CAM Monthly News Update – July 2023

CAM Monthly News Update
July 2023

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

The latest OCHA figures as of July 31, 2023 estimate that since the military coup of February 2021, 1.5 million people have been displaced inside the country and UNHCR estimates 94,000 have fled to neighboring countries. Factoring in displacement that existed prior to the military coup, there is now a total of 1.86 million internally displaced and 1.1 million refugees and asylum seekers from Burma in neighboring countries.

According to UNHCR, 44,700 people are currently displaced within Chin State since the coup. It is also estimated that 54,400 people, mainly from Chin State, are refugees in India. In Chin State and neighboring Sagaing and Magway Regions, there are a total of 1.0 million internally displaced persons.

The UN’s OCHA Myanmar Humanitarian Update reports that humanitarian organizations were able to resume their regular programs in Rakhine but that cyclone assistance is still blocked by the SAC. In the same period, there have been more restrictions set on humanitarian assistance throughout the rest of the country, particularly in the Southeast and in Kachin State.

Displacement trends of IDPs (green) and internationally displaced (red) from Myanmar/Burma since the military coup of February 2021 as of July 10, 2023.
Source: Myanmar emergency: Displacement overview July 10, 2023
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. 

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 July 31, 2023, AAPP indicated there have been 3,857 people killed and 24,123 people arrested by the military. The military continues to hold 19,733 people of Burma in detention. 


On July 16, 2023, the Burmese military attacked four Chin Christian religious leaders working at an IDP camp at the Presbyterian Church in Mindat, Chin State. Pastor Htang Kay On was beaten unconscious and left for dead. Three deacons, Chai Kay, Hon Chway, and Hon Kay, were arrested and detained by the military. The military denies the incident occurred and the deacons’ whereabouts are unknown.


ND-Burma published a weekly report on human rights violations in Myanmar on July 24, 2023. The report states that the SAC launched a multitude of airstrikes and dropped bombs in Sagaing Region, Chin State, and Kayin State from 15th to 21st July. 12 people, including two children, were killed in the attacks. 


A Human Rights Watch article published on July 17, 2023, highlights how the Myanmar military has been killing, depriving the rights, and blocking help for the Rohingyas for the past decades. Even now, the SAC has restricted humanitarian aid meant for Rohingyas suffering from both ongoing conflict and a natural disaster (Cyclone Mocha). 

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

Susan Stevenson, the new head of the US Embassy in Myanmar, reaffirmed the United State’s ongoing efforts and support for the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of peace and a democratic government in her July 17 introduction video. 

The U.S. State Department announced that the United States will be providing an additional $74 million in humanitarian aid to help the Rohingyas in Bangladesh and those internally displaced in Burma. The office also noted that the United States will continue to work and help find lasting solutions to the situation in Burma.

The European Union (EU) imposed a seventh round of sanctions against Myanmar. The sanctions targeted six individuals and one entity that have relationships with the SAC. 

Thailand’s foreign minister Don Pramudwinai met with Aung San Suu Kyi and confirmed that he spoke with her for over an hour. The contents of their conversations are unknown; this is the first time a foreign minister has met with Aung San Suu Kyi since the military coup.  

CAM’s Advocacy Activities

CAM produced an episode of its talk show, “Biaruahnak,” to discuss its most recent report on the refugee situation in Mizoram State, India. Dr. Sasa, Union Minister of International Cooperation for the National Unity Government, joined the panel as a speaker.

On July 25, CAM briefed the staff of Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) on the persecution of Christians in Burma and urged accountability for the military and an increase in humanitarian aid.

CAM met with the staff of Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) on July 26 at the Rayburn House Office Building to urge the U.S. government to hold the Burmese military accountable for its atrocities. The same day, CAM also met with Angela Cabellon, the Chief of Staff for Howard County Chief Executive Calvin Ball.

On Sunday, July 29, CAM held the 2023 CAM Soccer Tournament, bringing together eight teams from the Chin community in Rock Burn Park, Elkridge, Maryland. CAM congratulates Captain Van Tha Thang and the United Stars on their first place finish!

Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2024: S.2438 and H.R.4665

At this time, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 is too far along for amendments regarding Burma; the provisions of the BURMA Act of 2022 remain unchanged.

CAM is focusing on the Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2024 as a vehicle to ensure funding for the democratic resistance in Burma and humanitarian efforts. The House version, H.R.4665, is available (here).

The Senate version, S.2438 (here), contains stronger language and a minimum figure of $167 million in appropriations for Burma. $121 million will go to an Economic Support Fund, as described on page 50 of the accompanying report (here) and reproduced below: 

BURMA- $121,000,000

  • of which, assistance programs, including in Thailand and India, and cross border programs- $75,000,000
  • of which, governance/federalism programs, including at the local and state levels- $10,000,000
  • of which, atrocity prevention and accountability, including for the documentation and preservation of evidence- $7,000,000
  • of which, accountability and justice for Rohingya- $1,000,000
  • of which, technical support and non-lethal assistance- $25,000,000
  • of which, support to former political prisoners- $1,500,000
  • of which, support for deserters- $1,500,000

The remainder ($46 million) will go through the General Health Programs account.

CAM’s goal is to preserve the Senate’s language and appropriations figures as the bill moves through the reconciliation process. 

Encourage your Representatives and Senators to prioritize funding for Burma in the Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2024. Contact the Appropriations Committee:

House: Chairwoman Kay Granger (TX), Ranking Member Rosa Delauro (CT), and Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL) of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee

Senate: Chairwoman Patty Murray (WA), Ranking Member Susan Collins (ME), and Chairman Chris Coons (DE) of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee

H.Res.86 and S.Res.20

CAM has joined the effort to pass H.Res.86 and S.Res.20, which condemn the Burmese military for the Feb. 1, 2021 coup and for gross violations of human rights in the military campaign to suppress democracy in Burma. For the full text of each bill and a list of individual co-sponsors, please click here (House) and here (Senate).


H.Res.86 and S.Res.20

(as of August 9, 2023)













Senator Ben Cardin






Representative Anna Eshoo






Join CAM’s efforts in advocacy by writing a letter to your Representatives and Senators asking them to co-sponsor H.Res.86 and S.Res.20.


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.

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 Refugees; Unsafe: 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. 

Map of Chin State, Myanmar
Map used from The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census Chin State Report


Map of Mizoram State, India
This map is derived with permission from a Human Rights Watch (HRW) map of Chin State, Burma, and Mizoram State, India. ©2008 John Emerson/HRW

About CAM

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Ellicott City, Maryland with a Washington, DC office.  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.

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