Monday, December 16, 2013

Ethnic groups to call on govt to help Chin refugees return home

Chin ethnic groups will send a request to Myanmar government to help Chin and other Myanmar ethnic groups residing abroad as refugees to be able to return home, said Salai Izak Khin, Secretary of Chin National Conference Organizing Committee.

Over one hundred thousand of Chin refugees are currently staying in foreign countries, according to Chin Human Right Organization. About 70,000 of them have taken refuge in India while about 40,000 in Malaysia. Some 500 Chin ethnics are in Thailand, the group earlier reported.

“Refugee issue is the main topic when we discuss ethnic affairs [with the government]. Our region is less developed than the neighbouring states. And, we need human resources for carrying out development tasks. In fact, the refugees are a good source of manpower and we need to call them back. So, we will request the government for them to be able to come back home. This is also the main issue that Chin politics groups will discuss in coming political discussions,” said Salai Izak Khin.

Chin National Conference has urged armed groups and the government to respect human rights of Chin ethnics, Salai Izak Khin added. Poor administration, discrimination and human rights abuses had been the main factors that turned many Chin ethnics into refugees. Peacemaking efforts and resolving conflicts are required to heal the situation, according to Chin National Conference.

“Our request is not only for Chin ethnics but also for all the refugees abroad. Now, we cannot say the political situation isn’t stable, but there are many things that have to be done before 2015. We will make requests to the government step by step. Firstly, our national conference has urged the government to provide necessary protection for Chin ethnic refugees in India,” said Salai Izak Khin.