Chinese authorities guard Burma border to stop IDPs

Right side of the main buildingChinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) post at Manghai, opposite Burmese border town Mongkoe, in Northern Shan State.

On Sept. 28 Chinese policemen began guarding all border entry points to China’s southwest Yunnan province from Burma’s northern Shan State, preventing ethnic Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from crossing the border, said IDPs.

Two or more policemen are guarding all official and unofficial corridors in the long border starting from Hpawng Seng (Poungsai) to Nam Hkam like Hpawng Seng (Poungsai), Mongkoe, Wandin, Kyukok, Ruili (Shweli) and Nongdao, on the western side of the Salween River, said people in those places.

Earlier, border-based residents from both countries were able to cross the border without passports for small-scale border business. Now, local people from both sides cannot cross the border to do business, residents said.

At official border crossings like Muse and Mongkoe, only people with authorized passports are allowed to enter China, according to people in Muse.

Burmese IDPs in Northern Shan State, mostly ethnic Kachin people, are fleeing to secure places and the China border since the Burma Army launched its storm-offensive against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) military bases in Muse and Kutkai townships, on Sept. 24.

KIA officials of Northern Shan State (from the KIA’s 4th Brigade) said over 20,000 IDPs from the KIA’s controlled areas are fleeing to government-controlled locations and the China border.

border-gateMap of border gate along China-Burma border in Northern Shan State.

Currently, hundreds of Kachin IDPs have already fled to eight towns in government-controlled Northern Shan State including Muse, Lashio, Kutkai, Nampaka, Nam-um, Pongsai, Mongkoe, Kyukok (Pangsai), where they are temporarily taken care of by Kachin churches, church sources said.

In Burmese border towns like Kyukok and Mongkoe, Burmese policemen are also preventing IDPs from entering China. They are being told to seek shelter in Kachin churches, said IDPs in those towns.

Chinese and Burmese border authorities in Mongkoe, the former headquarters of the Communist Party of Burma, are working closely together on the ethnic IDPs issues and the war, said sources close to Chinese border authorities.

On Sept. 27, Chinese border authorities arrested three Burmese suspects at a hotel in the Chinese border town of Manghai, opposite Mongkoe, and handed them over to Burmese border authorities in Mongkoe, said sources close to Chinese border authorities.

Since war broke out in N.Shan State, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political-wing of KIA, officially requested neighbouring China to accept Kachin IDPs from N.Shan State. However, China has not responded so far, said KIO officials.

Nevertheless, more and more Kachin IDPs are fleeing to the China border, according to border-based residents.

FBR REPORT: A Thank You from Karen State, Burma

Gradutes of team training Southern Karen Aug 09
Graduates of team training, Southern Karen Aug 09
Dear friends,

Thank you for all you do to support, encourage and help us. Your prayers, love, advice, and partnership are great gifts. (We have included a few photos from different multi-ethnic FBR trainings this year and from two relief missions.)

I am constantly amazed and filled with gratitude that people would help others so far away. All of us Free Burma Rangers thank you and each of the 52 FBR relief teams passes on their thanks. Also, the displaced people we serve with you thank you and are always telling us, “Please thank the people who are sending this help and tell them that we pray for them too. Encourage them to trust in God and let them know we love them and are able to give them only prayer in return, but we do pray for them and are thankful for these friends we have never met.”

To receive is a blessing when you are in need and to give is also a blessing. To be able to give makes us all feel useful. You give us what we need and you enable us to give to others what they need,and when they have they can also give. We in FBR are people of different faiths working closely together on the FBR teams, and as one of the leaders who is a Chrisitian I want to pray that God will give you what you need.
We all suffer in this life but this suffering draws us closer together and helps us know what the important things of life are. Among these are friends like you. continue