….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
Do you believe in “coincidences”? I don’t! For the last 3 months, a very sweet Chin ( Tibeto-Burmese) lady kept bumping into me everywhere I went, until finally today I found out that she was a political refugee, harassed & harmed by the Dictatorship because she wanted Human Rights for the Chin people in Burma!
I kept bumping into her all over the city and we kept saying hello but we did not have time to talk. Finally today, as I looked out of my backyard, there she was again! We both just laughed with the joy of seeing one another! I knew that it was the universe saying, “LISTEN to what she has to say!”
I finally invited her into my kitchen. We had a cup of tea and we started talking about random things. Slowly she told me about why she ended up in the UK as a political refugee for 6 yrs because of her work with human rights & her support for Aung San Suu Kyi! She had to flee to India to escape arrest/torture. She told me she was part of the Chin minority: Tibeto-Burman group.
I must admit, I did not know very much about the issue, but after our afternoon chat over tea, I decided to find out a little bit. It was then that I realised some of the atrocious things inflicted on her people. I wondered why I had not heard about this before?
I found this blog from “Real Truth” http://www.realtruth.org quite useful and decided to reblog it as this has obviously been happening for a long time!
In January 2007, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported that the Myanmar (Union of Burma) military government is actively suppressing religious worship among its minority Christian population.
The persecution has varied from “churches in Rangoon finding it difficult to obtain permission to renovate buildings, to pastors in Chin State being killed.” In the same report, the Myanmar Ministry of Religious Affairs stated, “There shall be no home where the Christian religion is practiced.”
Despite denials from the Myanmar government that religious activity is suppressed in their country, the U.S. State Department listed Myanmar as a “country of particular concern” in its 2006 report on International religious freedom.
Perhaps even more alarming was another report released on Feb. 12, 2007, by the Karen Women’s Organization, which documented 959 of the many thousands of rapes and sexual assaults, often followed by murder, reported to have been committed by government troops against women of the minority Shan ethnic group.
In addition, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, which provides aid to thousands of refugees fleeing Myanmar into neighboring Thailand, has documented that since 1996 more than 3,000 villages have been destroyed. In 2006 alone, 82,000 people were displaced by violence perpetrated by the government on its own people.”
I thought of this and I am amazed by my new found friends’ patience & optimism in the way she talked about her country, her people and Aung San Suu Kyi!
What did my new friend do to deserve being persecuted? These were her “mistakes”:
1) She joined The Chin National Democratic Front doing some paperwork at the office, asking for human rights for her people!
2) She wanted to be a Christian in Burma.
3) She was born a Chin ethnic minority and a woman.
4) She was part of the movement that voted democratically for Aung San Suu kyi!
Wow, these are SERIOUS Crimes indeed! I am very upset about what happened to her and I am so glad that through all these years of seperation from her family, friends and country, my new friend could still smile! I admire her spirit very very much and know that I have so much to learn from her in terms of patience & forebearance. I don’t know if I would have the strength to not get angry with my oppressors!
She is amazing! Next time I meet her, I would like to see if she would let me lend her a laptop so that she could try to use technology to keep up with her exiled friends from all over the world. There are many Chin people exiled, far away from home, sometimes spending years as a stranger in a foreign land, unable to even contact their families back home for fear of retribution from the dictatorship.
May Burma achieve what it hopes for the most: Freedom, Dignity & Democracy!
X respectfully & full of humility for the way the universe keeps teaching me new stuff Effortlessly & with so much Grace, Cecilia.