Monday, September 29, 2008

Nang Myenmung hpe ndum ai i?

Nye manang Zau dut gaw Yup hprang e rawt Kajawng nna hka gawm myi lu nga yang,E Zau hpa byin a ta ngu san dat yang, aga ga nkam tsun sai..Yup mang hta myen mung du mat ai yup mang mu nna kaja wa shadu kua le,nga hkap tsun dan nna Yup tung e rawt mani
nga ga ai law.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

UNHCR rung kaw, Jinghpaw interpreter(ga galai ya ai) ni jat wa

Malaysia du, Jinghpaw Wunpawng Myu Sha law malawng a yaw shada lam gaw, UNHCR (Mungkan mung hpawng tsin-yam) rung kaw register galaw la n-na, (Third Country) nambat masum ngu ai, sin-na mungdan kaba de', htawt sit nga na matu rai nga ai. Yawng hkra hpe gaw n-tsun mayu ai. Rai tim, law malawng rai nga ai.

UNHCR rung kawn register galaw la na ngu ai gaw, moi UNHCR rung n-nan hpaw wa ai shaloi gaw, grai loi ai sha n-ga, register galaw la ngut ai, kade' n-na ai hte gaw, nambat masum mungdan de' lu sa na ahkaw a hkang ni lu ai rai nga ai. Rai tim, ya gaw, masha nau law wa ai majaw, register lu galaw la na pyi, grai yak wa sai re.

N-dai hta, Hkang (Chin) hpu nau ni hte' Jinghpaw ni shai hkat ai lam loi li nga ai hpe mu lu ai. Malaysia nga, Hkang hpu nau ni, marai latsa(100) daram rai yang, dai kaw na matsat shi (80) daram gaw, register galaw da sai ni rai nga ma ai. Ngut jang, shan hte a, stories ni hpe, UNHCR kaw Tang madun dat ai shaloi, grai lawan ai hpe mu lu ai. Ga shawdawn tsun ga nga yang, Jinghpaw langai hte' Hkang hpu nau langai, UNHCR rung kaw register lani mi hta sha lu galaw la ai rai tim, nambat masum mungdan de' sa ai lam hta, Hkang hpu nau wa shawng lu sa mat ai gaw, case law malawng hta rai nga ai.

UNHCR rung kaw, hpa majaw, Hkang hte' Jinghpaw n-dai zawn shai hkat ai lam hpe, sung hkra wa n-chye ai rai tim, hkrak tup chye lu ai gaw, UNHCR rung kaw ga galai ya ai(interpreter) hta, Hkang gaw Jinghpaw hta manu mana law ai lam hpe mu lu ai hku re.

Ga galai ya ai (interpreter) law yang hpa a kyu rawng a ta ?.. N-dai lam hte' seng n-na, ya UNHCR rung kaw, interpreter galaw nga ai, Jinghpaw langai hpe san yu yang...

"Interpreter galaw yang she', officer ni a lam hpe grau chye lu ai. Grau chye lu ai ngu ai hta, n-dai officer gaw, ganing re ga san ni hpe san chye ai. Ngut jang, shi gara hku san dat yang, gara hku htai ai hpe grau ra sharawng ai lam ni hpe mung chye lu ai. Dai ni hpe, UNHCR rung kaw interview sa htai na, Jinghpaw Wunpawng Myu Sha ni hpe bai matsun madun(guideline) ai lam ni lu galaw ya ai. Interpreter ni grau law wa yang she', anhte myu sha ni a lam hpe, shan hte(officers) ni hku n-na, grau dam hkra mu lu wa na re ngu kam ai." nga tsun dan wa ai.

Ya, Malaysia UNHCR rung kaw, Jinghpaw Interpreter marai 7 nga ai. Masum gaw UNHCR registration department de rai nna, laga marai mali gaw IOM (International Organization for Migratants) kaw rai nga ai. Hkang hpu nau interpreter ni gaw, n-law htum, marai sumshi (30) jan daram nga ai.

Ya a ten, UNHCR rung kaw, register galaw da sai, Jinghpaw ni, 2003 ning kawn ya dai ni du hkra rai yang marai jahku tsa (900) daram du wa sai re lam chye lu ai. KRC(Kachin Refugee Committee) kaw register galaw da ai gaw, Jinghpaw ni, marai 2300 daram nga n-htawm, Malaysia du nga ai, Jinghpaw Wunpawng Myu Sha yawng 3000 jan daram rai wa sai lam hpe, sagawn chye lu ai hku re. Matu nna, mung shani shagu anhte Jinghpaw ni du nga ding yang rai nga ai.

Hpu Nau hkang ni hpa majaw Maigan lu pru na matu lawan nga ai kun?............. shanhte Hkang amyu sha ni hta Maigan de du mat sai ni a shakut shaja ai majaw re. Dai ni na ten Hkang myu sha ni gaw US de grai sa nga ai. Dai lam gaw US kaw nga ai shanhte a myu sha ni gaw ya yang Malaysia, Thailand hte India mungdan hkan nga ai Hkang myu sha ni a yak hkak jam jau hkrum nga ai lam ni hpe US mungdan Atsuya, US state government ni hte Mungkan tsin-yam rung daju Geneva hkan term paper laika mara let madu a myu sha ni a matu tsun sak se hkam ya ai majaw Mungkan kaw na Hkang myu sha ni a lam hpe mu mada wa ai re. Dai hte maren, shanhte hte anhte laga Myen mung masha myu baw sang ni hpe Maigan ni chye na ai lam hta mung, Myen mung masha shada kaw pyi Chin and non- Chin nga tsun wa ai. Dai majaw dai ni na ten Malaysia, Thailand hte India hkan du nga sai anhte Jinghpaw wunpawng myu sha ni yawng nambat masum mungdan de resettle byin lu na matu gaw nang ngai yawng a lit hte Maigan du nga sai myu sha yawng a lit rai nga ai.

(Written by Shanglawt and Edited by Du Re)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tinang a du tinang gyit mayu yang

What A Terrible Event ?


Awng Seng’s (not his real name) story is not something that is easy to listen to. Running away from the military in Myanmar when he was only 21, he was sold to a fishing boat in Thailand, where for 2 years he was a slave, watching others like him being murdered in cold blood.

I have heard stories of men being sold to fishing boats before, but I have never heard anything in detail, and this story left me numb.

“The agent told us that work in Malaysia was difficult, so he offered me work on a Thai fishing boat, telling me that it was only going to be for around 2-3 months, and that they would pay me 3,000 Bhat a month. Trusting him, I accepted“.

Being a farmer, he had never worked on a boat before, so it was difficult for him to adapt to the sea. He didn’t speak the language as well, so that made it even more difficult.

“They beat me every time I made a mistake. They beat me with their hands and feet. They beat me with metal bars, about this size and this size…” showing that it was the length of his hand, and then his arm. “They would throw pieces of chain at me”, he said. Sometimes there would be blood all over”.

“There were 5 of us slaves - two others from Thailand and another three from Cambodia.They killed 3 of us. They killed the first person about a month after we set out to sea. This guy had bought some whiskey at the port, and when he ran out of alcohol, he couldn’t work as hard. They were really angry. So they took him to the front of the boat and beat him every day. He was very afraid. One day, after beating him up, they threw him overboard.But he could swim a bit, so he swam back to the ship. They called to him. “Come, come” they said. So he swam back, but when he tried to board the ship, they beat him with spades, so he fell down into the water. Again he swam and he tried to climb up, but this time they beat him with hooks. There was blood all over. He fell back into the sea and was unconscious for about 15 minutes, just floating. The third time, he swam back but dare not climb up, so he was just clinging to the fishing net by the side of the boat. This was when one of them climbed down and stabbed him in the throat with a small knife“.

“They killed his friend too. He was a bit older than us and I think he couldn’t work as hard as they wanted him too. They called him, and when he went, they told him that this would happen to him if he didn’t work hard. When he looked over the edge of the boat to see what happend to his friend, they struck the back of his head with an axe. He fell into the sea, dead“.
“I was so afraid. I thought I would be killed like them. I thought I would die“.

Awng Seng would work hauling up the fish, and then seperating them into different baskets. The work was non-stop, 24 hours. “We would work for about 4 hours each time the net came up, and then we would be able to rest for 2-3 hours until the net came up again, and it would be like that over and over and over. Twice a month, a supply ship would come by and we would unload the fish and load up supplies and ice. When ice came, we would work all night to break it up into small pieces”.

“They killed the 3rd person when we were sorting fish one day, about 2 to 3 months later.They called this person and told him to jump into the sea and swim. This guy couldn’t swim, so they told him that they would tie a string around his waist and pull him up if he sank. We all smiled. We thought it was a joke. We thought they were teasing him. But later, we found his dead body tied to a rope by the side of the boat. Every time a wave came his body would lift out of the water and then it would come crashing down again. I think he died like this“.

What was the worst thing that happened during this time, I asked, fully expecting him to tell further stories of torture and abuse. But he didn’t. “The worst thing was that they did not value us as humans. Our lives meant nothing to them. We could fight, and they would let us kill each other, but if we dropped a fish during the fight, they would beat us for that“. In other words, their lives were valued less than the fish.

To Awng Seng, then, there was no hope. No future. “There would be only ocean as far as the eye can see during the day, and only stars at night“. They would be no escape. At 21, he was, in his own words, just “waiting for death to come“. “We never came back to land.Even if there was a problem with the boat, the supply ship would come to fix it. We never saw land. In the supply boat, there were others like me, and they have been slaves for 6, 8 years. All I could do was pray to God for help”.

It seems, one day, God answered his prayers. Almost 2 years later, the engine broke down so completely that the supply ship couldn’t fix it, so they towed the boat back to port. “I could speak a little bit of Thai by then, so they gave me some money and asked me to buy them some cigarettes. I didn’t. I went to a phone booth and I called my friend in Kuala Lumpur. I remembered his number. I never forgot it. It was in my head all the time. I told him everything that happened to me. I asked him to help me. My friend then called an agent at the port. After about an hour, he came to pick me up and took me to his house. The next day, he put me in the boot of a car and crossed over into Malaysia where the agent put me on a bus to Kuala Lumpur. My friend was waiting for me at the bus stop and found me work at the coffee shop he was working at“.

Awng Seng is one of the lucky ones. He still works at this coffee shop serving rice and stays with his friend in a small room rented by the shop owner. He gets two days off a month, and works from 6 in the morning to 2.30 in the afternoon. Every day, after work, he goes straight back to his room. After getting into a few run-ins with the police, he dare not go anywhere else. Awng Seng hopes one day to be registered with the UNHCR, but worries that they won’t believe him, as his scars are slowly fading. I asked him what his plans are for the future. He told me that he wanted to study English and computer. “I only went to school until standard 6 (12 years old) but I stopped because we didn’t have enough money back then. I had to work in my field planting corn and hill rice.But I never once failed in my exams“.

Why English and computers, I asked? “Computers because it seems everything is computerised now, and English because all the books are in English, so I want to learn English because I want to study all the books“.

“I want to be successful one day“, Awng Seng says. What does success mean to you, I ask? Awng Seng stays silent for a while, thinking. “There are two aspects to being successful”, he says. “One is education, and the other one is finance. With money, I can help others get education, so they too can be successful“.

Asked if he missed anything in Myanmar, he told me that he misses his mother very much. “Especially when I get sick, because then there is nobody to take care of me“. It struck me then, that even through he went through hell and survived, Awng Seng is still alone, still young, and still some mother’s little boy.

KRC shiga shanan March 2014 Kualalumpur