Solidarity in Suffering: Malaysia Chin Refugees Pledge Donation to Help Conflict-Displaced Kachins
27 October 2011: The Malaysia Chin Christian Union (MCCU) has decided to raise fund from within its member communities for helping refugees and IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in Kachin State.
MCCU said it has started making efforts in informing Chin refugees in Malaysia of the issue to show solidarity and support alongside Chin Christian communities in Chin State to contribute for ethnic Kachins fleeing the ongoing armed conflict.
Last week, the Falam Christian Community (FCC), one of the MCCU members, set aside a initial amount of 2,000 Malaysian Ringgits (about 640 US dollars) from its budget while urging its community members to make more contributions.
“Although we are just refugees here in Malaysia struggling on a daily basis and since we know how difficult it is to be a refugee, we would like to show our concern for Kachin refugees. We learned that they are trapped inside temporary camps along the China-Burma border. We pray for them and will try to make our voices for them,” one of the Chin leaders in Kuala Lumpur told Chinland Guardian.
The five-month long military offensives by Burma Army soldiers against Kachin armed forces have internally displaced about 30,000 local people, temporarily sheltered in refugee camps with no adequate food and water, according to reports.
With winter quickly descending, the Kachin refugees are also bracing for the cold weather.
Last week, a delegation of six Chin pastors from the Zomi Baptist Convention returned from their trip to Myitkyina, Kachin State, delivering financial contributions made by Chin churches to leaders of the Kachin Baptist Convention.
Earlier this month Chin Christian churches based in Aizawl, in Mizoram State of India has also conducted a door-to-door collection of contributions from their members to give assistance to Kachin refugees.
The ‘Chin Humanitarian Group for Kachin Refugees’, a new relief committee formed in attempts to raise awareness and fund among local churches and communities in Mizoram State, is comprised of Bethel Baptist Church, Lairam Issue Krita Baptist Kohran, Carson Baptist Church and Myanmar Christian Fellowship.
Established on 21 March 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, MCCU is an umbrella body of 16 Chin Christian communities and fellowships formed by Chin refugees in Malaysia.
It is estimated that there are about 50,000 Chin refugees stranded in Malaysia after fleeing human rights violations and abuses committed by Burma’s military soldiers and local authorities in Chin State, Burma.
Van Biak Thang