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Families in Hakha Demanded Money for ‘Chin State Day’ Celebration

17 February 2012: The Chin State government demanded financial contributions from each family in Hakha, Chin State for a celebration that will mark the 64th anniversary of Chin National Day on 20 February.

Families are forcibly asked to donate a total amount of between 1,500 and 2,000 kyats each for the celebration, which starts tomorrow with a banner supposedly reading ‘Chin State Day’, according to sources from Hakha.

One local, who is working for an NGO, told Chinland Guardian that her family was asked to give 1,500 kyats while another household was known to have contributed 2,000 kyats for the event.

When asked about the demanded contribution towards celebrating the auspicious day, a female accountant from Hakha, who asks not to be named, said the people are not happy as they have already got fed up with a series of financial demands from the authorities over the past several years.

Some locals showed their disappointment over the name of the celebration, adding: “What we have contributed is not for what will be celebrated.”

“We are much discouraged that the new authority is still preparing to put up a banner against the will of the people. We celebrate the 20th February for the Chin National Day, not for Chin State Day. We all think that the new government have changed to listen to the people’s voices, but they seem to have proved wrong till today,” one of the Hakha youth leader told Chinland Guardian.

Meanwhile, two Burmese liquor companies from outside Chin State, PMG and Grand Company, have reportedly arrived in Hakha in advance to prepare for selling alcoholic drinks at the three-day celebration.

A local community group called ‘The Hakha Youth Fellowship (HYF)’ is claimed to have lodged an appeal letter to the Chief Minister of Chin State government on 3 February 2012 in an effort to prohibit the sale of alcoholic drinks during the event.

The youth leader said: “We haven’t received any response from the authority. And we have learned from government sources that our letter is not even looked at yet. Chief Minister Hung Ngai was claimed to have questioned if HYF can manage to raise 1,00 lakh kyats for the cost of celebration.”

“We are now just wondering how much money these two liquor companies have possibly bribed the authority in order to get permission to import and sell alcohol during the official celebration,” added the Chin youth leader, who asks not to be named.

In foreign countries, a series of celebrations with a banner reading ‘Chin National Day’ is being prepared by Chin communities worldwide to mark the 64th anniversary.

In Chin State and other parts of Burma, the military authorities had banned the use of ‘Chin National Day’ and forced the local organizing committee to put up a banner of ‘Chin State Day‘.

Speaking to Chinland Guardian last year, 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.”

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
[email protected]

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