Wednesday, July 1, 2009

US destination for 50,000th Burmese refugee

Lisa Schlein (VOA, Geneva, 6/30/09)

Post Cyclone Nargis devestation coupled with ongoing police state policies in Burma

The U.N. refugee agency reports the 50,000th refugee from Burma has left a camp in Thailand to begin a new life in a new country -- the United States. The UNHCR says the Burmese resettlement program is the largest in the world.

Resettlement from the nine refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border began in 2004. But the UNHCR says the program got an enormous boost in early 2005, when the United States offered to give new homes to refugees from the camps.

"The man who was precisely the 50,000th person to depart is an ethnic-Karenni school teacher who had been in Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand since 1996. He and his wife and two-year-old daughter left Bangkok this morning at the start of a 28-hour plane journey, their first time on a plane, that will bring them to their new home in Camden, New Jersey," he said. More>>

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