CNF-Govt to organize grand celebration of Chin National Day in Hakha
12 February 2013: The government of Chin State and the Chin National Front (CNF) have jointly made efforts in preparing for a grand celebration of the Chin National Day in Hakha next Wednesday.
The event, which will be held at the Vom Thu Mawng football ground, marks the 65th anniversary of the Chin historic day – the day that the Chin voted for a democratic governing system at a public conference in Falam in 1948.
It will be the first commemorative celebration under the new government that is permitted to use a banner reading ‘Chin National Day’, an event title which has been banned by Burma’s successive military regimes for decades.
Preparations have been under way following a meeting of government ministers including Chief Minister Hung Ngai, CNF members and ward administrators in Hakha last Wednesday.
Coincidence with examination dates
Chin communities expressed disappointment over final examination dates scheduled for primary school students from Standard 1-2, which coincide with the national day celebration.
Reports said that Chin MPs including Pu Chan Pum and Pu Robin made an appeal in writing to Pu Hung Ngai for changing the examination dates to allow full participation of the public in the event.
Chief Minister Hung Ngai recently announced that students from Standard 1 to 2 would not sit for their exams on 19-20 February. However, the tenth Standard students are to take their pretest as planned on 20 February.
“It is confusing. The day is not fully free as some students will have to take their tests. It means at least teachers and parents won’t be able to participate in the celebration,” a youth leader from Hakha told Chinland Guardian.
The 20th of February is not designated as a public holiday in Chin State although one of the provisions of the CNF-government peace agreement suggests so in recognition of ‘the occasion as a day cherished by the Chin people’.
However, it is believed that each government department would allow employees, except for teachers supervising the exam on the day, from their work to turn up to the celebration.
In the past, Chin MPs had raised questions in Hluttaw sessions in Naypyitaw in regards to making the 20th of February a public holiday in Chin State.
But Union Minister of Home Affairs Lt. Gen. Ko Ko rejected the proposal, according to sources from the Chin political party.
It was agreed during the Rangoon peace talks between CNF and Union Peace Working Committee of Burma’s government that the government of Chin State is to take actions for an official designation of the Chin National Day as a public holiday in the northwestern state.
Guests and Programs
Leaders of CNF including new President Pu Lian Uk and Dr. Za Hlei Thang, and government officials including Union Ministers U Aung Min and U Win Tun are invited to attend the occasion.
It is also reported that Shan politician U Sai Mauk Kham, Vice President-1 of the Union of Burma, is believed to be present at the ceremony.
Burma’s famous singer Sung Tin Par is set to perform together with other singers from Mizoram State, with more details about the celebrities yet to be disclosed near the date.
Dozens of people from Mizoram State of India including members of the Lairam Jesus Christ Baptist Church (LJCBC) are known to be coming to Hakha in support of the first ‘free’ Chin National Day celebration in decades.
The Hakha event will host a variety of competitions such as Chin wrestling, the javelin, volleyball, badminton, and high jump, and a range of shows including fashion competition and traditional dance called ‘Khuangcawi’.
Chin State Day
Burma’s military authorities have for decades forced celebration of the ‘Chin State Day’ to take place on 20 February against the will of the Chin people.
The third of January is to become ‘Chin State Day’ in recognition of the day the Chin Special Division was granted a new status of Chin State.
Last year, Burma’s authorities placed restrictions on holding the event entitled ‘Chin National Day’ in Chin State and other parts of the country.
Chin communities in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific are organizing a series of celebrations in their respective residing countries.
Hundreds of Chin refugees stranded in Malaysia, India and Thailand will also commemorate their historic day in groups amid fears of possible arrest and detention by authorities.
Small-scale events are expected to be held in other major towns across Chin State and parts of Burma.
Van Biak Thang