Canada To Admit More Than 800 Myanmar Refugees

Canada to admit more than 800 Myanmar refugees
Canadian Press

OTTAWA Canada will open its doors to more than 800 refugees from Myanmar.

The announcement Tuesday, in a statement from Immigration Minister Monte Solberg, came as Canada and countries worldwide marked World Refugee Day.

The refugees, who have been stranded in camps in neighbouring Thailand for over a decade, are expected to settle in Canada later this year.

Welcoming these refugees, who have endured a prolonged state of limbo in terrible conditions, is in the best humanitarian tradition of Canada, said Mr. Solberg. As Canadians we look forward to helping them rebuild secure lives and join our society.

The group of 810, who mostly belong to the Karen ethnic group, are among 140,000 refugees who had been singled out for persecution by Myanmar's repressive military government. They have been subjected to torture, imprisonment, forced labour, the burning of villages and forced relocation.

The UN High Commission for Refugees was impressed at the smooth and efficient manner in which the Canadian selection team conducted the interviews in a remote refugee camp environment, said Jahanshah Assadi, the agency's Canadian representative, in the statement.

The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Britain and the Netherlands will also accept Myanmar refugees.