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The Original Purpose of Chin National Day & Federalism

By Jonathan Thang

Today, I would like to greet all the Burmese and friends from far and near, around the World, on “the 74th of Chin National Day”.

The last 74 years ago, on Feb.20, 1948, several Chin leaders, representatives, and activists Chin ethnics group from far and near were gathered in Falam town, to discussed major issues of what the democratic systems have transformed around the world, which somehow shapes the attitude of Chin national and people who lived under the Union of Burma.

During that time, most regions in Burma were governed by self-administration type, local authoritarian rulership, the feudalism of Lords, and a group of ethnics who tried to influence others. Peace and stability, all-around development was nearly impossible under such regular conflicts and instability. Therefore, there was a time which has never better than the day of Feb.20, 1948, to introduce the genuine federal-based democratic system among Chin, which guarantee, mutual respect, equality, self-determination within our own fatherland in Chin.

The country of Burma was formed by a group of self-administration territories after independence from Great Britain. Pre-British colonial period, the territory in Burma is very different from today’s map. It has been shaped continuously by the successive powerful forces by extending their own territory from neighbors. The will to enslave others and authoritarian spirits have been inherited by successive leaders in Burma even today.

Although General Aung San led, the “Panglong Conference Agreement” has guaranteed that every ethnic-national who has self-administration territory will able to apply their own self-administration system within the Union formed new Burma. If needed or wanted to be separated from the Union of Burma, all stakeholders were allowed to do so, though requesting to unite at least 10 years under the Union of Burma. The united 10 years has failed, the widespread inequality in every section, loss of natural resources, loss of culture under the so-called Burman/Bamaa group’s assimilation system, which devour the rest of ethnic group.

The reason why the “Panglong Conference Agreement” (PCA) were unable to implement or the reason of failure to adopt “Panglong Conference Agreement” was well documented under the title of “Based on 1947 Panglong Agreements and addressing immediate need to call upon 21st-century Panglong Type Peace Conference/Federal Conference”.

In the second part, I have highlighted how to successfully implement the “Panglong Conference Agreement” in modern-day required formed by conducting “21st Century Panlong type Peace Conference/federal conference”.

The first part has been presented to FBE attendees in 2011 and presented to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi during her visit to give a Nobel Award speech in Oslo (June 2012). I have personally raised the issue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the Norwegian government’s State dinner party and VIP meeting at the office of former Norwegian Prime Minister Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, (Currently serving leader of Oslo center: the Oslo Center promoted democracy, peace, and human rights through intercultural and interreligious dialogue and knowledge exchange ).

Our group has been repeatedly informed to the inner circle of the NLD-led government regarding the lack of technical weak points in conducting the “21st Century Palong Type Conference/Federal Conference”. But the newly formed government seemed to be overconfident in their own methods/ideas to go ahead with their unsuccessful implementation process than listening to advice from others.

Thousands of attendees can never be able to raise the proper discussion to get a concrete agreement. The conference has been conducted several times, and it has not even close to reaching the solution yet, instead, ethnic leaders were being discriminated at the conference by accusing narrow-minded with old fashion ideology. Even 1/5th of Burma territory representatives were being placed at the same level of representative rights as those who doesn’t even have territory to claim.

Therefore, the problem of Burma is not going to solve without applying the right remedies at the right place. And it is urgent that everyone who is interested in Burma’s political scenario must be able to understand and apply the right approach as soon as possible.

My wishing for this 74th Chin National Day is to let us find the right remedies to solve our old wounded problems at once, even the current NLD-led CRPH representatives and NUG has to understand the Panglong Conference Agreement and solve the issues if they are ever dreaming of wiping off military lead SAC administration from Burma. I hope this message will bring a new dawn for Burma to realize our mistakes to address and move forward.

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