Burma's Christian Refugees in India Demand Protection [Excerpts]
Thousands of refugees who fled Christian persecution in Burma’s Chin state held a procession in New Delhi to mark the 60th World Refugee Day Monday, demanding legal protection in India and religious freedom back home.
“Our supreme aspiration” is to “live in our own native place of Chin State with dignity and free practice of our Christian faith, culture and language,” President of Chin Refugee Committee Steven Ral Kap Tluang told Christian Post, as he walked underneath a white banner imprinted with a red colored cross leading other Christian refugees.
“Due to the systematic, gross violations of human rights and suppression of our people by the Burmese military regime, which has a chauvinistic policy of ‘One Race, One People,’ thousands of Chins have fled to India and other parts of the world over the last six decades,” Tluang said even as the refugees shouted slogans, saying, “We want human rights; we want justice.”
Even when they find asylum in India, a free country, the refugees find little relief. “While many of the over 11,500 Chin refugees in Delhi have identity cards issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, they have no travel documents or legal identity,” a Chin woman, Tialte, from the Euro-Burma Office in Delhi, told CP.
Additionally, there are over 70,000 Chin refugees in India’s north-eastern state of Mizoram, which borders the Chin State. None of them have any identity cards by the UNHCR, she added.
A May 2011 survey by the CRC showed that over 25 percent of the Christian refugees in Delhi were victims of assault, rape, sexual harassment, forcible eviction and other crimes. Police did little to take action against the accused as the refugees have no legal identity, the CRC said in a statement.