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Chin State Government to Hold Meeting with NGOs

23 August 2011: In a new political atmosphere developed in recent days in Burma, the government of Chin State is preparing to convene a meeting with development and humanitarian agencies in Hakha, Chin State.

The meeting believed to take place on 1 September at Chin State Parliament Building will invite all representatives of the agencies working for Chin State, the poorest in Burma, according to a confirmed source.

However, the source said the government made a clear request that the invitees must be a Burmese national and officer in charge.

The General Administration Department is said to have been busy working on the invitation and agendas for the meeting whose detailed programmes have not yet been released.

“Once we receive the proposed agenda for the meeting, we will inform you for your inputs and suggestions,” said an email by one of the NGOs working in Chin State to members of local humanitarian organizations.

Although it still remains unclear at this stage about what will be discussed, the Chin State government is reportedly organizing the general meeting in an attempt to improve coordination and cooperation with all the humanitarian organizations.

“We have heard about the meeting to be called soon. But no officer letters have been circulated. And we are not sure who will be invited yet and what will be about,” said a local staff of one of the international NGOs based in Hakha.

Sources cannot confirm as to whether the Chin Christian leaders and organizations will be included in the meeting on Thursday next week.

One of the Chin pastors told Chinland Guardian: “We will be grateful if the official invitation is sent to us. We have a very strong communication and collaboration among Chin Christian churches and groups. But we haven’t received any letters as such.”

Last week, one of the senior government employees from Hakha Town said that the government of Chin State has made an indication of willingness to work with the international organizations for the development of Burma’s northwestern state.

A member of one of the Chin humanitarian groups told Chinland Guardian: “It is great to hear that the government is verbally opening the doors. But we have to bear in mind that this kind of movement is not new to us at all. It is important that they prove practically what they say is actually done for the long run.”

In a never-before-seen move that still remains controversial in the views of Chin leaders in exile, the government of India has recently made a donation of £8million for Chin State following a visit to Hakha by Indian Consul General Dr. Madan Mhohan Sethi.

India has got a joint mega development project with Burma’s military-turned-civilian government in Chin and Arakan States, which involves the constructions of a sea port in Sittwe and a transnational highway from Paletwa up to India’s Mizoram border, and an inland water terminal in Paletwa.

The local Chin communities have launched an appeal to Chin Diasporas worldwide for making a contribution toward helping the victims affected by landslides and flash floods destroying bridges and roads in Tedim and Tonzang Township early this month.

Van Biak Thang
[email protected]

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