Chin Christian headmistress sacked for no given reasons
13 September 2013: Headmistress Thim Dik, of Thantlang High School, was flabbergasted when she received a letter of her employment termination without any explanation.
An official letter signed by U Myint Ko, Director of Basic Education Department No. 2, Mandalay, said Daw Thim Dik was dismissed from her current post as from the morning of 9 August 2013.
The letter said Daw Mai Thim Dik, who was promoted to Thantlang from Ro Middle School in Mindat Township, was dismissed in accordance with a meeting decision made by committee of educational administration of Minister’s Office of Education Ministry.
Director General Tin Myo Kyi also signed the letter that suggests the reason of her removal as departmental requirements that she didn’t meet.
The 53-year-old Christian headmistress believed the sudden termination of her work is associated with discriminatory practice and religious issues related to a government-run Na Ta La school in Mindat Township.
Matters with Na Ta La School
Speaking to the Chinland Post, Thim Dik said she was ordered, just before June this year, by a Buddhist monk to give a list of all the students at Ro Middle School where she worked as a headmistress.
“I said I couldn’t give him it at that moment as I was still on my way to Ro village from Mindat town,” said Thim Dik.
Later, she was told through a local messenger to send all the students at Ro to a Buddhist monastery by the Buddhist monk.
Thim Dik replied that she would be jobless if she sent all her students to him, saying: “I can send to you students if they are studying at a Na Ta La school or Buddhist monastery. But you have to give me names of the students and their parents first.”
“All my students are Christian and I don’t anticipate them wanting to come to your school,” added the Chin headmistress in response to a demand by the monk at Ro village.
Message at church
Recently, Mrs Thim Dik, whose husband is a Christian pastor, addressed a local congregation in Ro village.
“At church, I met only parents, but not their children. I asked them why they didn’t take their children to church,” she said.
She explained that Christian parents send their children to government-controlled residential Buddhist schools, which in exchange provide basic needs such as rice, chickpeas and oil, to the families.
“I said parents should not allow poverty to drive them to cause their Christian children to convert into a different religion by leaving them entirely in the hands of Na Ta La schools.”
She said her message must have reached the Buddhist monk and Burmese teacher Ms Khin Pale Htaik, who works as a school teacher and stays at the Buddhist monk’s monastery.
Khin Pale Htaik allegedly then appealed to the relevant authorities for Thim Dik’s dismissal and informed her that her name had been sent to authorities, even President Thein Sein.
Investigation by authorities
Pu Ning Naing, Chin Minister for Development Affairs and Major Aung Shwe Oo, Deputy Director of State Education Department, conducted an investigation following receipt of the allegations, which accused Thim Dik of getting involved in beating up Chin Christian children studying at Na Ta La schools.
When asked about the allegations, the students said they were never beaten up by the Chin headmistress.
Thim Dik added that the two government officials from Hakha also met her during their investigation.
According to the Chinland Post, Major Aung Shwe Oo said he was not in a position to make any comments regarding the matter.
Promotion and termination
Thim Dik had been informed in an official letter dated 9 July 2013 signed by Director General Tin Myo Kyi to the effect that she had been promoted to being Headmistress of Basic Education High School in Thantlang, Thantlang Township, from Ro Middle School in Mindat Township of Chin State.
Sources claimed she had been absent from school on several occasions, to which Thim Dik said that she followed necessary procedures when it came to holidays.
“I am sure I won’t be dismissed because of my performance in relation to school and work,” added Thim Dik.
After only a month at the new post, Thim Dik faced this unexpected dismissal.#