Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Human Rights Watch asks for intervention of international community


New York-based Human Rights Watch has just released the following plea (linked through The Hindu HERE) for international intervention in Burma. It reports on army abuses and the new wave of IDPs/refugees. (Again, their estimates of 500,000 IDPs are conservative. According to Partners Relief and Development, an organization that assists in IDP relief missions, put this number at 2 million. I have heard of estimates as high as 4 million. More of HRW's reporting on human rights abuses in Burma HERE.

New York (PTI): Asking not to ignore human rights violations by the army in rural Myanmar, a US-based rights group has sought the intervention of international community into the dire humanitarian situation there.

"The international community must not ignore the dire humanitarian situation fuelled by army abuses in rural Myanmar," Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said in a just released report.

"Besides, attacking monks and democracy protestors in Rangoon, Burma's military junta is forcing ethnic minority villagers to flee their homes in the country's border areas," Adams said.

Hundreds flee to India

Hundreds of Chin people from western Myanmar have fled to India in the aftermath of the government's recent crackdown on protesters and threats and pressure by local officials in Chin State to attend mass rallies in support of military rule.

The army, the report said, continues to destroy civilian villages in its counter-insurgency operations.

The report, which follows the release of a survey carried out by the non-governmental organizations, including Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) and its local partner, said "as of mid-2007 there were 503,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in surveyed sites in eastern Myanmar."

About 99,000 IDPs were believed to be in hiding from the army patrols, 109,000 were in military- controlled relocation sites, and 295,000 people were in areas controlled by armed groups with some ceasefire arrangements with the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the HRW report said.

The TBBC surveyed IDPs in Tennasserim Division, Mon State, Karen State and Pegu Division, Karenni State and southeastern Shan State.

Rest of the article HERE.

The BBC's article on the ethnic Chin's flee to India HERE. Because they refuse to participate in pro-government rallies, they are heavily fined. To avoid these fines and getting arrested, they escape to India.