Ethnic Chin Appointed Burma’s Ambassador to Canada
15 June 2013: Newly appointed Burma Ambassador to Canada, Hau Do Suan presented his credentials to David Johnston, Governor General of Canada on June 10, 2013 in Ottawa, Canada.
The fourth ethnic Chin ever to become Burmese ambassador since Burma became independent in 1948, Hau Do suan is a native of Ciingpikot village of Tedim township, Chin State. He is a graduate of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and previously held the post of Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Political Dept.), Burma.
The three other Burma ambassadors from Chin State were Vum Khaw Hau, Za Hre Lian and Tluang Hmung. Hau Do Suan is the first ever ethnic Chin to be appointed to the ambassadorial position in about 40 years.
“There is so much opportunity for both Canada and Myanmar to expand our burgeoning relationship, and I believe that this begins with people. Your appointment allows us to speak face to face on important issues, just as Canada’s first ambassador to Myanmar will be charged with finding new ways in which we can work together. I hope that the exchanges you have with Canadians will be fruitful.” David Johnston said in his speech during the presentation of credentials at Rideau Hall.
The appointment of the new Burmese ambassador to Canada followed a visit by Chin activist delgation in April to Ottawa who raised new concerns about Burma’s ongoing program of ethnic and religious assimilation through government-run residential schools, raising the specter of Canada’s own past assimilation program, which left a dark spot on that nation’s history.
Mr Ron Hoffmann, the first-ever resident ambassador of Canada to Burma presented his credentials to U Thein Sein, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, at President Office, Naypyidaw on July 4, 2011.
Canada-Burma relations were established in 1958. With the exception of a few years during the 1980s, Burma has maintained a permanent diplomatic mission in Ottawa ever since. Diplomatic and trade relations between Burma and Canada had previously been handled through Canadian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.