CM denies discrimination against Christians
29 January 2015 – Chief Minister Hung Ngai said today that the Chin State government did not take any discriminatory measures against Chistians.
During a public event organized at his request in the town hall of Hakha, he said: “There is no repression the government impose on anything in contrast to the law.”
He indicated that they had to take necessary action if and when someone violated the law but it was not an act of discrimination.
Sui Thio, a Hakha community leader, said in his question to the chief minister: “We, Christians, still face restrictions on construction of religious infrastructure and land-ownership.”
“Besides, while Christian crosses are demolished, an increasing number of Buddhist pagodas and monasteries are seen on our land, for instance, on Mount Rung.”
On 4 November last year, a new Buddhist pagoda called ‘Peace for the whole world’ was inaugurated on Lailengbo hill of Mount Rung by Chief Minister Hung Ngai, with other State ministers.
Hung Ngai said: “We don’t have disregard for the Christian cross. We approve any application from Christians for permission to hold events. We treat each and everyone in accordance with the law.”
The Chin Human Rights Organization documented in 2012 destruction of at least four crosses in Chin State under the new government and more than 40 separate incidents of torture or ill-treatment, targeted at Chin on the dual basis of their ethnicity and religion.
In his address to the public, the chief minister repeatedly put stress on the need to act according to legal requirements.
Salai Van Chan Ceu pointed out the fact that the way in which Hung Ngai-led government cabinet included the secretary of the Government Adminstration Department in voting for a ‘controversial’ motion regarding construction of a Buddhist pagoda in Hakha was not legal.
The chief minister admitted that the government had weakness in understanding the law, adding: “In fact, it happens across the country.”
Dr. Ba Maung, State minister of Social Affairs, said that the government practiced no religious discrimination between Christians and Buddhists, adding: “We, Buddhists, are minority in the cabinet.”
A government employee in Hakha said on condition of anonymity that they [authorities] were the one who violated the law.
“If they don’t like an employee, they would use the law to get rid of him or her. If they want to do something illegally, they would just ignore the law. Although they claim to be a democratic government, they still have the full authority,” she added.
The public event was organized under instructions of Hung Ngai to explain to the public the situation in connection with the Hakha cross being ordered to be removed from Calvary Mountain.#