Dhaka, March 14
Chin Refugees in Bangladesh
Over 160 Chin refugees from Western Burma
currently taking shelter in Bangladesh,
find many difficulties there as there are no humanitarian organizations or NGOs
to protect their rights and assist in their welfare, said one refugee.
“According to our current record we have collected from the
villages in Bandarban District in Southern
Bangladesh, there are 160 Chin people who have fled from Burma
to avoid persecution and human rights violations by the military junta and
there may be more Chin people in other places in Bangladesh,”
said Ko Pa Khin.
Ko Pa Khin is an ethnic Chin, who
fled Burma in
1990 to shun what he calls brutal persecution by the Burmese military
“We have a lot of troubles with our livelihoods here”, said Ko Pa Khin adding that they are surviving themselves in
remote rural areas in Bangladesh
by hunting wild animals, cutting and selling bamboo, and working at hillside
cultivations, all with little to no pay.
Many Burmese refugees have taken shelter in the southern
regions of Bangladesh,
close to Burma,
as illegal migrants. They live in constant fear of being arrested and
repatriated to Burma
by the local authorities.
“The most frightening thing here is the military operation
by the Bangladesh
army and law enforcing agencies, as the region wherein we are currently sheltered
is notorious for gunrunning, smuggling, and a number of other crimes in Bangladesh.
Whenever the operations come here, we have to hide from them because we are
foreigners and if they find out our identities, we will certainly be arrested,”
explained Ko Pa Khin.
An estimated 50,000 Burmese refugees are currently living in
very few of which are granted asylum by the UNHCR Bangladesh branch. Some live
in camps and many others live here, like Chin Refugees according to local
Meanwhile, the local authorities are scrutinizing the
illegal migration of Burmese people into southern districts of Bangladesh
bordering Burma, and due to the authorities’ action, many refugees, including
ethnic Chins, who have no official documents live in fear of arrest, and suffer
from great troubles, said a local source.#
For further information, please contact Narinjara:
Phone: 880 189 42 55 36 (Mobile)
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Full Narinjara archive in the Online Burma/Myanmar Library