Some said history is repeating in Burma after 1988 uprising broke out 19 years ago. The current Burma ‘s uprising led by the monks gain it momentum last week as thousands of Burmese laymen joined and supported the demonstrations, the biggest mass demonstrations in Burma after 1988 pro-democracy uprising.
As in 1988 uprising, the Chin in Burma well aware that they are apart of current demonstrations and it is their duty as a citizen of the union to join in when the people are calling for change. If the Chin once saved the Union of Burma after Burma gain independence from Britain , why not we shouldn’t support and participate this time. The Chin definitely knows that this is not just a problem between Burmese military regime and Burmese monks. This is the problem between the tyrant and the people, the dictators vs. the oppressed. Knowing exactly what needed to be done, the Chins does not hesitate to joined the demonstrations, first in Hakha, the capital of Chin State , on September 4, 2007 . A few dozens staged a peaceful demonstration in front of Township Peace and Development Council office demanding to reduce oil prices which was steeply increased by Burmese military regime.
While university students in other cities are still silent, students from Kalay University joined demonstration on September 24, 2007 in Kalay Township . Needless to say that more than 90% of students from Kalay University are Chin. According to Khonumtung News report, they came to join demonstrations with four trucks and 50 motor cycles.
Even if current demonstration was led by Buddhist monks, the Chin, which populations of more than 70% are Christians, joined the demonstrations wholeheartedly. The biggest Chin Christian organization outside the country, the Chin Baptist Fellowship of America (CBFA), didn’t hesitate to announce its support on the ongoing demonstrations. Pu Lian Uk , elected MP from the state capital Hakha of 1990 general election, urges Zomi Baptist Convention, the biggest Chin Christian Organization inside Burma , to do the same. In fact every Chin churches across Chinland have been praying for a new government that will guarantee the Chin people to manage their own affairs.
Followed with Chin Christian organizations, the Chin National Council, the umbrella Chin political organization, released its total support of the current demonstrations and urge Chin people inside and outside of the county to join hand to hand with Buddhist monks. Chin Freedom Coalition also released its support of ongoing demonstrations.
“If the demonstrations fail again this time, it will take quite a long times to regain it momentum, who know another time like this will come, so every Chin in Burma outside and inside of the country should participate and support current demonstrations wherever we are” said “John”, a Chin youth who personally witnessed and took part in current demonstrations.
As a result of 1988 pro-democracy uprising, the Chin National Front was born. As a result of current demonstrations, the biggest uprising after 1988, what will the Chin people gain — democracy?, genuine federalism?, who know.
Lian Ding Hmung
25 September, 2007