Flowering Bamboo Leads to Starvation in Burma

By Joan Delaney, Epoch Times
July 22, 2008 Updated: July 23, 2008

Burmese Officials ask Canada for Help

 

A Burmese advocacy team is seeking Canada’s help for 100,000 people in Burma’s Chin State who are facing a serious food crisis as a result of a rat invasion.

The mass flowering of bamboo has led to an explosion of rats which are destroying basic crops and paddy fields in the region. Chin State covers almost 14,000 square kilometres, roughly one fifth of which is covered by bamboo.

“The situation is at a critical point,” said Salai Bawi Lian Mang, head of the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) which is monitoring the situation. “The people of Chin State are on the brink of starvation.” he stated in a news release.

The mass flowering of bamboo is an unusual natural phenomenon that occurs every 50 years in Chin State and in bordering Mizoram State in India. At least 200 Chin villages along the Burma, India and Bangladesh border are directly affected.

"The people of the western border of Burma had little assistance from the international community while the eastern border has been enjoying international support," said Salai Victor Lian, a prominent Chin political figure working with Burma’s Ethnic Nationalities Council.

Before his arrival in Ottawa, Lian was in the United Kingdom meeting with ministers and senior government officials. 

Recently, Chin activists in India formed the Chin Famine Emergency Relief Committee and started to take necessary action to help the people of Chin State.

Meanwhile, well known singers including Burma’s Sung Tin Par are giving a series of concerts in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore to raise funds for the people of Chin State.

The Canadian Friends of Burma is also working with the CHRO to highlight the situation in Canada.

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