorities are hardly promoted to higher ranks in Myanmar where the majority is Buddhist. – KNG.
CHIN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ SEMINAR IN MATUPI
2 May 2007: Chin University students successfully concluded the historic seminar called “Human Resource Development” held from April 13 to 18 in Matupi Township, Chin state, Myanmar.
The HRD seminar was held at the Matupi Civil hospital hall in which around 73 Chin University students and other local guests participated. It was organized by the Chin Literature and Culture Committee (CLCC) from Universities in Myanmar.
The seminar aimed to strive for peace, unity and solidarity among Chin people.
Prof. Dr. C. Thang Za Tuan, a member of advisory board of CLCC, in a report regarding the HRD seminar said that the seminar had strengthened the mood of togetherness, closeness and oneness among Chin students. It was a part of achieving the CLCC’s motto: ‘We are one in Chin.’
“Widening an individual’s outlook and experience is the first and major achievement of the seminar,” said Dr. C. Thang Za Tuan.
Moreover, the HRD seminar also promotes the spirit of cooperation, coordination, obedience, docility and diligence among Chin Youths building leadership qualities and fostering optimistic vision, according to a report on the HRD seminar.
During the seminar, students could also interact with locals in various activities. They played soccer with local teams, went fishing along the ‘Lemro’ river with locals, worshipped at three local churches and provided voluntary labour to the ‘Pyikhaingphyo’ Tea Plantation.
There were no complaints of interference by local military authorities.
The next HRD seminar is scheduled to be held in Falam Township in Chin state on April 2008.
CNA SOLDIER UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR MOLESTING A WOMAN
June 18, 2007-Aizawl: A soldier from Chin National Army (CNA), the armed wing of Chin National Front (CNF), is under investigation by his own party and army officials for molesting a woman. Corporal Maung Thein, a section commander from battalion 3 of the Chin National Army was accused of molesting a young married woman during the week of May 18-22 near Para village at India-Burma border.
According to sources from the villagers, Ms. Deli San and her husband from Leiring village of Matupi townships, Southern Chin State was stopped by a group of CNA soldiers on their way to Mizoram on May 18. The couple along with four other villagers spent the night with the CNA soldiers at Para village. The next day the soldiers relocated and camped to another place outside of the village where Corporal Maung Thein was accused of molesting and inappropriately treating the couple.
When the couple were contacted at Lawngtlai where they are now staying, the woman Ms. Deli San said that “I did not know how they treated me during the night as I was injected diazepam and I just fall asleep that I did not know any thing”.
However, the husband of the woman protested that “even though I did not witnessed it, it is highly possible that the CNA corporal Maung Thein molested my wife the fact that I was ordered to sleep at another tent while he kept my wife in his tent for the night. I am not satisfy with the treatment of CNA soldiers”.
According to CNF spoke person “as soon as we heard the case, we take it seriously. We immediately formed a committee to investigate the case in search of justice accordance with the CNF and CNA rule and regulations and the existing law”.
“The accused culprit corporal Maung Thein had been arrested by CNA soldiers and he is under investigation. We are also seeking witness statement from both the woman Ms. Dali San and her husband” said the CNF source.
When asked did they receive complaint from the couple, CNF spoke person responded that “we the CNF did not receive any formal complaint from the couple nor any body. But we heard it from the villagers that the CNA soldiers inappropriately treating the people, especially the couple”.
The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) field in charge and member of the organization board of directors Mr. Terah Thantluang said that “We heard about the case and we are closely following it. We also informed the CNF leadership about the case that we are very much concern about this and we take it seriously. If the accused culprit is proven guilty, justice is needed to be done from CNF/A side”.
The Chin National Front (CNF) was formed in 1988 to fight against the Burmese military regime for self determination of the Chin people and restoration of democracy in Burma . The Chin National Army (CNA) is the armed wing of the CNF, which is now under the process of ceasefire talk with the Burmese military regime State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).
SIX UNDP WORKERS SUSPENDED FOR CORRUPTION
May 26, 2007: Six staff members of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Chin state, Myanmar were suspended in March for being involved in corruption.
Mr. Stevan Van Bik, director of UNDP project in Chin state, was said to have dismissed six UNDP staff in Hakha, Thantlang and Falam Township as they were allegedly into corrupt practices.
“We have only heard that they were suspended for corruption. I don’t know what kind of corruption they were involved in,” said a local in Thantlang.
The suspended UNDP staff members include Pu Ai Van, Pu Pho Cing, Pi Sui Rem, Pi Parvang. The names of two more could not be ascertained.
UNDP workers in Chin state get between US $ 150 to 200 per month as basic salary. They also receive traveling allowance.
Health, education, water supply, poultry farm and agricultural farm projects are being run under UNDP programmes in some villages of Chin state.
Recently, the UNDP selected around 15 villages for the project. Locals from each village are said to have approached UNDP for some projects to be conducted in their villages by paying money or giving domestic animals to UNDP staff.
The volume of UNDP projects are allotted to villages in keeping with the amount of money or domestic animals they give as bribe.
“The underdeveloped villages are put on top priority for the UNDP projects. But some villagers bribe to win the project. It doesn’t mean that all those who give money are given the projects. It depends on how much they can bribe,” a local from Chin state said.
Therefore, UNDP employees take advantage from such competition among the people. It has led to more corruption among workers and the project fails due to misuse of money.
From 1990 onwards some of the UNDP projects such as water supply, health care and education began to be conducted in Chin state.
This is the first time UNDP staff members in Chin state have been dismissed for corruption. – KNG.
ENC GENERAL SECRETARY INVITED TO THE WHITE HOUSE
By Elaisa Vahnie
June 12, 2007−Washington DC: Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, General Secretary of the Ethnic Nationalities Council-Union of Burma (ENC) today met with the first lady of the United States Mrs. Bush at the White House.
The White House opens its door and invited ENC leader to discuss about current situation in Burma as the ENC delegation led by Dr. Sakhong, winner of 2007 Martin Luther King Jr. Prize, is in its lobby trip to the United States.
“I and the people of Burma are grateful for the White House strong supports for the movements towards democracy and human rights in Burma . I am thankful to the first lady for inviting us to discuss current situation in Burma ” said Dr. Sakhong.
When asked what was the main point of discussion Dr. Sakhong said that “we have covered a wide range of issues during an hour long meeting with the first lady. We discussed about political and human rights situation, humanitarian assistance and refugee situation in India-Thailand and Malaysia ”.
First lady Laura Bush joined five female senators last month to launch a new Women’s Caucus on Burma , focusing on the human-rights and political crisis in Burma.
“One important issue I and the delegation have press is to organize international conference on Burma where China , India and ASEAN countries can join the US in democratization of the country” said Dr. Sakhong.
This historic lobby and advocacy mission from Burma ’s ethnic nationalities along with the Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is arranged by Congressman Joseph Pitt office and Congressman Pitt himself accompanied the ENC delegation today to the White House.
Last week Dr. Sakhong and ENC delegation met with seven Congressmen and five senators. They also met with Mr. Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of US Department of State.
The top issue they discussed was seeking the US help in bringing China , India , and ASEAN countries under the United Nations mechanism to push for positive change in Burma . They also made a request to the US continue support for humanitarian assistance to Burmese people both inside and outside of the country, and to increase help in assisting capacity building for Burmese people.
The ENC delegation also held Congressional staff hearing and Diplomatic hearing. The later was attended by representatives from 26 embassies based in Washington DC including three ambassadors.
The ENC delegation also had met with high ranking officials from the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
This is the third time that Burma ’s ethnic nationalities group has brought their political agenda to the White House. A Shan woman Nang Charm Tong was invited by the White House in 2006 where she spent an hour talking with the President. And in February 2007, Chin and Kachin delegation brought their political agenda to the White House meeting with senior officials from National Security Council.
A CHIN MEDICAL STUDENT TO OBSERVE THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE UK
24 June 2007
London, UK: – A Chin medical student, Sasa, is to observe the health care system in the UK including the clinical attachment at the general Hospital of Newcastle, Good Hope Hospital of Birmingham, Royal County Hospital of Brighton and the Hospital of Dawn International Network. This two-month practical observation will include study and speech tour, student elective course and participating at auspicious occasion of the Adventure Plus.
A fifth year student currently studying at Armenian Medical University in Armenia said, “This is a huge blessing for me to observe the modern health care system of this great nation. I hope and pray for the day when our motherland will have a privilege to this kind of modern high-medical technology and health care system. As the future of our people is relying on the youths of our generation, this is critically important for us, the youths, to have the best and highest possible dreams toward the future of our people and country. This is the era when the whole world is running after better health and brighter future”.
As an outstanding student, Sasa is well known to his fellow medical students and professors, his village and the areas nearby. He passed his matriculation from Yangon , Burma in 1997. Due to the unconditional closures of universities in Burma , Sasa went to India and got accepted at a college in Shillong in 1999 after passing higher secondary examination with good marks, which gave him a chance for medical study in India or abroad. Three rural villages including his native village made a kind contribution for his medical study and Sasa chose to further his study in Armenia in 2002.
“The health care situation in Burma has been terribly worsening. As a result, there is an increasing number of disabled population as well as mortality and morbidity rate. And, the population of orphans reach beyond the limit and poverty has already crossed the red line,” continued Sasa.
“Truly speaking, the country’s health situation is heading to unimaginable- scale, which is damaging the people’s future. It is heart-bleeding when you think of our beloved family members’ lives in Chin State , which are still being threatened by mosquitoes and simple water-born disease. This is simply unacceptable and these sufferings the people have been going through for decades are the greatest challenges of our generation. The time has come for the Chins both inside and outside the country to do everything we can to meet with this crisis before it’s too late,” said Sasa, who is from a small village in Southern Chin State.
This is the third time that Sasa has made this type of tour to the United Kingdom , the first time in December, 2005 and the second time in June, 2006.