(20 February 2020)
May I extend my warm greetings to you all, esteemed guests, all Union born nationals, especially all our Chin brothers and sisters, present on the occasion of the 72nd Anniversary of Chin National Day. I wish you all peace of mind, well-being and happiness.
On this auspicious occasion of the Chin National Day, I extend joy, happiness and metta to all Chin nationals not only throughout our country Myanmar but also all over the world.
As you all know, today is the 72nd anniversary of the Chin National Day. A brief account of the Chin national Day has been included not only in the message of felicitations from the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar but also in the speech of the Chairperson.
I would like to add some more points here. If we go over the history of how the Chin National Day had come to be, the Chin Hills Special Division first came to exist, starting from the 20th century Panglong Conference, and according to the 1947 State Constitution.
Since the British colonialists had occupied Myanmar, the Chin nationals also took to arms, and bravely joined the anti-colonialist revolution. The well-known revolutionary leaders like Bo Kyum Bik and Bo Khai Kam stand as evidence of the historic struggle of the Chin ethnic nationals for independence. Moreover, as you all know, the Chin patriots joined the Dobama Asiayone, the Myanmar nationalist group, assumed the title Thakhin, and launched political movements together in order to regain independence from the colonialists.
The Chin nationals did not fail to attend the Conference on the unification of the hilly regions and the central plains, held in Panglong, Shan State on 12th February, 1947. Among the signatories of the Panglong Agreement were the representatives of the Chin committee, namely Pu Hlur Hmung, Pu Thawng Za Khup and Pu Kio Mang. The Chin-Bamar Friendship Conference was also held in Htilin, Magway Division from 3rd to 5th March in 1947.
After the independence, the Chin Special Division Conference was held in Falam from 19th to 22nd February 1948. Among the proposals submitted at the Conference, the voting system was practiced over the proposal, submitted on 20th February, that the Circle headman administration system be cancelled and replaced with a system of administration by the elected representatives: over 5,000 votes for the new system and 17 votes against the system. This strongly proved that the majority of the Chin nationals wanted the new system. Today is 20th February. It is a day of great significance in that, exactly seventy two years ago, a conference was held in Falam, in which a decision was made for introducing the democratic administrative system. It is a day that embodies great values of political and historical significance.
Obviously, this aspect of history shows that despite living in the hilly regions, so far and so inconvenient for travelling, the Chin nationals were never backward in political views, and that like the central plains, the hilly regions never lost sight of the changing political trends.
In building the Union that our ancestors had dreamed of in the 20th century Panglong Conference, we, very unfortunately, encountered only the armed conflicts in the country. However, this does not mean that the goal of building that long-desired Union has come to an end. In order to fulfill our forefathers’ dream of the Union, our government has been holding the 21st Century Panglong Conference in the 21st century. This means we are marching along the road towards building the Union in the present period of ours.
I am very much elated, and very much grateful, over the fact that the Chin representatives have been participating actively in the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong Conference in the interest of the Union.
The Chin State where the majority of Chin nationals live, still remains as one of the least developed regions in relation to socio-economic development because of the unfavourable geographical conditions. We are a developing country, and I am very sorry the region still remains still one of the least developed regions in such a country. So during the period of our government’s administration, we have identified the Chin State as a priority state for development, and made contributions in all sectors. We have given priorities to communications and road transportation so that there would be no difficulties for transportation because of the geographical conditions. Priorities have also been given to the sectors of education and health and electricity, which have long been left behind. We have assigned duties to our government personnel to lay down policies in which discussions are held with the leaders of the ethnic tribes and the local people while transparency and accountability are ensured, and a channel is opened for the responses from the people.
Here, in the Chin State, the weather is cool and pleasant, and the Taungzalat flowers are always blooming over the pine hills. You can enjoy the unique beauty of Nature here. The Chin State stands for the traditional cultural heritage, and the special characteristics of the State, so long preserved through generations.
I have often visited the Chin State. I often note that the Chin nationals are remarkable for their strong spirit that always helps them overcome the harsh realities, withstanding the cold climatic conditions, and defying the difficult road transportation.
The Chin nationals have different languages, or dialects, and literatures, but I strongly believe that you will try your best for the benefit of the Chin State, utilizing the dictum “diversity as a source of unity”. The emblem of the Chin State, the Hornbill, represents Faithfulness and Integrity. The Faithfulness and the Integrity of the Chin nationals really serve as a strong force for us on the road towards building the Democratic Federal Union.
The Chin National Day, being a day on which the decision was made for replacing the feudal lord system with the democratic system, is highly valued by the Chin nationals, and held in terms of the political significance. It is the main responsibility of the Chin nationals living in the hilly regions, the central plains, local and abroad, to pass the heritage of the much valuable political farsightedness and the democratic spirit to the Chin youths, the new generations.
In conclusion, we warmly welcome the 72nd anniversary of the Chin National Day. May the Chin nationals and the Chin State enjoy developments in all sectors, preserve the beauty of the Chin hills, and pass the heritage of political outlook and the democratic spirit to the younger generations. I would like to urge our Chin nationals to join actively, and strive unitedly together with other nationals, the offspring of the Union, in building the Democratic Federal Union.
My dear Chin nationals, may God bless your beautiful hearts. Thank you. (Translated by Dr Zaw Tun)