Chin Refugee Committee Delhi

Advocacy and help for Chin refugees in Delhi

People of Stateless

Posted by crcnewdelhi on July 1, 2010

As the world witness about the human rights violations, religious persecutions or restrictions, and political situation under the Burmese ruler (State Peace and Development Council), people cannot find peace and security. This is the place where the truth cannot be prevailed, fair and right judgment cannot be seen and the rights, the freedoms and liberty and the dignity of its citizen had been stolen; the place where people were killed, imprisoned, persecuted unconditionally and destroyed the hopes of the future. The countless numbers of people suffered every day, a lot of people flee for their safeties and some people had been withheld or withdrew their identities and drove them out from the country. Among many victims, a family originated from the blood of British was among the victims and were expelled from the country after withdrawing their identities by the ruling military dictator.

Mrs. Mang Dang, the daughter late British soldier, Colonel DB Manning, who served as the commanding officer in the western part of Chin Hills during the Second World War, who stationed in Chin Hills until 1947, had been withdrawn her identity and expelled from the country in 2004 due their difference in race and appearance. Mrs. Mang Dang had married with Mr. Sang Chum in 1962 and having eight children and lived peacefully at Dawn Village, the western part of Chin State, until the husband died in 1997. After her husband died she started to have problems from the military authority. However, at the beginning of 2004 she went to Thantlang, Chin State to renew her identity card. The officer said that he could not issued/ renewed her identity card because she was no longer accepted as the citizen of Myanmar and also warned her to leave Myanmar as soon as possible unless she will be arrested and will be charged  with foreigner acts against her. At that time her youngest son’s  identity cards was also withdrawn by the authority.

As she was warned, she had no choice and left Myanmar in 2004 with the family of her youngest son and head to Mizoram. During their four years stayed in Mizoram she approached the concerned authorities many times to issue recommendation letter to apply the citizenship at the department of home affair, saying that she was stateless and no longer accepted by the Burmese authority as their citizen. But unfortunately her several requests were ignored or rejected by the concerned authorities of Mizoram Government and no document was provided for her. During these years the Central YMA conducted illegal foreigners’ raids and pushed back those who were arrested to the military authority of Myanmar.

For fear of pushing back by the YMA she fled again to New Delhi to seek help to the British High Commission in June, 2008. With accompanied by the CRC she approached the British Embassy on 3rd June, 2008 and met with Brigadier Clive Elderton OBE, Defence and Military Adviser. After having discussion more than one hour he made the statement as, “Mrs. Mang Dang appeared at the British High Commission, New Delhi, seeking assistance. She was unable to provide proof of her identity or citizenship, which I understand has been withheld or withdrawn by the Burmese authorities. I further understand she has been living in exile in India for the past four years. I can confirm beyond reasonable doubt that Mrs. Mang Dang is the daughter of late Col DB Manning, who was serving with the British Army in Burma until 1947, and Hnawk Thluai. I have spoken at some length to her half sister, Mrs. Ann Owen, now a British citizen who lives in the United Kingdom. I regret that the British High Commission is unable to provide any assistance to Mrs. Mang Dang because she is not a British Citizen but we are concerned  for her welfare and would be extremely grateful it you would support her”.  He also added that he has confirmed that she was born of the British blood but unfortunately her father did not left any document to pave her to be accepted or adopted as the British citizen. Then he suggested to go to UNHCR and wrote a recommendation for her. With the help of Brigadier Elderton she was recognized by the UNHCR as a refugee in 2008 and holding the number of 07IND00737.

In 2008 among her children, those who were living in the same house before she left Myanmar were also expelled by the military authority after withdrawing their identity cards and joined their mother in New Delhi. They were also registered in the UNHCR got recognition certificates except Mrs. Johnson and family. Now they were living in severe poverty and the climatic condition in New Delhi was not suitable for them and they were always suffering many illnesses. They three governments; Burma, India and Britain could not accept them as their citizen and they are stateless people. Even if Burma gains democracy they were no longer its citizen and will not be returned to Burma. All the people in the world has their own citizenships whether they are refugees or not but this family do not have any citizenship. Therefore, we the CRC have great concerned about this family and fell that the international community’s or countries know about the status of this family. We hope and pray so that this family gets peace, security and a normal life in their future.


2 Responses to “People of Stateless”

  1. Sahana Basavapatna said

    I was fascinated reading this post. For long, individuals fleeing Burma and arriving in India (and especially those in Mizoram) are considered either “refugees” or “economic migrants” and this story proves otherwise. From what is written here, it seems that she has not been recognized as a refugee by UNHCR India? Also, although she has had a meeting with the British High Commission, what has been the follow up after that? Interesting they accept her as the daughter of Col DB Manning. For a situation like this, it is important for the Chins to understand the law first and seek professional legal help, without which confusion is bound to prevail.

    • CRC Editor said

      Since the British embassy said they cannot provided any identity or citizenship, no follow up to the embassy again.But approached the UNHCR and she was recognized as a refugee. This family will not be return to Myanmar, even if the country get democracy that is the most important will be their difficulty.

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