Since 1962, Burma has been ruled by a military regime, which has used widespread repression to maintain its control. The National League for Democracy led by Nobel-Prize Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won 82% of the votes in the 1990 elections, but the junta refused to hand over power to the elected government.


In its policy of “national unity”, the military government are forcibly assimilating the diverse ethnic peoples of Burma into mainstream Burman culture. As a result, many ethnic groups are fighting for self-determination, and the Burmese Army is using the most brutal counter-insurgency tactics to suppress any opposition.


Burma’s human rights record is one of the worst in the world, and this is reflected in the strong resolutions adopted year after year by the United Nations, and the ILO has expelled Burma because of its systematic practice of forced labour.


The Situation In Chinland:


Chinland is situated in the North-West of Burma, adjacent to the India States of Mizoram and Manipur and to the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Chin areas in Burma encompasses Chin State as well as other Chin inhabited plains in Sagaing Division, Magwe Division and Arakan State. It is mostly remote hill country, consisting of a few trading towns and hundreds of small isolated villages.


The total Chin population both inside and outside of Chinland is estimated at about two millions, and a large majority has converted to Christianity over the last century. Most Chins are farmers, growing rice, corn, and vegetables.


Many parts of Chin State have only recently been brought under effective Burman control. Prior to the nation-wide pro-democracy uprising in 1988, only one Burmese battalion was stationed in Chin State. At present, as many as 10 battalions are operating in the area. Consequently human rights abuses against the civilian population increased dramatically. All the battalions are reported to be using villagers as porters to carry their supplies and ammunition over mountains. The villagers are also routinely ordered to carry out forced labor on new roads and army posts as well as to provide food and money to soldiers. Under increasing military rule, the Chins are currently suffering many of the same abuses as other ethnic groups living along the border region of Burma. However, a specific characteristic of the human rights abuses suffered in Chin State is religious persecution. Many Chin people have fled to the India border States and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh to escape forced labour, military harassment, as well as a range of other human rights abuses. Because of the military’s increasing demands for money and labour, many families who were previously self-sufficient can no longer survive.


Due to inaccessibility, the international community is generally unaware of the human rights situation in Chinland even though the Chin people are suffering the same levels of abuses as groups in Burma’s other conflict areas.






Chin Human Rights organization (CHRO) is a non-governmental non-profit organization. It was formed in 1995 by a group of Chin activists who began monitoring the human rights situation along the borders with India and Bangladesh. At present CHRO fact-finders are actively documenting human rights in most parts of Chin State, as well as other Chin inhabited areas of Burma and among the Chin refugee population in India and Bangladesh. CHRO is also promoting human rights among Chin people inside Burma and in exile.


CHRO is a member of the Asia Indigenous People Pact and is regularly attending the sessions at United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations and United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Information gathered by CHRO was used in International Labour Organization reports, US Department of States’ annual reports on International Religious Freedom and most of the information on Chin State in the report “All Quiet on the Western Front? (The Situation in Chin State and Sagaing division)” published in January 1998 by Images Asia, Karen Human Rights Group and Open Society Institute’s Burma Project.


CHRO is operating three information centres in the region: Bandardan in Bangladesh, New Delhi and Aizawl, Mizoram State, in India. These collection centres are currently gathering testimonies and field reports, and forward them to the CHRO team in Canada for translation and publication of the “Rhododendron” human rights news bulletin.


CHRO aims:


(a) To promote Human Rights and democratic principles among Chin people.


(b) To empower the people, especially the victims of human rights violations, who have been suffering so long under the Burmese military regime;


(c) To provide accurate and reliable information about human rights situation in Chinland to the international community.




The Rhododendron Human Rights News Bulletin CHRO publication Rhododendron Newsletter can be found on the Internet:

Salai Bawi Lian Mang


Chin Human Rights Organization








1. Between the townships of Kalemyo and Minkin (Sagaing Division) there is a long narrow row of hills under the jurisdiction of the Western Division which is the dwelling place of the Auk-stan Zomi Chin people. This place was invaded by military Kha La Ya battalion commander with 17 of his soldiers and 22 members of the USDA on 2 June 2000. They pulled down the houses in the village claiming that this area was within the demarcated Kya-bin forest land. When the villagers cried and begged them not to destroy their houses the soldiers disdainfully responded by setting fire to the broken down houses and property of the villagers. The villagers had to run away with whatever could be saved dragging and carrying the young and the old. They took shelter in the church.


2. Because of this dastardly inhuman behaviour the Zomi Chin people lost three churches, 63 houses and about 600 livestock (chicken and pigs). A total of about 300 are now homeless and penniless. Prior to that, on 10 January 2000, the authorities burnt down the Ah-ma-ka village school which had a staff of 4 teachers and a student population of 67. To this day the children have no school to attend.


3. Auk-sa-tan village on the hill was founded in 1969 with 80 households and a population of 300. They live peaceably and simply,cultivating crops on hill sides and cutting wood. Our information is that this is a Christian village.In March 2000 the Minkin authorities had given notice that this village was to be vacated the latest by 2 June 2000. Other Burmese villages existing in this demarcated area have not been moved. We have been given to understand that this is a deliberate move out of spite against the Zomi village because they belong to the Chin ethnic group and are Christians. Now, these people cannot grow any crops and have to take shelter in neighboring villages or go deeper into the forest and live in temporary huts made with branches of trees exposed to wind and rain. Children have no food and many are sick


4. In Burma today under the rule of the military dictators, if you are not a Burman Buddhist you are discriminated against. The military dictators regard you as an enemy. They offend and disregard the provisions of Articles 12 and 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declares that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with their privacy, family, home or correspondence etc. and Article 18 which gives everyone the right to freedom of religion. We bitterly condemn them for their despicable behavior and attitude and demand that action be immediately taken against those offenders of the law.



Central Executive Committee

National League for Democracy

No: (97/B), West Shwegonedine Road

Bahan Township, Rangoon

7 August 2000.

Statement 124 ( 8/00 ) ( translation )






On the 7th July, 2000, Chairman of the Tamu township authority Captain Khin Maung Myint and his group went to the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the village of Tin-ka-ya which is about 6 miles from Tamu (Sagaing Division). He summoned the village chairman U Htaung Kho Yan and other leaders including U Htan Lein (Mission School teacher) to a meeting. After that Captain Khin Maung Myint insolently stepped up on to the pulpit with his army boots , a place that is regarded with great reverence by the Christians who normally take their shoes off as a mark of respect. He shouted rudely “With whose permission was this school opened. Where is the permit?” The church elders very courteously explained that in 1976 together with the school for religious teaching the school to teach the basic reading and writing skills was opened.


Captain Khin Maung Myint refused to accept any explanation given by them. His attitude was that of an adversary. He ordered U Htaung Kho Yan and U Htan Lein to stand up in front of him and beat them both on their backs and faces with the special offertory bags used by the church. Not content with doing that he drew his revolver out and pointed it at their heads one after the other. Then he took two bullets out boasting haughtily ” These bullets are for you Chins”. He went on punching and kicking them. He smashed the chairs and tables and other paraphernalia (bibles and sound system) on the pulpit and spat out vile expletives against the Chin people and the Christians. The expressions he used are extremely odious that they cannot be repeated. It damages one’s character and dignity. He then had both U Htaung Kho Yan and U Htan Lein arrested and locked up at the Tamu police station. On 10 July 2000 he ordered the closure of all the Christian schools in the township. News of this was published in the foreign media on 15 July. This caused him to fly into a rage. U Pa Jya Kin, the pastor of the church was arrested and locked up in the police station where the torture and persecution could be compared to the fascist torture chambers. In addition, as a punishment, all the villagers of Tin-ka-ya were made to plough the ten acres of land, which was his private property.


The military dictators are constantly proclaiming that there is freedom of worship, but the above clearly proves that this is not so. It also reflects their attitude towards the ethnic minority groups. They are steeped in the belief that they are superior. They lord it over all the smaller ethnic groups. This is so very transparent. Moreover, every kind of pressure is applied to non-Buddhists and the right to freedom of worship is denied to them. This we see very clearly with our own eyes. 6. The National League for Democracy vigorously and emphatically denounces · this behaviour and attitude of the military dictators in the treatment of the national groups, · in the bullying tactics to bind them with fear and terror, · in their disregard for the provisions of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 on ” freedom of religion”. We urge them to take effective action as required by law against those who have no qualms about flouting the law and cavalierly brutalize others.




Central Executive Committee

National League for Democracy

No: (97/B), West Shwegonedine Road

Bahan Township, Rangoon

7 August 2000

Statement 126 (8/00) (translation)





(Hundreds of Chin Refugees Trapped in the Island of Pacific)

September 30, 2000


Chin Human Rights Organization CHRO had learned that about three hundreds Chins are taking refuge in Guam, a small island in the Pacific Ocean which is the United States’ territory. They all claimed that they fled from the merciless persecution of the ruling Burmese military regime State Peace and Development Council SPDC in their homeland.


The refugees include men, women with various backgrounds such as Church leaders, politicians, doctors, teachers, lawyers, traders, students and farmers. They are seeking refugee status in United States and waiting to be determined their case by the United States Immigration and Naturalisation Service US INS.


Some of the refugees are charged with illegal entry and detained by the authority of Guam on their arrival. Many more are surviving in the island with the help of local Churches and Chin communities around the world. Last week, one of the refugees Mr. K … ( name omitted ) who is under detention in Guam had called CHRO office in Ottawa to explain the situation of Chin refugees in the island. ” I am lucky among the refugees because I am in detention and I do not need to worry for food and shelter. But those who are surviving in the island have problems for their survival, they are facing shortage of food, shelter and even clothing” he said. Mr. K….was Church Council Chairman of Thantlang Baptist Church which have more than 3000 members and the biggest church in Thantlang township, Chin State. He was accused of supporting Chin National Front CNF and arrested twice by the military regime. Chin National Front CNF is an armed resistant party fighting against the ruling Burmese military regime to restore democracy and self determination. Mr. K … said that ” we have nowhere to go, we faced rampant human rights violations in our own home. We can’t even conduct worship service without their ( the military authority ) permission. The people are living in constant fear of the Military Intelligence Service MIS. Even if we fled to neighbouring countries there is still no safety. We could be arrested at any time and send back to Burma”. Last month Indian authority had arrested hundreds of Chin refugees in Mizoram State and deported to Burma.


A glance at background situation:


The story of Mr. Pu Al Bik, an influential trader and a good man from the town of Thantlang is one good example that how the military junta in Burma made to flee people from their home. Pu Al Bik was accused of supporting CNF in 1996 and sought to arrest by the MIS. Thus he fled to Malaysia and stay there for two years. His family and relatives bribed a good deal of money to the authority in Thantlang for Pu Al Bik safe return. After taking a good deal of money, the authority of Thantlang guaranteed Pu Al Bik safe return. Thus, he came home from exile to reunite with his family in 1998. But his dream was not long lasted. Soon after he got home, the MIS summoned him to their camp. There, he was put in the dark room without food and inhumanly interrogated and tortured for two weeks. During the two weeks interrogation, no one was allowed to see him.


After two weeks of interrogation, Pu Al Bik was charged with Unlawful Association Acts and sentence to seven years jail term with hard labour and sent to Kalaymyo, Sagaing Division. Just before he was sent to Kalaymyo, the relatives were allowed to see him. At that time his face was black and badly swollen. He couldn’t even eat or walks due to torture. The story like Pu Al Bik is no longer strange among the Chins under SPDC regime. The military junta has massively increased its military deployment in Chinland, creating an atmosphere for the systematic abuse of human rights. Religious persecutions and portering for the Burmese army is especially rampant across Chinland. Other human rights violations reported are: forced labour, relocation, extortion, rape, arbitrary arrest and killings. There was only one Burmese army battalion stationed in Chin State before 1988. At present more than 10 battalions of Burmese army are operating in Chinland.


According to CHRO document, at least 20 persons from Thantlang area alone were badly tortured by the Military Intelligence Service MIS in last year and they are now serving long term imprisonment with hard labour. They all are accused of supporting the movement of opposition party. Due to rampant human rights violations committed by the Burmese military regime in Chinland, a bout 50 thousands Chins are taking refuge in neighbouring countries. Hundreds of Chins are now fleeing from their home as far as a small island in the Pacific Ocean in search of a safe heaven.





NEW YORK, Sept 5 (AFP)


The United States claims in a new report issued Tuesday that Myanmar’s junta shows no sign of diverting from a long trend of discriminating against religious minorities.


The report on International Religious Freedom accuses junta troops of destroying holy sites in areas populated by some of the country’s myriad ethnic minorities. “Security forces have destroyed or looted Buddhist temples, churches and mosques in ethnic minority areas,” said the report. “Government security forces continued efforts to induce members of the Chin ethnic minority to convert to Buddhism and prevent Christian Chin from proselytizing by highly coercive means.”


The report also says there is “credible evidence” that officials and security forces compelled people to donate labour, or money to build, renovate or maintain Buddhist monuments. “The Government calls these contributions voluntary donations” and imposes them on Buddhists and non-Buddhists” the report said. Evidence also existed of severe legal, social and economic discrimination against the Muslim Rohingya minority in the western state of Arakan, the report said.


“There were credible reports that Muslims in Arakan state continue to be compelled to build Buddhist pagodas as part of the country’s forced labour program. These pagodas are often built on confiscated Muslim land.” The United States is a constant critic of Myanmar’s military government and a strong supporter of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmar was one of five countries on which were slapped with symbolic US sanctions for alleged religious intolerance late last year.








Name of interviewee: Sawi Thanga

Age: 45

Sex: Male

Nationality: Chin

Date of interview: 25 August, 2000

Place of interview: Aizawl, Mizoram

Sawi Thanga left his home village Tuingo of Kalemyo Township, Sagaing Division in 1997. He now earns a living as labour of wood cutting works in Mamit District (Aizawl West District). He was arrested and deported to the border river and managed to return back from the border.


JAC Mission: When was you arrested?


Sawi Thanga: I was at a teashop near Aizawl Market when the policemen arrested me. I was here to buy daily needs. It was on 1st August. I was taken to police station and put me in lock-up for one day. The magistrate convicted me the next day and sentenced me for 20 day imprisonment. My jail term was to over on August 20 but as it was Sunday, I was taken out on August 18. I was immediately made to board a bus and set off for Tio.


Mission: How many of you?


Sawi Thanga: We were taken in 3 private buses. There were 27 people in our bus. So, I think we would be about 80 people altogether. Two armed policemen escorted each bus.


Mission: When did you reached the river?


Sawi Thanga: We had dinner at Seling village. We reached Tio river early morning of August 19. The policemen forcefully made us cross the river.


Mission: How many of you crossed the river?


Sawi Thanga: I am not sure how many people really crossed the river but I think about 20 people had crossed. They boarded a boat that was pulled from the shore.


Mission: Was there any Burmese soldiers at the other side?


Sawi Thanga: Yes, there were some soldiers and a few immigration personnel watching us.


Mission: How could you manage to escape?


Sawi Thanga: I had a feeling that I would be arrested if I cross to the Burma side. So, when the policemen were busy taking video and photograph of those who were boarding a boat, I could manage to sneak among the local peoples who were closely watching us.


Mission: Did you hear about the news of those who crossed the river?


Sawi Thanga: I heard hear-say that they were taken to Falam and sentenced 3 years imprisonment with hard labour.






Name: Vai Lian Zing

Age: 47

Sex: Female

Ethnic group: Chin

Date of interview: 9 September, 2000

Place of interview: Aizawl, Mizoram


Vai Lian Zing is wife of Hmun Nei Thang, age 53, of Falam, Chin State. Her husband was arrested on July 31, 2000 at their rented house. He was deported on August 19 and arrested by Burmese authorities.


Mission: What do you do in Mizoram?


Vai Lian Zing: My husband was a Burma policeman. As his salary was insufficient he quit his job. We then opened a small variety store in Falam. Since our store business was not good we decided to start crossed-border trading. It is our first trip. We reached Aizawl on June 26. Since we cannot receive money from the buyer of our goods as we expected we rented a room so that we can save hotel rents.


Mission: When was your husband arrested?


Vai Lian Zing: Policemen along with a few YMA members came to our place on July 31 at around 5 in the evening. As I was not feeling well and lying on my bed, the policemen arrested my husband and four of our visitors.


Mission: What happened then?


VaiLian Zing: He was put in lock-up for one day and was sentenced 20 days imprisonment. I could have visited him in jail seven times but I was not allowed to talk with him. I was only allowed to give eatables to him through a jailer.


Mission: When was he deported?


Vai Lian Zing: On August 18 at 2 in the afternoon, he was taken out of jail along with other Burmese. They were made board a bus. I was not allowed to talk nor give anything to him. I was aware that the buses were heading for Tio river.


Mission: Did you hear about your husband then?


Vai Lian Zing: I do not hear anything about him except the fact that he was arrested by Burmese authorities at Tio and taken to Falam. I need to be here to wait for the money.


Source: Joint Action Committee reports







Agence France Presse

August 7, 2000, Monday

SECTION: International news



Indian troops have arrested more than 150 Myanmar nationals in the past week as part of a new campaign of “zero tolerance” towards illegal immigrants, senior officials said Monday.


Most of the arrests took place in the far northeastern state of Mizoram, where officials say Myanmar drug smugglers and gun runners are taking advantage of the porous border.


“The problem is indeed very serious and we are taking all possible steps to push back the illegal Burmese infiltrators”, Mizoram Home Minister Tawnluia (eds:one name) told AFP by phone from the state capital Aizawl. “Since last week, we have arrested at least 150 people—most of them drug peddlers or involved in other criminal activities in Mizoram,” Tawnluia said.


“Over the years, we have pushed back lots of illegal immigrants and this new trend of Myanmar nationals trying to vitiate the atmosphere will not be tolerated.”


According to police sources, most of the infiltrators sneak into the border districts of Saiha and Champhai in eastern Mizoram before making their way to Aizawl. “The Myanmar nationals and the Mizos share lots of things in common, like identical features, which makes the task of the security forces difficult,” said one senior police official.


“Some of them belong to the same Mongol stock as those of the Mizos and many of them speak the same language as well.” Pressure groups and political leaders have expressed serious concern over the amount of drugs being smuggled across the border.


The problem of drug addiction in Mizoram has assumed alarming proportions in recent years, with needle sharing among intravenous drug users accounting for a sharp jump in the number of HIV-infected youths.


“The infiltrators are bringing with them hard drugs like heroin and marijuana which they can sell at a reasonable profit in Mizoram,” the police official said.





21 August 2000


At 6:30 AM August 19, 2000, All India Radio, Aizawl station broadcast that 82 Chin refugees have been deported to the border river of Tio on 18 July 2000. Reliable sources confirm the handing over of these refugees to the Burmese Army at Tio River, the border of India and Burma. An eyewitness at Tio River reports that the refugees were handed over to the Burmese Army stationed in Rih Khawdar Village of Falam town-ship, Chin State. Rih Khawdar village is located 2 miles from the Tio River.


It is believe that the Burmese Army will send the refugees to Kaley Myo jail. Since there is only Army court in Burma, it is difficult to know how long these refugees will serve time in the Prison or Labor Camp. Information in Aizawl reveals that the arrests and deportations continue. This is the third time in this month that Chin refugees seeking refuge in Mizoram State has been deported. On August 3, the Indian authorities deported 87 refugees from Burma to the border. On August 8, the Indian authorities deported 27 Chin refugees to the border for the second time in the month. The authorities of Indian ignored the appeal of International Institutions such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, United States Committee for Refugees and other institutions and individual to stop deportation. So far Indian Government has been deported 196 Chin and other refugees from Burma in this month.





August 23, 2000.



The following information is from CHRO field monitor in Mizoram State of India regarding the 82 refugees deported on August 18, 2000. The India government handed the refugees over to the Burmese Army at Tio River, then the Burmese Army, on August 21, 2000, handed over 23 of these refugees to Burmese police. The Burmese police escorted them to Falam town in Chin State where they will appear before the Burmese Army. Since the refugees have no Burmese Identity Cards, they will ( likely ) be subject to severe punishment that will include time in Prison Labor Camp in Kaleymyo, Sagaing Division. This is the third deportation of Chin refugees to Burma carried out by India totaling 196 refugees deported. The arrests continue in Aizawl and in other towns such as in Lunglei.





27 August 2000



Chin Human Rights Organization received a report that the Mizoram authority continue the arrest and deportation of Chin refugees in the town of Aizawl, Lunglei and Lawngtlai. On 23 August 2000 Mizoram police deported 18 Chin refugees from Lunglei jail to the border town of Hnahthial.The other group 36 Chin refugees from the town of Lawngtlai were deported to the border village of Vombuk ( Indian side ) on 25 August 2000. Now India had already deported 250 refugees from Burma in this month. Indian authority handed 23 refugees to the hand of Burmese police on 21 August 2000 and the Burmese authority sent them to the town of Falam, Chin State. CHRO learned that Mizoram police arrested 6 more refugees in Aizawl on 25 August 2000.The arrest of refugees from Burma is continue in the towns of Aizawl, Lunglei, Champhai,Lawngtlai and Saiha of Mizoram State.








On August 18, for the third time in less than three weeks, the Indian authorities forcibly returned a group of Burmese Chin refugees to Burma. According to U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR) senior policy analyst Hiram A. Ruiz, the Indian government’s actions are “a clear and inexcusable case of refoulement (the forced return of refugees).” Ruiz adds, “Forcing these refugees back into the hands of a regime known for human rights abuse against ethnic minorities demonstrates the Indian government’s gross disregard for the UN refugee convention and the basic human rights of refugees.”


Since late July, when the Indian authorities began arresting ethnic Burmese Chin refugees in living in Mizoram state in Northeast India, refugee advocacy groups have called on the government of India not to forcibly return the Chin to Burma. The Indian authorities have ignored these pleas. They deported 87 Chin on August 3, another 27 on August 8, and, most recently, 82 on August 18. Hundreds of Burmese Chin refugees remain in Indian jails. USCR first wrote to the government of India about the Chin on August 3. At that time, USCR expressed concern over reports that local authorities in Mizoram State had detained hundreds of Burmese Chin and were planning to deport them. USCR said, “Many of these persons fled to India because they feared persecution in Burma…. Deporting members of this group to Burma could constitute refoulement.”


The Indian authorities did not respond. On August 12, USCR wrote again to the Indian government. We said, “Deporting members of this group to Burma could…put their lives at risk. The Burmese authorities are known to have arrested, and according to unconfirmed reports by Chin human rights groups, killed other Burmese Chin whom your government has forcibly returned to Burma in the past. We urge you in the strongest terms possible to refrain from forcibly deporting these refugees.” The Indian authorities did not respond. Although India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, it is a member of UNHCR’s Executive Committee, and hosts several large refugee populations, including Tibetans, Sri Lankans, and Afghans. However, the Indian government does not recognize the estimated 40,000 Burmese Chin who have fled to Northeast India over the past decade as refugees. It has not permitted the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to visit Mizoram in order to ascertain whether the Chin would fall under its mandate. Because the Chin fled Burma for reasons similar to those of Burmese who are considered refugees in other countries, however, USCR considers them to be refugees. In the past, UNHCR has also said that the Chin in Mizoram might qualify as refugees.




Memorandum To The Hon’ble Chief Minister,

Government Of Mizoram

Date: August 9, 2000


We are writing this regarding the ongoing arrest of hundreds of Chin refugees from Burma and handing over of several of them to the hands of the Burmese military regime by the Government of Mizoram. Since gaining Independence from the British in 1948, Burma enjoyed 14 years of parliamentary democracy till it was abolished in a military coup in 1962. Since then, Burma has been ruled by successive military dictatorships under various names. The country began to face its worst situations after the new military dictatorship came to power through a bloodshed coup under the name of State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), now transformed itself as State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).


We, the Chin people had never been ruled nor conquered by outsiders and had enjoyed freedom under our own administration until the advent of the British colonists. Chinland voluntarily joined the Union of Burma in 1947 through the historic Panlong Agreement, which guaranteed equality among the constituents of the Union. However, the Chin people have to face the worst ever racial, religious and political discriminations and other human rights violations at the hands of successive military dictatorships after the abolishment of democracy and the 1947 Panglong Accord. The rampant human rights violations and discriminations committed against the Chin people have forced many of them to flee to take refuge in the neighbouring Mizoram State of India. We would sincerely like to express our deepest gratitude to the State Government as well as the people of Mizoram for extending helps and taking care of these hapless expatriates for the past many years. We have learnt that there is a growing concern over the use of illicit drugs within Mizoram State. We also learnt that the Chin refugees are being held responsible for the spread of drugs in Mizoram. Burma under the present military regime has been branded by many countries including the United States as being the second largest opium and heroin producer in the world.


The main source of the drug influx into the State is obviously from a clique of Burmese military junta that has been doing an open drug trade with the world’s infamous drug lords who are enjoying safe haven under its protection. We support the initiative of the government of Mizoram to severely punish those responsible for these crimes under the existing Indian laws. Simultaneously, we are deeply concerned over the continuing arrest, detention, torture and handing over of innocent Chin refugees to the Burmese junta. We are also extremely concerned over the fate of those who have already been handed over to the junta. We, therefore, demand the government and the people of Mizoram to continue extending their sympathetic and humanitarian help to the Chin refugees who had escaped persecution in Burma to punish those committing such heinous crimes as drug trades under existing laws to discontinue arrest and handing over of innocent Chin refugees to the hands of the Burmese junta.


The cause of refugees influx from Burma is due to the lack of democracy and the existence of military dictatorship, which is a real threat to regional stability. We believe that these refugee problems can be solved only when a democratic government is restored in the country. We would like to earnestly appeal to the international community and the Indian Government in particular, to extend their effective support for democratization in Burma.


Yours sincerely,


Joint Action Committee





Canadian Friends Of Burma’s Letter To High Commissioner Of India


H.E. Rajanikanta Verma

High Commissioner of India

10 Springfield Rd.

Ottawa, ON

Fax: (613) 744-0913


Excellency: We are writing on behalf of Canadian Friends of Burma, a national non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting democracy and human rights in Burma. We are extremely concerned that since July 25, 2000, hundreds of Chin and other refugees from Burma have been arrested, detained in Mizoram and some even deported. We strongly urge you to reconsider these actions which only compound the suffering of refugees who have already faced severe hardships.


We are sure you know that the people from Burma who have taken refuge in Mizoram have done so to escape the repression and persecution they face in Burma under the military junta. In Burma’s Chin state for instance, along with religious persecution, there have been mass instances of forced labour, looting of homes, and rape of women by the army. Under these circumstances, handing people over to the Burmese military regime will likely result in the returnees’ imprisonment, torture and possible death.


According to reports, the arrests and detention of hundreds of people has taken place mostly in Aizwal and the refugees have been denied permission to see their relatives or to take their belongings. We also have reports that roughly 87 Chin refugees have already been deported and that a 25-year old Chin man, Mr. Lalrichana, died while being detained in the lock-up of Aizawl central police station on August 3, 2000.


As you must know, India is bound by the principle of “non-refoulement”, which obliges states not to forcibly return anyone to a country where they would risk serious human rights violations. The principle of non-refoulement is binding on all states, and is absolute under Article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which India signed in October 1997.


It is to India’s credit that for years your Government has shown compassion to the refugees, especially the Chin refugees, by allowing them to seek shelter in Mizoram. We urge you to reconsider these recent actions, which not only run counter to international laws but are inhumane and devoid of compassion.


We look forward to your reply.




Corinne Baumgarten


Program Director

Murray Thomson


Canadian Friends of Burma

145 Spruce St.#206

Ottawa, Ontario K1R 6P1

Canada Tel: 613-237-8056 Fax: 613-563-0017

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


cc: Mr. Atal Behari vajpayee

Prime Minister of India South Block

New Delhi 110001

Fax: +91-11-301 9817


Mr. L. K. Advani

Home Minister of India

North Block

New Delhi 110001

Fax: + 91-11-3015750


Justice A. N. Varma

Chairperson National Human Rights Commission of India

Sardar Patel Bhawan

Parliament Street

New Delhi – 110001


Pu Tawnluaia

Hon’ble Home Minister

Government of Mizoram,

fax: 91 11 301 2331


Pu Zoramthanga

Mizoram Chief Minister

fax no: 91 389 322 245

The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy,

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs




The Speech In A Plea To Stop Deporting Chin Innocent Refugees delivered by Pu Lian Uk (MP) at the demonstration in front of the Embassy of India in Washington DC, 8/11/00


Mister Ambassador and Staffs of the Embassy of India,


We come here in front of your Embassy to present our plea through you to the President and the Prime Minister, to the Home Minister of India and to you.


We are the Chin Community who are in political exile in Washington DC area due to the persecution of the Burmese military regime in our home country, the Union of Burma, to which we are supposed to belong to.


India is one of the largest democratic countries in the world and a nuclear power like United States of America. We there fore expect to have mercy like United States of America and the United Nations on people who seek shelters as refugees in your country due to persecution of Burmese military dictatorship .


We therefore absolutely protest India government arresting and forcibly deporting and handing over the Chin people and other citizens of the Union of Burma who seek shelters as refugees in your country into the hands of the Burmese military regime who are world known to be one of the most repressive regimes in modern history.


We know that this Burmese belligerent regime is running the country with the money of the sale proceeds of illegal drugs. We are against drug dealers as much as we are against this Burmese military dictatorship who are responsible for producing illegal drugs as only second to the world most drug producing countries. We are not against the Indian government charging with criminal law in the Indian courts those drug dealers in whose hands drugs are seized.


But we are totally against the Indian government arresting and forcibly deporting and handing over innocent Chin people and their children as well as other Burmese citizens in several parts of North East India , especially in Mizoram State due to the persecution launched in their home country by the Burmese military dictatorship .


We know that United Nations through UNHCR has given much attention to the affairs of people who fled their home countries and seek shelters in other countries due to the persecution.


India is now accepting the UNHCR opening their office in New Delhi. So, India as a leading nation and a possible candidate to be a member of UN Security Council is expected to treat people who seek shelters in India as refugees according to the UN policy on refugees.


We therefore present this plea of ours here that the government of India should stop arresting and deporting and handing over into the hands of the Burmese military dictatorship the Chin people and other citizens of the Union of Burma who seek shelters as refugees in Mizoram State and in other parts of India .


Thank you,


Lian Uk

Member of Parliament-elect(1990)

In political exile, USA.







Letter To Swedish Foreign Minister


Minister Anna Lind

Minister of Foreign Affair

Government of Sweden

103 39 Stockholm

Tel- 08-723 11 76

Fax- 08-405 10 00



Subject: An Earnest Plea for Your Immediate Intervention in the Arrests and Deportations of the Burmese Refugees in India.


Dear Madam,


I am writing on behalf of the Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD), a political party in exile dedicated to promoting democracy and human rights in Burma.


I am extremly concerned about the arrests and deportations of Burmese refugees, mostly Chin ethnic nationality, from Mizoram State of India. Since July 25, 2000, the Mizoram State authorities began making arrests and deportations of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Burma, including representatives of All Burma Democratic Front and U Than Sien, a Member of Parliament of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in exile. U Than Sein, however, was released on July 29, but where U Than Sien’s daughter and son-in-law are, who were reportedly arrested with the MP, is still unknown. Mr. Lalrinchan, 25 years old Chin Chrsitian, died after 7 days of serving detention, or what they called “lock-up”, in the central police station of Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram State, on August 3, 2000.


The first group of refugees, 87 Chin Christians, were deported to Burma on August 6, and another 25 on August 8, 2000. More than 1,000 refugees are still detained to be deported. As you already know, present military junta in Burma can best be described as one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes in the world. In fact, the present military junta is just a continuation of General Ne Win’s dictatorship regime, which came into power in order to suppress a nation-wide peaceful demonstration for democratic change in September 1988. They paved their way to power by killing thousands of innocent lives on the streets of our country. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Burmese students, politicians, human right activists, ethnic leaders and even ordinary civilians – whose lives are apparently threatened by the terror of this regime – are forced to flee from our beloved native country. While many thousands of refugees are fleeing to Thailand, many more are taking shelter in Bangladesh and India.


According to the Chin Human Rights Organization’s report, at least 50,000 refugees, mostly Chin ethnic nationality, are currently taking shelter in Mizoram State of India. The Mizoram State is situated in North-east India, and bordered to Chin State of Burma. Thus, most of the Chin refugees who are suffering both political and religious persecutions in their native country, have fled to Mizoram State for safe refuge.


In addition to the Chin refugees in Mizoram State, there are some 8000 Burmese refugees residing in New Delhi. Although the Indian government is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, India nevertheless is a member of UNHCR’s Executive Committee, and generously hosts several large refugee populations.


However, after signing border trade agreement between the Burmese military junta and the Indian government in the month of February 2000, the Indian authority has changed their attitude towards the Burmese refugees. Mr. Tawnluaia, Home Minister of Mizoram State, therefore is quoted in Aizawl newspapers saying that “the police will continue the arrest and deportation of refugees from Burma till every single one of them is deported”.


The Chin Human Rights Organization, the Chin Freedom Coalition, the Chin Students Union, Amnesty International, the Human Right Watch, the U. S. Committee for Refugees, the Canadian Friends of Burma, Burma Group in Uppsala and many other Burma support groups around the world have expressed their concern and asked the Indian government to cease the arrests and deportation of the Chin refugees. Regardless of international communities’ opinion and the plight of the Chin refugees, the Indian government still is preparing to deport all the refugees from Mizoram State, according to the Rhododendron News, reported on August 17, 2000.


I therefore earnestly beg for your immediate intervention – not only on behalf of the Swedish government, but also on behalf of the European Union as Sweden soon will be holding the chairmanship of the EU – the arrests and deportations of the Chin refugees from Burma in India.


Madam, please make your voice for the voiceless people from Burma, so that they may enjoy justice and their own basic human rights as a living human being.


Thank you so much for your consideration.




Dr. Lian H. Sakhong, Ph.D.


Secretary General, Chin National League for Democracy (in exile)


CC: Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee

Prime Minister of India

South Block

New Delhi 110001

Fax: +91-11-301 9817


Mr. L. K. Advani

Home Minister of India

North Block

New Delhi- 110001

Fax: + 91-11-301 5750


Mr. Zoramthanga

Chief Minister

Mizoram State of India

Aizawl, India

Fax: +91-389- 322 45





Mr. Tapan K. Bose


The Indian government deal with at both political and administrative level. The result is that treated that under the law applicable to the aliens. In the case of refugees protection, the constitution of India guarantees certain fundamental rights, which are applicable to non-citizen. Namely, the rights to equality( Article 14 ), the rights life and personnel liberty (article 21) and the freedom to practice and propagate their own religion (article 25). Any violation of these rights can be remedied through recourse to the judiciary as the Indian Supreme Court has held that refugees or asylum seeker can not be discriminated against because of their non- citizen status.


The National Human Rights Commission of India ( NHRC ) has functioned effectively as a watchdog for the protection of refugees. The commission has approached the Supreme Court of India under Article 32 of the Constitution and obtained protection from the Chakma Refugees when their life and securities was threatened by local politician and youth leader in Arunachal Pradesh. Relief was granted by





Share it on

Leave a Comment

To protect and promote human rights and democratic principles