20 February 2020
Dear esteemed Chin ethnic brothers and sisters,
On this auspicious 72nd Anniversary of Chin National Day which is regarded by Chin ethnic nationals as a day of high significance, I send this message of greetings and good wishes to all Chin ethnic nationals residing in Chin State and all over Myanmar as well as those living in foreign countries to be blessed with good fortune and auspiciousness.
After Myanmar gained independence from the British colonialists on 4 January 1948, a Chin Affairs Council, a Chin Affairs Department and a Chin Affairs minister came into being in accordance with the 1947 Constitution. As the first order of business, the Chin Affairs Department tried to replace the old feudal administrative system that has been used in the past for many, many years up to the time of British rule, by a democratic administrative system. In a proposal submitted by the Chin Affairs Department to the Cabinet, an Enquiry Commission for the Chin Hills was established in early February 1948. Thereafter, on 20 February 1948 at a people’s conference held in Falam township, a unanimous and resounding decision was made to change from the feudal administrative system to a democratic administrative system and put into practice forthwith. At the meeting of the Chin Affairs Council held on 9th October 1950, February 20th, the date on which the decision was made to adopt and put into practice a democratic administrative system in place of the old administrative system, was designated as Chin National Day. Therefore, we have now reached the 72nd Anniversary of Chin National Day which was started in 1948.
Chin National Day is the date on which the decision was made to replace the old administrative system, a legacy of the feudal, colonial era in which the administrative authority and rights were kept in the hands of Sawbwas, feudal lords and village headmen, with a democratic administrative system. It is a significant and historic day full of essence and deep meaning for all Chin national racial groups.
Chin ethnic nationals have participated, hand in hand together with other ethnic nationals in the resistance movements against the colonial imperialists and fascists and also in the struggle for independence. Also, after our independence, Chin nationals have lived hand in hand, within the Union together with other ethnic nationals in unity, in weal and woe.
Chin State which is the home of the majority of Chin nationals, has known relative peace because Chin nationals have lived in peace among their own racial groups as well as with other ethnic nationals.
It is a matter of great regret that Chin State has lagged behind in development because of the numerous mountains and rugged terrain and therefore full of limitations in the transport and communications sector. Be that as it may, our Union Government has carried out efforts to build new roads, repair old ones and upgrade several others as a matter of priority in Chin State which is very mountainous and transportation is difficult, because we do not wish to see least developed regions left behind in our nation building efforts. In the same way, we are working to improve and upgrade the education, health, and electricity supply sectors to improve the socio-economic status of Chin ethnic nationals. The Union Government, the state government and Chin ethnic nationals all need to join hands and participate in these efforts.
The Union Government has been working with the aim of ensuring the development of traditions, cultural festivals, language, literature and ethnic rights. I wish to urge that Chin ethnic nationals also work to promote and preserve their language, literature, culture and traditions so that their traditions and cultures will not die out. The diverse cultures, traditions, language and literature represent the beauty and diversity of our Union. That is why I wish to urge all of you to bring out the beauty of our Union by exerting more efforts to protect and preserve your ethnic culture, traditions and language.
In undertaking nation building projects, we can achieve full success only with the cooperation and participation of the people. To get the cooperation and participation of all national ethnic peoples, I believe that it is important to establish a democratic federal union which can satisfy the needs of all national ethnic groups and is acceptable to them. That is why our Union Government has been convening the sessions of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong, to enable us to build the Democratic Federal Union with the participation of all stakeholders.
I wish to also express my appreciation and acknowledge that fact that Chin ethnic nationals have been participating at a significant and deep level in the peace process.
It is my firm belief that we would be able to overcome all difficulties and obstacles in our efforts to build the Democratic Federal Union, which has been the aspiration of all Union nationals since many years ago, with the collective strength of the Union Government, all Union ethnic nationals and including Chin ethnic nationals.
As I send this message of greetings, I urge that all ethnic nationals join hands and strive in unity to build a developed and modern Democratic Federal Union.