Letters to the Editor — October, 2010
covering burma and southeast asia
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Letters to the Editor — October, 2010

By THE IRRAWADDY Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Wednesday, October 20, 2010
NLD (LA) Have Clean Hands

I write in reference to your article dated Saturday, 02 October 2010, “UNHCR Affiliates Accused of Refugee Corruption” in which it was alleged that NLD (LA) Malaysia is “cheating money out of people who want refugee registration”.

For the past several months NLD(LA) Malaysia has been collecting names and basic information of members who are in need of protection and cannot return to Burma. This process has involved traveling to various states in Malaysia in order to collect biographical information, which is then passed on to UNHCR for registration purposes. This process has involved traveling over 480 Kms to four states in Malaysia in order to ensure that our members’ information is shared with UNHCR. All of this has been done using our membership funds, as well as personal funds of individual members working on a voluntary basis with NLD(LA). The traveling and communication costs involved in this process were therefore absorbed either personally by members of NLD(LA), or through our membership fees.

The person interviewed for the article also alleges that he paid a membership fee of 60 Malaysian Ringits per month to the organization in the hopes of getting registered for resettlement and was overlooked for others who had paid more money. In this regard it is important to note two points: First, registration was not at all for resettlement purposes, but rather for initial registration of refugee status determination by UNHCR.-- It has therefore nothing to do with resettlement; Second, NLD (LA)’s membership fee consists of a 50 Ringit initial membership fee and a subsequent 10 Ringits per month. These fees are used not only for registering refugees with UNHCR, but also for all our activities, which include programs for migrants and refugees, and which are used for advocacy purposes and forwarding the cause of justice and democracy in Burma.

The person interviewed in the article states that he registered with NLD (LA) in the hopes of getting registered with UNHCR. From his statement, it appears that the person in question is not committed to the goals of NLD (LA) and/or struggling for justice and democracy in Burma, but is rather selfishly concerned with his own individual needs. The only people being cheated  are not those who wish to be registered as refugees, but the NLD(LA) itself and the people of Burma who continue to struggle for justice with no help from the person interviewed for this article and others like him.  

—Kyaw Moe
NLD (LA) Malaysia

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
EU Ambassador Responds

Dear Sir,

There are a number of factual errors on your editorial of 20 July entitled “The Trouble with the EU and EC.”

Firstly, the EU high-level exploratory mission to Burma/Myanmar which was announced in the Conclusion of the Foreign Affairs Council dated 26 April (http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/114004.pdf) has not been cancelled. The EU remains committed to continuing dialogue with the authorities of Burma/Myanmar and all other relevant stakeholders with the aim of helping the internal political process to develop in a positive manner.

You state in your editorial that missions undertaken by Piero Fassino , the EU’s Special Envoy on Burma have “failed miserably”. It may be worth recalling that the Special Envoy, a highly-respected MP and former Italian Minister of Justice, has undertaken numerous successful visits to Burma/Myanmar’s neighboring countries to ensure their support for the EU’s main aim: a positive political transition in the country. For a detailed overview of Mr. Fassino’s activities I invite you to consult his latest report which can be found at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/Report_EUSE_marzo-2010-46505.pdf. In addition to his numerous travels to the region, Mr. Fassino has also contributed substantively to countless high-level policy discussions on Burma/Myanmar at the European and global level.

Your assertion that “Fassino is known to have little knowledge of Burma and its political situation” is therefore totally erroneous, as much as your assertion that “Recent requests by Fassino to visit Burma have been rejected by the junta, however, while missions he was able to undertake in the past failed miserably”.

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