Volume VIIII. NO. III MAY-JUNE 2006
Chin Human Rights Organization
TABLE OF CONTENTS
• Village Headman Shot To Death
VOILENCE AGAINST WOMEN:
• 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
BACK COVER POEM:
• A Traumatised Child
VILLAGE HEADMAN SHOT TO DEATH
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.
BURMESE SOLDIERS RAPE MOTHER OF FOUR CHILDREN
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.
BURMESE ARMY TORTURED VILLAGE HEADMAN AND 3 VILLAGERS
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.
BURMESE POLICE TORTURED A CHIN TRADER WHO DRIVES ANIMAL TO MIZOAM AND ASKED HUG AMOUNTS OF MONEY
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.
ASSISTANT POLICE OFFICER ILLEGALLY DEMANDED HUGE SUMS OF MONEY FROM A FEMALE TRADER
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.
BURMESE ARMY DEMAND BRIBES FROM CROSS-BORDER TRADERS
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.
IMMIGRATION OFFICERS IN TONZANG TOWNSHIP PLAY HOAX ON CIVILIANS
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.
SPDC AUTHORITIES ILLEGALLY COLLECT EXCESSIVE FARM TAX
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.
SPDC FINED A VILLAGER AFTER KILLING HER PIG
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.
CIVILIANS FORCED TO CUT TIMBER PLANKS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN MILITARY CAMP
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.
SPDC FORCED 25 VILLAGERS TO WORK IN THEIR CAMP EVERYDAY
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.
SPDC SOLDIERS FORCE CIVILIANS TO WORK ON MATUPI TOWN ROAD EXTENSION
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.
BURMESE ARMY FORCES VILLAGERS TO REPAIR ARMY CAMPS WITHOUT PAYMENT
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.
BURMESE ARMY USE VILLAGERS FOR FORCED PORTERING
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.
SPDC SOLDIERS CALL VILLAGERS TO WORK FOR 30 DAYS
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.
SPDC USE LABOR OF VILLAGERS FOR PERSONAL PROFIT
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.
SPDC FORCED OVER A HUNDRED LOCAL PEOPLE FOR ROAD MAINTENANCE
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.
CHIN REFUGEE COMMUNITY IN MALAYSIA HELD 5 FUNERALS IN A WEEK
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.
CHRO CALLED FOR ACTION (LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN)
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 www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. 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)
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
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.
A LEGACY AND A NEW BATTLE CRY
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)
JUDGING OUR POLITICAL PARTIES
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.
CHIN FREEDOM COALITION STATEMENT TO SUPPORT DR. SALAI TUN THAN’S MISSION FOR THE RE-EMERGENCE OF DEMOCRACY IN BURMA.
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-peâ€™-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. Burmaâ€™s democracy icon Suu Kyiâ€™s 61st birthday falls on June 19, 2006, coinciding with professor Tun Thanâ€™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)
Place: JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, THAILAND, NORWAY, INDIA, DEMARK, GERMANY, NEW ZELAND, SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA, LONDON, IRELAND, – – –
A TRAUMATISED CHILD
By Van Biak Thang
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.