On this auspicious day, the 20th February 2018, which is the 70th Anniversary of Chin National Day, I wish to send my Message of Greetings to all Chin nationals who are living in Chin State, other parts of Myanmar and abroad, to be blessed with good fortune and auspiciousness.
I have noted that Chin nationals are related to Tibeto-Burmans who themselves have descended from the Mongolian race; they entered Myanmar from Tibet, spread and lived here. Now Chin nationals are living not only in Chin State but also in Sagaing Region, Magway Region, Bago Region and Rakhine State.
In the past, Chin nationals have strived to liberate themselves from the British colonialists by sacrificing many lives, blood, sweat, homes and possessions. In addition, they worked to acquire from the British government their rights and settlement of their grievances. I remember that these demands originated in embryonic form on 20th February 1928, the day the Chin Hills Union Organization was founded.
After independence, on 20th February 1948, a people’s conference was held in Falam Township, where a decision was made to change from an administrative system ruled by Chieftains to a democratic administrative system. Also on 9th October 1950, at the 7th Chin Traditional Council meeting held in Yangon, motions were tabled to designate a Chin National Day. Based on these motions, the votes of all these delegates were taken and a people’s conference was held in Falam. Thus 20th February, the date on which this people’s conference was held was chosen to be designated as “Chin National Day”. Chin National Day which has been designated since 1948 is now in the 70th year. This Chin National Day is an auspicious day in the sense that this day brings together all the Chin tribes which have the same language, culture, history and traditions.
Chin national leaders such as Boh Khaing Baik and Boh Khaing Kam who led the Chin nationals as they fought together hand in hand with other Union ethnic nationals during our revolutionary struggle, are leaders, Chin nationals can be proud of. Furthermore, Chin national representatives such as U Hlur Hmone, U Htaung Zar Khoke and U Ki Yo Manh who bravely signed the Panglong Agreement, for the future of our Union on 12 February 1947, for achieving independence without discrimination between the central plains and the hilly regions. This is an attestation of the foresight and vision of Chin nationals.
Chin State is a place where we may find the Western Yomas stretching from north to south, the Kaladan river which flows into the Bay of Bengal, the Khaw-nu-soum mountain teeming with rare plants and where rare animals make their habitat, Kennedy Peak, a well-known battlefield of the Second World War, the beautiful Reed Lake, the Manipur river which flows down profusely, the Bwenu river, the Bontalar waterfalls, and rich in natural and mineral resources above and below the earth’s surface.
Our government has been working for the ethnic nationals living in the Chin State, which was the original homeland of Chin nationals, for their future social-economic development. In working like this we are making sure that there is equitable development between towns and villages and also between townships. In order to do this, we have been opening new Basic Education schools, upgrading schools, repairing new education buildings and building new ones, and appointing new teachers; in the health care area we have been opening new hospitals and health clinics, and appointing new doctors as needed.
In the Chin State, because of its geophysical nature, the existence of high mountains and mountain ridges makes it difficult to travel. Thus although we have to face many difficulties, nevertheless we are making concerted efforts to provide electricity to all places in the Chin State from the Main Electrical grid. In addition to improve road transport networks, long-distance roads linking with the central plains and new roads within the State are being built.
To provide access to the sea from the Chin State, we initiated work on the Kaladan River Basin development and built the Paletwa Port; we built the first airport of Chin State at Falam, and we are working on urban development projects in Haka, Falam and Paletwa. As a result we may see that there are visible and significant developments in each sector.
During 2017, we have granted permission to upgrade Matupi township to district level and to upgrade Makwi Eainu village and Hnar Harain village to township level. In undertaking regional development works, it is important for the ethnic nationals to join hands with the Union government and the State government.
One Chin armed organization has already signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and is now walking the path of seeking solutions through negotiations together with the Union Government, State government, Hluttaw, the Tatmadaw, other Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO’s), and political parties.
In conclusion, as I send this Message of Greetings, let me solemnly urge all Chin nationals to work with firm Union spirit, without ever letting go of your joined hands. We are working towards amendment of the Constitution for building a future Democratic Federal Republic which is strong and durable, and which assures equality and self-determination. This is the aspiration of all ethnic nationals and Union citizens.