Walking with refugees

Walking with refugees

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By Jeremy Lim

TO US, IT was just a simple meal of boiled chicken, rice, carrots and ikan bilis. To them, it was probably a feast. As part of our mission to serve the refugees, 10 volunteers from the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Singapore were sharing lunch with them at their makeshift camp, somewhere in the jungles of Malaysia. (Yes, there are refugees in Malaysia!)


Fleeing violence and forced evictions by the military junta, over 100,000 Myanmese refugees scrape out an existence working in construction sites, factories or rubber plantations. As they will be persecuted upon return to Myanmar, they should be granted protection under the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. Continue reading

Burmese Refugees in America

Refugees in America

The Wall Street Journal Home Page



The U.S. resettles more refugees than any other nation. They hail from Russia and the Baltic states as well as from Iran and Somalia. The State Department assigns them to cities across the country where they have relatives or job opportunities.

In the last two years, some 20,000 refugees have arrived from the country formerly known as Burma and renamed Myanmar by the ruling military junta. And more could arrive after a deady cyclone last month left an estimated 2.4 million Burmese people homeless and hungry.

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US Factories Turn to Burmese Refugee Workers

US Factories Turn to Burmese Refugee Workers

The Wall Street Journal Home Page

After Government Crackdown, A Texas Town Taps Burmese

By MIRIAM JORDAN June 6, 2008; 

CACTUS, Texas — Eighteen months ago, a federal roundup of hundreds of undocumented Latino workers nearly crippled a giant JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant here. Today, the slaughterhouse is on the rebound, thanks to an unexpected influx of refugees from Myanmar.

Since January, the Swift plant has hired more than 200 workers from the Southeast Asian country, also known as Burma. Most of the new legal hands came from a large refugee population that had been resettled in Houston, 12 hours away by car. The typical pay: $12.15 an hour, or more than double the state’s minimum wage.

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Why Malaysia cannot treat Burmese after Cyclone Nargis like Achenese after Tsunami?

Why Malaysia cannot treat Burmese after Cyclone Nargis like Achenese after Tsunami?

Extracts from Bernama

The newly released World Refugee Survey 2008, which among others puts the nation in the same basket as China, India, Thailand and Bangladesh, in the treatment of refugees. (Note:20th. June is released ahead of today’s World Refugees Day.)

Malaysia, the report said, forcibly sent refugees from Myanmar to Thailand,

where “some of them were sold into slavery — men to fishing boats and women to brothels.

The annual study was conducted by the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), a non-governmental group based in Washington.

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Asia Sentinel:Malaysia Plays the Illegal Immigrant Card Again

 ASIA SENTINAL Joe Fernandez 26 June 2008 

Authorities once again seek to root out economic migrants from East Malaysia
In a bid to eliminate a major sore point roiling the state of Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced Wednesday that the government intends another of its sporadic attempts to rid the East Malaysian state of illegal immigrants.

 The question is whether the attempt is more political than economic. Sabah’s lawmakers appear to be up for grabs in the contest between the flagging Barisan Nasional, or national coalition, and the opposition, headed by Anwar Ibrahim, which is threatening to peel off enough Sabah lawmakers in the Dewan Rakyat, or parliament, to force a vote of no confidence and tumble Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from power.  Continue reading

Amnesty: Royal commission better than mass crackdown

Amnesty: Royal commission better than mass crackdown

Malaysiakini news Jun 27, 08

captured detained illegal immigrants 030707Amnesty International Malaysia has raised concerned over the planned crackdown on illegal immigrants in Sabah, an action which the human rights group described as “simplistic and arbitrary”.

The rights watchdog warned that the plan to deport tens of thousands of illegal migrants could lead to serious human rights violations.

“We fear that the simplistic and arbitrary action … by the federal government in addressing such a serious and complex issue will only elevate the ongoing human rights and humanitarian concerns in Sabah … to a serious crisis level,” said K Shan, the organisation’s campaigns co-ordinator.

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Don’t cry if UK is knifed by a fanatic

Don’t cry if UK is knifed by a fanatic


Anti-Islam fanatics knighted Anti-Muslim Salman Rushdie. Although most of the Muslims around the world are angry British Government and the Queen ignored the feelings of Muslims and officially knighted him. Although 99.999999% of Muslims, including me, are not going to revenge but if a fanatic zealot Muslim stupidly knifed England, don’t blame all the Muslims.

The Associated Press


Queen confers knighthood on Salman Rushdie



LONDON (AP) — Author Salman Rushdie slipped into Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to receive a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II that had angered many parts of the Muslim world when the honor was announced last year.

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The only winner in Beijing will be tyranny

Pick any dictatorship at random and chances are you’ll find China lurking in the background

At the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics, spectators will watch as athletes from the worst regimes on the planet parade by. Whether they are from dictatorships of the left or right, secular or theocratic, they will have one thing in common: the hosts of the games that, according to the mission statement, are striving ‘for a bright future for mankind’ will support their oppressors.

The flag of Sudan will flutter. China supplied the weapons that massacred so many in Darfur. As further sweeteners, it added interest-free loans for a new presidential palace and vetoes of mild condemnations of genocide from the United Nations. In return, China got most of Sudan’s oil.

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The Silent Genocide of Myanmar

By Jürgen Kremb in Mae La Refugee Camp, Thailand

It’s a conflict that has been going on for decades. The military junta of Myanmar continues to wage war on the country’s ethnic minorities. The refugee crisis continues to worsen as horrific violence spreads through the jungle.

Tha Lei Paw, 32, doesn’t respond at first when asked if she would return to her village when peace returns to Myanmar. She just smiles.

Is it an awkward smile? Or is she smiling out of fear or shame? She remains silent for a while, and then she says: “I have never seen peace. My life was an unending disaster, a life of torture and hunger. We were just slaves. Do you understand? We are damned.”

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Bush administration lifts North Korea sanctions



WASHINGTON – President Bush on Thursday lifted trade sanctions against North Korea and moved to remove it from the U.S. terrorism blacklist, a remarkable turnaround in policy toward the communist regime he once branded as part of an “axis of evil.”

The announcement at the White House came after North Korea handed over a long-awaited accounting of its nuclear work to Chinese officials on Thursday, fulfilling a key step in the denuclearization process.

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New curriculum excludes general Aung San

Jun 26, 2008 (DVB)–The military regime in Burma has removed a speech and writings by the late independence hero general Aung San and peace architect Thakhin Kodaw Hmaing from this year’s basic high school curriculum. 

‘People’s Assembly’, an excerpt from a speech by general Aung San, and ‘The elders and the young’ and ‘When Thabyay sprouts’, an essay and a poem written by Thakhin Kodaw Hmaing, will no longer be studied on the 10th standard curriculum this academic year.


A Rangoon high school student told DVB that teachers had not explained to students why these texts had been taken out.

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Lone Demonstrator Arrested at Rangoon City Hall


Thursday,June 26,2008

A lone women demonstrator was arrested on Wednesday in Rangoon, after she called for the release of political prisoners including democracy icon Aung San Su Kyi.

A worker near Rangoon City Hall confirmed that an unidentified woman staged a solo protest in front of the building at about 2 pm on Wednesday.

Dr Win Naing, a member of the National League for Democracy information department, said that about 10 police cars came to the scene and the woman was arrested.

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20 held in detention camp riot

NST Online » Local News 2008/06/26

Some of the illegal immigrants being rounded up by officers after the riot.

Some of the illegal immigrants being rounded up by officers after the riot.

Some of the illegal immigrants being rounded up by officers after the riot.

KAJANG: Dissatisfied with cramped living conditions, about 1,600 illegal immigrants at the Semenyih detention camp rioted on Tuesday night.

The disturbances, which started at 11.30pm, saw about 500 personnel from the Federal Reserve Unit, Immigration Department, police and Rela deployed to quell the unrest.

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Democratic Voice of Burma: refugees are sold to Thai human smugglers

Democratic Voice of Burma claimed that Burmese refugees are sold to Thai human smugglers by some Malaysian officers

The Democratic Voice of Burma is a non-profit Burmese media organization committed to responsible journalism.

– – -Following the riot, the inmates were sent to another detention centre where Ko Sarmi said some were sold on to people smugglers.

  1. “A few days after arriving at the new camp, the camp authorities sold about 100 of us including me to Thai human smugglers for 500 ringgit each,” he said.
  2. “We were asked to pay the Thai smugglers 2100 ringgit each in order to get back to Kuala Lumpur,
  3. and 1900 ringgit to the border.”

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