Chin Youths Investigated Following Panglong-Related Stickers Distribution
02 March 2011: Local authorities of Burma’s military-turned-civilian government have conducted an investigation in attempts to find out who is responsible for distrubiting a sticker during Chin National Day celebrations on 20 February 2011 in Chin State.
Some youth leaders as well as university students getting involved in organising the Chin National Day celebrations in towns across Chin State are said to have been targeted for the interrogation regarding the stickers that read ‘To the Glory of 20th February’ and ‘Welcome the Second Panglong!’
The organising committee members of Chin National Day celebrations are mostly targetted and asked if they know who made and distributed the stickers, and how the stickers are related to the celebrtaions and Panglong, according to one of the university student leaders in Kalay Myo.
Another student from Kalay Myo said: “Some university students go into hiding and villages away from the towns while others stop using emails and internet. They know that the authorities have been looking for those who are responsible for the stickers and those who are thought to be related to it.”
The investigation is known to have been conducted in Tedim, Tonzang, Falam and other towns in Chin State where the stickers are seen and believed posted in public areas.
This year’s February 20th marked the 63rd anniversary of Chin National Day. However, the military authorities forced local communities to use a banner reading ‘Chin State Day’ against the wills of the people.
Five youth leaders were detained and interrogated in connection with the stickers distributed during the Chin National Day celebrations but were freed after more than 300 local youths demanded their immediate release in front of the Police Station in Tedim Town.
It is claimed that the investigation which includes visiting houses of those suspected could be a reaction taken as a sign of threat and intimidation to the public.
As of today, no one is reported being arrested or jailed in association with the ongoing investigation.
Van Biak Thang