A combined event of Chin Famine Live Aid Concert and the 61st anniversary of Chin National Day will be held in London on 21 February 2009, aiming mainly to raise awareness and fund for Chin victims of the ongoing famine in military-ignored Chin State, Burma.
The event, organised by Chin Community UK (CCUK), will highlight on the severe food crisis facing the Chin people since late 2006 due to the infestation of rats that destroy all crops and foods, and the significance of celebrating Chin National Day, which falls on 20 February every year.
Miss Dim Lian, Secretary of CCUK, told Chinland Guardian: “As our focus in this event is on Chin Famine, it is to demonstrate the fact that when some of our family suffers, we share the pain and the burden. For that reason, raising fund in this manner is the least we, Chin in the UK, can do. It also gives us the chance to come together and embark on, and become part of the big task with God-given talent to help the society at large.”
Situated along the Indian-Burmese border, Chin State which has been ignored for decades by Burma’s military regime has an estimated 100,000 famine-affected people with more than 200 villages according to Chin Human Rights Organisation’s reports.
The programme will feature Chin cultural dances, fashion shows, stand-up comedy, Lucky Draw ticket opening, Live Music by the Hornbill Band and speeches on Chin National Day and famine.
Salai Patrick Aunghtwe of CCUK Fundraising Committee, said: “In order to raise wider awareness and more fund for our Chin fellows in Burma, we all put as much effort as we can in making the event known to not only the Burmese communities but also others near and far in the UK so that more people can come and participate in the event. We also have a post-event DVD production plan.”
Thang Kim of CCUK Music Committee said we, as Music Committee, would like to participate with what we can do for our brothers and sisters who are suffering from food crisis.
In military-ruled Burma, celebration with a banner reading ‘Chin National Day’ is banned and the authorities instead order to use ‘Chin State Day.’ This move has been seen by the Chin people as an SPDC’s way of eliminating the Chin’s distinct national identity.
The Chin people have been since late 2006 suffering from food crisis due to a mass infestation of rats that multiply in large quantities after feeding on seeds and fruits of bamboos which flowers every fifty years.
Van Biak Thang
16 February, 2009