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40,000 Chin Burmese to be deported

40,000 Chin Burmese to be deported from India

The Asian Age newspaper of August 6, 2000

New Delhi, August 5: India's decision to deport hundreds of ethnic Chin
Burmese refugees living in Northeastern region has been criticized by
the US Committee for Refugees.

Quoting from Chin Freedom Coalition sources, an organization of the Chin
community, the USCR has claimed that Indian authorities have detained
some of the Chins who were arrested in Aizawl and from other places in
Tanhril, Babutlang, Vaiva, Kulikawn, Lungmual.

A USCR political analyst Hiram A. Ruiz said in a statement on Saturday
that Chin Burmese should be treated as refugees.

He said that many of these people fled to India as they fear prosecution
in Burma and their repatriation could constitute refoulement forced
return, an action contrary to international law. The USCR believes that
Chin people should be treated as other Burmese refugees. There are
estimated 40, 000 Chin Burmese in Northeast living there as refugees
since last decade.

The Chin community are among the many ethnic minorities who have
suffered discrimination under the successive Burmese government and
persecution by the present regime.

The USCR said that although India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN
Refugee Convention, it is a member of UNHCR's Executive Committee.