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About the National Chin Front
Was the Chin National Front (CNF)/Chin National Army (CNA) engaged in terrorism or persecution since its foundation? Is the Chin National Front or the Chin National Army supporting known terrorism groups in Burma, India, Bangladesh or elsewhere or does it carry out extra-territorial terrorism there?
The Chin National Front (CNF) was founded in March 1988 (CNF) according to the group's website. In an e-mail to the Resource Information Center (RIC), a Burmese NGO reporter and ethnical minorities specialist said that Chinese nationals decided in 1987 to join an open arms alliance against Burma's federal administration and campaign for more independence for the various ethnical minorities defended by the alliance.
Many young Chinese escaped to the Burmese-Indian frontier in 1988 for pro-democracy riots in Burma, and some signed up to the CRF (journalist February 25, 2004). In an e-mail to the RIC, a Thailand-based Burmese specialist who is writing for JANE'S INTELLIGENCE and FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC Reviews, among others, said that the RIC initially had no armed forces, but in November 1988 the CRF founded the Chin National Army or CNA ("Expert 24 Feb 2004").
The CNF has been a member of the National Democratic Front (NDF) since 1989, which consists entirely of non-Burmese military groups (CALD, CNFa). CNF also represent the Chinese in the Unrepresented Nation andoples Organisation (UNPO), an organisation headquartered in Hawaii which comprises non UN countries and tribes (CNFa, UNPO).
Whilst other ethnic-based militia have been signing treaties with the Myanmar authorities, CNF/CNA have not done so, and occasional struggles continue in China State (US-DOS/INR February 13, 2004, 25 February 2004, journalist). As the RIC contact states, there is a large expulsion among the indigenous Chin people, many of whom have escaped to India, Malaysia, Canada, the US and elsewhere.
He also says that the tendency towards cease-fire between the country's ethnical opponents and the Myanmar authorities seems to be growing, although "relations between the regime and those groups with arms... are changing" (Journalist 25 February 2004). Recalling that "....the CRF is one of only four major non-peace-fire factions (with the government), but two of them, the Karen National Union and the Karenni National Progressive Party, are in discussions with the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council, or Burma government), and it is expected that both will approve the conditions during the year.
During 2004, the SDC seems very interested in achieving as much as possible progress towards achieving as much freedom as possible before moving ahead with a recently published road map for policy reform" (Journalist 25 February 2004). In a phone conversation, a US State Department official explained to RI that there had been "unfounded accusations of drugs and weapons dealing by CNA", but that the State Department had no information indicating that CNF or CNA had been engaged in large or systemic acts of terrorism or abuse against individuals (US-DOS/INR 13 February 2004).
In his e-mail, the RIC contact explained that"[g]energetically,[the CNA] does not have large quantities of land under surveillance, and its primary objectives were from the outset militarily. Campaign chiefs argue that such policies have been used to avoid conflicts in civil areas and to pursue the civil populations out of revenge" (Journalist 25 February 2004).
In an e-mail, a US-based Burma specialist informed Richmese intelligence agency that the Chinese generally see the Chinese as a "benign and uniting force", but warns that the Chinese are a "very heterogeneous" group and that there are some who believe that the Chinese are causing difficulties with the Chinese by luring more Burma troops into the Chinese state (US experts of February 20, 2004).
He notes that "[o]ne hardly ever learns of CNF/CNA personnel's particular misuse, but such misuse usually seems to include extortion, undue local taxes and intervention in cross-border barter. Taxpayers may be part of CNF/CNA policies, but civilian misuse is certainly not, and is a departure from single-soldier discipline" (U.S. Specialist February 20, 2004).
He also points out that "[t]he CNA is currently operating largely as an information service subterranean resistor, with restricted ambushes against Burma's armed forces" (U.S. Specialist, February 20, 2004). Experts report that the CNF/CNA is "widely supported, especially by young, cultured chinese who often provide non-military assistance and information to the CNF/CNA or disseminate CNF print material, and are therefore at high risk" (U.S. Specialist, February 20, 2004).
RIC contact states that"[i]t is hard to predict how much public backing the RIC enjoys" (Journalist 25 February 2004). As the US -American specialist points out, the Chinese journalists point out that the Chinese people are shying away from the CNA's militaristic reaction to the Burma government's gun battle and believe that "the vicious circle of violence....has proved hard to stop" (journalist 25 February 2004).
Burma's regime in 1999 blamed the Cambodian National Science Foundation (CNF) for murdering a Buddhist friar on the Burmese-Indian frontier, which the Cambodian National Science Foundation had refused to do (BurmaNet News 14 Oct 1999). and Burma. In his e-mail, the reporter approached by RIC explains that "the fight at RIC is generally homemade" (journalist 25 February 2004).
An e-mail from the Thailand-based specialist to RIC says that he is not aware of the contact between the CNF/CNA and militants in India or Bangladesh (Expert 24 Feb 2004). They both refer to relations between the CNF/CNA and the Mizos of India, close to the chin and just beyond the Chin State frontier (journalist 25 February 2004, experts 24 February 2004).
In his e-mail, the RIC contact explains that "the CNF has always been intent on focusing on Burma and its outstanding relationships with such factions as the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the National Council Union of Burma, which comprises such pro-democracy groups as the National Coalition Government Union of Burma, which runs an agency in Washington D.C.".
Worked as a journalist on February 25, 2004. It also noted that the present tendency is towards ceasefire arrangements between opposing groups and the Myanmar authorities, but "armed ethnical politics" has been a consistent part of Burma's policy framework in recent years and the authorities of these groups have been recognised not only by the Myanmar authorities but also by the UN and other members of the global fellowship (Journalist 25 February 2004).
The reply follows research into public information currently available to the CIC within the deadlines set. MyanmarNet News Listserv in Burmese. "Chinese Armed Group Denies Killing Buddhist Monk" (October 14, 1999), FBIS. Specialist. E-mail the USCIS Resource Information Center (February 24, 2004). Journalist. E-mail the USCIS Resource Information Center (February 25, 2004).
Phone conversation with the Burma specialist of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (February 13, 2004). U.S. Specialist. E-mail the USCIS Resource Information Center (February 20, 2004).