How are the Burmese
Dhaka, 8 December 02: The Burmese refugees who have been recognized by the UNHCR in Bangladesh are facing difficulty living in the country for lack of job and livelihood, said Khaing Paw Lunn, the President of the Executive Committee for Burmese Refugees (Bangladesh), recently set up with an aim to work for the rights of the refugees.
He said, there are at present about thirty Burmese refugees recognized by the local chapter of the UNHCR, while there are thirty more yet to be recognized. Those who were receiving monthly subsistence allowance from the UNHCR prior to 1998 and those who are issued with refugee ID cards at present are facing difficulty as most of them find it impossible to survive through personal endeavours at small businesses.
When asked about the failure of doing small business in Bangladesh Paw Lunn said, “First, the Burmese refugees are not good at the local language, then there is a large percentage of jobless even among the population of the host country, besides the lump sum given, amounting to about US$ 500, to them as loan is not enough to start a sustainable small business. “
He also said that the Burmese refugees met the Deputy Representative of the UNHCR on 19 November to voice their disappointment. The refugees requested the representative to stop giving lump sum to the refugees and resume the subsistence allowance as admissible under the UN law.
The representative answered that at present, there is no
refugee agreement between the government of
At present it takes at least six months for an applicant to
be recognized by the UNHCR (
Narinjara came to know that,
besides the handful of applicants in the capital, there are thousands of
Burmese refugees living in the south-eastern districts of the
To a question of what the CBR intended to do if they are not granted with their demands Paw Lunn said that they would opt for seeking cooperation of various international groups if their requests fail.
Meanwhile the CBR has asked for safety and security of the yet to be recognized Burmese refugees living in the south-eastern parts of Bangladesh, resettlement in another country, to recruit a regular interpreter for the Burmese refugees in the Dhaka UNHCR office, and offer capacity building training to the refugees recognized already.
Since 1988 when there was a mass movement for democracy in
NOTE: The Committee for Burmese Refugees (