Thousands of Chin Refugees Marched on World Refugee Day in Delhi
21 June 2011: More than 3,000 Chin refugees yesterday took to the streets of downtown Delhi, India, marking the 60th anniversary of World Refugee Day.
The rally organised by Chin Refugee Committee (CRC) called on the Indian civil society and government for providing a legal protection and on the UNCHR to improve services given to Chin refugees stranded in Delhi.
Mr. Ral Kap Tluang, President of Chin Refugee Committee, said: “Under the limited services of the UNHCR and lack of legal protection by the Indian government, we, the urban Chin refugees, are subjected to all kinds of hardships for survival, discrimination, exploitation, physical assault, rape and sexual harassment on women and children.”
During their march, Chin refugees including mothers and children chanted slogans such as ‘We need human rights, we demand dignity, we want your support, and stop discrimination.”
Plato Van Rung Mang, Coordinator of Chin Human Rights Organization in Delhi, said: “We are demanding the basic rights and dignity of a refugee, which the urban Chin refugees do not have in India.”
The mass rally received support and solidarity from prominent human rights activists including Mr. Deena, General Secretary of The Other Media; Mr. Ravi Niar, Executive Director of South East Asia Human Rights Documentation Center; Dr. Prakash, Director of Jesuit Refugee Services, South Asia Region; and Dr. Achan Mungleng, Coordinator of Euro-Burma Office, India.
Started with an opening prayer by Rev. Sui Neih Piang at noon, the rally program had sessions of reading statements and speeches by key guests and leaders of the refugee communities, with a closing prayer by Rev. T.K Lian at 2pm.
It is estimated that there are about 12,000 Chin refugees stranded in New Delhi after fleeing various forms of repressive measures perpetrated by the ruling military authorities in Chin State, Burma.
20 June has been observed as World Refugee Day since 2001 in recognition of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees after the UN General Assembly made a resolution on 4 December 2000.
Van Biak Thang