Czech Republic Welcomed For Opening Its Door To Chin Refugees
A message of thanks and gratitude to Czech Republic for welcoming Chin refugees from Malaysia has been sent and exchanged across Chin communities and online forums across the world in recent weeks.
Czech Republic, a country that has been actively supporting the democratisation process in Burma, opened its door for a total of 23 Chin refugees including 5 families from Malaysia under the UNHCR resettlement programme on 30 October 2008.
Sui Zi, one of the Chin refugees, said: “We were warmly greeted and well looked after much more than we expected. We were so touched when we received from a foreign country such a kind of love and care that we can not get in our own country. It is very important that we, the refugees, accept and understand aptly what they have done for us.”
The move came in June this year when the Czech cabinet approved ‘The Pilot Resettlement Program’ as part of the Czech Republic’s foreign policy to provide humanitarian assistance where a positive impact can be made, according to Katerina Stehlikova of the Czech Interior Ministry.
In his email of thanks and appreciation, Pu Lian Uk, a prominent Chin MP in exile, also highlighted the need of forming Chin community and Christian fellowship where religious and cultural activities can be done as a means to protect and promote unity among the Chin people.
“We are in a season when trees shed their leaves. We are told that it is not winter yet even though it is so cold,” said one of the Chin refugees who expressed joy and happiness in their new country, the Czech Republic.
Some refugees are said to have spent nearly 10 years in Malaysia before the resettlement programme. The UNHCR resettlement programme is seen as the only way to getting ‘safe and secure’ from Burma and Malaysia as the Chin refugees can still be arrested and deported at any time.
Due to SPDC’s ruthless brutalities and oppression, the Chin people have for decades fled their native place in search of safety and refuge in neighbouring countries including India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Malaysia. It is estimated that there are more than 30,000 Chin refugees stranded in Malaysia.
Van Biak Thang
09 November, 2008