Burmese refugees rally in Delhi

June 21, 2013: Over 400 hundred Burmese refugees staged a protest rally at Jantar Mantar area in New Delhi today demanding United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to increase the number of resettlement for Burmese refugees and expedite the process as soon as possible.


“The Burmese refugees in Delhi are facing numerous hardships of survival due to lack of financial, legal aid, health care and educational assistance. In Burma, our home country, we were harassed and tortured by Burmese Army and here in Delhi, we face difficulties of livelihood.


“Also, the role of the UNHCR, New Delhi Office is not satisfactory in terms of support for the Burmese refugees,” one leader of the Burmese refugees said while talking to Newmai News Network.


“We are not in a position to send our children to schools. Our women are harassed and raped by local peoples. When we approached the Police, UNHCR and its implementing partner organization like Women Protection Center, Don Bosco and Social and Legal Information Center (SLIC) to report on such cases we were humiliated and 99% of cases were not registered,” he alleged.


The protesters shouted slogans such as ‘We want justice’, ‘We need protection,’ ‘Stop Stop human rights violations’, ‘No more harassments,’ ‘Hey UNHCR Arrange resettlement’, ‘We Are Helpless Refugees’.


Later, the protesting Burmese refugees signed the statement which is to be sent to UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.


The protest was organized by Delhi Chin Community Fellowship under the banner of Burmese Refugees in India.


Meanwhile, the representation of the Burmese refugees in Delhi will be sent to UNHCR on Friday, said Burmese activist M Kim.


“Under the guise of ‘democratic change and perpetual peace in Burma, the present quasi civilian government headed by President Thein Sein made somereforms like ceasefire to resolve the internal problems and deal the ethnic nationality. But civil war continues with most of the armed ethnic groups including conflict in Kachin state,” the representation drafted to be sent to UNHCR headquarters in Geneva said.


Ceasefire without peace proeess is meaningless. There must be inclusive political dialogue including collective political will of all ethnic groups to resolve the prolonged political problems, it added.


The Sangai Express