Rhododendron News: Volume X. No. VI. November-December 2007

Rhododendron News

Volume X. No. VI. November-December 2007

Chin Human Rights Organization





• 45 Chin Perished at Sea

• Officials Auctioned Off Seized Goods for Personal Profit

• Extortion Rampage

• New Recruitment Drive Targets High School Students

• Burmese Troops Forced Civilians as porters

• Chin people fined for not attending pro-junta rally

• SPDC extorts money and food from people in western Burma



• CHRO Calls for More Protections in Malaysia Following the Disappearance of Another Child

• Renewed Calls for Release of Woman and Children

• CHRO Calls for Release of Chin Women and Children Detained in Malaysia



• CHRO Statement at USCIRF Hearing



• CHRO Welcomes Honorary Canadian Citizenship for Aung San Suu Kyi

• CHRO Calls to Observe Day of Mourning

• CHRO Testify Persecution of Chin Christians at The U. S Congress

• Burma Ethnic Leaders Promised A Review of India’s Policy on Burma

• UNSC Urged to Brand USDA As State Sponsored Terrorist Organization

• Burma’s Pro-Democracy Icon Aung San Suu Kyi Pay Constant and Serious Consideration on Ethnic Nationalities





December 21, 2007

Kuala Lumpur: A small boat carrying 99 ethnic Chin from Myanmar accidentally sunk into the sea near Koktoung which located at the southernmost borderline of Thai and Myanmar on December 20, 2007 after colliding with a huge fishing boat at night. According to available information so far received, 45 Chin nationals comprising several children perished or still missing in the most ever devastating tragedy in the Chin history.


Most of the victims are Chin refugees heading toward Malaysia to join with their families in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia .


According to eyewitness, a boat carrying 99 refugees was hit by a huge fishing boat during the speed on the sea at night. Since the boat was not sunk suddenly into the sea after it was hit, 44 refugees on boat were able to climb over to the fishing boat which stopped near the sinking boat.


The worsening political situation in Myanmar is a factor which forced thousands of ethnic refugees out of Myanmar especially the Chin people who are struggling under the torturous rule of military regime in Myanmar . Most of the victims who perished in the tragedy are from Thantlang township of Chin State.


According to the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), the Chins who are mostly Christians, in Buddhist dominated country, are persecuted due to their believe in democracy and Christianity and also for their ethnic background, by the Burmese military regime.


There are roughly about 20, 000 Chin refugees in Malaysia who are seeking asylum at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) Liaison office in Kuala Lumpur.


As Malaysia is not a signatory of 1951 UN Refugee Convention, most refugees in Malaysia are facing almost daily arrests and detention as illegal immigrants. Up to this date there are still more than 700 Chin refugees and asylum seekers who are in immigration detention camps in Malaysia including children and women. Furthermore, many of the male refugees are not only detained but punished with two strokes of canings at their buttocks in prison plus their sentences as illegal immigrants which is the minimum of three months inside jails. After several weeks, most detainees were deported to Thai border where they were victimized again by drug addict human smugglers especially younger women.


According to Paul coordinator for Kuala Lumpur based Chin Refugee Committee in Malaysia , the factor behind the refugees who are fleeing to cross international border to escape from Myanmar is none other than the military regime who dare even shot dead several monks in September 2007.


(Victor Khambil, CHRO refugee issue coordinator, file the report from Kuala Lumpur )





13 December 2007

U Kyaw Maung, the head of Revenue Dept. for Teddim Township of northern Chin State, on November 22, put on an auction to sell goods his department had seized from cross-border traders. The goods included imported tobaccos Indian brand named 92 Zarda fetching up to 40 million Kyats, a local source told Chin Human Rights Organization.


Three jeep loads of goods containing 120 packages of tobacco were seized from four cross-border traders by a joint force of Township Revenue Department, Military Intelligence and Burmese police. The vehicles carrying the goods were also seized and kept as public property for use by State authorities.


A package of Indian-made tobacco (Commonly used as an ingredient for chewing betel nuts) is priced at 300,000 Kyats on the market rate. The 120 packages were seized as ownerless and the traders who attempted to reclaim the goods were silenced with threats of arrest.


A trader said such seizures are specifically targeted at Chin traders and Burman tobacco importers have never had their goods seized by authorities.






5 December 2007

Burmese army and police units on patrol along Teddim and Rih Sub-town routes of northern Chin State routinely extort money from traders passing through the route, according to CHRO source.


On November 22, 2007, a trader from Teddim town who was carrying plastic packages with 50 horses to Mizoram, India was arrested at Laitui village by Burmese police who asked him to pay 500 Kyat per horse. Going ahead on his journey eight miles away to Lentlang village, he was again asked to pay the same amount of money by a Burmese army unit from Light Infantry Battalion 269.


When he told the soldiers he had already paid up the money to policemen earlier in the journey, the army unit commander said “we are not concerned with the police, if you do not pay the money, both your property and you will be arrested and put in the jail”.


For fear of such threat, the trader gave the money he was being asked for. Traders risk being extorted, sometimes twice on a single trip, of at least 100, 000 to 200, 000 Kyats to the army and police every trip. In addition, they usually end up paying 50, 000 to 100, 000 Kyats on their return depending on their luck in meeting with Burmese soldiers.






7 December 2007

Starting from October 2007, Colonel Zaw Myint Oo, head of Military Tactical Command II based in Matupi town, southern Chin State had restarted recruitment drive targeting high school students in the area. But the ‘recruitment’ is involuntary and some high school students were already conscripted into the army against their will, forcing many students to hide in their house instead of attending school, a local reported to CHRO.


The new recruitment program took effect in the first week of October 2007. Colonel Zaw Myint Oo’s order required that each ward/locality in Matupi town contribute five able people for military service.


Army battalions such as LIB 140 are already on the prowl for new recruits in Matupi and surrounding villages. At least three high school students were arrested in the first week of November.


The three were later released upon intervention by their teachers who pleaded with the army commander. The army commander agreed their release after making assurance that the whole incident will be kept a secret. The students were snatched by the soldiers on their way to visit their native village for a weekend to fetch ration supplies – a trip high school students hailing from outlying villages have to make on occasions.


The students however, had to spend overnight at the army camp before being released where they were repeatedly persuaded to join the army by promising them bright prospects if they agreed to join the army.




November 19, 2007

Treating Burma as its fiefdom, the Burmese military junta has been forcing people from remote areas in Chin State to work as porters to ferry army rations and ammunition as soldiers patrol the Indo-Burma border area.


Troops of the Light Infantry Battalion (266) stationed in Lunglei village, Thangtlang Township in Chin state, patrolling the border use villagers not only as guides but also force them to carry army rucksacks full of and ammunition and food.


“Some of them (villagers) are not only being used as guides but are also being forced to carry rucksacks, bed sheets and bullets for the army,” a villager said. Moreover, the soldiers forcibly take rice, chicken and vegetable from villagers residing along their patrol route.

“They (soldiers) ask for food and livestock from villagers in remote areas even as people struggle to survive,” a villager in Chin state said.


Given the uncertain climatic conditions in the area, the main crops such as paddy, maize and vegetables in farms in Chin state have registered a lower yield compared to last year.

Fourteen soldiers lead by Major Myo Zaw Tant on patrol duty forced 11 villagers from Sabawngte village, Matupi Township in Chin state to carry army backpacks, rations and bullets on October 8.


Since 1988, the Burmese military regime has been on an expansion mode increasing its military battalions in Chin state. As a consequence human rights abuses and forced labour have become the order of the day in these areas.




November 21, 2007


State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) authorities in Chin state, Burma have unleashed a kind of vendetta on people who did not attend the rally to support the outcome of the regime’s National Convention held in the state on November 9.


The Township Peace and Development Council’s (TPDC) authorities from Thangtlang Township in Chin state have started to fine Kyat 1,500 (Burmese currency) to each person who flouted the order of the authorities to join the pro-junta rally.


On November 9, the local authorities forced the people in Thangtlang to come out on the streets to join the rally to support the outcome of NC and shout pro-junta slogans.

“Some people attended the rally because they were forced. The people know what is black and what is white,” a local in Chin state said.


Around 6,000 people from Thangtlang Township joined the pro-junta rally while around 100 reportedly refused to attend, according to a local in Thangtlang.


Earlier, the Burmese military junta organized rallies in other towns such as in Falam, Rihkhaudar and Hakha in Chin state to support the tenuous 14-year long convention to draft a state constitution as part of junta’s seven step road map to “disciplined democracy” in Burma.


The National Convention held in the outskirts of Rangoon, the former capital of Burma began in 1993 and was wrapped up in September 2007.




December 18, 2007

There is no let up on people’s miseries in Burma. The Burmese military junta has recently started collecting money and is forcing the people to provide food in Chin state.


U Kho Suan Khaing, chairman of the Township Peace and Development Council of Rihkhuadar town in Falam district in Chin state collected Rs. 150 per household from Rihkhawdar for the construction of a high school. The deadline was December 10.

Rihkhawdar town is about three or four miles from ‘Tio’ stream on the Indo–Burma border.


“They gave several reasons and collected money from us. We paid what they asked for because we are afraid of the consequence if we fail to pay”, said a local in Chin state.

“We can afford to pay in Burmese currency but how can we in Indian Rupee”, complained a local from Rihkhuadar.


Moreover, Rihkhawdar’s TPDC authorities also issued an order that the locals have to buy Jatropha seeds at Kyat 30,000 per household.


For Jatropha and tea plantation projects, Burmese soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (266) have also demanded money from villagers in Shaling village tract. The villages were also forced to provide chickens, rice, cooking oil and salt, according to a villager.

“Whenever they (soldiers) come to the village, we arrange food and blankets at night,” said a villager.


“The worst is when the commanders themselves are involved in patrol duty then we give rice and chickens,” a former village council member in Rihkhawdar town said on condition of anonymity.


He added that during his term in the village council the price of chickens and rice they had provided soldiers with had already touched around Kyat 170,000.






14 November 2007

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: As another child goes missing in Malaysia, CHRO renews its calls for the Malaysian government to protect all refugee and undocumented children. Biak Cin Thang, a 15-year old Chin boy, is the second Chin child to go missing since 20 March when Dally Sui disappeared and was later found dead in some undergrowth near her family’s home in Cheras. The Chin community in Kuala Lumpur continues to search and pray for Biak Cin Thang, hoping that he will be found unharmed.


On 7 November, 15-year old Biak Cin Thang went missing and remains unaccounted for. Biak Cin Thang was last seen leaving his family’s flat on Jalan Water Grenier off Jalan Imbi on Wednesday, 7 November around 4:00 pm. He never returned. His family filed a missing persons report with the district police that evening when he did not come home. They also contacted all their friends and relatives living in Malaysia. However, no one has any information as to Biak Cin Thang’s whereabouts.


The Chin Refugee Center (CRC), an organization working for the Chin community in Malaysia, is doing all it can to find any information that may lead to the safe return of Biak Cin Thang to his family. CRC has asked that anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of Biak Cin Thang to please contact their office immediately. CRC can be reached at +


Biak Cin Thang came to Malaysia along with his younger brother under the care of his aunt, Nu Nu Sung. All three have been granted UNHCR refugee status and are awaiting resettlement to a third country. Nu Nu Sung brought the two young boys to Malaysia after their father was killed on the Indo-Burma border while serving in the Chin National Front (CNF). When Biak Cin Thang was very young, he came down with a serious case of malaria, which affected his cognitive abilities. According to those who know him, Biak Cin Thang rarely talks and tends to avoid strangers, making his disappearance even more disconcerting.


Biak Cin Thang’s disappearance is a sad reminder for the Chin community of the loss of Dally Sui who disappeared under similar conditions about 8 months ago. In the case of Dally Sui, she went missing around 7:00 pm from her family’s flat in the Cheras neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur. Like Biak Cin Thang, Dally’s family was living in Malaysia as UNHCR recognized refugees. She went missing the day before she and her family were scheduled to leave Malaysia to be resettled to the United States. Her body was found one week after her disappearance with her hands severed at the wrist, evidence of a brutal end to a young life. Her killer was never found.


Undocumented And Refugee Children Remain Vulnerable In Malaysia:


After the disappearance and tragic death of Dally Sui, CHRO issued a call to action demanding that the Malaysia government protect all children living within its borders. Now, with the recent disappearance of Biak Cin Thang, CHRO renews this call.


As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Malaysia has a responsibility to uphold and ensure the rights of all children, including refugee and undocumented children, are protected. The case of Dally Sui and Biak Cin Thang reflects the lack of adequate protection for the most vulnerable members of the community.


Currently there are over 500 Chin children living in Malaysia. For many refugee children living in Malaysia, most of their days are spent indoors, afraid or prohibited by their parents from leaving their family’s homes. Not only are refugee children vulnerable to abduction and general societal crimes, but they are also at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation by the Malaysian authorities. Despite their obligations to refrain from arbitrarily depriving a child of his or her liberty under Article 37(b) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Malaysian authorities are constantly responsible for the unwarranted arrest and detention of children. Refugees and undocumented children are also not allowed to attend school in Malaysia. The Malaysia government must do more to protect and promote the rights of children.


Call To Action:


It is time for the Malaysian government to live up to its commitments under international law and provide adequate protection to all the children living within its borders. CHRO calls on the Malaysian government to:

• Conduct a proper investigation into the disappearance of Biak Cin Thang and to ensure such acts of violence are not committed with impunity.

• Respect and uphold its international legal obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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

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


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


Ministry of Home Affairs

Royal Malaysian Police

Cawangan Perhubungan Awam

Polis Diraja Malaysia

Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman

50560 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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




5 December 2007

Kelantan State, Malaysia: CHRO is deeply concerned for the well-being of one Chin woman and her four young children, who remain detained in Tanah Merah Immigration Detention Camp in Malaysia’s Kelantan State. Tin Thluai and her children, Zung Thluai Men, age 1, Sonia Run Chin Par, age 3, Sui Dawt Par, age 9, and Lal Rin Mawi, age 13, were arrested and taken into immigration custody on 29 October 2007 shortly after being involved in a serious traffic accident that left two of the children with broken legs and the mother with severe head wounds.


The Immigration Department in Kelantan State has refused to release the family, denied UNHCR access into the detention facility, and prohibited visitation rights to the husband and father of the family. CHRO condemns these appallingly inhumane actions of the Kelantan Immigration Department and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the family.


Tin Thluai


Lal Peng, the husband and father of the family, is distraught over the continued detention of his wife and children. “I just want my family to be safe and together again. I was allowed to see my wife and two daughters when they were still in the hospital. My little girl was crying so much she couldn’t stop. Then I was told I had to leave and couldn’t come back or they would arrest me too.”


Lal Peng is a UNHCR-recognized refugee awaiting resettlement to the U.S. Despite his UNHCR status, the UNHCR has been unable to intervene in his family’s case. Lal Peng, himself, was only able to visit his family in the detention camp once before being barred from further visits. During that visit, his wife described the difficulty of conditions in the camp, “She told me that they are not given enough food. My wife is still breast-feeding our youngest child. But the others are going hungry. I tried to give them money for food but the guards would not allow it.”

Lal Rin Mawi, age 13


CHRO first reported this incident on 9 November 2007 when Lal Peng’s family along with 16 other women and children were first arrested and detained in Kelantan State. Sadly, the other 16 women and children were deported earlier this month to the Thailand border. Lal Peng’s family were spared deportation only because the severity of their injuries. Thirteen-year old Lal Rin Mawi has a broken leg and nine-year old Sui Dawt Par is in a partial body cast suffering from an upper leg injury and still cannot stand on her own. Lal Peng’s wife, Tin Thluai, has two sets of stitches in her head and deep cuts on her hand.


Call To Action

Sui Dawt Par, age 9


The callous actions of the Kelantan Immigration Department are not only disconcerting but also in violation of basic human rights, including specific protections for women and children contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Please join CHRO in their demands to the Malaysian government to:


• Immediately release Tin Thluai and her children, Zung Thluai Men, age 1, Sonia Run Chin Par, age 3, Sui Dawt Par, age 9, and Lal Rin Mawi, age 13;

• Stop further arrests and detention of women and children in Malaysia;

• Allow UNHCR access to all potential refugees, particularly vulnerable women and children, under their custody;

• Ensure visitation rights for family members of immigration detainees are protected.

• Your letters can make a difference. Please show your opposition to the abusive actions of the Malaysian Immigration Department. Be a voice for all refugees living in Malaysia. Direct your communications and concerns to:


Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad

Minister of Home Affairs

Level 12, Block D1, Parcel D,

Federal Government Administrative Centre,

62546 Putrajaya

Tel: +60.38.886.8000

Fax: +60.38.889.1613


Tuan HJ. Wahid Bin MD Don, Director-General of Immigration Department

Director General Office

Immigration Department of Malaysia ,

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

Federal Government Administration Centre,

62550 Putrajaya,

Tel: +60 3 8880 1000

Fax: +60 3 8880 1200′


Encik Che Baharom Bin Hamzah

Director of State Immigration

Kelantan State


Tel: +60.9.744.1644

Fax: +60.9.744.0200


Datuk Ishak Bin Haji Mohamed

Immigration Enforcement Director

Immigration Department of Malaysia

Tingkat 4, Blok 2G4, Precinct 2

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan

62550 Putra Jaya


Tel: +603.8880.1297

Fax: +603.8880.1310




9 November 2007

Kelantan State, Malaysia: CHRO recently received information that eight Chin women and 13 Chin children have been arrested and detained by immigration authorities in Malaysia’s Kelantan State on 29 October 2007. At least five of the children are under the age of 4.The arrests took place shortly after the van the women and children were riding in was involved in a serious traffic accident. They are currently being held in Tanah Merah Immigration Detention Camp near Pasir Mas.


This most recent arrest occurred on 29 October 2007 as the Chin women and children were traveling through Kelantan State heading to join their families in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia’s capital city. On the journey to KL the van, in which the Chin women and children were passengers, ran off the road and slammed into a large tree. Five of the passengers were seriously injured in the accident, including four minors. Meanwhile, the driver of the van fled the scene of the accident.


Following the accident, the immigration authorities arrived and immediately took into custody all 21 Chin passengers for failing to have proper immigration documents. In fact, the women and children were traveling to KL to join family members, who are recognized refugees expecting to be resettled to a third country. Although United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been informed of the situation, they have indicated that they cannot intervene on behalf of the arrested women and children because they are not yet formally registered with the UN.


Commenting on the predicament, a representative of the Chin Refugee Center, a community-based organization in KL, said, “Now we have to try to do whatever we can do for our community members since the UN will not get involved. We must find a way to protect our women and children. Immigration detention is no place for a child.”


Currently all 21 women and children are being held in Tanah Merah Immigration Detention Camp located in Pasir Mas in Kelantan. Three of the passengers who were injured in the accident were taken to the hospital for treatment. One girl, age 13, suffered a broken thigh while her mother had to have glass shards removed from her head. After their release from the hospital, they were returned to immigration custody.


Lack Of Protection For Chin Women And Children In Malaysia:


CHRO is concerned by Malaysia’s consistent disregard for the rights and protections of Chin women and children living in Malaysia. Currently there are about 70 Chin women and children being held in immigration detention facilities throughout Malaysia. Pregnant women and very young children are not immune and many young mothers have been forced to give birth and nurse their newborns while under immigration custody. Chin women and children in Malaysia, including those with UNHCR documents, are at constant risk of being arrested, detained, and deported at the hands of the Malaysian authorities.


Under Article 27(b) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Malaysia is a signatory, Malaysia is responsible for protecting children from being arbitrarily deprived of his/her liberty. Malaysia has also agreed to abide by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. By continuing to arrest and detain Chin women and children, Malaysia has failed to uphold their commitments under international law.


Call To Action

CHRO calls on the Malaysian government to respect and uphold its international legal obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Please join CHRO in their demands to the Malaysian government to:

• Respect and protect the rights of Chin women and children living within Malaysia’s borders;

• Stop the arrest and detention of Chin women and children; and

• Immediately and unconditionally release all Chin women and children currently being held in its immigration detention facilities, including the 21 most recent arrestees being held in Kelantan;


Please direct your communications and concerns to:

Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad

Minister of Home Affairs

Level 12, Block D1, Parcel D,

Federal Government Administrative Centre,

62546 Putrajaya

Tel: +60.38.886.8000

Fax: +60.38.889.1613


Tuan HJ. Wahid Bin MD Don, Director-General of Immigration Department

Director General Office

Immigration Department of Malaysia ,

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

Federal Government Administration Centre,

62550 Putrajaya,

Tel: +60 3 8880 1000

Fax: +60 3 8880 1200


Encik Che Baharom Bin Hamzah

Director of State Immigration

Kelantan State


Tel: +60.9.744.1644

Fax: +60.9.744.0200


Malik Zaliman Bin Deraman

State Immigration Enforcement Officer

Kelantan State


Tel: ( 609 ) 7475735

Fax: ( 609 ) 7434608





The United States Commission On International Religious Freedom

Public Hearing

After The Saffron Revolution, Repression, And The U.S. Policy Option For Burma”

Statement By Salai Bawi Lian Mang Of Chin Human Rights Organization

Washington DC-December 3, 2007


Thank you. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman and the honorable commission.

A few months ago, the world witnessed how the Burmese military regime, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) ruthlessly persecuted Buddhist monks in the street of Rangoon. The whole world was shocked.


In fact, the SPDC have been systematically persecuting religious minority groups such as Chin Christians for decades. I am honored to be invited to this important hearing to tell how the military junta in Burma has systematically persecuted Chin Christians who inhabit Burma’s western territory of Chin State or Chinland.


My name is Salai Bawi Lian from Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO). I am an ethnic Chin from Burma.


When I and my colleagues founded Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), our intention was to document all incidents of human rights abuses against Chin people without focusing on a single issue. However, as time went on, it was quickly obvious that the issue of religious persecution was a matter of great concern to us. At least one piece of information in the reports that we gathered for our bimonthly newsletter, Rhododendron News, has had to do religious persecution against Chin Christians. The CHRO eventually published a book “Religious Persecution: A Campaign of Ethnocide Against Chin Christian in Burma” in 2005 that can be downloaded from CHRO website at


When I look back the record of CHRO documentation for the past 12 years, its begin with the news about 5 Chin Christian children lured and forced to become young Buddhist monks and nuns in 1995 and the last information report we received as recently as last month November 2007 that Chin Christian students in one particular town of Chin state are regularly forced to observe Buddhist merit making in the middle of the week that the entire school have to be closed on official school day. Then the entire school has to make up their missing day on Saturday.


The SPDC and successive Burmese military regime have been systematically persecuting Chin Christians for decades that the SPDC;

• Prohibit construction of Churches, Destroyed Crosses and Replaced With Pagodas or Statue of Buddhist Monk

• After 1990s the Chins never get permit to construct Churches

• Destroyed most Crossed planted in towns and replaced with Buddhist pagodas or Buddhist monk statue

• The order to destroy cross usually come from the highest military rank in the region

• The largest Cross remaining, 50 foot tall, in Chin State was destroyed in 2005 with direct order from the highest military commander in Chin State.


Censor Christian Literature and Publication

• Since 1962 the Chin Christians never get permission to print the Holy Bible in their own language in Burma

• In the year 2000 the CHRO received a report that 16,000 Bibles was confiscated by the SPDC in the India-Burma border town of Tamu.

• The Chins are prohibited to learn their own language in their own homeland.


Target Clergy


• Christian pastors and ministers are highly respected among the Chin people

• They are highly respected as intermediaries between God and the congregations.

• The dignitary position of pastors and ministers made jealousy of the military regime that they are the first targets in the regime’s campaign against Chin Christians

• Rev. Zaangkholet and three of the village elders were brutally killed. Rev. Luai Thang was humiliated and brutally killed. Several other pastors and minister have been humiliated and arrested.


Restrict on Freedom of Assembly and Worship


• All Christians gathering and conference including religious festival require prior authorization by the Military regime.

• The regime usually impose many restrictions.

• In some occasion the sermon had to be approved by the authority.


Discriminate Based on Ethnicity and Religion


• Christians with non-Burman ethnic background can not be promoted in high ranking government official.

• In the Army Chin Christian can not be promoted beyond Major rank unless they converted to Buddhism.

• There are 3 categories (A, B, and C) designated for those who can not be promoted in the rank. A stands for AIDS symptom, B stands for Hepatitis B and C stands for Christians.


Selective Forced Labor


• Forced labor is a widespread practice in Burma.

• However, forced labor is specifically directed against Chin Christians in order to coerce them into converting to Buddhism.

• Those who converts to Buddhism are exempted from forced labor while Christians are forced to work on Sundays.


State Sponsor Expansion of Buddhism


• Since early 1990s the Burmese military regime created Hill Region Buddhist Mission and send many Buddhist monks to Chin state.

• Chin Christians are forced to contribute labor, money for construction of Buddhist monasteries and Pagodas, and forced to listen the Buddhist monk sermons.

• Many Chin Christians children have been lured to provide education in a bigger town. However Children are later found to be in Buddhist monasteries with their head shaven to become novice Buddhist monks.


A People and Culture at Stake


• Due to militarization and human rights violations committed by the Burmese military regime against Chin Christians, many can not longer survive.

• There are 60 thousands Chin refugees living in India.

• There are between 25 thousands Chin refugees living in Malaysia

• The Chin people are facing untold poverty and humanitarian crisis




• Needed national reconciliation through dialogue

• Needed to implement Broad Based Constitutional Review Commission proposed by UN Special Envoy Mr. Ibrahim Gambari

• Needed to implement Broad Based Poverty Alleviation Commission


Thank you very much.

Salai Bawi Lian Mang


Chin Human Rights Organization






23 October 2007

Ottawa, Canada: CHRO commends Canada’s recent show of support for the pro-democracy movement in Burma by granting Aung San Suu Kyi honorary citizenship.

Last week, on 16 October 2007, the Canadian parliament overwhelmingly favored a motion put forward by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to bestow honorary Canadian citizenship on Burma’s most famous and beloved democracy leader. This tribute is the culmination of lobbying efforts by the Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB), an Ottawa-based non-governmental organization dedicated to the democracy movement in Burma, and thousands of Canadians who supported the nomination petition for Aung San Suu Syi.


“We are very grateful to the Canadian people for their encouragement, solidarity, and compassion,” said Salai Bawi Lian Mang, the Executive Director of CHRO. “Canada has long provided a home and an ally to the people of Burma, and this most recent gesture is just one more demonstration of Canada’s belief in fundamental freedoms and basic human rights.”


Currently, Canada hosts thousands of refugees from Burma, including over 1,000 refugees from Chinland. Canada also serves as CHRO’s main headquarters.


The extension of honorary citizenship to Aung San Suu Kyi comes on the heels of brutal crackdowns against political and religious leaders last month following country-wide protests in Burma. Hundreds are believed to remain in detention facilities throughout the country. Aung San Suu Kyi also remains under house arrest. This Wednesday, 24 October, will mark a total of 12 years of house arrest for Aung San Suu Kyi.





December 21, 2007

The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) is calling Chin community around the world to observe Sunday December 23 as a day of mourning that the entire Chin communities around the world are shocked and saddened to learn the tragic news about the death of 45 Chins including several children and women at the Andaman Sea when a boat carrying about a hundred Chins accidentally sunk into the sea near Kaw-tawng Thai-Burma border on December 20, 2007 after colliding with a fishing boat at night.


According to Chin Refugee Committee in Malaysia, most of the victims are Chin refugees heading toward Malaysia to join with their families in Kuala Lumpur.


“This is the most devastating tragedy ever in the Chin history” said Victor Biak Lian member of board of directors of CHRO.


Worsening human rights situation in Burma is a factor which forced thousands of Chins to flee from their homeland in search of survival.


The Chins who are mostly Christians, in Buddhist dominated country, are persecuted due to their belief in democracy and Christianity and also for their ethnic background, by the Burmese military regime.


There are about 25 thousand Chin refugee living in Malaysia and more than 60 thousands are taking refuge in Mizoram state of India.


Chin Human Rights Organization

For more information please contact:

Victor Khambil in Malaysia at (60) 12-226-4549

Victor Biak Lian in Ottawa at (603) 796-9514





Chinland Guardian

December 5, 2007-Washington DC: Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) had testified about decades long systematic persecutions of Chin Christians at a public hearing on Burma at the Capitol Hill on Monday. The hearing was organized by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a non-partisan panel appointed by the United States president and leaders of Congress.


The hearing of the Commission comes as Congress began an intense two week period in which lawmakers must approve a range of important policy legislation.


Mr. Richard Land, vice Chairman of USCIRF who chaired the hearing at the Congress quoted Dr. Martin Luther King in his opening remark that “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressors. It must be demanded by the oppressed”. He continued that “The people of Burma are demanding their liberty. It is time for the world to join them fully in this cause”.


The seven witness at the hearing along with Salai Bawi Lian, co-founder and director of CHRO includes Dr. Ashin Nayaka, a Buddhist Scholar and an exile Burmese Buddhist monk who is a visiting professor at Columbia University, Ms. Chris Lewa, coordinator of the Arakan Project and consultant for Refugee International and UNHCR, Aung Din, Policy Director at U. S Campaign for Burma, Paul Rush, a journalist who witnessed and report bloody crackdown in Burma during September, Michael Green, Professor at Georgetown University and former Special Assistant on National Security Affairs to President Bush, Jared Genser, President of Freedom Now and an attorney in the global government.


Salai Bawi Lian, said at the hearing that “the whole world was shocked to see how the Burmese military junta persecuted Buddhist monks in the street of Rangoon a few months ago. In fact the successive Burmese military junta has been systematically persecuting religious minority groups such as Chin Christians for decades.”


He continued that “the Burmese military junta violate the religious freedom rights of Chin Christians that they prohibit construction of churches, destroyed crosses and replaced with pagodas or statue of Buddhist monk, censor Christian literature and publication, restrict on freedom of assembly and worship, discriminate based on ethnicity and religion”.


Ashin Nayaka, a Buddhist scholar and leading member of International Burmese Monks, said monks were a symbol of hope for reforms in Burma but were “forcibly disrobed, assaulted, arrested and killed” by the military junta.


Paul Rush, a journalist whose video footage of Burmese troops in Rangoon shooting and killing a Japanese journalist was widely seen around the world suggests Burma ‘s military is likely continuing a brutal crackdown.


“The Burmese people, which include the country’s badly-persecuted ethnic minorities need the help of the international community, to shed this yoke of a half a century of oppression by a minority of murderous military elite. That I presume is why this hearing is taking place today and is why the international community is still listening,” said Mr. Rush.


A former Special Assistant on National Security Affairs to President Bush, Professor Michael Green, says while there have been some positive developments, including high profile attention from the Bush administration, some strong statements from ASEAN, and what he calls small but unprecedented steps by China , there has also been substantial inertia by the international community.


Mr. Green says China and India may be tempted to accept limited results, while he asserts that the United Nations continues to pursue what he calls a lowest common denominator approach. ASEAN, he asserts, is going backwards in its role perhaps because of pressure from Burma ‘s military on what he calls like-minded members.


Aung Din, policy director of the United States Campaign for Burma , urged the U.S government to appoint a full-time sanctions coordinator for Burma as it did in the late 1990’s against Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic’s regime accused of genocide.


The U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan U. S government agency that was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of though, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress of the United States.





Chinland Guardian

November 28, 2007-New Delhi: A delegation of the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) made a three-day visit to New Delhi at the invitation of Indian Parliamentarian Forum for Democracy in Burma (IPFDB) from 25 November to 27 November 2007.


During its visit to India, the ENC delegation of Dr. Lian H. Sakhong, Saw David Taw, Sao Harn Yawng Hwe and Dr. Sui Khar met with political leaders, members of parliament, diplomats, civil societies, and journalists to discuss India ’s policy on Burma . The delegation also presented the perspective of ethnic nationalities of Burma to the Indian public and the Government of India on issues relating to Burma and the current situation in the country.


The ENC delegation also held a meeting with the various Burmese organizations based in New Delhi . They shared with the community the purpose of their visit and the expected outcome of their meetings with the Indian government.


“Our visit to New Delhi this time can be called a success. We received promises from the Indian leaders that they will push forward a review of the Indian Government’s policy toward the Burma ,” said Dr. Sui Khar.


“Prominent members of the Indian Parliament and the Government of India gave us assurances that they will raise the issue of Burma in the parliamentary debate to review their current policy on Burma,” added by Saw David Taw responding to a question about the outcome of their meeting with the Indian Government.


The ENC represents the seven ethnic nationalities states in Burma and has been pursuing an ultimate goal of establishing a genuine Federal Union of Burma. ENC has launched extensive lobbying and advocacy and campaigns in the UN, EU, ASEAN, and other neighboring States of Burma in cooperation with all the Burmese democratic forces.




December 12, 2007-Geneva: Burma ’s ethnic nationalities representative urged the United Nations Security Council UNSC to brand Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) an organization establish and supported by Burma ’s ruling military junta State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) as state sponsored terrorist organization during the Sixth Session of United Nations Human Rights Council being held in Geneva .


Dr. Sui Khar foreign affairs secretary for the Ethnic Nationalities Council of Union of Burma (ENC) took the floor introducing his organization to the UN Human Rights Council saying that the ENC is representing seven ethnic states in the Union of Burma to establish democratic federal union based on equality, and that ENC is legitimate and credible organization to speak on behalf of all ethnic states in Union of Burma because the ENC members includes all groups in each state.


Taking up the floor on behalf of Netherlands based International Work Group for Indigenous Peoples (IWGIP), Dr. Sui Khar, made a statement at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council urging that the United Nations Security Council must brand the USDA as state sponsored terrorist organization based on their involvement in the past and recent military crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Burma.


“Looking at their activities the USDA clearly meet the standard of state sponsored terrorist organization. The USDA was created and they are actively participated in the assassination attempt upon Aung San Suu Kyi during Depeyin massacre, intimidating and insulting pro-democracy parties and activists for the past several years, and their active role in recent crackdown in Burma ” said Dr. Sui Khar.


On the previous day, the SPDC ambassador to the UN made a statement saying that “People all over the country have been holding peaceful mass rallies within the bound to welcome the successful conclusion of National Convention as well as the establishment of Commission for drafting of the state constitution and to demonstrate their aversion of the present provocative events.”


During his oral intervention today at the UN Human Rights Council, Dr. Sui Khar rebutted that the SPDC’s ambassador statement was not true. “In fact these people were forcibly dragged by order to participate in the rallies otherwise imposed a huge fine which is more than their one month income.


Dr. Sui Khar also urged the UN Human Rights Council that the SPDC must halt all military offensives against ethnic nationalities groups in Burma . In Karen state alone more than 20 thousands refugee fled their home with in this year due to human rights violations committed by the military regime.





Chinland Guardian

November 8, 2007-Ottawa


The world most famous political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, also known as the lady of Burma , made a statement today through UN special envoy mentioning that she is ready to cooperate with her captors the military junta State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) for “the interest of the nation and to make the process of political dialogue a success”.


On his way back from a four days mission to Burma , the United Nations special envoy Nigerian diplomat Hon. Ibrahim Gambari told reporters at a midnight press conference in Singapore that “We now have a process going which will lead to a dialogue between the government and Aung San Suu Kyi.”


In a statement conveyed by the UN special envoy, the lady of Burma Ms. Suu Kyi said that “In this time of vital need for democratic solidarity and national unity, it is my duty to give constant and serious consideration to the interests and opinions of as broad a range of political organizations and forces as possible, in particular those of our ethnic nationality races,”


Many people may surprise why Ms. Suu Kyi pay constant and serious consideration to ethnic nationalities issue in Burma . But according to Harn Yawnghwe, director of National Reconciliation Program and Euro-Burma office, it is very important to address the issue of ethnic nationalities in Burma .


“..when you take the seven ethnic states together, their population make up 40% of population of Burma (20 out of 50 million people), and their homelands together make up 60 % of the territory of Burma (almost the size of Germany ). The problem of the ethnic nationalities, therefore, is not a minority problem. It is a major constitutional problem” said Harn Yawnghwe in his statement during the Parliamentary Seminar on Burma hosted by parliamentarians from Czech Republic on November 6, 2007 .


Dr. Lian Sakhong the General Secretary of Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) said that the council warmly welcome Daw Aung San Suu Kyi statement. Dr. Sakhong also thanks UN special envoy for his efforts and skills in breaking Burma ’s political stalemate.


While welcoming Aung San Suu Kyi Satement the ENC General Secretary express his disappointment saying that “I am quite disappointed that the SPDC rejected Mr. Gambari’s proposal for the establishment of “a broad-based constitutional review commission and a broad-based poverty alleviation commission”. However, as the talk between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and General Aung Kyi progress, I hope that the SPDC will change their position soon”.


The ENC is a political body representing 7 non-Burman ethnic states in Burma .


Burma gained the highest level of international attention in its modern history after the world witnessed the brutal crackdown on Buddhist monks led peaceful pro-democracy uprising in September where several protesters including a Japanese photo journalist was shot to death at point blank by Burmese soldier. Several thousands more were arrested.


In response to the cry for positive change in Burma by the international community including the United Nations, the SPDC chief Senior General Than Shwe announced that he is willing to meet with the opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi if she stops confrontation activities with the junta.


The junta soon appointed the labor minister Aung Kyi who is a retired army General to facilitate the talk between Aung San Suu Kyi and the SPDC.


Many Burmese activists reject the offer made by SPDC saying that the junta’s offer for talk with preconditions is “unfair” and “unacceptable” .


However the Ethnic National Council one of the biggest political stakeholders in Burma welcomes the offer and asked Aung San Suu Kyi to seriously consider the offer made by the SPDC.


“There is no better time than now. The world is focused on Burma . The UN Secretary-General’ s Special Advisor Professor Ibrahim Gambari is fully engaged. The UN Security Council has also endorsed his role” said Harn Yawnghwe one of the most capable strategists among Burma ’s pro-democracy movements during his presentation two days ago at Czech parliament.






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