Frustration Against Forced Celebration of ‘Chin State Day’
26 February 2011: Chin people expressed their deep disappointment that the military authorities inside Chin State had ordered the local organising committee to put up a banner of ‘Chin State Day’ in their recent national day celerbations.
This year’s historical commemoration that marked its 63rd anniversary on 20 February was held in cities and towns across Chin State, with ceremonial banners reading in Burmese ‘Chin State Day’ against the wills and wishes of the people.
In Seoul, Republic of Korea, a group of activists of Chin and other ethnic nationalities from Burma protested in front of the Burmese Embassy on 20 February 2011, calling for an end to forcibly changing ‘Chin National Day’ to ‘Chin State Day’.
In their statement, Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network stressed the significance of Chin National Day to the Chin people as an ethnic nationality that has unique culture, custom and identity.
Some local organising committee members of Chin National Day celebration inside Chin State said they had no choice but to follow the orders as and if they wanted to have an official celebration in towns.
Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, General Secretary of Chin National Party (CNP), said: “We clearly state in our manifesto that the new Parliament and Government should have a proper consideration and discussion over this issue. We will keep on working hard in the interest of our people.”
“This event was performed under the supervision of the government, not the will of the people who live in Hakha,” one of the web users identified as TN said in reply to some outrageous disappointments expressed by individuals when seeing the photos of celebration in Hakha Town.
Meanwhile, celebrations with banners reading ‘Chin National Day’ were organised by Chin Literature and Culture Committee from Chin Universities Students in Kalay Myo, Mandalay and Rangoon.
“We knew that an official permission, if submitted before the celebration, would not be issued to us. So, we tried to find our own ways of organising it even though we were aware of risks and possible consequences. But we managed to hold our national day celebrations successfully and peacefully,” one of the organisation committee members in Rangoon told Chinland Guardian.
Outside the military-ruled Burma, Chin communities worldwide freely celebrated the Chin National Day in their residing cities and towns across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific regions, with a variety of cultural performances, foods and other activities including football and Chin traditional wrestling.
In his message on Chin National Day celebration, Dr. Za Hlei Thang (MP) once said a conference attended by representatives from all over the region was held in Falam and then on the 20th February 1948 in accordance with the people’s wishes, they decided to choose a democratic administrative system rather than primitive feudal administrative system, adding: “Hence the 20th of February became the National day for the chin people. From that time, we became united, understood each other and recognized the importance of the chin nation.”
Van Biak Thang