Chin people of Burma/Myanmar
Chin people, one of major ethnic groups of Burma/Myanmar, believed to have their root/origin from Tibet, China, are today spreading across the world as a result of the Military’s mismanagement of the country’s economy and politics. For decades under various names of administration, Military regime in one of the most isolated and poorest countries in Southeast Asia continues its negligence to any positive and meaningful changes for its ethnically diverse but impoverished citizens. Like other nationalities the Chin people experience all level of restrictions and oppressions from, among other, learning their own languages in schools and professing their political and religious beliefs. Once the ‘rice bowl of Asia’, a pride nation of Burma/Myanmar has now turned into a large prison with approximate 50 million prisoners. Many view the long-lasting crisis in Burma/Myanmar as the lack of constitutionally assured equality, undemocratic Government and abuses of power combined with corruption by the authorities.
The genesis of Chin Refugees
One serious consequence of the conflicts in the country among other is that millions of people from all walks of life have left the country and taking refuge mostly in neighbouring countries. The refugee influx became high especially after the Military regime crushed the people upraising in 1988, which remains the most significant democratic movement with bloodiest casualty in Burma/Myanmar modern history. Even after the Military sponsored November 7, 2010 election, which many believe as a positive one that could bring incremental change and generate better living condition, people continue to flee. Fleeing from the country for many has now been the only option that left to secure their rights and survive from oppression. According to figures available online, the total number of estimated Chin refugees in neighbouring countries; India, Malaysia and Thailand, is not less than 200, 000 with India the largest hosting country followed by Malaysia.
Chin refugees in Norway
The first Chin refugee name Van Thang was accepted by Norwegian government in 2002. He came to Moi town in Rogaland county where he was joined by several more Chin refugees a few months later. Many believe that his good attitude and hardworking for local community gave better chance for other Chins to get positive impression in Norway.
Most Chins in Norway came from Malaysia under the arrangement of UNHCR Malaysia which is working tirelessly to protect and send Chin refugees to safer countries. Among countries that have chosen to accept Chin refugees, Norway is one of the most popular destinations for refugees from Burma. As of today, there are about 1500 Chin refugees in Norway with at least half the number are under “Introduction Program” which is a specially designated program for newly arrived immigrants that focus on local integration. One challenge that own community face is language, which is clearly the most important key to success in Norway.
The formation of CCN
The most important driving force that led to the formation of community-based voluntary organisation in Norway was a strong desire in our society to assist each other more effectively especially in the area of local integration. Another important factor was encouraging suggestion from Norwegians, who foresaw the need to have such an organisation for a newly arrived group of immigrants.
After a series of discussions that took months and deep analyses on the possible cause and effect of the organisation, its structure, functions and future, the first group of Chin refugees, estimated 40 individuals gathered in Froland on the 27th of July 2004 and founded a much needed voluntary organisation, Chin Community in Norway (CCN). The CCN has gone through several leadership changes and many other challenges both within and from outside that in many times almost cripples the organisation. However due to the commitment of our members and leaders it is able maintain its work to this day.
CCN invites members and supporters to contribute as much as possible to the organisation ongoing and upcoming activities.
CCN’s Aims and Objectives
Founded in July 2004 by a group of Chin refugee living in Norway, the Chin Community in Norway (CCN) is an not for profit organisation primarily dedicated to the social well being of Chin people in Norway.
The organisation has the following aims and objectives;
1. To build unity and a well organised Chin society in Norway.
2. To assist Chin people in their attempt to adopt local integration.
3. To assist organisations and groups that are fighting for human right and democratisation in Burma.
4. To assist Norway bound Chin refugees in all possible means.
5. To protect and promote Chin’s culture, costume and literature.
Committees and its Structure
Size: six members and two auditors
2. Vice President
4. Assist Secretary
6. Assistance Treasurer
7. Representatives (One or two each from member’s resident area)