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Home > Main Library > Refugees > The Burmese diaspora > Third country resettlement of refugees from Burma

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Third country resettlement of refugees from Burma

Individual Documents

Title: The Sound of Loss and Hope: Pop Music of Karen Refugees from Burma/Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: "Since late 2011, I have made contacted with Karen refugee communities in two geographic locations –one on the Thai-Burma border and one in Melbourne, Australia, which has provided me opportunities to observe and participate in a number of activities organized by those displaced residents. During my three-year engagement, I have come across many Karen refugees who have enthusiastically taken part in the production as well as circulation and consumption of Karen pop music, especially in the form of music CDs or DVDs and audio and video files shared through online media platforms such as YouTube. Some explain that music offers them opportunities to enjoy themselves and to ‘hang out’ with like-minded fellow Karen. Moreover, I have found that music involvement helps some Karen individuals to cope with and to make sense of situations of displacement, oppression and alienation. Notably, the sentimental charge of song lyrics and melodies as well as the visual representations in music videos become a source of a sense of Karen identity and solidarity, and thereby make it possible for the producers as well as their audiences to maintain connections with their counterparts in different countries.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Manoch Chummuangpak
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (373K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2015


Title: Transnational “Myanmar”-Karenni Societies in United States: Experiences of Karenni Refugee Resettlement
Date of publication: 27 December 2014
Description/subject: "This paper examines the resettlement of refugees from Burma/Myanmar to the United States, by focusing on the refugee experience. The ethnographic description of the resettlement process reveals how refugees, by establishing a transnational “Myanmar” community in the United States, manifested a nationalism that was hitherto believed to be impossible. Building a nation-state in Burma/Myanmar has been a controversial issue since the nation’s independence from the British in 1948. Callahan argues that the process of state building in Burma has focused on warfare and violence by the state. After independence, the national army or Tatmadaw regarded citizens as potential enemies, and conducted various anti-insurgency campaigns. Her argument richly elucidates the state-building process in Burma/Myanmar. However, though the Nation and the State are inseparable, her arguments exclude the nation-building process. This paper explores one aspect of belonging to the nation of “Myanmar.” While state building is one of the most important tasks for a country following ethnic conflict, it is often analyzed only within the context of resistance movements, such as “Burmanization” by the government or resistance movements against it. Hence, the possibilities for actual nation building have not yet been explored. The experiences of refugees outside the country offer a new and useful perspective for such a discussion. Refugees may no longer legally belong to their country of origin, yet their existence expresses the core essence of the nation they come from. The case study dealt with in this paper focuses on Karenni refugees from the Kayah State, which is the smallest state in Burma. In the Kayah State, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) has been resisting the Burmese ruling military junta for more than 60 years, seeking either autonomy or independence from the state. The KNPP strategically have used the word “Karenni” as an umbrella term that includes all ethnic groups in Kayah State, in order to resist the Burma-centric state. The ex-chairman of the KNPP, namely Khu Hte Bu Pe, invented a “Karenni” script for the sake of the core spirit of his nation. Two refugee camps in Thailand were centers of KNPP politics in order to construct the “Karenni”, and “Karenni” has been an anti-state term, with its use being prohibited inside Burma by the junta. The category of “Karenni” or “Karenni” identity was constructed as a refugee concept in Thailand. This paper discusses the further transnational spread of “Karenni” through the resettlement of refugees to a third country, while also considering the meaning of Burma and Myanmar for those resettled refugees..."
Author/creator: KUBO Tadayuki
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies, No. 32, 2014... 上智アジア学 第32 号2014 年 目次 ...Burma Studies in Japan: History, Culture and Religion
Format/size: pdf (691K)
Alternate URLs: http://repository.cc.sophia.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/123456789/36547/1/200000079942_000134000_97.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 September 2015


Title: The Process and Prospects for Resettlement of Displaced Persons on the Thai-Myanmar Border
Date of publication: July 2011
Description/subject: Sustainable Solutions to the Displaced Person Situation On the Thai-Myanmar Border.....Conclusion: Resettlement operations within the shelters in Thailand have now been ongoing continuously for more than 5 years with over 64,000 departures completed as of the end of 2010. However, despite the large investment of financial and human resources in this effort, the displacement situation appears not to have diminished significantly in scale as of yet. While no stakeholders involved with the situation in Thailand are currently calling for an end to resettlement activities, there has been little agreement about what role resettlement actually x serves in long-term solutions for the situation. For the most part, the program has been implemented thus far in a reflexive manner rather than as a truly responsive and solutions-oriented strategy, based primarily upon the parameters established by the policies of resettlement nations and the RTG rather than the needs of the displaced persons within the shelters. Looking towards the future, it appears highly unlikely that resettlement can resolve the displaced person situation in the border shelters as a lone durable solution and almost certainly not if the status quo registration policies and procedures of the RTG are maintained. All stakeholders involved with trying to address the situation are currently stuck with the impractical approach of attempting to resolve a protracted state of conflict and human rights abuses within Myanmar without effective means for engaging with the situation in-country. Neither stemming the tide of new displacement flows nor establishing conditions that would allow for an eventual safe return appear feasible at this time. Within the limitations of this strategy framework, a greater level of cooperation between resettlement countries, international organizations, and the RTG to support a higher quantity of departures for resettlement through addressing the policy constraints and personal capacity restrictions to participation appears a desirable option and might allow for resettlement to begin to have a more significant impact on reducing the scale of displacement within Thailand. However, realistically this would still be unlikely to resolve the situation as a whole if not conducted in combination with more actualized forms of local integration within Thailand and within the context of reduced displacement flows into the shelters. The overall conclusion reached about resettlement is that it continues to play a meaningful palliative, protective, and durable solution role within the shelters in Thailand. While it is necessary for resettlement to remain a carefully targeted program, the stakeholders involved should consider expanding resettlement to allow participation of legitimate asylum seekers within the shelters who are currently restricted from applying because of the lack of a timely status determination process. Allowing higher levels of participation in resettlement through addressing this policy constraint, as well as some of the more personal constraints that prevent some families within the shelters from moving on with their lives, would be a positive development in terms of providing durable solutions to the situation. In conjunction with greater opportunities for local integration and livelihood options for those who cannot or do not wish to participate in resettlement, the program should be expanded to make the option of an alternative to indefinite encampment within the shelters in Thailand available to a larger group of eligible displaced persons..."
Author/creator: Ben Harkins, Nawita Direkwut, and Aungkana Kamonpetch
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Research Center for Migration Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University
Format/size: pdf (1.54MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/ARCM-Resettlement_Study_Final_Report.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2012


Title: Searching for home: Explorations in new media and the Burmese diaspora in New Zealand
Date of publication: 20 May 2011
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "This study examines the place of new media in the maintance of Burmese diasporic identities. Political oppression in Burma, the experience of exile and the importance of opposition movements in the borderlands make the Burmese diaspora a unique and complex group. This study uses tapoetetha-kot, an indigenous Karen research methodology, to explore aspects of new media use and identity among a group of Burmese refugees in Auckland, New Zealand. Common among all participants was a twin desire to share stories of suffering and to have that pain recognised. Participants in this project try to maintain their language and cultural practices, with the intent of returning to a democratic Burma in the future. New media supports this, by providing participants with access to opposition news reports of human rights abuses and suffering; through making cultural and linguistic artifacts accessible, and through providing an easy means of communication with friends and family in Burma and the borderlands."... Keywords: Burma, Karen, refugee, diaspora, indigenous, political activism, new media, tapotaethakot VIOLET CHO
Author/creator: Violet Cho
Language: English
Source/publisher: PACIFIC JOURNALISM REVIEW 17 (1) 2011
Format/size: pdf (85K)
Date of entry/update: 16 September 2011


Title: New media and Burmese diaspora identities in New Zealand
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: Abstract: "This study examines ways in which Burmese diasporic identities are formed and maintained, and the importance of new media in this process. Political oppression in Burma, the experience of exile and the importance of opposition movements in the borderlands make the Burmese diaspora a unique and complex group. This study used tapoetethakot, an indigenous Karen research methodology, to interact with fourteen participants in Auckland, exploring aspects of new media use and identity maintenance. Common among all participants was a twin desire to share stories of suffering and to have that pain recognised. This suffering is an important part of refugee identity and is also linked with resistance against assimilation in New Zealand. Instead, participants try and maintain their language and cultural practices, with the intent of returning to a democratic Burma in the future. New media supports these processes, by providing participants with access to opposition media reports of human rights abuses and suffering, through making cultural and linguistic artifacts accessible and through providing an easy means of communication with friends and family in Burma and the borderlands."
Author/creator: Naw Violet Cho
Language: English (main text); Interviews (English, Karen, Burmese)
Source/publisher: School of Communication Studies Auckland University of Technology
Format/size: pdf (582K)
Date of entry/update: 24 January 2011


Title: A Fresh Start
Date of publication: October 2009
Description/subject: Resettlement program offers thousands the chance of a new life in the West... "Nowadays, we don’t greet people any more with ‘How are you?’” said Tun Tun, 40-year-old secretary of the committee administering Mae La refugee camp in Thailand’s Tak Province. “We say, ‘When is your resettlement interview?’” Third-country resettlement is a major topic of discussion among the residents not only of Mae La but of the other eight camps strung out along Thailand’s eastern border with Burma. With hopes of returning in the foreseeable future to their shattered villages at an all-time low, resettlement in the West offers refugees their only realistic chance of leaving the camps and leading normal lives again..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 7
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=16909
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2010


Title: The Battle’s Not Over
Date of publication: February 2009
Description/subject: "Scarred and disillusioned—A Burmese Army vet continues to fight on a different front... IN June 2008, 46-year-old Myo Myint walked through the gates of Umpiem refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border, travelled to Bangkok airport and boarded an aircraft for the first time in his life, for a journey of 19,000 km (12,000 miles) to the United States. Many hours later, on a humid Indiana evening, he embraced a brother he hadn’t seen in almost 20 years. The emotional reunion marked the end of one chapter in an extraordinary life and the beginning of a new one. For Myo Myint is no ordinary refugee. Multimedia (View) As a young man, he joined the Burmese army, witnessing appalling atrocities and losing an arm and a leg in battle. In 1988, he became an activist, appealing to his former comrades to join hands with those calling for peaceful democratic change. He was arrested, tortured and imprisoned for 15 years for his participation in the popular uprising..."
Author/creator: Nic Dunlop
Language: English (Burmese subtitles)
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 February 2009


Title: Difficult to remain: the impact of mass resettlement
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: In a context where the durable solutions of repatriation and local integration are not available, resettlement has become increasingly attractive.
Author/creator: Susan Banki and Hazel Lang
Language: Burmese, English
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (English, 417K; Burmese, 187K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/42-44.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008


Title: Karen voices on resettlement
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: With little support and often under threat, members of the Karen Women’s Organisation have conducted research, provided programmes and support, and challenged the wisdom of international NGOs and UNHCR...In 2005 the Royal Thai Government eased restrictions and allowed resettlement from the camps on the Thai- Burmese border to countries in the West. The impact of resettlement in the camps has been of great concern to the Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO)1 for several years. They want the voices of the refugees, in particular refugee women, and of their community-based organisations to be heard in discussions on the provision of durable solutions. Sadly, refugee women have to scream to be heard whispering.
Author/creator: The Karen Women’s Organisation, with Sarah Fuller and Eileen Pittaway
Language: Burmese, English
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (English, 387K; Burmese, 182K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/45-46.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008


Title: To Sheffield with love
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: Some 174 refugees from the Thai-Burma border have been resettled in Sheffield in the UK between May 2005 and September 2007. Better preparation and more practical assistance could have eased their integration into British society.
Author/creator: Patricia Hynes and Yin Mon Thu
Language: Burmese, English
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (English, 481K; Burmese, 268K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/49-51.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008


Title: A Little Burma in Fort Wayne
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: Burmese residents of a US city still find it hard to escape the politics of their homeland... "Than Myint arrived in the “land of opportunities” as a refugee nine years ago, together with her husband and children. A native of Rangoon, Than Myint now lives in Fort Wayne, a city of some 200,000 people in the US state of Indiana. Now in her late 50s, she has learned how to survive and lead a satisfactory life in the US—the kind of existence she would never have been able to enjoy in Burma..."
Author/creator: Lalit K Jha
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No.6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Off to a New Life
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: More than 10,000 Burmese migrants in Thailand’s Mae La refugee camp could soon be resettled in the US... "It could be a scene from a travel trade show—a crowd of mostly young people clusters in front of poster boards bearing pictures of life in the US. These are no tourists, however, but Burmese refugees in Thailand hoping to resettle in the US and eager for any illustration of what they can expect to find there..."
Author/creator: Jim Andrews
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No.6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Rolling the Dice for Freedom
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: Short-term troubles for Burmese winners of the US ‘green card lottery’ cannot dampen their hopes for a better life for their children... "...For Burmese who have won the US government’s “freedom jackpot,” the process has been arduous and subject to abuse, and adjusting to life in the US o­nce they have arrived has for some proven to be no easy task. Their troubles begin with the application process. Candidates for the program must submit their applications electronically, and while Internet access has increased in Burma in recent years, it is not widespread. Candidates from Burma also struggle with the format of the application and the required familiarity with written English. This has led to a proliferation of “middle men” who offer their services to potential applicants, but for a substantial fee..."
Author/creator: Aung Lwin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No.6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Welcome to Texas
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: Karen migrants find life in America has its downside... "When members of the Thai community in the US are asked to help resettle newly arrived Karen refugees from the Thai-Burmese border, old clichés surface. “Are these people members of the God’s Army?” ask some. Others recall headline-grabbing incidents like the murder of a Thai woman by her Burmese maid. Many Americans share this prejudiced view of the Karen arrivals, believing they have no idea of civilized bathroom or kitchen hygiene. Some are surprised that the Karen actually wear shoes..."
Author/creator: Ampika Jirat
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No.6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Westward Bound
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: As thousands of Karen wait in resettlement camps, others already settled in foreign lands discover new challenges to their future... Heh Nay Thaw has lived in refugee camps in Thailand for nearly a quarter-century since he crossed the border from Burma with his family at age five. He is now 29, with a wife and two children, and the long years of waiting for a permanent home may soon be over. Like many of his fellow Karen, Heh Nay Thaw gave up hope that he could ever return to Karen State and applied for resettlement outside Asia—possibly in the US. “There is nothing here to improve our life,” said Heh Nay Thaw at the Mae La camp in Thailand’s Tak Province. “That’s why our family decided if the [resettlement] door is open for us, we will go to escape from this terrible compound.”..."
Author/creator: Shan Paung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No.6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008