Narinjara News

 

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 government.

 

“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 Bangladesh; 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 sources.

 

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)

E-mail: narinjar@aitlbd.net / narinjara@narinjaranews.com

 

(Post address)

POBOX 2416, GPO

Dhaka 1000

Bangladesh

 

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