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CHINS CELEBRATED NATIONAL DAY...FRO
CHINS CELEBRATED NATIONAL DAY IN BURMA AND INDIA
By: MIZZIMA NEWS GROUP
20th February 1999
The 51st Chin National Day was celebrated on 20th February 1999 in various
places in Burma and India, where Chin nationals are living. While meetings
and rallies were held in villages in Tun Zan town of Chin State and as
well as in Rangoon, Chins in India celebrated their national day in
Manipur, Mizoram and Delhi. In New Delhi, where more than 500 Chins from
Burma are currently taking refuge, celebrated their auspicious day with
more than 350 Chin refugees. In Lam Kar, second capital of Manipur State
of India, local Zomis joined hundreds of Chins in the celebration. U Htang
Lian Pao, elected Member of Parliament from Tun Zan township of Chin State
and currently General Secretary of Zomi National Council (ZNC) addressed
the gathering with a request that local Zomis to help for restoration of
democracy and self-determination of ethnic nationalities in Burma.
The Chins are always proud of the self-rule which they possessed before
British invaded Chin land in 1894, that was ten years after the British
conquered the King Thibaw of Burma. Chin national leaders joined with
other ethnic minority leaders of Burma singing the historic Panglong
Agreement on February 12, 1947 to achieve independence from the British.
Barely one month after the independence, a public rally was held from
February 19-22, 1948 in Phalan town in Chin land, attended by more than
5,000 Chins including representatives from different regions in Chin land.
On the second day of the historic conference, it was decided to eliminate
the existing Chieftainship, and adopt a democratic administration in Chin
Hills. The public meeting decided to observe the day, February 20, as Chin
National Day for its historic significance.
However, it is noted that successive governments in Burma after 1974
recognized the day as Chin State Day. "The emergence of the two days were
not the same nor were of same meaning and essence", said a statement
issued today by the exiled Chins in India. "Chin State Day which emerged
as the result of the constitution drafted by the Burma Socialist Programme
Party (BSPP) and adopted on January 3, 1947, has no relation with the
National Day", the statement continued. In New Delhi, Chin National
Council (CNC), which is an organization of Chin nationals in different
countries of the world, demanded for the freedom of movement among the
Chins from Burma, India and Bangladesh as the boundaries were demarcated
by the colonial British.