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To: reg.burma@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 10:13:46 +0000
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Dear Friends,

Here are some of the recent news about the Burmese
refugees who have been sitting-in-strike in front
of UNHCR Office in New Delhi. We would like to
call upon once again the Burma-support groups,
NGOs and individuals to send letters or words to
the UNHCR Office in New Delhi and UNHCR
Headquarters in Geneva to provide monthlt
financial assistance  which these refugees
desperately need. 

UNHCR Office's address

Chief of Mission
14, Jor Bagh
New Delhi - 110 003
Ph  :     + 91 11 46 99 302
Fax :     + 91 11 46 20 137

                         PRESS RELEASE

We are the Burmese nationalities who are
recognized as refugees by the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in New
Delhi. Although UNHCR Office in New Delhi granted
refugee status after months of consideration, we
are deprived of financial assistance i.e. Rs.
1,200 per month per person which UNHCR provides to
all other refugees.

Due to repression of the ruling military regime in
Burma, we left the country for Mizoram State of
India. However, the situation in Mizoram State has
been deteriorating in recent years and the local
police threaten to arrest us with the charge of
illegal entry into India. Most of us were arrested
and sent to police lock-up or jail at one time or
another in Mizoram State.

At last, we decided to come to New Delhi to seek
protection from the UNHCR Office in Delhi. After
long and endless efforts, we are granted refugee
status by the UNHCR. But, unfortunately, UNHCR
refuses to provide financial assistance to us
although it has been giving Rs. 1,200 per month
per person to more than 10,000 refugees who are
under the mandate of UNHCR.

Exposing our grievances and requesting UNHCR to
provide financial assistance to us, we have been
holding sit-in-strike in front of UNHCR Office in
New Delhi. There are about 30 Burmese refugees
participating at the demonstration, all have been
camping for the fourth consecutive day at the
demonstration site. The demonstrators include
families with young children and old parents. 

Yesterday, on 16th May, UNHCR officials called on
us individually and told that they received an
order from UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva saying not
to provide any financial assistance to new Burmese
refugees (there are about 30 new refugees who were
recently recognized by UNHCR). The officials urged
us to go back to Mizoram State where we came from
and promised to give travelling expenses for going

But we are not thinking of going back to the
border area where the safety of our lives is not
guaranteed. We will not be able to survive in
Mizoram State because of no job available for our
livelihood. Anti-foreigner sentiment is growing in
Mizoram State.

Our sit-in-demonstration will be continuing in
front of UNHCR Office till our demands are met by
UNHCR. We will hold hunger-strikes in the near
future if UNHCR doesn't respond our demands

Our demands for UNHCR are :

1)   To provide monthly financial assistance to
     all of us who are recognized as refugees by
     UNHCR and
2)   To reconsider the cases of those Burmese
     nationalities whose appeal for refugee status
     are rejected and to grant them refugee status
     and financial allowance.

Till now, UNHCR officials in New Delhi are tight
lipped to the media about the demonstration and
its handling on the refugees' appeal.

Date      :         17th May 1996
Place     :         In front of UNHCR Office
                    14, Jor Bagh
                    New Delhi - 11 0003

Demonstration under the banner of IGNORED REFUGEES 

Indian Police beat Burmese refugee demonstrators

18th May 1996

The Burmese refugees, who have been holding their
sit-in-strike in front of the UNHCR Office in New
Delhi, were picked up by the Indian police at 3:30
am yesterday and dropped at the place outside
downtown. The demonstrators were on the process
beaten by the police. One was severely hurt in his
chest and hands. Some of their belloings including
placards, banners and a film role taken the
pictures of the demonstration were destroyed by
the police. The police also threatened the Burmese
refugees to put in the prison for one year. One
police threatened even to shoot them to death if
they continue their demonstration. The 30 Burmese
refugees have been holding demonstration in front
of the UNHCR Office in New Delhi to expose their
grievances and request the UNHCR to provide
monthly financial assistance to them. 

Although more than 10,000 refugees under the
mandate of UNHCR are being provided monthly
financial allowance of Rs. 1,200 per month per
person, about 30 Burmse refugees are being denied
this financial assistance. UNHCR Officials cited
the reason that they received an order from the
Headquarters from Geneva that any Burmese refugee
who are recently granted refugee status will not
be entitled to the financial assistance. 

The demonstrators are determined to continue their
sit-in-strike till their demands are met. After
they were dropped at the place which is about 5 Km
away, they walked back to the UNHCR Office and
continued their strike, more vigorously with
hunger strike.