Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Myanmar Chin people in ’desperate’ situation

Elderly Chin woman in Myanmar

Myanmar Chin people in ’desperate’ situation

Mike MacLachlan, London
United Kingdom

December 10 2010

The Chin people of north-western Myanmar are in a "dire and desperate" situation, according to Baroness Cox, a member of the British House of Lords who recently returned from a fact-finding trip.

A delegation she led to the India-Myanmar border region was told that discrimination against Chin Christians is systematic and widespread and that the Chin people are denied health care and education and remain in acute poverty.

They are also subjected to widespread forced labor, community health workers and pastors told her team.

"This regime has made us poor," one pastor told the delegation. "In development, culture and psychologically we are poor. But if I stand against the military they will catch my wife or son or me and so no one dares to speak out."

There has been severe famine in Chin state since 2006 caused by an infestation of rats following the blossoming of bamboo, which happens every 20 years.

The pro-regime Union Solidarity and Development Party provided rice and salt in the run-up to last month's election in an attempt to win votes, but there are no signs that this has continued after the poll.

Instead there were complaints of intimidation, harassment and vote-rigging from the interviewees.

"The humanitarian situation in Chin State is dire and desperate and requires urgent relief," said Baroness Cox, founder and chief executive of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), which campaigns for the Chin among other causes.

"We urge the international community … to make it a priority to support health and education in Chin state and provide much-needed relief for [its] people."

Also in the delegation was Benedict Rogers, East Asia team leader of the rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

"We received overwhelming evidence that the severe human rights violations and chronic humanitarian needs continue to cause intense suffering in Chin State," he said.

Related reports
Kachin And Chin Catholics Join In Ecumenical Prayer Service
Chin Catholics Celebrate Jubilee Year



  • NEW! Premium Content

    Get full access. Start your 14-day free trial today.
  • NEW! Premium Content
    Thank you for registering! Your 14-Day Free Trial begins today.
    Here is your login details to access Premium Content:

    User ID:
    Password: ucan

  • NEW! Premium Content
    Oops! That email address has already been registered. Please try again.