Statement of Canadian Friends of Burma – May 7, 2012
OTTAWA - Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism, visited to Burmese Buddhist Temple in Toronto on May 6 to meet with members of various Burmese/ethnic communities. Community members and the Venerable Ashin Kawida warmly received him.
During the visit, Minister Kenney made a special announcement for a 'Ministerial Relief' that he signed for a Karen activist whose asylum had been in limbo for almost a decade due to his past involvement with Karen freedom movement. Burmese community members at the Burmese Buddhist Temple in Toronto applauded with a mixture of relief and joy for Lerwah.
"It has been a long and painful process for Lerwah and his family. I am very glad that at least the Canada Immigration part of that process has been successfully resolved,' said Paul Copeland, Lerwah Bo's lawyer. Mr. Copeland also sent a letter of appreciation to the Minister, noting that this decision would lead him to become a permanent resident to Canada.
This is the second case Canadian Friends of Burma, along with Burmese community, have successfully sought the Minister Kenney's political intervention.
In August of 2009, a deportation order of a Burmese refugee claimant Nay Myo Hein was halted following the intervention of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on humanitarian grounds.
In the private meeting with the Minister, Kachin crisis became the centre of the discussion and the Minister was urged to assist more than 70,000 Kachin refugees and internally displaced people trapped in the conflict zones in the northern part of Burma.
"We are very grateful of Minister Kenney's efforts towards Burma's democratic change and the long-held inspiration of its people. One thing I am quite sure is that he has a big heart for Burma and Tibet, and a lot of people in Burmese community are praising about his good work for Burma" said Tin Maung Htoo, executive director of Canadian Friends of Burma.
The Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) is federally incorporated, national non-governmental organization working for democracy and human rights in Burma since 1991. Contact: Suite 206, 145 Spruce St., Ottawa, K1R 6P1; Tel: 613.237.8056; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.cfob.org