President U Win Myint and First Lady Daw Cho Cho attended the ceremony to celebrate the 71st Anniversary of Chin National Day at Vum Thu Maung sports grounds in Haka, Chin State yesterday.
Attending the ceremony were Vice President U Henry Van Thio’s wife Dr. Shwe Hlwan, Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Thant Sin Maung, U Thein Swe, and U Han Zaw, Chin State Chief Minister U Salai Lian Lwal, State Hluttaw Speaker U Zoe Bwe, Chin State Chief Justice U Win Myint Kyaw, Commander of North-West Command Maj-Gen Phone Myat, members of the State Cabinet, the State Advocate General, State Auditor-General, Hluttaw MPs, the Chief of Myanmar Police Force, heads of departments, ethnic cultural troupes, representatives of civil society organizations, and resident ethnic people.
Local residents greeted the President, First Lady, and Union Ministers with flower bouquets as they arrived at Vum Thu Maung sports grounds.
Firstly, Union Ministers Lt-Gen Ye Aung and U Han Zaw, Chin State Chief Minister U Salai Lian Lwal, and State Hluttaw Speaker U Zoe Bwe cut ribbons to formally open the archway into the sports grounds for celebrating the 71st Chin National Day. The President then touched an orb shaped switch and unveiled the signboard on the archway. This was followed by the President and First Lady, Union Ministers, State Chief Minister, and state Hluttaw Speaker took a documentary photo with officials and resident ethnic people.
Next, Reverend Dr. Steven Lian Hom Lain prayed for good blessings and the Chair of the ceremony delivered a speech on the 71st Chin National Day. The State Chief Minister then read the Message of Greetings sent by President U Win Myint to the 71st Anniversary Celebrations of Chin National Day.
President U Win Myint then delivered a speech. He said it was an honor to give a message of greetings on Chin National Day, and expressed his feeling of familial kindness from the Chin people’s warm welcome. He highlighted the unique aspects of Chin State, such as the great hornbill and rhododendron plants, the symbols of the state, and the red flowers that portray the courage and bravery of the Chin people. He said the great hornbill symbolizes loyalty, as a mating pair stays together for life, and if one mate dies, the other sacrifices its life.
The relationship between great hornbills represents collaboration through thick and thin, and the Chin people have been living with the same mentality in the Union for many years.
The President said the Chin people joined other ethnic peoples in resisting the colonial expansionists for our country’s independence. He said not only did they participate in the struggle, Chin National leaders U Hlur Hmone, U Htaung Zar Khoke, and U Ki Yo Manh also signed the historic Panglong Agreement in 1947. In addition, U Vum Thu Maung submitted a proposal for the independence of both Central plains and the hilly regions, was at the head of the independence struggle, and under whose leadership the Chin people strived tirelessly in resisting the expansionists and fascists, said the President.
The President said the Chin people continued to reside together with other ethnic nationals in the Union and are participating in the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong. He said this is the Union spirit that has been manifest in the Chin people throughout history. As long as the Chin National Day is celebrated every year, the Chin State’s pride and integrity, customs, culture, and traditions will persist.
On 20 February 1948, 5,000 Chin State representatives attended the people’s conference held in Falam Township, where a decision was made to change from an administrative system ruled by Chieftains to a democratic administrative system, and this highlights the Chin people’s stance on democracy and their foresight, said the President. He said the Chin people were able to envisage the global perspective, and their value for democracy and respect for human rights have brought the fruits of democracy to them.
The President said there are 53 tribes in Chin State who each contribute their uniqueness to the beauty of the state and shows their collective strength through their solidarity. He said the Chin people must maintain this beauty and strength as they work together with other ethnic nationals in safeguarding the nation.
The President said the Union government is working for uniform development in all the states and regions. He said we must exert effort until Chin State’s beauty becomes the nation’s beauty and the Chin people’s democratic values spread across the entire nation. He said Chin State’s languages, literature, culture, customs, and traditions must be developed and safeguarded, and urged all other ethnic nationals in the country to do the same.
Following the President’s speech, officials put various messages from different organizations to commemorate Chin National Day on record. The President and First Lady, state cabinet members, and Chairs of the ceremony took a documentary photograph together. They then observed the department booths commemorating Chin National Day.
In the afternoon, the President and First Lady participated in planting the exalted pillar and were then joined by the Union Ministers and ethnic people in a Chin traditional dance, after which they took a documentary photograph together.
Next, the President and First Lady and entourage praised the cultural troupes performing traditional bamboo dances as they watched on. They then viewed the beauty of Haka from the city’s View Point.
Later in the evening, the President, First Lady, and entourage attended the bonfire ceremony, with traditional dances, held in the compound of the state Hluttaw building.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)