Chin News

  • Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:02:33 +0000: Chin protests against fighting in ethnic areas in Burma - Chin News
    Residents of local Hakha protesting against continued fighting in Kachin State on October 17 at Hakha, capital of Chin State (Photo: The Hakha Post)
    17 October 2016 -- Thousands of people took to the streets in Chin State today, staging peaceful protests against continued fighting in ethnic areas in Burma.

    The mass demonstrations with participants including women and elderly demanded an immediate end to conflict in areas such as Kachin, Karen and Shan States.

    Pu Ral Kham, a community leader, said at the Hakha event: "We are here to show our solidarity with our ethnic brothers and sisters, and friends. As we stand here, they are in tears and despair; they are homeless, worried and suffering from the fighting. We want this to stop now and want peace in the country."

    The Monday events urged the Burma Army to stop its offensive in Burma's ethnic states and the Union government to take immediate action to find solutions and bring peace.
    Sporadic fightings continue in ethnic areas under the new government led by the National League for Democracy, prompting questions over the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her ruling party.

    "We thought we are in peace or at least going towards peace. But the Burma Army keep fighting against ethnic people. We are very worried. We don't want fighting any more in our country. We want the army to stop fighting and start building peace together with our government," said Ms Cer, of the Chin women's organization, who took part in the
    protest.

    They were carrying placards and banners with some reading 'We need peace', 'Stop Myanmar army offensive' as they shouted slogans demanding the Burma Army to stop civil war and the successful implementation of the peace process.

    In August this year, the NLD had led organizing the 21st Panglong Peace Conference in Nay Pyi Taw.

    Today's protests took place in Hakha, Thantlang and Falam towns.#

  • Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:41:37 +0000: State govt constructs house in confiscated Chin village - Chin News
    A new structure under construction on the site of Bualpi village, Falam Township, Chin State (Photo: CHRO)
    14 September 2016 -- The Falam District Forest Department constructs a building in Bualpi just three days after village residents were forced to leave.

    The structure, built with materials collected from houses bulldozed by the government of Chin State in cooperation with the authorities in Kalay of Sagaing Region, is believed to be used for security guards.

    Salai Tluang, from Kalay, who went to the site, told the Chin Human Rights Organization that the construction had started on 4 September and that the area had been heavily guarded by police in cooperation with the forest department.

    "Access to the vicinity of the area is prohibited. I secretly went close to the place through the jungle. No villagers are allowed to get any of their belongings including animals in the place," he said.

    The department reportedly said that there was a plan to plant teak in the area in the near future.

    Early this month, all the residents were forced to leave their village without being given any humanitarian support by the authorities.

    However, the Chin State government stated that they had been evicted because the majority of them had stayed in the village illegally.#

  • Thu, 01 Sep 2016 08:26:13 +0000: Chin villagers forced to leave, houses bulldozed - Chin News
    Families left homeless with their belongings after their houses were destroyed in Bualpi village, Falam Township, Chin State (Photo: CHRO)
    01 September 2016 -- The government of Chin State in collaboration with the authorities from neighoring Kalay, Sagaing Region destroyed houses in a newly settled village of Bualpi in Falam township today.

    The unexpected move, despite official warnings in July and August, by the new government of the National League for Democracy forced over 500 families, the majority of them being victims of natural disaster that hit Chin State last year.

    A represenative of Chin Human Rights Organization, who arrived at the site this morning, said: "The villagers have no places to go. A lot of them are now taking shelter at two buildings of the Baptist and Assembly of God churches in Cicai village, Sagaing Region."

    "Some families try to go to stay with relatives in Kalay town as both authorities of Chin State and Sagaing Region do not provide assistance in terms of accommodation and food," he said.

    He said that the residents were victims coming from other parts of Falam township, Tedim, Hakha and Matupi townships after their houses had been put in danger following heavy landslides.

    Mang Hen Dal, State minister of Agriculture, Livestock & Forest, said in the Chin World Media that the State government had given official notices twice to the residents to move out of the village.

    According to local sources, the villagers were accused of illegally occupying the land, officially registered as Sizaang reserved forest. However, the residents said that the village was named according to a suggestion of the State minister during the summer.

    Since last year, the State government had been informed by residents to recognize their new place as a village as an increasing number of landslide-affected families arrived. But the previous authorities handed the matter over to the new government in April.

    It is reported that the destruction was carried out under the directive of the State Ministry of Border Affairs and the Falam District General Administration Department.

    The authorities said that remnants of the building materials in the village would be completely destroyed if the residents could not get them by tomorrow.#

  • Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:21:50 +0000: Chin civil society meet ahead of Panglong conference - Chin News
    Dr Cin Khan Lian, a member of the event organizing committee, speaking at the closing ceremony (Photo: Chin CSOs Forum for Union Peace Conference - 21st Century Panglong/Facebook)
    24 August 2016 -- Representatives of Chin civil society organizations across Burma gathered in Rangoon from 22 to 24 August, discussing issues that will be prepared for the upcoming 21st Panglong Conference.

    The meeting focused its discussion on political, economic, land and natural resources, security, and social issues facing Chin communities in their respective areas involving Arakan and Chin States, and Magwe, Pegu, Sagaing, Mandalay, Rangoon and Irrawaddy Regions.

    Ba Thein, a retired Chin representative from Arakan State, said: "This has not only brought a Chin family together but also got us to know each other better by sharing our issues. As we talk, people in villages are still suffering and a lot of them are not even aware of what we are discussing here. This is still our picture, our lives and our situation."

    A leader of the Zomi Youth Association said that the forum served as a good platform for communities and civil society as it was clean from religious or tribal or political bias and that it had created a more positive environment for the Chin as a whole.

    The event entitled 'Chin CSOs forum for Union Peace Conference - 21st Century Panglong' welcomes the nationwide Union conference as a step forward in the process of finding solutions to the country's crisis of over 60 years.

    However, some participants raise concerns about the government's move in rushing the process, giving civil society insufficient time of period to make a concerted effort to properly prepare for the Union conference.

    The three-day meeting ended with the formation of a new coordination team that will be tasked with taking necessary action on advocating with different Chin stakeholders in the peace process and ensuring that the issues raised are included on the agenda at the national level discussion.

    Mai Thin Yu Mon, Country Program Coordinator of the Chin Human Rights Organization that co-facilitated the forum, said: "There are many more issues facing each of our communities than what we discuss here. How we move on from here is still another challenge but we hope that all of these issues will be taken into serious consideration at the Union level meeting."

    A statement released at the end of the event said that the issues would be taken to the Union conference following a collaboration with the 21st Century Panglong CSOs forum.

    The statement put stress on the urgency to end ongoing conflict in ethnic areas, including Paletwa township of Chin State, where clashes between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army were until recently reported. #

  • Sun, 21 Aug 2016 11:55:33 +0000: Chin USDP MP disqualified by Election Commission - Chin News
    Chin USDP MP disqualified by Election Commission
    21 Ausut 2015 -- The Union Election Commission declared on Tuesday that the election of Dr Ba Maung as a Pyine Hluttaw MP of the Union Solidarity and Development Party from the Kanpetlet township constituency No. 2 was invalidated.

    The official announcement came out after a long process of investigation taken into the case submitted by his contestant U Phway Ai (Phai Ai) of the National League for Democracy accusing Dr Ba Maung of violating the election law during the 2010 general elections.

    According to the verdict by the Election Tribunal formed following an objection lodged last year by U Phway Ai, Dr Ba Maung, former State minister of Social Affairs, had obtained the majority votes by illegal means against Article 66 (j) of the State Hluttaw Election Law and hence was disqualified from the State Hluttaw.

    The Commission said in a statement that it was decided U Phway Ai, who got 1,639 votes in total, would be the legally elected MP of the Kanpetlet Township Pyine Hluttaw constituency No. 2 as Dr Ba Maung's 1,753 votes were confirmed invalid because of malpractices involved in obtaining them.

    It also said that the appeal filed by Dr Ba Maung had been rejected and that he had been fined 200,000 kyats.

    Profiles of Candidates (2015 Election)

    U Phway Ai
    Party: National League for Democracy
    Age: 46
    Education: B.A (Geo), M.A.C.Ed
    Ethnicity: Chin
    Religion: Christianity
    Job: Trader

    Dr Ba Maung
    Party: Union Solidarity and Development Party
    Age: 66
    Education: Ph.D (History)
    Ethnicity: Chin
    Religion: Buddhism
    Job: Minister of Social Affairs, Chin State government

    Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang with Shwekey Hoipang

  • Sat, 20 Aug 2016 10:12:22 +0000: Body of Chin worker killed in Singapore arrives in native village - Chin News
    (Photo: Zomi Video/Chin World Media/Facebook)
    19 August 2016 -- People lined up expressing sympathy at airports, towns and villages that the dead body of Piang Ngaih Don passed through as it was carried all the way from Singapore to her native village, Chin State in Burma.

    Last Monday, her body arrived in Dimpi village, Tedim township. This was made possible after brother Pau Sian Mung had flown to Singapore, where she was murdered, and got required procedures and documents done with the help of various organizations and individuals.

    Piang Ngaih Don, 24, was found dead in a ninth-floor flat on 26 July in Singapore where she worked as a domestic helper to a family. Prema S Naraynasamy, 58, and her daughter Gaiyathiri Murugaiyan, 36, as well as Kevin Chelvam, a police staff sergeant and Gaiyathir's husband, were accused of killing their housemaid.

    According to media reports, Piang Ngaih Don was believed to have been abused as her body was found with bruises.

    To read more from other sources:
    - Frontier Myanmar: http://frontiermyanmar.net/en/news/singapore-pair-held-myanmar-maids-death
    - The New Paper: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore-news/two-women-charged-murder
    - The Stomp:http://www.stomp.com.sg/singapore-seen/courts-crime/maid-found-dead-bishan-flat-neighbours-shocked-woman-and-daughters
    - The Strait Times: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/murder-accused-taken-back-to-bishan-flat
    - The Online Citizen: http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/08/12/husband-of-accused-in-bishan-murder-accused-of-withholding-evidence-and-assault-on-victim/
    - Channel News Asia: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/brother-of-murdered/3037952.html
    - The Independent: http://theindependent.sg/spate-of-unrelated-deaths-in-singapore-raises-alarm/

    See below a collection of photos with people from Chin State sharing sympathy with family members and relatives of Ms Piang Ngaih Don (credits: Chin World Media, Zomi Video of Kalaymyo).

    {gallery}Sympathy for Ms Piang Ngaih Don killed in Singapore{/gallery}

     

  • Sat, 20 Aug 2016 08:48:46 +0000: School textbooks still delayed for Paletwa township - Chin News
    A school in Sami, Paletwa Township, Chin State (Photo: Khumi Media Group)
    18 August 2016 -- School students in Paletwa Township, Chin State have not received their textbooks three months after the commencement of the 2016-2017 academic year in June.

    U Aa Khaung, deputy head of the Township Education Department, said in the Chin World Media, that only about 50 per cent of students had got their textbooks across the township and that the need was even worse for high school students.

    "We can say that about 70 per cent of primary students have already received textbooks. It was worse last year," he said.

    The main reason, according to the deputy head, is because of the fact that the number of students submitted to the central department was based on last year's statistics, not on the list of students admitted to schools in 2016.

    "For instance, we have a new middle school with new 8th Standard students but the list submitted did not include them. So, parents had to buy used textbooks for them," he said.

    He mentioned that the cost of travelling to Mindat town where the District Education Department in Mindat town where textbooks for township-level schools were kept and of transporting them to Paletwa was high and that it was difficult as they had to spend from their own pocket.

    In response to a question raised by Salai Myo Hteik, Chin MP from Paletwa Township, Dr Myo Thein, Union minister of Education, said that 49 schools had been upgraded and 315 day-paid teachers had been recruited for the 2016-17 academic year.

    According to the government's 2015 statistics, there were 298 schools in total, comprising seven high schools, 3 high school branches, 3 middle schools, 37 middle school branches, 23 post-primary schools, 151 primary schools and 74 primary school branches in Paletwa township. #

  • Sat, 20 Aug 2016 08:40:30 +0000: Construction companies blamed for road problems in Chin State - Chin News
    Travellers being blocked on the road in Chin State
    16 August 2016 -- Private companies contracted by the State authorities of Thein Sein's government for road construction in Chin State get the blame for chaos caused on the roads.

    Bus services plying to and from Burma's western mountainous region criticised the contractors, saying that their work had failed to meet the standards and indicated that the companies should have been disqualified.

    They said that the roads were expanded without no roadside ditches to take away water when it rained heavily and that loose soil were just kept on the edge of the road as part of the newly constructed highway.

    Salai Biak Cin, owner of the Kalay-Rih bus company, said in the Chin World Media: "When we have rains, water flows along the road. As loose soils on the roads are not cleared properly, they get really muddy. This creates unnecessary problems and delays for us."

    Compared to the succession of military regimes, Thein Sein's government had put more effort into constructing roads mainly leading to towns in Chin State. However, these had been implemented without a system that ensured quality, accountability and transperancy, according to critics.

    U Tin Aung Win, a spokesperson of a construction company, Golden Icon, said in the Chin World Media that they had worked within the limits of time frame and fund.

    "The main problem is landslides in the rainy season. But we tried our best to clear the mess as soon as we could if this was in the area of our project. Although we were not able to dig proper ditches, temporary roadside ditches were made," he said.

    Issues related to the need for development of proper roads in Chin State has been raised to relevant authorities in Burma's governments since 1947 when the Panglong conference was organized in an attempt to gain independence from the British rule.#

  • Sat, 20 Aug 2016 08:26:17 +0000: Chin committee in Kalay to apply for official registration - Chin News
    A meeting of the Chin Culture and Literature Committee in Kalay, Sagaing Region (Photo: Chin World Media)
    14 August 2016 -- Chin committee based in Kalay town of Sagaing Region are putting more effort into seeking official recognition as an organization representing their communities.

    The Chin Culture and Literature Committee, which was locally formed over five years ago under the previous government, said that they would like to obtain legal status from the current government.

    In a meeting held on Friday at the Kalay Youth Center where 73 Chin representatives of the Region attended, they made their commitment to protecting and promoting Chin culture and literature in line with policies of the National League for Democracy.

    However, the meeting came to an agreement that new committee members would be elected in the near future and other requirements for obtaining the official registration would be prepared in order to move forward in a more systematic manner.

    According to the Chin World Media, the newly elected minister of Chin ethnic affairs, Lal Thawm Thang, would participate in the event.

    Lal Thawm Thang told the Chinland Guardian while attending the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples in Rangoon on Tuesday that it was time all the Chin came together, leaving parochialism behind, to find a common platform for future long-term development.

    Under the successive dictatorships for decades, the ethnic Chin were not allowed publication in local dialects, which has been seen as one of the major threats to the annihilation of their cultural values and hence their unique identity.

    The NLD's education policy puts stress on the importance of supports for the use of mother-tongue-based teaching and curricular development in schools in ethnic areas.#

  • Wed, 10 Aug 2016 08:17:55 +0000: Chin female archer competes in Rio 2016 - Chin News
    Mai San Yu Htwe (Photo: http://southeastasiansports.blogspot.com/2016/08/san-yu-htwe.html)
    10 August 2016 -- San Yu Htwe, a Chin athlete originally from Mindat, Chin State, is tomorrow to compete against Bobae Ki, from South Korea, in archery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    The 30-year-old archer, among seven athletes representing Burma at the 2016 Summer Olympics, will proceed to the quarterfinals of the women's individual elimination match if she beats her opponent.

    Currently at 51 in the ranking round table of 64 archery competitors in total, Htwe has got to perform well to defeat the Korean, the third seed, in the women’s archery individual recurve.

    In media reports, Htwe indicated that she had not dare to even dream of winning a medal but had been excited about participating in the international event.#

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