Myanmar’s Christian Refugees Hold Anti-Coup Protest in India - Word&Way

Myanmar’s Christian Refugees Hold Anti-Coup Protest in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — About 300 refugees from a Christian minority community from Myanmar held a demonstration in India’s capital on Wednesday (March 3) against last month’s military takeover in their country and demanded the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other Myanmar leaders.

Chin refugees from Myanmar shout slogans during a protest against military coup in Myanmar, in New Delhi, India, on March 3, 2021. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press)

They chanted “Restore democracy in Burma” and “Shame on you dictator” and carried placards as they burned a coffin with photographs of Myanmar’s coup leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping, accusing him of supporting the military rulers. They also stomped their feet on the Chinese national flag.

The demonstration was held at Jantar Mantar, an area of New Delhi close to Parliament that is often used for protests. The protesters called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put pressure on Myanmar’s military rulers to restore democracy.

James Fanai, president of the Chin Refugee Committee, said as refugees the protesters were showing their support to the people of Myanmar.

“We want our leader back. We are here for justice,” said Ming, a 22-year-old refugee, referring to Suu Kyi. Ming uses one name.

Like the Rohingya, the Chin also are a persecuted minority group in Myanmar, living in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India. India and Myanmar share a long land border of over 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Myanmar is important to India’s national security, and the two countries have signed a pact to share intelligence to combat Indian insurgents operating out of the border region.