Since December 2018, the conflict between the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military) and the Arakan Army (AA, Rakhine rebels) in southern Chin State and northern Rakhine State had escalated, which had caused 6,000 people homeless till the mid of February. In the first week of February, there were over 180 villagers from Paletwa in Chin State fled to Bangladesh. CEDAR’s partner in Myanmar stated that there were at least 20 temporary campsites built along the border. The diaspora sojourning in the campsites urgently needs humanitarian aids now.
CEDAR funded our partner* USD 18,000 (approximately HKD 141,300) this February to provide 6 days of food and blankets to 218 families from Paletwa in the temporary campsites. Temperature difference at the campsite areas is large that temperature at night could drop to 6 degrees Celsius. Temporary campsites’ living conditions are unsatisfactory: campsites are simply constructed with bamboos and canvas only, location is too remote for delivering food and resources. Villagers are obviously in acute need.
In this emergency relief project, we are partnering with Pastor Aung Din and his team, who are experienced in emergency relief, to ensure the delivery of resources to the campsites. Aung Din was born in Paletwa and is very familiar with local situation. He has also led many emergency relief projects. In this January, when the Myanmar’s Government ordered the military to launch operations to crack downon the AA, Aung Din realised the intensifying condition and immediately collected and distributed resources, including food like rice and dry fish, to around 70 families, and built more than 40 bamboo huts as their shelters.
Due to inconvenient transportation and roads blocked by the Myanmar’s military, some campsites are only accessible by two days of walk, but we will work closely with the team of Aung Din and report the latest condition timely. We also need your prayers dearly, and your response to their urgent needs.
We plan to provide the following items:
• Food (Rice, fish sauce, salt, bean, dry provision, nutrition food for infants, pregnant and lactating women)
Beneficiaries: the discriminated tribe in Chin
This project will benefit 218 families from a marginalised tribe in Chin, in which some are believers of Jesus. They originally resided in a forest nearby the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh or India. They are different from many Chin people in the Chin State who can speak English, that this tribe has almost no connection with the world outside and only a few of them have received formal education. In view of the difference in language and culture, they have been suffering from discrimination in their own country. In this recent conflict between the Myanmar;s military and the AA, the AA’s members hid in the forest area and the Myanmar Army attacked with helicopters. This tribe was coerced to leave their home.
According to our partner, the needs of the diaspora are huge. To provide three months of living and medical needs for around 2,039 refugees, our partner needs approximately USD 267,000. In fact, apart from emergency relief, resettlement of these refugees in the future also needs external assistance depending on the conditions of conflicts. CEDAR Fund calls for your support and partnership. If the amount of offering is eventually more than the grant, we will definitely discuss further with our partner to understand the long-term needs of the refugees, such that the support from your generosity can be maximised.
Other Donation Methods:
- Cheque payable to “CEDAR FUND”
- Direct deposit to our bank accounts (HSBC 600-385678-001 / BEA 015-185-68-00931-7 SSA) and return the bank deposit slip to us
- Visa/ Master Card (Download Donation Form)
 CEDAR is an approved charitable institution and trust of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please visit Inland Revenue Department website for details.
 Donations over HK$100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
 Please DO NOT fax any donation information.
*Our partner in Myanmar is Full Moon Children Development Family. Full Moon has already collaborated with Pastor Aung Din in ministries for 8 years. They are under the same network of Christian Children Home in Myanmar. Aung Din has also registered youth organisations in Yangon and Chin State to serve the youths.
|Know more about conflicts!
Rakhine State is located at the southwest of Myanmar. Since 2017, Myanmar Government has persecuted Rohingya Muslims, and Rakhine State has become the internationally concerned conflicting point. When the society concerned on the deportation or migration of 730,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the conflicts between the Myanmar Force Army and the AA continues in recent months at the north of Rakhine State and south of Chin State.
The AA is an insurgent group founded in 2008, which is mainly constituted of Rakhine ethnic Buddhists. They advocate for Arakanese’s self-determination and a greater authority for Rakhine State. The emergence of the AA was due to the long-term discrimination from mainstream Bamar Buddhist who ensconced in power in the country against 2 million Rakhine Buddhist.
On 4 January 2019, the Myanmar Independence Day, the AA attacked 4 police stations and resulted in injuries and casualties of 13 police officers at Buthiduang in Rakhine. The AA claimed such attack as a response to Myanmar’s military action in northern Rakhine. This incident triggered suppress from Myanmar’s military and conflict occurred in Rakhine State and extended to Chin State, located on the border of India and Myanmar. According to Edith Mirante, a human rights author who had studied Chin issues for many years, the AA used the southern Chin as their military training site. In May 2017, at least 500 Chin State’s civilians were forced to escape from the conflict to India.
The United Nations noted that, before the end of January, the Myanmar’s military and the AA had conflicts at Buthiduang, Rathedaung, and Ponnagyun in Rakhine State, as well as Paletwa at the south of Chin State.
On 11 February, Amnesty International criticised that the action of Myanmar’s military violated human rights, as the army recklessly shelled villages, obstructed food supplies and humanitarian aids to civilians, and detained civilians with ambiguous laws.
Myanmar is a multi-ethnic country with 135 officially recognised ethnic groups. However, conflicts between local insurgent groups and the Government has continued over the history of Myanmar. There are over 20 intensifying conflicts on the border. Independent analyst stated that this conflict implied the penetration of the AA in border regions and the extension of their influence.
Address>G.P.O. Box 3212 Hong Kong/Suite 504, Rightful Centre, 12 Tak Hing Street, Kowloon
CEDAR’s Relief and Rehabilitation Work in the past: https://cedarfundeng.wordpress.com/relief
CEDAR Approach on Relief and Rehabilitation: https://cedarfundeng.wordpress.com/relief-approach/
FAQs on Relief Appeal: http://bit.ly/cedar-relief-FAQe
（Photo credit: Full Moon）