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Project Maje: Chin Compendium Part (r)
- Subject: Project Maje: Chin Compendium Part (r)
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 01:46:00
A CHIN COMPENDIUM
Report by Project Maje
Project Maje, 0104 SW Lane St., Portland OR 97201 USA
Excerpts from "SLORC Abuses in Chin State", March 15, 1997,
report by Karen Human Rights Group from information provided by the
Chin Human Rights Organization
Introduction: "The Chin Human Rights organization (CHRO) was formed in
1996 to begin independently documenting the human rights situation in Chin
State of northwestern Burma. The information in this report was collected by
CHRO and translated and organised partly with the assistance of KHRG. We
have reproduced it in this form to help give the events in Chin State as wide
exposure as possible. As can be seen in the information in this report (see
the related reports 'SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 97-A' (KHRG #97-04,
16/3/97) and 'The Situation in Northwestern Burma' (KHRG #96-06. 30/1/96),
the Chin people (also known as Zo) are suffering human rights abuses at the
same level as people in Burma's other conflict areas. The Chin National Front
(CNF) is an armed resistance group which continues to actively fight SLORC
forces in the area, though SLORC never includes the CNF in the list of groups
which have not signed ceasefire deals, preferring to pretend internationally
the CNF does not exist."
"Meanwhile the SLORC follows a policy of oppression, extortion and forced
labour against Chin villagers and tortures or executes any of them suspected of
having any contact with the CNF. A large proportion of Chin people are
Christian, while many others (particularly in the south) are Animist or
Buddhist/Animist. There are active SLORC campaigns to persecute Chin
Christians and make them convert to Buddhism. A lot of forced labour on
infrastructure and extortion is also now being conducted in the name of the
All-Burma Students' Festival', which SLORC has declared is to be held in
Haka in December 1997.
Arrest of Village Elders: "Between July and September 1996, the headmen of
most villages throughout all of Than Tlang township were arrested by the
SLORC Army and accused of having contact with the Chin National front
(CNF). At various times during these 3 months, headmen were called from
Than Tlang township to the town of Haka by Colonel Thein Lwin, Chairman of
Chin State LORC, and Major Saw Hlaing, Chairman of Than Tlang Township
LORC and commander of LIB #266 camp in Than Tlang. Those who came to
Haka were arrested and detained in Haka police station. Those who could pay
20,000 Kyats were released immediately. However, the leaders of at least 11
villages (the villages of Than Zang, Banawh Tlang, Tlang Pi, Tlang Lo, Far
Rawn, Cawng Thia, Tlang Rua, So Pum, Hriang Khan, Thau, Tlang Te) were
detained longer because they could not pay."
Attack on Nga Lang Village and Murder of Bawi Kung: "Hniar Ling, age 45,
former village LORC chairman of Nga Lang village, was called by the
commander of Than Tlang for a meeting on 12 July 1996. While he was
travelling to Than Tlang he was told that there would be no meeting but that he
would be arrested, so he did not attend. Due to his absence at the meeting, the
commander Saw Haling sent troops to Nga Lang village in order to arrest him
on 5 October 1996, but fortunately he managed to escape. Another group of
troops led by 2nd Lt. Win Than were sent to arrest him on 9 October 1996, and
this time also he escaped because he was in his farm field. He was therefore
dismissed from his post as Village LORC Chairman of Nga Lang and replaced
by someone else. The soldiers accused him of being a member of CNF and this
means that if he were arrested he would surely be killed. He therefore left the
village and went into hiding. His whereabouts are still unknown."
"Second Lieutenant Win Than is commander of Hriphi post, Than Tlang
township, under #266 LIB [Light Infantry Battalion] based in Haka. On 9
October 1996, he led a group of 20 troops to Nga Lang village to arrest former
Village LORC Chairman Hniar Ling. Without any warning they surrounded
the village. At about 5 p.m. that day, Bawi Kung from Haka town and his two
friends 'Pa Sui' [not his real name] and Dawt Hlei Thang were on their way
back from Mizoram State [in India], and arrived at Nga Lang village planning
to spend the night there. As they were approaching the village, the Burmese
soldiers suddenly fired many rounds towards them, without any questions or
warning. Bawi Kung was wounded and later killed. Dawt Hlei Thang was
arrested, taken away along with the soldiers and nothing is known about what
happened to him. 'Pa Thang' managed to escape... The headman, Church
secretary and other villagers were beaten, the village was ransacked and the
troops took 16 porters and 4 horses to carry away their loot."
[village witnesses] "I was ordered to bury the body of Bawi Kung immediately.
They wouldn't allow us to carry his body to Haka, which is his native place
[according to Chin tradition, a dead person should be buried at his native
place]..." "Early the next morning the villagers went to bury his body. They
secretly checked the body and found not only gunshots but also marks of knife
stabbings and they saw pieces of intestine hanging out of his belly."
Forced Portering and Beatings of the Elderly: Interview with "Pu Ar Ceh" [not
his real name], age 63, Than Tlang township. "'Pu Lian Peng', aged 62, from
our village, and I are very old but we want to stay active, so on 23 August
we went together to the outskirts of the village to cut some bamboo. We met
Major Naing Aye and 40 soldiers. We were questioned by Major Naing Aye in
Burmese language about the situation. We told him that we could not speak
Burmese. That Major said: 'You are under the control of the Burmese. Why
can't you speak Burmese?' Then each of us was beaten five times with the
bamboo we had just cut. After that, we were taken back into our village and we
were forced to carry the Army's cooking equipment from there to [...]
miles away. We weren't given anything for this. I felt very weak because of
exhaustion. When I asked the soldiers to give me medicine, I was told, 'We
have no medicine for you.' As we were not able to carry anymore, we were sent
back to our village. After the villagers heard about our beatings they were
afraid, so each time the Army comes to the village they run away and hide in
Forced Road Labour and Sentry Duty: "Throughout 1996, villagers in Haka and
Than Tlang townships were forced to work on the Haka-Gangaw and Haka-
Than Tlang roads. One person per household had to go in shifts of two weeks
each. Working hours were from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. No payment was given, and
the villagers had to take their own food and tools. No health care was
Anyone who failed to do the work, even for health reasons, was fined 3,000
Kyats. Anyone whose work failed to pass inspection by the authorities was
forced to do another shift of labour. Labour on these roads is continuing in
1997. In January 1997, the villagers were ordered to provide 22,500 kyin [1
kyin = 10 x 10 x 1 feet] of crushed stone for the Haka-Gangaw road. Any
household failing to provide their quota is fined 135 Kyats per kyin..."
"In June 1996 Major Saw Hlaing, Than Tlang camp commander of #266 LIB
of Haka, forced the people from Than Tlang to build six sentry posts. Since
then 5 people at a time have been forced to do sentry duty at each post....They
are not allowed to sleep and soldiers are checking on them frequently to make
sure they are doing their duty. If someone is not doing their duty properly,
she will be beaten 20 times. If a person cannot do sentry duty for one
or she will be fined 50 Kyats. Even if they are sick, they have to pay this
50 Kyats. On 25/9/96 at about 8:30 p.m., one Corporal and 5 soldiers came to
check the sentry posts and said: 'You have been on duty for 4 months now but
you have never arrested any CNF rebels'. For punishment, everyone was beaten
five times each... On 9th June 1996 at 9:30 p.m. Rev. Biakkam, 65 years old,
from Than Tlang Baptist Church, was coming home after a religious meeting.
Two soldiers stopped him and asked him where he was coming from and what
he had just done. Although Rev. Biakkam gave explanations, he was beaten up
seriously. He had to be hospitalised."
Haka, Paletwa and Other Locations: "SLORC began construction on a new
road from Paletwa [southwestern Chin State] to Kuah Daw in January 1997.
The road is being built entirely with forced labour. One person per household
from every village in Paletwa and Kuah Daw areas has to be provided for the
labour. Any household which fails to send a person is fined 1,500 Kyats each
time they are ordered to go."
"The All Burma Students' Festival is scheduled to be held in Haka in
December 1997. This is the biggest Students' Festival ever held in Chin State.
The festival is organised by SLORC. For this purpose, the SLORC has collected
5,000 Kyats from each landlord and 2,000 Kyats from anyone who is paying
rent not only in Haka town but in all of Chin State. Each student has had to
50 Pyas (1/2 Kyat) every month since 1st December 1995. For this school year,
every student will have to pay 100 Kyats more as a contribution to the
At the same time, the people of Haka are being forced to work in order to
extend the football ground and to build a stadium and roads. The people who
have their homes along the main road leading to the festival ground were
ordered to repair and repaint their houses, and all buildings in bad condition
must be removed. Besides this forced labour for the Students' Festival, the
people of Haka township also have to repair the Haka-Falam road, the Haka-
Matupi road, the Haka-Than Tlang road and the Haka-Gangaw road. The
people are complaining that they have no time to do their own work."
Interview with "Pu Than Kil", 60 year old Chin farmer, Kalaymyo township,
Sagaing Division (excerpts): Recently, we have not been able to afford sugar
and milk. One viss [1.6 kg./3.5 lb.] of sugar costs 120 Kyats. The sugar comes
from India -- we cannot get any sugar from our own country. There is no
chance to do paid labour, even to earn 30 Kyats per day. Nobody can employ
workers because they do not even have money to pay them... A high school
teacher earns 1,00 to 1,500 kyats [per month]. Even lecturers [college or
university] only earn between 1,500 and 1,750 Kyats. Now rice costs 50 Kyats
per pyi [1.6 kg./3.5 lb.] and pork and other meat are at 200 Kyats per
longyi [men's sarong] so 800 Kyats is of medium quality. To have one shirt
with long sleeves sewn you have to pay 200 Kyats, and with short sleeves 140
Interview with "Pu Than Ceu", 36 year old Chin carpenter, Kalaymyo
township, Sagaing Division (excerpts): "The people now live in poverty. Some
do not have enough rice to eat. Instead they mix some red beans with corn. And
they cannot afford to purchase medicine when they are sick. We cannot eat like
before. The cost of rice is getting higher and higher. In my village, the
rice is 55 to 75 Kyats for one pyi [1.6 kg./3.5 lb.] but it can be higher
to the season... When I have work, I can earn 50 to 80 Kyats per day. But I
don't have work everyday. If we do not do volunteer labour [i.e. forced
we have to pay more than our daily wage [as a fine]. So we have to do forced
labour. Even though we do it, we don't earn anything from that. Moreover, for
widening the main road and the railway each household has to provide the
government with one kyin [10 x 10 x 1 feet] of small stones... In my area, the
young soldiers aged between 13 and 15 are bad. They steal chickens and
clothing from the villagers. Young boys who are found roaming around the
town are forcibly recruited by the Army..."
SLORC Deserters in Chin State: "Four SLORC soldiers from #269 Battalion
and one SLORC soldier from LIB #550 surrendered to CNF troops in
December 1995. They then crossed into India and reached New Delhi on 25
January 1996. They applied to UNHCR (the office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees) in Delhi to be recognised as 'persons of concern'.
The status was granted to them. Then they went back to stay in Manipur but
were handed over to the SLORC by Indian authorities in August/September
1996. No one knows of their whereabouts. They have almost certainly been
tortured, and have quite possibly been executed or sentenced to life
imprisonment by SLORC."
News And Information Unit Date March 12, 1997
All Burma Students Democratic Front (Western Burma)
SLORCs border development has reached to the Chin State. There are
eight townships in Chin State. They are Tunzam, Teddim, Falam, Hakha,
Thangtlang, Matupi, Mindat and Palatwa. SLORC will construct the roads in
Chin State. There are
1. Hakha to Gangaw road 70 miles
2. Hakha to Kalaymyo via Falam road 115 miles
3. Hakha to Matupi road 173 miles and
4. Matupi to Palatwa via Mindat road 137 miles.
And then in December 1997, SLORC will hold the students sport festival in
Hakha, the capital of Chin State. Therefore the authorities of Chin State Law
and Order Restoration Council has been collecting the funds from the students
by force for the sport festival Kyats 20 per month each since 1996 January.
Then TLORC ordered to each villager forcibly to come to Hakha and to clean
the bushes and level the ground for the road construction. But some villages
can not go to do the work because the villages are very far away from
Hakha. Those villages are situated near the Indo-Burma border.
We heard that the chairmen of Teddim and Tunzan township ordered the
villagers who cannot come to contribute the work , the villager must pay 1200
Kyats each to TLORC through the Village LORC. Recent time is to prepare for
the hill-side cultivation. If the villager cannot do the hill-side
will lose their work for the whole year. The villagers do not want to go, they
have to pay the taxes to TLORC. Therefore some villagers had to sell the
paddies and their belongings to pay the taxes to TLORC.
* TLORC = Township Law and Order Restoration Council
CHIN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION: RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
February 1997 (English slightly corrected by Burma Net for easier reading)
1. Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) Interview with a Chin pastor in
The monks who live at Zakam, Rezua, Leisen, Vangvai and Tinsi villages
rule the communities. Anyone who doesn't abide by the monks' orders are
reported to the SLORC army and he/she is punished by the army. The monks
give judgment on all cases. For those who become Buddhist, they are free
from any persecution such as forced labour, portering, extortion of money, etc.
Whenever and wherever a monk visits, he is accompanied by the army and
they arrange a porter to carry the monk's particulars.
The villagers were forced to build a Buddhist monastery and temple. But
they refused, insisting "we are Christians." Even though the army threatened
action against them, they didn't build it yet. Now the monks and army are
holding a meeting to discuss this. Nobody knows what will happen.
One pastor gave a sermon with reference to certain passages in the Bible.
While he was giving the sermon, the monk entered the church and made him
stop the sermon and scolded him saying, "You can't give a sermon with
reference to the above verses of the Bible. If you continue, you will be
imprisoned." Furthermore, the monks prohibited pastoral visits to families and
prayers for them at every village where monks are living.
2. CHRO Interview with a Chin farmer in his 40s (name with held for security)
from Matupi Township, in December 1996
[This man had often been elected as a community leader and worked in
the Chin National League for Democracy party in 1990.]
I was invited to attend social welfare training by the [SLORC] authority from
Matupi on 27/2/95. When I arrived at the place, the authority told us that
to attend Buddhist hill tract missionary training run by a Buddhist monk named
U Razinn at Mindat. As we are Christian, we said we didn't want to go. But
the monk persuaded us saying, 'it is no problem if you are Christian, it is
religious training.' So 5 other persons and I took part in the 10 day training.
In the training, we were taught the 17 facts of how to attack and disfigure
Christians. The facts were to be spread to the Chin Christian community
(see the attached document). And we should not get involved in national
politics. We were promised that 1200 kyats per month would be provided
to those families who became Buddhist and 800 kyats per month for those
individuals who became Buddhist. Furthermore, we would not only be
provided with rice and other materials, but we would also be free from
portering, forced labour, and extortion of money. And our children would be
provided with their education by the government.
I became a Buddhist because of such privileges rather than because I think
Buddhism is better than Christianity. And then I was called by Captain xxx,
from Pakuku, and I was trained for 10 days. At the training, the captain
taught me to report the activities of the Chin National Front and to create
misunderstanding among Christian denominations. He told that now,
Buddhism is supported by the government. The monk who lives in Matupi is a
captain of Military Intelligence and the monks who live in Zakam, Rezua,
Leisen, Vangkai, and Tingsi villages are sergeants in Military Intelligence.
encouraged me not to be afraid and said that whenever I needed assistance I
could ask them and would be helped.
After I had become a Buddhist, all the problems we faced in the kitchen
disappeared. However, when I asked for assistance for my son who was
studying in a theological college in Rangoon, they rejected my request and
told me not to let him continue his studies. I threatened that if you don't
provide from my son, I will quit being a Buddhist. It is in vain, so I
them that I had left Buddhism. They told me that if I wanted to join again, I
could do so at any time and would be provided with more than before.
For those who became a Buddhist together with me, they are provided with
whatever they need and get many privileges from the government and now they
are very happy. Now they became like real Buddhists. However, for
Christians, the government doesn't allow them to ask for any assistance from
foreign countries. As we are very poor and have suffered under forced labour,
portering, and the extortion of money, some people are interested in becoming
3. Translation of "The facts to attack Christians"
Missionaries, Honorable Monks, Cleansing Organization
The facts to attack Christians
01. To attack Christian families and the progress of Christians
02. To criticize against the sermons which are broadcast from Manila,
03. To criticize God as narrow-minded and egotistical who himself claimed
that "There is no god except eternal God"
04. To be against corrupted youth and inappropriate fashion
05. To criticize the preaching of Christians wherever it has penetrated.
06. To criticize Christianity by means of pointing out its delicacy and weakness
07. To stop the spread of the Christian movement in rural areas
08. To criticize by means of pointing out "it is not salvation but purchased by
09. To counterattack by means of pointing out Christianity's weakness and
overcome this with Buddhism.
10. To counter the Bible after thorough study.
11. To criticize that "God loves only Israel but not all the races."
12. To point out ambiguity between the two testaments.
13. To criticize on the point that Christianity is partisan.
14. To criticize Christianity's concept of the Creator and compare it with the
15. To study and access the amount given in offerings.
16. To criticize the holy spirit after thorough study.
17. To attack Christians by means of both non-violence and violence.
Recopy, Myo Chit, Wah Mah Tah, 2639 True Copy (Sa Win)
"Changing Tactics" Burma Issues, February 1997
by N. Chan
The Chin National Front (CNF) is one of the smaller groups struggling for self-
determination in Burma. They operate in the area where Burma borders with
Bangladesh and India. Isolated from the international community, their
struggle has never been documented as thoroughly as has the struggle of those
groups operating along the Thai/Burma border. For many years the Burmese
military did not even mention the Chin when identifying groups with which
cease fire discussions had yet to be carried out. Recently, however, the
military has begun to talk more about the need to dialogue with the CNF and its
armed branch, the Chin National Army (CNA). There have also been
increasing reports of Burmese military movements into the Chin area
suggesting that major military campaigns may soon be launched against the
people of the Chin State.
In the past, the CNA carried out mostly guerrilla strikes against Burmese
military columns and outposts. The military's response to these guerrilla
was consistent with their tactic in all other regions of Burma; they took
retaliatory action against Burmese military columns and outposts. The CNA
took the request seriously and began looking for other options to continue
CNF discussions resulted in the formation of a new group called the Urban
Ranger Force, or URF. The URF was to operate in the major urban centers of
Chin State rather than in the rural areas. The logic for this strategy was
First of all, it is more difficult for the military to retaliate against urban
populations than it is for the to retaliate against villagers in isolated,
unwitnessed terror raids. The villagers would, consequently, be safer.
if no guerrilla actions were taken against the rank and file would feel less
inclined to carry out orders from their officers against the people.
It is generally assumed that the rank and file of the Burmese army do not
highly respect their officers who are often harsh and uncompromising with the
men under their control. Young soldiers are usually from poor families and
have very little education. They join the army, not for ideological reasons,
for financial reasons.
The CNA decided that they should not consider these young soldiers as the
enemy, but rather as victims of war. Therefore, no guerrilla actions should be
aimed against them. The result could be a growing gap between the Burmese
military officers and the men under their control. This would weaken the
military substantially, thus strengthening the Chin people's struggle for self
In a recent interview, a CNF representative said that the URF strategy has
already had positive results. "The URF is strictly controlled by regulations
down by the CNA headquarters" he said. "They are not allowed to gather any
taxes from the villagers, or take any food or supplies from the people
is freely offered to them. They are also not allowed to carry out any action
without a direct order from the Chief of Staff of the CNA." This has gained the
respect and acceptance of villagers who feel like the CNF took their concerns
and their suggestions seriously and is really concerned about their safety and
The CNF representative also stressed that after the URF stopped carrying out
guerrilla actions in the rural areas, retaliation raids by the military has
decreased substantially. Burmese soldiers stationed in the rural outposts feel
less threatened, and have begun treating villagers much more respectfully.
While it is too early to ascertain whether or not the URF has been
driving a decisive wedge between the officers and the rank and file of the
Burmese military, villagers report that young Burmese soldiers who pass
through their villages now often voice support for the URF.
For many decades the Burmese military leaders have successfully held on to
power by using an army made up mostly of poor rural men to fight against the
uprisings of the poor rural communities. The approach of the URF may well
break that strategy by highlighting the fact that the rank and file of the
Burmese army are not the enemy to fight against, but rather they too are
victims. When they no longer submit to military orders, the military will lose
its power over the country and democratic change will become more possible.
News and information unit: All Burma Students Democratic Front (Western
Indo-Burma border news Date 24th Feb 1997.
On 1st Feb 1997 Township Law and Order Restoration Council chairman of
Leshi township, Saggaing division, Naga hill tract U Mya Han sent a letter to
the command of (222) Burma Regiment mobile column Maj. Aung Swe Oo to
call civilian porters for carrying ration for (1000) soldiers. Therefore Maj.
Aung Swe Oo ordered the villagers from the following villages to come to
Leshi town without failure.
Name of the village Number of porters
2. Kuki village 125
3. Phontharet village 85
4. Pansat village 115
5. Ngachan village 100
6. Kokailong village 108
These porters have to carry ration from Leshi to the places where the soldiers
are deployed inside Leshi township. But there is no car road between Leshi and
Summra and on foot it takes two days journey. The villages were informed that
they would not get any wages and for food they have to arrange by themselves
from their homes. Villagers are busy at hill-side cultivation at the moment and
due to that the village chiefs requested to the army to reduce the number of
porters. But Maj. Aung Swe Oo replied that if the villagers can not fulfill the
number of porters that they had been asked, the villagers have to supply the
ration for (1000) soldiers. Thus they had to send their full quota of
the said place. Due to this forced porterage the villagers from respective
villages had to leave Summer season hill-side cultivation.
All Burma Students Democratic Front February 8, 1997
REPORT: FORCED LABOR CONTINUES TO REIGN IN CHIN STATE
Since after taking over power in the bloody military coup in 1988 in Burma,
SLORC has been carrying out its infamous "national development programs"
which primarily include repairing bridges, building roads throughout the
country. The programs are basically aimed at beautification of the out-look
of the deteriorating conditions of the country. Through this cosmetic changes,
SLORC expects attractions of tourists coming to Burma. However, the
programme is being implemented at the cost of local inhabitants. The roads are
being built and the bridges are being repaired with forced laborers. The
materials required for the constructions were also forcibly collected from the
people of projected sites. In addition, people are fined for being unable to
contribute the labor. A person per household is ordered compulsory for unpaid
labor. Ironically this became official rule in Burma under the SLORC regime.
On 28 December 1996, U Khin Latt, President of Tun Zan township in Chin
State of SLORC came under the order of Phalam-based SLORC regiment 268
and Tetain-based regiment 269, the order being to build 100 miles long road
connecting Kale Town and Phalam Town. He then passed the order to the
villages viz, Hai Tuu, Tui Ton, Tan Twon, Phon Tong and Phai Tun which
happened to exist along the projected road to send a person per household for
The people who are living in all the colonies of Tun Zan township are also
included in providing free-Labor for the same. Most of them are local ethnic
Chin nationalities. Under the dead-cold weather severed by freezing wind at
the mountainous site, unexperienced road builders are forced to carry rocks
and dig the ground. Besides, they have to work at their own expenses. Some
of them even do not have rice to eat. Therefore they survive with boiled maize
and work at the road construction site. The rocks are being collected from
hours away Manipur Streams. Each household is ordered to dig six ditches of
10x10x1 foot big ditch. The construction is still going on till date. The
completion of the project is scheduled in April. Therefore, people of that area
are not even allowed to go for harvesting their field. A group of 300 people
with 6 group works for the construction in rotation. Students in spite of being
young under 16 years old, three female and two male teachers of No.8, No.9
and No. 10 of Tun Zan Township State High School are also ordered to provide
free Labor for the construction. The question remains unanswered in regard to
whom the road will benefit to. According to the local inhabitants of the
projected regions, the road surely will benefit the army for the better
communication which will help in hunting down the dissidents who are
operating in the area.
Information Unit All Burma Students League
Excerpts from an overseas Chin's letter of advice to the Chin National Front
January 15, 1997
"The Burmese Army knows that your movement is too weak to challenge their
authority. They use your movement to justify their brutality towards the Chin.
They sent out a large contingent of Burmese soldiers, the relation to your
strength of 1:1,000, that means they sent out 1,000 soldiers to fight one CNF
soldier. They are not interested in fighting you. Their object is purely to
the Chin society. They are there to bring fear to the Chin people... Now that
they control the Chin, they will grow opium. They will make opium available at
a cheap price so that the Chin youth will be addicted to it. In a few years
some section of the Chin society will be corrupted like the Burmese society."
"The Burmese Army is in the Chin Hills to divide the Chin people into
opposing sections. It will be easy for the Burman to do this because the Chin
does not have a common language and they have been suspicious of each other.
The only factor that holds the Chin together is that they know from the bottom
of their hearts that they are one people. These bonds could easily be broken
with the help of the Chin themselves. One denominator is the Chin National
"The forceful takeover of the power from the former president No Than Kap
had divided the CNF into two opposing factions, the Haka/Thantlang group
against the Falam group. Since the CNF split it became very difficult to unite
the Hakha and Falam people. Because of the same reason there is a noticeable
division between the Mizo community and the Chin community in Mizoram.
Some people were working for it. The death of Lalsanga, who was detained by
the CNF unnecessarily for six months which had caused his death. Small
events at the hands of undisciplined CNF soldiers had created more and more
suspicion and animosity between the Mizo and Chin."
"The killing of the YMA [Young Mizo Association] president of Khuangleng
by three CNF undisciplined soldiers had tested the tolerance of the Mizo. It
be up to the leadership of the CNF whether this kind of stupid action be
continued or stop. At present time the reports coming to me from the border
areas indicate that there would soon be real disturbances between the
Haka/Thanthlang and the Paite (Tedim)."
"...I am told that the SLORC is encouraging the people to fight the CNF and
the SLORC would supply arms. The Tedim people is of the opinion that the
CNF is a Haka/Thanthlang set up, and if the situation continues the Tedim
might declare war on the Haka/Thanthlang. I was told that those who call
themselves Zomi should separate from those who call themselves Chin."
"...If the CNF wants to work for the people they must have discipline. Without
discipline the people will turn against you. I have written to you about the
Khuangleng incident. A revolution has to work for the people, that means it
should treat its people most respectfully, and gently. The worst would be to
fight your own people."
"...You are fighting the Burmese Army because they have no discipline and
they abuse their power. Do not follow their examples."
"...It is most important to know who your enemies are. Definitely the Chin are
not your enemies. If you abuse your power because you have arms then they
will turn against you and become your enemy."
"...The taxes you collected are too difficult for many people...You have to
guidelines and principles..."
Notes from a Chin information source (India), December 13, 1996:
Narcotics: "According to the letter of my friend which I received this morning
from Aizawl, Mizoram that some opium fields are found in the Ton Zang area
and Falam, Haka township of Chin State. According to local people, these
opium fields are made by the local people with the permission of the authority
in Chin State."
Human rights: "Human rights violation in Chin State is getting worse
nowadays. Since the SLORC army are increasing in Chin State, the violation of
human rights are also increasing. Forced labour for road construction and
projects of Hydro Electric, Buildings etc. which is called Border area
development program led by SLORC, is daily routine for the people of
elsewhere in Chin State. Portering is also very much effected to the people of
bordering area where CNF are operating. No time is left to work for their
survivals. Forced conversion into Buddhism is reported from Northern Chin
State. Many of crosses built by Christians were [demolished] by the SLORC
army. Even the Christians are forced to work in the construction of Buddhist
pagodas. The SLORC authorities took advantage of poverty of the people and
they ask the parents to [send] their children in Rangoon for their education.
However, the children were sent to monastery instead of sending to the schools.
Forced relocation is seen in elsewhere. Soldiers are allowed to rent in the
giving many excuses that camps are being constructed. Rape cases are also
reported where SLORC soldiers are being camped."
"M.P.s [Members of Parliament elected in 1991 but not allowed to take office]
are confined. According to Dr. Rodinga, son of Mr. Do Thawng who is being
jailed in Mandalay jail because of his attendance in National League for
Democracy conference held in July (1996), a lot of restriction have been made
for the M.P.s. Out of 13 M.P.s from Chin State, 4 had fled for abroad and one
is in jail. The rest of the M.P.s are in Chin State under the strict law.
National Front is getting stronger and the SLORC are trying to control the
entire Chin State. Curfew is being exercised in Chin State and nobody is
allowed to travel without Identity card issued by SLORC in 1990. There is no
Chin students movement in Chin State. No party or organization in Chin State
have any movement in the region except CNF. Even Churches organizations
are facing many restriction when the curfew is being remained. Christmas
celebrations will also be restricted."
Environment: "Since the electricity is not available, people have to use wood
for cooking and firewood. Even in the town people are facing big problems for
this. Now the cost of wood is 5,000 per ton. So people have to cut trees for
for firewood. There are many orchid in Chin State. Now, orchid is very
expensive and become good to make money for the people of Chin. Therefore,
people are rushing for getting orchid and they even cut big trees just to get a
single orchid flower. As far as I know, a lot of trees where orchids can be
have been cut elsewhere. Chins are totally depend on shift cultivation and they
have to clear all the jungle and make fields in order to cultivate for their
survival since the place is very backward and no development at all. Therefore
if this cultivation continues we have to suffer in near future."
Economy: "Since the cost of animals are good in Mizoram state [India], animal
merchants are rushing for getting animals from the villagers in Chin State.
Now, goat and cow, buffaloes and about to finish. When the people of Chin are
very poor, they have to sale their cattle for getting money. I heard that
Than Tlang township youths are trying to go for abroad particular in Malaysia
to work illegally. In order to go to Malaysia, at least 130,000 kyats is
to get passport and air-ticket and the fee of broker in Rangoon. Therefore they
sold all their belongings to get that amount. About two to three thousands of
Chin youths are working in Malaysia. The reasons why these youth have made
high risk are that since the villagers accused them that strong supporter of
CNF. They have to carry as army porters all the times and sometime they were
"The economic situation is very bad now. These are the approximate cost of
consumer goods in Chin State. Rice (30 kilograms bag) is Kyats 1,500.
Cooking oil, 1 kilogram is 300 Kyats. The salary of primary school teacher is
800 per month. How can a family survive with this amount? Bus services are
still not available but only private car service. The cost of petrol is 150
per litre in black market. So, transportation fare is also automatically
people could not afford it for their travel. Taxes are illegally taken by
authorities such as immigration, police, tax office and army, etc. The Student
Festival is going to be held in Haka by next year and the authorities are
donation Kyats 5,000 per family of landlord and 300 Kyats per family of
renters, by force. All the nearest villages of Haka township are [forced] to
in the construction of Student Festival."
Military situation: "Now they [SLORC troops] are a big number. About 10
battalions have been set up. They can create enough problems for the Chin.
There was no report of battle or fighting but bomb blast in the town were made
by CNF. No casualties are reported. There were 11 defectors to CNF recently
and five of them have been recognized by UNHCR as refugees of concern.
Unfortunately, all of them have been arrested and handed them over to SLORC
by Indian intelligence. One of the UNDP [United Nations Development
Program] officer, namely Ming Hnin, belonging to Chin tribe, was shot to
death by SLORC army but they denied it. his wife was forced to claim that the
killers are CNF. But she rejected it since she did not believe that the
CNF. The incident took place in just near Haka in the summer."
Refugees: "Refugees are sneaking into India for their safety. Unfortunately,
local Mizoram government is not willing to give them shelter in Mizoram. The
Chin Refugee Committee (CRC) is trying to establish the refugee camp in
Mizoram State since the UNHCR and the government of India is not willing to
treat their case in Delhi. Many of the Chin refugees have applied for UNHCR
status in Delhi but their request is not yet approved. Some of them have been
waiting for their result for almost two years. Their policy on the Chin
is still unchanged. Now the CRC is approaching the government of Mizoram
and local Churches organizations in Mizoram for establishing the refugee
camps. There were many mass detentions of Chin refugees in Mizoram state in
this year. Early this year, when former CNF president [John K. Thang] was
shot, there was mass detention and many of the refugees who are considered to
be a supporter of CNF were tortured inhumanly, even women were not spared.
Again, in July and August (1996), mass detentions took place in the whole
Excerpts from a letter from a Chin in exile, November 20, 1996:
"We are very afraid that there will soon be starvation in the [Chin] State as
people there are restricted in their movement in time as well as in
able to work in time in their farm work as there is no security under the
military rule who kill civilians at random in addition to the forced labour and
conscription of the civilians as porters by the Burmese armed forces, giving
them no time to work for their living..."
"What we are informed constantly is the Burmese military in their attempt to
wipe out the existence of the Chin nationality and other minority nationalities
are encouraging any Burman soldiers to marry these ethnic women by all
means. Any Burman soldiers who get married with an ethnic minority woman
are to be promoted to the higher rank which means encouraging the soldiers to
rape and to kill the ethnic women to [force them] to accept them."
"...80 to 90 percent of the Chin population in the Chin State are all
of different denominations. The SLORC force the Christians to become
Buddhist by force and built so many pagodas everywhere with the money
collected by force for the purpose from the Chin Christians. Any person who
has the least complaint about it are arrested and tortured and put in jail
any proper trial. Christians are forced to receive and entertain Burmese monks
against their will. Christians are not given freedom to convene their religious
conferences and they are ordered to pull down their Christian signboards in
many places. On Buddhist festivals, prizes up to thousands in cash are
announced to be given to the Christians who would convert to Buddhism.
Those Christians who convert to Buddhism are given special privilege to be
appointed I the government posts and in appointing councils of local
authorities. They create enmity tactics in creating divisions among the Karens
Buddhist and Karen Christians. This surely is waging war against Christians by
the SLORC which is very difficult for Christians to tolerate."
Chin Women's Organisation: "Request for Chin School in India"
Chin Displaced Women's Primary School has been opened in Aizawl, Mizoram
state, India on 19th October 1996.
More than twenty thousand Chin families have been staying in this north
eastern state of India since the Burmese Army's take over in 1988. Most of the
children of these families have been growing without proper schooling since
At the moment, the school is more like a grammar school. Volunteer teachers
have been teaching Burmese and Chin so that the children can read and write
first. (Though we want to teach them English too, we cannot afford to hire an
English teacher yet.) As we cannot afford to rent a room, we have been using a
small flat of a Chin refugee as our class room. The students sit on the
write on their laps. Due to limited resources, we can take only 37 students (29
children and eight adults) this year. If you can help us, we would like to take
Our aims and objectives are:
1) To give education to the Chin displaced people so that they develop
Burma in the future.
2) To teach the displaced people Chin, Burmese and English languages.
3) To promote and preserve our language and literature.
A Chin refugee said that it was too hard to survive in this foreign land when
she could not read signboards written in English and when she could not read,
write or speak even "one-two-three" in English.
We would like to request everyone to provide us with assistance for this
primary school so that we can run it better and continuously.
Contact address: Mrs Zatawni, C/O Dr. Za Hlei Thang, Down Queen Colour
Photo, Zion Street, Aizawl, Mizoram 796001 India.
"No Peace in Chinland" June 24, 1996
Chin National Front, Information Service
1. Hospitalization Mr. Kawngluaii: When Mr. Kawngluaii, the middle school
headmaster of Pidawta block, Ha Ka (the capital city of Chin state) is
back after worship service the two soldiers of No.226 BN [battalion] had seized
and tortured him without any interrogation on 19th May '96 at 09:00 P.M.
Later, the soldiers had taken him to the battalion. The soldiers allege him
points (1): He was involved on the three bombs explosion at Ha Ka in January
1st week. (2): He has give and take with CNF. Therefore, he was tortured
seriously. He is in hospital now.
2. Preparing the Whole Burma Students Festival: The 7th anniversary of the
Whole Burma Students Festival will be held in December 1997 at HaKa. As for
that the SLORC has collected Ks 5,000/- to the landlords and who staying by
rents are collected Ks 2,000/- by ordered in HaKa. The same time the people
were forced to extend the football ground and roads. Some landlords are drove
out those who are include their's house without any assistance, buildup army
camps and other gruff works. The local people are suffering a lot and no time
for their's own works. Therefore, some familys fled to India.
3. Mr. Dothawanga (MP) arrested: Mr. Dothawanga (MP) No.2 Kale township
was arrested by soldiers with full arms of No.89 BN on 21st May at night. He
has been detained till today and no one can meet him. The SLORC had tried to
seize Dr. Rodinga son of Dothawnga (MP) and Mr. Zakunga who are activities
opposition the SLORC, fled to India.
4. Held condemnation ceremony of Aung San Suu Kyi and Democracy: A
7,000 over people in Kale township the SLORC called by ordered to the
condemnation ceremony of Aung San Suu Kyi and Democracy held on 5-6-
1996. The SLORC propagates it in local TV and shows it video to the villages.
Likewise, 3,000 over people in Haka held on 5-6-96. It will be held in other
townships in June.
5. Again, 5 SLORC's soldiers joined CNF: The repentant 5 soldiers with full
arms joined CNF on 8-6-96. Therefore, the border soldiers press more upon the
local people and business men.
6. The local army commander strongly ordered in Haka and Thlan Tlang
township who so ever must be taken identity card where ever they go. In case of
without card is will fine Ks 1,000/-.
7. When Rev. Biakkam, 65 years old Thlan Tlang Baptist pastor is coming
back after religious meeting the two soldiers asked him, "What he did and
where from?" Although, Rev. Biak Kam explained his points, the soldiers
tortured him seriously on 9-6-96 at )9:30 P.M. Now he is in hospital.
8. Different kinds of the refugees who are from Burma because of bad situation
ruling of SLORC. Illegally, staying in India especially in Mizoram. Almost
servants in Mizoram are from Burma. Some ladies are faced the problem of
rape/pregnant and some gents are faced no get salary properly from their
masters. The school teachers who are serving were tried to drive out,
their name list. When having case of robbery, murder, drug-smuggler, etc. etc.,
the local people allege, who were fro Burma. The local authorities (CID and
police) disturb/arrest as foreigner case and other cases oftenly. By the time
some are staying safely. A 300 over Burmese refugees are in Delhi, some are
trying to get the recognition of UNHCR.
9. Mr. Van Hmung (B.Sc. - Rgn.), a headmaster of Parva village high school,
was arrested by India authorities in April 1st week. He is in Saiha Jail now.
Likewise, Mr. Sa Bah is at Champhai jail (India). Mr. Hre Tling, Mr. Tuli and
their friends are in central jail of Aizawl (India). Sa Buh was arrested in
Others were arrested in May also.
10. The SLORC extending army's new camp at Len-Tlang -- Tiddim township
nowadays. Who so ever (local people - or - business men) cross there must do
some works for one hour, the SLORC ordered by force.