Narinjara News

Burmese Refugees’ Hunger Strike in Dhaka  follow-up

Dhaka, 11
th March 03:  The hunger strike by two Burmese refugees, protesting the cancellation of monthly subsistence allowance, has reached its third day today.  The two, Hlaing Htway and Khaing Win, have been joined by another youth, Thein Soe, beginning today.

The two of them have become too weak even to talk to people, so by lying in the corridor of the Refugees’ Counselling Services Unit of Ahsania Mission, a well-known NGO that looks after the foreign refugees on behalf of the UNHCR, Bangladesh, they are holding pictures of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. 

A doctor appointed by the RCSU has been checking up the hunger strikers.  Officials of RCSU have been keeping close watch of the strikers and they have told to them that though they have sympathy for their sufferings there is nothing that could be done which is against the decision of the UNHCR Headquarters. 

At about one in the afternoon thirty-seven more Burmese asylum seekers went to the venue and expressed their support for the cause and demanded cancellation of giving out lump sum as seed money to start small business.  They also demanded that, in the face of continuing deadlock the UNHCR should consider granting them asylum in a favourable third country.

The rally attracted a lot of attention from many of the bystanders and local students as they saw posters of Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate leader of Burma’s opposition.   The hunger strikers expressed their strong commitment to fight for monthly subsistence allowance till their last breath, it was learnt.

On March 5th the Deputy Representative of the UNHCR told the Committee of Burmese Refugees (CBR) that the UN body has no policy of giving monthly subsistence allowance to those who received lump sum seed money, a leader of the refugees said.  #