The First Handbook for Refugees Rights in Burmese Language Published

by EM News June 29, 2010

The Burma Refugee Organization (BRO) based in Malaysia, has just published Protecting Refugees and Their Rights by Alinsek, a Burmese human rights and social activist on 30 June 2010, as first ever handbook for refugees in Burmese language.

The book is forwarded by Aung Myo Min, the director of the Human Rights Education Institute for Burma (HREIB), and Myo Thein, the director of the Burma Democratic Concern (BDC), as well as some Burmese activists and friends of Burma. The book includes essential information about the rights of refugees, including universal human rights, and information about the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with a collection of speeches, quotes, and poems relating to refugees life and Burma’s current political situation.

Drawing on his own personal experience in Malaysia, and as a research on refugees and asylum-seekers from Burma in Malaysia, Alinsek (pseudonym) translates and explains the manual for refugees published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The book specifically emphasizes the situation of Burmese refugees in Malaysia. The book also includes website links and interesting poems in English for those who can’t read Burmese.

The latest statistics from UNHCR Malaysia reveals that, 81,600 out of 88,100 registered refugees are from Burma (Myanmar). However, Garrett Kostin, the manager of The Best Friend Library (Chiang Mai) notes that “There are people and organizations that assert—and perhaps even believe—that because ethnic-Burmese Buddhists are the majority population of Burma, they therefore do not suffer oppression or injustice at the hands of the military government of that country. This, however, is a tragic misconception that adversely affects the lives of tens of thousands of asylum-seekers in Malaysia, and indeed millions of Burmese in their own country.”

Venerable Ashin Issariya, the founder of the All Burma Monks Alliance (ABMA), welcomes the book by stating: “Alinsek’s book can help Burmese people easy to learn about refugee rights, and how the UNHCR and the international community can help and protect refugees and asylum-seekers. Moreover, they can also enjoy the poems and quotes. I am satisfied and proud of him [Alinsek] for his great contributions for the Burmese refugees.”   

Maung Hla, chairperson of Burma Refugee Organization (BRO), says: “I have wanted to publish a book like this for a long time. All refugees and asylum-seekers should read it to know their rights.”

The author Alinsek, who is also a political blogger, says: “I compiled this book to explain the definition of ‘refugee’ used by the international community especially the UNHCR. Furthermore, I wish to share my knowledge on human rights and to spotlight how the UNHCR mechanism works and how you can seek their assistance as refugees and asylum-seekers.”

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Maung Hla, Burma Refugee Organization (BRO) on 0169121987, email
Burma Refugee Organization (BRO) was formed on January 1, 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. BRO is a membership organization that has over 17000 multi-ethnic members, that aims to assist all refugees and asylum-seekers from Burma (Myanmar) currently residing in Malaysia due to human rights violations committed by the Burmese military junta. BRO strives for helping and protecting Burmese refugees of all ethnicity who have to flee Burma to Malaysia.


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