CAM Monthly News Update August 2022

The Situation of IDPs in Myanmar/Burma and Refugees in Neighboring Countries

The latest UN figures as of August 25, 2022 estimate that since the military coup of February 2021, 974,000 people have been displaced inside the country and 64,000 have fled to neighboring countries. Factoring in displacement that existed prior to the military coup, there is now a total of 1.3 million internally displaced and, as of December 31, 2021, 1,055,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Myanmar/Burma in neighboring countries.

According to UNHCRa total of 45,600 people are currently displaced within Chin State. It is also estimated that 42,100 people, mostly Chin, are refugees in India. The rise in displacement is attributed to ongoing clashes between the Tatmadaw and local People’s Defence Force militias (Including the Chinland Defence Force). Tensions are also rising in Southern Chin State, which has seen clashes between the Tatmadaw and Arakan Army.

The research group Data for Myanmar estimates that junta forces have burned down 28,434 homes since the military coup last year in 645 different locations. The arson campaigns have predominantly targeted Sagaing and Magway Regions as well as Chin State.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on August 14. Although Bachelet stressed that conditions in Myanmar prevented safe return for the Rohingya, Bangladesh has called for repatriation and requested the Chinese government’s assistance in the matter.

Despite a statement promising housing for Rohingya refugees from Indian Cabinet Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the Indian government has clarified that it plans to hold Rohingya refugees in detention centers until they can be deported. Human Rights Watch estimates that 40,000 Rohingya refugees remain in India, of whom half have registered with the UN.

Displacement trends of IDPs (green) and internationally displaced (red) from Myanmar/Burma since the military coup of February 2021 as of August 8, 2022.
Source: UNHCR Myanmar Emergency Overview Map 8 August 2022

Map indicating scale of displacement in Chin State, Myanmar after the February 1, 2021 military coup as well as protracted displacement prior to the coup.

Source: UNHCR Myanmar Emergency Overview Map and Statistics 8 August 2022

Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Myanmar/Burma

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) provides a daily report in regards to the coup. As of August 31, 2022, AAPP indicated there have been 2,259 people killed and 15,294 people arrested by the military. The military continues to hold 12,193 people of Myanmar/Burma in detention.

At the beginning of August, the military junta announced an extension of emergency rule until 2023, when it claims it will hold national elections. The junta’s previous extension of emergency rule last year was used to declare Min Aung Hlaing the country’s Prime Minister.

On August 2, human rights group Amnesty International released a report documenting the military junta’s routine use of torture and degrading treatment towards people who have been detained since the coup. Amnesty also detailed the widespread practices of arbitrary detention and forced disappearances, calling for the release of all those unjustly detained.

The UN’s Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) released its annual report on August 9, finding evidence of systematic crimes against humanity perpetrated by the military, including sexual and gender-based violence against women and crimes against children such as torture, conscription, and arbitrary detention.


The United Nations, the United States, and the International Community on Myanmar/Burma

At an August 5th meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers, the regional grouping condemned the Burmese military’s lack of progress in implementing the Five-Point Consensus, which calls for dialogue between the military and its opponents. The ASEAN foreign ministers also agreed to ban the junta’s generals from future ASEAN meetings until progress is made.

On August 15, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, traveled to Myanmar for the first time. She spoke with junta leader Min Aung Hlaing about de-escalation of the conflict as well as unrestricted distribution of humanitarian aid.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres marked the 5th Anniversary of the Rohingya expulsion on August 25th with a statement calling for “full and effective participation of the Rohingya people…” in a political solution for Myanmar. The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, used the occasion to call for the international community to ensure accountability for the military.

The anniversary was also commemorated by the National Unity Government, which made a statement committing to safe conditions for Rohingya repatriation, accountability through the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court, and establishing equality in the country’s legal system.

Also on August 25th, the United Kingdom announced a set of new sanctions on Burmese military-linked companies as well as support for The Gambia’s genocide case against the military in the International Court of Justice.

In the aftermath of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing’s July visit to Russia, the Tatmadaw has announced that it will begin importing Russian oil. Although the junta currently imports oil via Singapore, fuel prices have risen 350% since the coup.

Japanese ruling party legislator Hiromichi Watanabe paid a visit to Ming Aung Hlaing in early August, marking the first meeting between a Japanese lawmaker and the junta leader since the military coup. The two discussed the release of detained Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota.

CAM’s Advocacy Activities

This month, the Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. opened a new Washington, D.C. office in order to support its U.S. Government advocacy efforts. The building address is 1628 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009.

On August 5, CAM hosted a talk-show with National Unity Government Spokesperson Dr. Sasa, who made remarks about the ongoing Rohingya genocide case at the International Court of Justice. The show also addressed the Baptist World Alliance’s resolution on Burma and featured the dedication of CAM’s new DC Office by Rev. Dr. Stephen Hre Kio, a CAM Advisor. On Facebook, the show has gained over 375,000 views.

CAM has drafted a set of recommendations for the U.S. Government’s State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bill for Fiscal Year 2023. The five recommendations are:

  1. Explicit commitment of new funding for FY 2023 that will number no less than the FY 2022 amount of $136,127,000 for Burma.
  2. Language that specifies the pursuit of religious freedom as an intended use of funding.
  3. Inclusion of Burma’s ethnic states and Magway and Sagaing Regions as areas of deep humanitarian concern with a high number of internally displaced persons and great humanitarian need.
  4. Explicit support for cross-border assistance to Burma via India as well as Thailand.
  5. Listing of the National Unity Consultative Council, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, and the Civil Disobedience Movement as being among the groups eligible for U.S. funding for building democracy.

These recommendations have been sent to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House SFOPS Subcommittees.

On August 26, CAM hosted a talk-show to discuss its current activities, including preparations for Chin New Year celebrations, advocacy related to the ICJ and International Criminal Court, and advocacy related to IDPs and refugees.

On August 30, Voice of America’s Burmese-language news service published an interview with CAM Executive Director Zo Tum Hmung to discuss CAM’s advocacy related to the SFOPS Bill and humanitarian assistance for Burma. The interview has gained over 100,000 views on Facebook.

This month, Zo Tum Hmung traveled to Indianapolis, IN and Detroit, MI to deliver briefings on CAM’s mission, its current advocacy activities, and its most recent report.

Finally, CAM met with State Department officials to discuss the situation of IDPs and refugees in Burma.

Join CAM in our Advocacy Activities!


CAM is investigating and documenting the situation of the Chin ethnic and religious minority in Myanmar/Burma and the Burmese military’s atrocities against them. Based on its latest report, CAM advocates the U.S. government to engage in the following: 

1. To provide humanitarian assistance to Chin State, Sagaing Region, and other conflict-affected areas in the form of cross-border aid via Mizoram, India and other neighboring countries.

2. To organize a Congressional fact-finding delegation to the Indo-Burma and Thai-Burma border areas to investigate and document the situation of Chin and other internally-displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.

3. To put robust pressure on the Burmese military to cease the persecution of the Chin people in Chin State and Sagaing region, in particular the burning of churches and residences and the killing of pastors.

4. To investigate and document the Burmese military’s atrocities against the Chin people, which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, as a necessary step to ensure accountability for the military, the State Administrative Council, and any affiliated entities.
Join CAM’s efforts in advocacy by writing a letter to your congressman/woman and ask them to write a letter to Secretary Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power urging the following: 

1. To put pressure on the Burmese military a) to allow the UN agencies including UNHCR to go to Chin State to deliver humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons in Chin State, Burma, especially in Thantlang townships. We learned that UNHCR has sought a travel authorization from the military to travel to Chin State, but the military has not granted it.
b) to permit the UN agencies to establish offices in Chin State immediately, especially UNHCR in Hakha, the capital of Chin State.
c) to halt the inhuman acts and also hold accountable the military  who committed crimes.

2. To engage India to allow UNHCR in New Delhi to register over 20,000 newly arrived Chin refugees in Mizoram State, India and also to deliver aid to both the refugees and the local communities that are welcoming them.

The Burma Act of 2021

CAM continues its advocacy in support for the Burma Act of 2021 and suggested various amendments including the principal of federalism as an amendment to the bill. To learn more about CAM’s advocacy related to this bill, please click here. The Burma Act was introduced in the Senate (S.2937) and the House (H.R.5497) on October 5, 2021. The Burma Act passed the House on April 6 and is pending in the Senate.

Burma Act of 2021
(as of June 30, 2022)
The Burma Act of 2021 Sponsors Democrat
Senate (S.2937)
Pending in the Senate
Senator Ben Cardin 26 0 1 27
House (H.R.5497)
Passed the house on April 6, 2022
Rep. Gregory Meeks passed the House
18 0 84

Join CAM’s efforts in advocacy by writing a letter to your Senators asking them to sponsor the Burma Act of 2021 as amended: 

Please support the BURMA Act of 2021 by becoming a co-sponsor to the bill. This would help restore the democratically elected government of Burma. It would establish an inclusive political dialogue in Burma, which would be a step toward establishing a federal democratic union.

Please also consider CAM’s amendments to make the Burma Act of 2021 more relevant to the current situation on the ground in Burma (Suggestions from the Chin Association of Maryland, Inc.).

To learn more ways to advocate with CAM, click here.

In 2020 and 2021, CAM produced three reports: After the 2021 Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Challenges for Internally Displaced Persons and RefugeesUnsafe: Chins Seeking Refuge in Malaysia; and New Delhi, India; and Unprotected: Chin IDPs in IDPs in Chin and Rakhine States, Myanmar/Burma. CAM continues to advocate that the crimes against the Chin people in Myanmar/Burma are crimes against humanity and should be brought to the IJC and the ICC.

CAM’s newest report, Seventeen Months After the Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Escalating Persecution of Chin Christians in Chin State and Sagaing Region, was released June 2022 and documents the Burmese military’s atrocities against the Chin people, including the burning of churches and killing of pastors.

Join the Burma Advocacy Group (BAG) convened by the American Baptist Churches Commission on Burma Refugees by participating in their signature campaign launched on March 1, 2022. The Burma Advocacy Group (BAG) is a group of leaders from associations, churches, community groups and acting with one voice to advocate for the passage of the Burma Act of 2021. The Goal of the Campaign is to gather and submit as many signatures as possible to our U.S. Senators and Representatives to request them to pass the (revised) Burma Bill that is under consideration. The Burma Advocacy Group believes the Burma Act of 2021 is our greatest opportunity to achieve 1) an end to the human tragedy and crimes against humanity in Burma; 2) an end the brutal military dictatorship in Burma; and 3) an opportunity to achieve a federal democracy in Burma for which the people of Burma have been giving their lives.There are a few different ways you can join the signature campaign:

  1. Point your phone camera at the QR code below which will take you to the web site to sign up and submit the petition.
  2. Go to and follow the instructions to sign up and submit the petition.
  3. Facebook:  Burma Advocacy Group.  Use the QR code to sign up and submit the petition.
About CAM
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Ellicott City, Maryland.  CAM empowers the Chin communities in Maryland to be successfully integrated into American society. CAM also advocates for durable solutions for Chin and other refugees and internally displaced persons, and religious freedom and human rights in Burma.Chins, virtually all of whom are Christians, are an ethnic nationality from Burma. They became Christians primarily due to the missionary efforts of the American Baptist Churches USA. They are a major recent U.S. refugee group that fled from Burma to neighboring countries to escape ethnic, political and religious persecution by the Burmese military since 1962. In 2001, about 1000 Chin asylees came to the U.S through Guam, resettling largely in Maryland, Indiana, Florida, and Texas. Since 2002, the U.S. has resettled many more Chin refugees coming through Malaysia and India. Chins now number 70,000 across the United States, with about 5,000 making Maryland their home.