Chin refugee boy, Kap Cung Lian, on Wednesday was reunited with his family in the US after having spent nearly two years in a Thai detention camp.
His father, Pu Zai Awi, told Chinland Guardian: “God has answered our prayers and we don’t know how to express our thanks and happiness. He [Kap Cung Lian] arrived here with us safely and soundly. He has grown up much bigger and taller over the past two years. We shed happy tears when we met him at the airport.”
“Frankly speaking, we, the family, could not do anything in this matter. Therefore, we would like to say our heartfelt thanks to Chin churches, communities and individuals alike, as well as other organisations including the Raks Thai Foundation for their generous help and support in dealing with our son’s cases over the past two years,” added the 49-year-old father.
In late 2008, Kap Cung Lian, then merely 9 years old, was arrested with five other Chin children under 10 in Thailand by the Thai Police while they were on their way to Malaysia to join their parents after being smuggled across the Thai-Burma border by the agents.
Four siblings, Thiang Bik, 5, Philip, 7, Ngun Za Thin, 9, and Roland, 11 had a family reunion with their parents in Stavanger, Norway on 10 June 2010 after being detained with Kap Cung Lian and San Duh Sang, 15, who still remains in Thai detention.
Kenneth Biak Cin, Chairman of Chin Community in Bangkok, told Chinland Guardian: “We are grateful to learn that our children, apart from San Duh Sang, are now safely reunited with their families and our gratitude goes to all of those who lent a helping hand in handling the situation in Thailand and especially to the Raks Thai Foundation for their selfless commitment and services provided until today.”
“This tragic experience should serve as a good lesson for all of us not to put ourselves at risk by taking the easy routes, but to find a safer way even if that process takes a longer time. We hope that San Duh Sang will also be released and reunited with his family soon.”
The Chin refugee family arrived in the US under the UNHCR Resettlement Programme from Malaysia on 25 February 2010 while their youngest son, Kap Cung Lian, then 9, was still detained in a police lock-up in Thailand.