Chin Government Met with Humanitarian Leaders amid Rights Violations
08 September 2011: The new government of Chin State held a closed-door meeting with representatives and leaders from 21 development and humanitarian agencies working for the northwestern state and some parts of Kalay District of Burma last Thursday.
The first meeting of its kind convened by the Chin authorities at the Chief Minister Office in Parliament Building in Hakha town was attended by about 25 people including departmental ministers and administration staff from 9am to 2pm.
Chief Minister U Hung Ngai firstly addressed the forum, which was followed by presentations on organisational backgrounds, works and updates from each NGO, according to sources from Hakha.
One of the NGO staff said the Chin ministers showed their willingness to step up communication and collaboration for the development of Chin State, which they also described as the poorest in Burma.
However, they warned that the works of any NGOs should not include anything that would disturb or interfere with the government.
The development and humanitarian groups were asked to make a report on their projects at upcoming meetings, which the Chin government said they would organise every six months.
And the government also said that it will open doors to an official organisational registration in the near future, which has never been allowed in Chin State before.
It was claimed that the government is soon to give a green light to freely travelling in and out of Chin State, which has been designated as a conflict zone up to date for years.
One of the Chin activists in exile said: “They have made a lot of promises. We are not sure if this is just to improve their image in line with the current situation in the whole country. Time will tell whether it is actually true or not. But for us, it is still very difficult to believe in until practical evidence has been made in their deeds.”
During the meeting, the government also said that the majority of development projects on road constructions and electricity across Chin State will be completed in the next year 2012 following a recent 8million donation by the Indian government.
The meeting has also been slammed for its restriction saying all the attendees had to be of Burmese nationality and for having only 4 women invited.
Yesterday, the Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) reported that a series of forced labour and extortion have still been conducted under the direct order of Chief Minister in Falam, Hakha and Thantlang townships in Chin State.
Meanwhile, victims of flood-hit villages in Tedim and Tonzang townships as well as other parts of Chin State are known to be still struggling with their day-to-day survival and a large part of the destruction has still remained untouched.
Van Biak Thang