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Burmese refugees suffering: Samata

Burmese refugees suffering: Samata

The Asian Age (New Delhi)
August 17, 2000

New Delhi, Aug. 16: Burmese refugees in New Delhi are said to be facing
a severe economic hardship due to a delay in the monthly allowance being
paid to them by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

According to a representative of the Mizzima News Group, Soe Myint, an
organisation which has been airing the issues related to the Burmese
refugees in the country, the latter have not received their monthly
allowance of Rs 1,550 per person. The payment is normally made to the
refugees by the first week of every month. Sources said that after
failing to pay house rent on time, several refugees have been evicted
while others are being harassed by their landlords, who cut their
electricity and water supply.

The information provided by the Mizzima Group puts the number of Burmese
refugees staying in New Delhi at 800, of which 600 are recognised and
protected. It is stated that there are about 100 refugees whose
applications for refugee status have either been rejected or are pending
with the UNHCR. The group claimed that last month the allowance paid to
the refugees was cut by Rs 100.

Meanwhile, the Samata Party has urged the UNHCR to look into the matter
and do the needful at the earliest. The officials at the UNHCR were not
available when attempts were made to contact them on the issue.

Note from Mizzima: The UNHCR has, from July 2000, reduced the amount of
monthly subsistence allowance from Rupees 1,550 to 1,400 per person.