Blog

10 Jan
0

Statement on Burmese Fighter Jets Attacking Camp Victoria in Chin State, Burma

Burmese Fighter Jets Attacking Camp Victoria in Chin State, Burma,
Also Drop a Bomb on Mizoram State, India

January 10, 2023

Washington, DC — On January 10, 2023 around 5:15 p.m. local Burma time, Burmese military fighter jets dropped at least four explosive devices on Camp Victoria, the Headquarters of the Chin National Front/Chin National Army in Chin State, Burma, near the border with Mizoram State, India, a source familiar with the situation confirmed with the Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM). A video of the attack has been posted on YouTube. CAM learned that five members of the Chin National Army (CNA) were killed in the attack.

A credible source also informed CAM that at least one bomb landed on Indian soil and damaged the truck of a villager from Farkawn Village in Mizoram State, India, which borders Chin State, Burma. CAM confirmed that the bomb landed about 50 meters away from the truck and destroyed its front mirror, but that the owner of the truck was able to escape and hide from the attackers. CAM received a photo of the truck but has not released it to protect the owner of the truck.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement:

  1. CAM strongly condemns the airstrikes against Camp Victoria and sends condolences to the families and loved ones of the five CNA casualties.
  2. CAM firmly believes that the attacks by the military junta against Camp Victoria will deeply strengthen the hearts and minds of the CNA, Chinland Defense Forces, and the Chin people inside Burma and around the world for the struggle to end the military rule in Burma.
  3. CAM also believes that India, the largest democracy in the world, should stand with the people of Burma, as they struggle to establish democracy, and that India.should condemn the Burmese military fighters dropping a bomb on Indian soil and damaging its citizen’s truck.
Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
www.chinmd.org
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. CAM empowers Chin communities in Maryland to 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. 

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29 Dec
0

Statement on Funding for Burma in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023

Statement on Funding for Burma in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023

December 29, 2022

Washington, DC — This evening, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (H.R. 2617). The $1.7 trillion funding for H.R. 2617 includes $59.7 billion appropriated under State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Of the $59.7 billion, section 7403, pages 594-595, of the Act says “the funds appropriated by this Act, not less than $136,127,000 shall be made available for assistance for Burma”. The fiscal year 2023 funding for Burma is similar of the fiscal year 2022 (H.R. 2471).

The Senate passed the FY23 Omnibus Package on December 22, 2022. The following day on December 23, 2022, the House passed their Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. The bill was signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc (CAM), issues the following statement.

  1. CAM strongly welcomes assistance of “not less than $136,127,000” for Burma in the fiscal year 2023. It could be interpreted that the minimum funding is $136,127,000 or it would be more. CAM has been advocating for an appropriation for Burma of not less than $136,127,000 for fiscal year 2023 and to include language in the provisions referencing federalism, democracy, and accountability. (see CAM’s recommendations).
  2. The funding is encouraging. It supports “the administrative operations and programs of entities–to establish an inclusive and representative democracy in Burma and a federal union.” (Sec. 7403, pages 1479 -1481). CAM believes that the entities refer to the National Unity Government (NUG), the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the Ethnic Armed Organizations, the Civil Disobedience Movement, and others described at the Burma Act of 2022 (NDAA-H.R. 7776).
  3. H.R. 2617 is critical. It provides support for humanitarian assistance, investigation and documentation of human rights abuses by the Burmese military junta.
  4. The Act restricts that the funding from the Act should not support the State Administration Council and it should not be used for international security assistance.
Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
www.chinmd.org
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. CAM empowers Chin communities in Maryland to 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. 

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23 Dec
0

Statement on the Enactment of the BURMA Act of 2022 (NDAAFY23)

Statement on the Enactment of the BURMA Act of 2022 (NDAAFY23)

December 23, 2022

Washington, DC — Today, December 23, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Burma Unified Through Rigorous Military Accountability Act (BURMA Act) of 2022 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 7776). The Act will end on September 30, 2023. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) included the key provisions of the Burma Act of 2021 to the NDAA.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following the statement.

  1. CAM strongly welcomes the BURMA Act of 2022, which CAM has been supporting and advocating for the passage of, for the Act will strengthen the efforts to end the military rule in Burma and establish a federal democratic union.
  2. CAM is grateful especially to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Asia-Pacific Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) who introduced the BURMA Act of 2021 on October 5, 2021. CAM has been supportive of it and urging Congress to pass the Act (see CAM’s statement).
  3. The support would strengthen the efforts to end the military junta. The key provision of the Act mentions to support “the efforts of the National Unity Government (NUG), the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the Burmese Civil Disobedience Movement, and other entities in Burma and in other countries to oppose the Burmese military and bring about an end to the military junta’s rule”.
  4. The Act also mentions that the U.S. will provide technical assistance and non-lethal aid to the ethnic armed organizations and other armed organizations. The non-lethal aid could include communications equipment, medical supplies, intelligence assistance, body armor, and infrastructure.
  5. The Act includes the policy of the United States in supporting the activities and programs on federalism, democracy, minority rights, religious freedom, human rights, justice, accountability, and transitional justice and securing the unconditional release of all unlawfully detained individuals. These are critical in the struggle to end the military junta in Burma.
  6. In addition to working with the UN bodies, the Act mentions “working with like-minded partners to impose a coordinated arms embargo on the Burmese military and targeted sanctions on the economic interests of the Burmese military”.
Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
www.chinmd.org
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. CAM empowers Chin communities in Maryland to 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.

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23 Dec
0

Statement on the UN Security Council Resolution on Myanmar

Statement on the UN Security Council Resolution on Myanmar

December 23, 2022

Washington, DC — On December 21, 2022, the United Nations Security Council adopted binding resolution 2669 (2022) on the situation in Myanmar under the UN Charter VI. The 12 members voted yes; none voted against; and 3 abstained (China, India and Russia). The 5 permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the 10 non-permanent members are Albania (2023), Brazil (2023), Gabon (2023), Ghana (2023), India (2022), Ireland (2022), Kenya (2022), Mexico (2022), Norway (2022), and United Arab Emirates (2023).

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement:

  1. CAM welcomes the UN Security Council Resolution 2669 (2022) and appreciates the leadership of the United Kingdom on drafting and adopting the Resolution.
  2. The Resolution is encouraging as it urged the Burmese military “to immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi”. It also addressed the underlying issues in Burma, including calling “for the necessity for full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.”
  3. CAM strongly believes that the UN Security Council should rather adopt a resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter as the Tatmadaw overthrew a democratically elected government of President U Win Myint on February 1, 2021. The State Administration Council also continues posing undeniable threat to regional peace and security.
  4. A Chapter VII resolution would hurt the Tatmadaw. Such a call would include an arms embargo; no-fly zones to protect civilians; refer to the International Criminal Court; and a military intervention under a UN Peacekeeping Force or a multinational force.
Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
www.chinmd.org
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. CAM empowers Chin communities in Maryland to 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.

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08 Dec
0

Statement on the Sentencing of Reverend Thian Lian Sang to 23 Years at the Obo Prison in Burma

Statement on the Sentencing of Reverend Thian Lian Sang to 23 Years at the Obo Prison in Burma

December 8, 2022

Washington DC, USA ——-  On December 7, 2022, (Myanmar Time) the Burmese military also known as the State Administration Council (SAC) sentenced the Reverend Thian Lian Sang, age 42, to 23 years of imprisonment at the Obo Prison in Mandalay, Burma. Reverend Sang served as the pastor of Falam Baptist Church in Mandalay. A reliable source familiar with the situation confirmed the sentencing with the Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM). CAM mentioned the arrest of the pastor by the military in September 2021 in its report After the 2021 Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma –– and also advocated for his release during the International Religious Freedom Submit on June 28-30, 2022, in Washington, DC (Seventeen Months After the Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma).

CAM issues the following statement:

  1. CAM strongly condemns the unjust imprisonment of Reverend Thian Lian Sang by the SAC and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Reverend Sang from the Obo Prison.
  2. The imprisonment of Reverend Sang is further proof that the SAC’s actions constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, and therefore, the Min Aung Hlaing-led SAC must be brought to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
  3. CAM urges the Biden administration and the U.S. Congress to do more on the Burmese military to release Reverend Sang.

Reverand Thian Lian Sang. Photo Source: Undisclosed source.

Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. CAM empowers Chin communities in Maryland to 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. 

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06 Dec
0

Statement on the Detention of Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson in Burma

Statement on the Detention of Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson in Burma

December 6, 2022

Washington DC, USA ——-  On December 5, 2022, (Myanmar Time) the Burmese military arrested and detained Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson at the Mandalay International Airport in Mandalay, Burma, while he was traveling to Bangkok, Thailand. As of today, his location is unknown – whether Dr. Samson has been detained in Mandalay or Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State. Dr. Samson is an adviser to the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) headquartered in Myitkyina, Kachin State, and he is a former General Secretary and President of KBC.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement.

  1. CAM strongly condemns the unlawful detention of Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson by the State Administration Council.
  2. CAM urges the Biden administration and the U.S. Congress to put more pressure on the Burmese military to release Dr. Samson immediately and unconditionally.
  3. Our prayers and thoughts are with Dr. Samson, his family, and the Kachin people.
Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. CAM empowers Chin communities in Maryland to 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. 

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27 Oct
0

Statement Condemning Airstrikes on Myanmar’s Kachin in Kachin State

Statement on Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day

October 27, 2022

Washington DC, USA ——- On October 23, 2022, at 8:30pm in Myanmar, the Burmese military attacked Kachin civilians with airstrikes at A Nang Pa, Hpakant, Kachin State in Myanmar. At the time of the airstrikes, the victims were commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). The airstrikes killed 54 people and injured over 100.

Therefore, the Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement.

  1. CAM strongly condemns the inhuman attack by the Burmese military regime on civilians.
  2. The airstrikes constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and the Burmese military regime should be held accountable.
  3. Our prayers and thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims.
Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. CAM empowers Chin communities in Maryland to 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. 

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25 Jul
0

Statement On The Burmese Military’s Execution Of Four Pro-Democracy Activists

Statement on the Burmese Military’s Execution of Four Pro-Democracy Activists

July 25, 2022

Ellicott City, Maryland, USA ——- On July 25, 2022, the Burmese military junta announced its execution of four men on terrorism charges, including the leading democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, and former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement:

  1. CAM condemns the execution of Kyaw Min Yu, Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw by the Burmese military. These executions occurred the weekend after the International Court of Justice dismissed the Burmese military’s objections in the Rohingya genocide case on July 22.
  2. CAM urgently calls on the U.S. Senate to pass the BURMA Act of 2021 (S.2937) in order to hold the Burmese military accountable and prevent further human rights violations.

The last such execution occurred in 1976, when ethnic Chin Salai Tin Maung Oo, a student leader in the Burmese pro-democracy movement, was hanged in Insein Prison.

Since the 2021 military coup, the Burmese military has engaged in repression of the pro-democracy movement and atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities such as the Chin. CAM has documented Burmese military atrocities against the Chin people in two reports: “After the 2021 Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Challenges for Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees” (October 2021) and “Seventeen Months After the Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Escalating Persecution of Chin Christians in Chin State and Sagaing Region” (June 2022).

Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org

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.

 

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22 Jul
0

ICJ Rejects Burmese Military’s Objections To The Rohingya Genocide Case

ICJ Rejects Burmese Military’s Objections to the Rohingya Genocide Case

July 22, 2022

Ellicott City, Maryland, USA ——- On July 22, 2022, judges at the UN International Court of Justice rejected the four preliminary objections by Myanmar’s military junta to the Rohingya genocide case filed by The Gambia. This will allow the case to proceed on the basis of Article IX of the Genocide Convention and for the court to begin reviewing evidence.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement:

  1. CAM welcomes the ICJ decision to proceed with the Rohingya genocide case and reject the four preliminary objections from the Burmese military.
  1. CAM urges UN Member States to join Canada and the Netherlands in supporting The Gambia’s case and holding the military accountable for genocide and crimes against humanity.
  1. CAM also urges the prosecution of the Burmese military for its atrocities committed against the Chin Christian ethnic and religious minority in Chin State and Sagaing Region. The military’s burning of Chin churches and residences as well as its killings of pastors and civilians constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

CAM previously welcomed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s determination of genocide against the Rohingya in March 2022. CAM Executive Director Zo Tum Hmung told the Washington Post that while the designation was important, “Issuing a statement is great, but it’s not enough… Time is critical, because if the military thinks the United States is too busy with Ukraine to deal with Myanmar, they will think they can do whatever they want.”

Since the 2021 military coup, CAM has documented Burmese military atrocities against the Chin people in two reports: “After the 2021 Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Challenges for Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees” (October 2021) and “Seventeen Months After the Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Escalating Persecution of Chin Christians in Chin State and Sagaing Region” (June 2022).

Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org

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.

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22 Jul
0

Statement On The Baptist World Alliance’s Resolution On Myanmar

 

Statement on the Baptist World Alliance’s Resolution on Myanmar
July 22, 2022

Ellicott City, Maryland, USA ——- During its 2022 Annual Gathering in Birmingham, Alabama from July 10-15, 2022, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Council adopted a new resolution on Myanmar/Burma in response to the Burmese military’s violent suppression of democracy and religious freedom.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement:

  1. CAM welcomes the Baptist World Alliance’s condemnation of Myanmar’s 2021 military coup and support for a democracy that respects the rights of religious and ethnic minorities.
  2. The BWA General Council’s resolution comes at a time of increasing military persecution of the Chin Christian minority. CAM extends special thanks to Rev. Dr. Roy Medley, General Secretary Emeritus of America Baptist Churches USA and CAM board advisor, for proposing and drafting this statement with input from CAM Executive Director Zo Tum Hmung.
  3. CAM encourages further advocacy in order to put pressure on the U.S. Senate to pass the BURMA Act of 2021 (S.2937).

Zo Tum Hmung previously spoke at the January 2020 BWA Congress in Melbourne, Australia to present on the military’s restrictions against the construction of Christian religious buildings and the printing of Christian religious texts, including the Bible. Mr. Hmung also spoke at the BWA Executive Committee on the invitation of the late Rev. Dr. Denton Lotz, former General Secretary of BWA.

Further information on the Burmese military’s religious persecution of Chin Christians can be found in CAM’s new report, “Seventeen Months After the Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Escalating Persecution of Chin Christians in Chin State and Sagaing Region,” released in June 2022.

Contact:
Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616
zotumhmung@chinmd.org
 

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.

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