I have funs reading a handful of politically fledgling friends talking about the need to have a national party or umbrella organization representing the whole Chin people by portraying some of our leading political parties even as tribal based party.
When they (critics) judge our political parties, they should never judge our parties on the only question of who represented and who are not. That is not the most salient point when judging our Parties. It doesn’t matter how many parties we have either. Can anyone say that CNLD, CNF or ZNC do not welcome any Chin to join their parties? If any one can pinpoint with the articles in their constitution restricting membership only to a certain tribe of the Chin, I would agree with a handful of those constantly making a baseless statements bemoaning that the existing parties work for a certain tribe and not the whole Chin. What nonsense it is!
While judging our parties, the only important element that matter the most is the scope of the political parties- whether their aims and objectives reflect the whole national interest of the Chin people or only certain geographic region within the Chin. Whether or not the works they are doing politically are in consistent with their declaired objectives. That’s how we should judge the parties, and not by who represented in the given party.
For the clarification sake here, let’s take the Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) as an example. If one ask CNLD a question like who do you (CNLD) try to represent and what do you stand for? The answer would be the Chin people and for the Chin people. That is what important and matter the most here. The question of whether all diverse tribes feel represented in the CNLD would be judged upon by the works the CLND will do and not the people who represented in the CNLD.
Likewise, if the Republican Party or Democratic Party in US is asked to whom do they try to represent and stand for, the answer would be the American people irrespective of who lead the party. If you look a round the world and how those nationally contested parties function on the ground reality, that is how the nationally governing parties are formed and contested in the election to form the government regardless of who lead their party or what bacground he or she is from. That is the same thing for the existing Chin political parties. The only hurdle for our parties is they do not have time to do power politics at this time.
Having said that, in line with its scope and objectives, it is the sole responsibility of the CNLD as a national party to try its best to expand and broaden its political horizon and appeals, making sure that women, visible minorities, tribes across Chins etc. be represented and warmly welcomed in CNLD. When we have time to do power politics in a future democratic Chin politics, what I just said would be seen.
In this revolutionary era, as long as all our major parties come together which they did already as a coalition, united, and driving front/force for the common cause that unite us as one people, that is more than enough to work in unison towards achieving our national liberty. They are now in the right direction towards bringing all the tribes to be a part of the ongoing process of building the political platform where all voices across Chin tribes be heard and politically accommodated. Don’t expect them to turn the whole page overnight. It will take time. The recently concluded Chin National Assembly already paved the way now and the ONLY thing needed is to stand behind them, suggest them, encourage them, and be a part of the movement as soon as we can as they move towards accomplishing their mission. Let us get involve collectively in the ongoing process and make our voice heard instead of barking like a dog from our comfort zone. The time has come for the great Chin men and women to stand up and work hand in hand for the liberation of our people.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all the participants and supporters of the first Chin National Assembly, the historic gathering of our leading political parties, all individuals, civil organizations and societies, for standing up for our common cause and the political well-being of our Chin people. May your days a head be smooth and successful as you continue the historic mission to defend the self-determination of our people and to free our people from the bondage of the military dictatorship.
Salai Za Ceu Lian
18th May, 06