Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ARRC Weekly Newsletter No. 5

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ARRC Weekly Newsletter No. 4

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ARRC Weekly Newsletter (1)

ARRC Weekly Newsletter (2)

Monday, December 15, 2008

ARRC Weekly News Letter (3)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Local Police and Soldiers Take Bribes from Refugee’s Parents Whose Sons and Daughter Resettle in Third Countries

Kyutphru, Arakan State, Dec. 5—Local police and soldiers routinely take money from Arakanese refugees’ parent after the authorities learned the refugees were going to resettle in the United States of America. In small village Kyut Tang in Kyutphru Towship, the community member knew when their daughters and sons called their parents when they were about to resettle in the US. The news was therefore separated to local authority. Then the village head informed nearby police and military station the news. Then they came to the village and asked money from the parents. When the refugee’s parents could not effort to pay lager amount of money, they were detained for several days until their relatives paid the money. This kind of bribes taken by the police and soldiers in the Arakan state is widely reported.

Child Soldiers Recruitment Increasing in Arakan State

Arakan State, Dec. 5—A recent newcomer of Arakanese young man, John Doe-name in anonymous, in Malaysia told this newsletter’s editor that new recruitment of child soldiers in Arakan state are increasing after Burma’s military junta and Bangladesh clashed water territory dispute in Bay of Bangle. Navy from both sides took positions where South Korean’s Daewoo International was drilling gas well in the deep seawater between Arakan State and Bangladesh.

By taking this opportunity, military recruiters went to local Karaoke places in Ponnagyun Township and encouraged young boys to serve in the military. They told that Burma may have wars with the Bangladesh so that Arakanese are responsible to defend their territory with honor and pride as sovereignty defenders. The soldiers showed videos about Burma’s army training with the Chinese made modern tanks and jet fighters. Many young boys wondered and were interested in the shows. Some signed up contract papers without their parents’ consent. The new recruited are age between 14 and 16.

Parents in the town complained the military officers after they learned their children were taking shelters in the military camps. Five boys were released after their parents paid tens of thousands of Kyat, Burmese currency.

The recruitments are taking many towns and villages throughout the Arakan state in recent months, according to John Doe.

Gag Members at Butter Worth Bus Station Robbed 250 RM from a Refugee

Butter Worth, Dec. 7—On the Bus No. 40 at the Butter Worth Bus Station at 4.oo PM, John Doe was waiting to go to Kuala Lumpur, three local gags came up to the bus and looked for foreign look‐faces. As soon as they saw John Doe, they grabbed him took UNHCR card and 250 RM. They did the same thing to other Burmese and then they left the bus.
John Doe is staying at the ARRC Shelter and waiting to go to UNHCR office on Tuesday to report this accident and will appeal for UNHCR card.

Local Gag Robbed Hand-phones and Cashes on the Bus

Puchung, Dec.7—Local gag quickly enter onto the bus No. 574 in 6 Mile Puchung and forcefully took handphones and cashes from the foreigner- passenger. Then, the gag members of 7 men left the bus when it stopped at the next bus stop. It happens usually the bus from Puchung to Kuala Lumpur. ARRC coordinator’s phone and cash were taken by the gag when was coming to the office for weekend meeting.

Rela Raid a Refugee Camp

Puchong‐De.5—Forty Rela men raided a temporary refugee camp with tanks and huts near SKS car factory in 18 Mile Puchong at 1.00 AM on December 5. Thirteen refugees ran and escaped from the arrests. However, the Rela men destroyed tanks, huts, and took all personal belongings, including cooking pots and VCDs.

Rela and Police Raid a Construction site and Arrested 25 Men

Butter Worth, Nov. 28—Police and Rela on November 28 at 4.90 PM entered into a construction site in Butter Worth. The police and Rela gathered 40 men in the site and kicked and bitten the men intensely. Then they checked IDs and passports from the workers.

Fifteen men from Bangladesh and Burma were released later since they held passports and UNHCR refugee cards. Other Burmese and Arakanese were arrested since they did have neither passports nor UNHCR cards.

An Arakanese man, 40, was severely injured after several Rela kicked him by military boots because he could not understand the police’s questions in Malaysian.

Refugee Children School Face Critical in Financial Support

Rawang, Dec. 5—Arakanese refugee children’s school is facing financial difficulty after it has been opened for 5 months. The school is supported by urban refugees. It needs at least 4,000 RM, about 1, 3 00 USD, for monthly expenses in rent, utility, foods, transportation, communication, medicines, and learning materials.
Students, Parents, and Executives Meeting at ARRC Office

The school was opened in August to provide basic universal education for the refugee children when they are waiting to resettle in third countries. The initiation was started after hundreds of children could not go to local schools. They stayed with their parents in small and unsafe apartments, even in worksites where many co-workers live with poor conditions. They children are often left home lone when their parents were going to work. This issue of lack of children’s education was brought to the ARRC executive meeting in May. The leaders widely discussed the issue and decided to open the school. Fourteen children are learning at the center presently—seven boys and seven girls—age ranging from five to twelve. Other children are waiting because the school cannot take more than 14 students.

The live-in school was supported by the Arakanese in Europe and USA to start. Then the refugees and parents in Malaysia donated funds to keep the school running. However, after the world economic crisis sparked, many urban refugees lost their jobs so that their supports became minimal. “If these support of our friends are keep downing, the future of our children’s education center is in somehow affected,” Kyaw Win Naing, Acting President of ARRC and Coordinator of the school, said during the meeting. Parents and executives agree that the center provides the children to learn Basic English and Mathematics. “Not only this, they become very discipline and cleverer; I see my daughter is changing then she lived with me because I did not have times to teach; I works all times to earn a little money to support for our living,” one of the children’s father said during the student, parents and executives meeting in October. The advantages of the live-in school for both parents and children are that the parents can work full time and the children can learn. Older girls look after the younger girls. The older boy take care the younger boys. They do homework together and play together. These responsibilities and sharing make themselves loving and nurturing. . They are now afraid of separating each other.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eleven Refugees Arrested in Johor Are Still in Jail

Johor-Dec.5--The eleven refugees who were arrested on December 3 in Johor are still detained at Kota Kecil Police station. ARRC caseworker, Khine Kyaw Htoo, is working with the police to get their freedom. Police investigator Officer Adwin told the caseworker that if he got a recommendation fax from UNHCR in which they are true citizen of Myanmar and seeking for protection, they would be released. A report has been sent to UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur on Dec. 5th to get helps. They are still waiting in the jail by the UNHCR actions.

The information of jailed are as follow:





Card. No


Tun Mya





Kyaw Hlaing





Maung Chit





Thein Tun





Thein Naing





Aung Myint





Min M. Naing





Win Khaing





Naing W. Tun





Zaw M. Shwe





Nyi N. Zaw


Age 21

Refugees Arrests in Malaysia Intensified

Kula Lumpur, 5 Dec—within first week of December, four Arakanese have been arrested by police, immigration, and Rela (civilian volunteer corp.). ARRC is still searching for where they have been detained and get no further information yet.

San Lin, UNHCR Ref: 354-08C03681 was arrested on December 3 at 4.20 PM by police. His detention of where about is not yet known. Aung Myint, UNHCR Ref. 354-07C5828, was arrested on the bus to Kuala Lumpur on December 3 at 4.20 PM. Caseworker from ARRC went to nearby police station but got no information. The police referred the caseworker to immigration. Zaw Naing, UNHCR Ref: 03/MLS/07693, was arrested in Butter Worth at 10 AM by Rela. Information of his detention is still not-yet-known. Maung San Shwe, 08/ARK/7515, was arrested by police in Ipoh on December 1. His detention is still not-yet-known.

A report of refugee arrests has been reported to UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur on December 5 and still waiting for further actions taken by the UNHCR.

Friday, December 5, 2008

ARRC Workshop in Preparation for Increasing Refugees

Kuala Lumpur, 27 Nov—A workshop was conducted by Association of
Arakan National Council Supporting (ANC‐S) in Malaysia to prepare for
coming 2009‐10 fiscal year work plans and responses. Fourteen
coordinators from different regions of Malaysia participated in the
The coordinators predict that outnumbers of refugees will
be coming to Malaysia to seek protection and asylum at the UNHCR.
The present figures of Arakanese in Malaysia are 15,500. Among the
15,500, most are age between 20s and 30s. ARRC has registered 8,215
men, women, and children as members since 2004. More new comers
are registering daily.
The workshop reviewed that among the 8,215 members only 351
have been recognized as refugees by the UNHCR in Malaysia. The
participants agree that more human rights abuses will be increased in
the Arakan State even though the present ruling military junta
announces it will hold an election in 2010. The future civilian
government is in no way supported by the people of Arakan since its
proxy USDA is transforming into two political parties to contest in the
election. In fact, USDA has over 24 million members, half of the total
populations. On the other hand, the SPDC adopted constitution allows
25 percent of military men in houses. USDA may win in 75 percent. In
addition, China approves to build gas and oil pipelines from the
Arakan State to Yunnan province. According to news, it will start in
the early months of 2009. Used of force labors and land confiscation
are unavoidable on the pipe construction sites. Increasing military
battalions protecting the pipelines will definitely multiply sexual
abuses the local women.
SPDC has already leased 50,000 acres of farmlands in the
Arakan State to the Bangladeshi. Over ten thousand Bangladeshi
farmers have already moved into the Arakan State to work in the
farms. As a result, thousands of local Arakanese farmers have lost
their farms and become jobless in their own state.
To response these unbearable abused by the military
regime, many young men are coming to Malaysia. To help the
newcomers, ARRC lay down the following preparatory work plans:
1. To hold annual conference on January 26, 2009 to elect
new leaders and to make policies.
2. To upgrade technology and new communication channels.
3. To share information and coordinate with the local NGOs
and with the international IGOs.
4. To build more skills by giving trainings for executives and
office staffs by experts, academia, and local experience
5. To provide more trainings and workshops within grassroots
for human rights, labor rights, and legal aid as well as public
health and first aid.
6. To produce monthly newsletter in local languages and
freely distribute to the grassroots.
Workshops at the ANC‐S & ARRC Office in Kuala Lumpur

An Arakanese Refugee Beaten by Vietnamese

Butter Worth, Dec.2‐ Myo Hlaing holding the card ARK 5892 tried to
appease the fighting between Vietnamese in the factory in the
evening on Dec 2, 2008. However, one of the fighting groups
misunderstood on Myo Haing’s intervention. Then they fought back
Myo Hlaing with the knife and rods until he was unconscious on the
spot with the injury of his head and nearly the whole part of his body.
He was thrown by them on the roadside. The two Malaysians who
were driving on the road saw Myo Hlaing unconsciously lying on the
road. They brought him to Penang Hospital. ARRC office in Butter
Worth reported that he is now taking treatment for his injury at Ward
No.7 and Bed No. 5 in the Penang Hospital.

Eleven Arakanese Men Arrested by the Police

Kuala Lumpur, Dec.3‐ Eleven Arakanese men were arrested by the
police at their apartment in Johor on Monday night. Now they are
detained in the police station. They will be taken to the court for
charges of illegal entry into Malaysia. They will be sentenced to jail
and then deported to Thai‐Malaysian border that a man who is
working in the same factory in Johor reported.

RM 800 Taken by a Police from a Refugee

Kuala Lumpur, 27 Nov‐ A local police took 800 RM from Kyaw Kyaw ,
who is a refugee and has UN card in Pudu Raya’s bus‐stop on
Sunday. When the police met him at the bus‐stop, the police asked
him some questions and took the money from his pocket. Later he
informed the ARRC office the police money taking.

Employers Do Not Pay Eight Arakanese Men for Two Months

Kaula Lumpur, 28 Nov. 2008‐Eight Arakanese men working in a
construction factory in Kuala Lumpur quit the job because the
employers hold two months payroll, and job is very dangerous. These
men are called by Malaysian agent with contracting a Myanmar agent
in Rangoon for the plantation jobs in Malaysia. The agent instead sent
them to work in the construction. The agent did not take any
responsibility after they quit the jobs and even drove them out of the
agent’s office. They are now taking sheltering at ARRC office in Kuala

A Refugee Critically Injured by a Hit and Run Driver

Johor Barau, Nov. 30‐‐Kyaw Myo, who is an Arakanese and works in
an electronics factory in Johor Bahru, was hit by a car on 29 Nov. His
friend, Myo Win Tun, who works in the same factory informed ARRC
about the accident. He told that the victim was seriously injured, and
one of his legs was broken on the spot. The driver ran away after the
accident and did not take any responsibility. He is treated in Johor
and still uncautious.

Police Search ARRC Office in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Dec. 2—At first, three police men in uniform came to
the second floor of the building in Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur,
and checked IDs from the refugees who stay in the ARRC refugee
shelter for medical treatments at 4.16 PM on Tuesday, 2nd December.
Later, another police joined in the searching. While the police men
were trying to arrest 30 refugees, the leaders in the office intensely
requested the police not to arrest the HIV and TB infected refugees as
well as women and children. The police then took 890 RM from ARRC
and then left the building at 4.56 PM. All refugees, including women
and children, were very much fear of the police searching.

ARRC Activity on 20th Anniversary of World AIDS Day

Kuala Lumpur, Dec. 2, 2008‐ARRC health coordinators distributed 50
booklets provided by UNHCR and UNAID to the Arakanese refugees.
Among the recipients, two HIV infected are included.
This is the first time UNHCR and ARRC coordinated to
educate the refugees in Malaysia the information about HIV and AIDS

Health Coordinator U Kyaw Win is distributing HIV preventive
booklets to refugees at ARRC’s refugee shelter in Kuala Lumpur

Organization Background

Arakan State is located in the western part of Union Burma (Union of
Myanmar), bordering with Bangladesh and India’s Northeast region.
The state’s population is over four million people.
Due to the political repression, human rights abuses, use of
forced labors, forced military services, ethnic discrimination, land
confiscation, and extra taxation; thousands of Arakanese have run into
Malaysia to seek for protection. Without a formal stat’s assistances by
the host country, the refugees end up in jails, deportations, lack of
foods, lack of shelters, and lack of health care services.
In order to response these critical needs, Arakan Refugee
Relief Committee (ARRC) was established by the refugees in 2004.
ARRC present significant responses areas are: providing
foods, shelters, and health care, coordinating with the local clinics,
hospitals, and UNHCR. It assists the refugees’ legal aids, basic
education for both children and young adults, consultation between
employees and employers payrolls and compensations dispute. It also
helps asylum seekers to get registration at the local UNHCR and
resettlement in third countries.
ARRC current members are 8,215. The organization is run by selffunding
under the management of Association of Arakan National
Council Supporting (ANC‐S).

Newsletter Background

ARRC Newsletter is issued to inform ongoing problems and responses
of the Arakanese refugees from Union of Burma in Malaysia to the
related organizations and individuals working for refugees and migrant
workers rights and aids. The idea starts after Asia Pacific Consultation
on Refugee Rights meeting was successfully held in Kuala Lumpur on
November 19‐21, 2008. These facts and figures sharing with you in the
newsletter may enhance your knowledge and ground information.