China supplies medicine to Kachin refugees for first time

Posted by Admin Friday, July 22, 2011

For the first time, the Chinese government supplied medicine valued at nearly 100,000 Chinese Yuan (USD$15,625) on July 21 to Kachin refugees along its southwest border with Burma, a refugee relief official said.

Chinese medicine was supplied for over 16,000 Kachin refugees in the controlled area of the Kachin Independence Organization by the local Chinese government of Yingjiang County, in Yunnan province, according to Salang Kaba Doi Pyi Sa, Head of the Refugee Relief Committee of the KIO, based in its Laiza headquarters.

Doi Pyi Sa told the Thailand-based Kachin News Group, “It was the first time the Chinese government provided support to refugees in KIO controlled areas.”

Earlier, Jinghpo (Kachin in Burmese) communities in Yingjiang county also supplied about 100 sacks of rice and zinc roofs for refugees in Laiza, said Doi Pyi Sa.

The renewed civil war between the military-backed Burmese government and the KIO started on June 9 and refugees from government-controlled areas have fled to the KIO’s capital, Laiza, and other controlled areas near the China border.

Currently, half of the refugees have been housed in shelters in at least nine temporary camps in Laiza and other controlled areas near the China border. However, the remaining half are hiding on their own in forests, Doi Pyi Sa added.

More and more refugees from government areas are arriving at Laiza because of the escalation of the war between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), he added.

A few refugees fled to the main towns in the government-controlled areas, like Myitkyina and Waingmaw, while escaping from torture, interrogation, forced portering and rape committed by government soldiers.

During this rainy season in Burma, malaria, dengue fever and diarrhea are spreading among refugees in Laiza, so China’s medical support will be very helpful, Doi Pyi Sa said.


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