Irrawaddy Govt to Pay For Local Chin National Day Celebrations

By Salai Thant Zin 16 March 2018

PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Region — The Irrawaddy Region government will fund the celebration of Chin National Day, which has been held in the region since 2012, in the coming 2018-19 fiscal year.

Region Planning and Finance Minister U Htay Win made the announcement in response to a question from lawmaker U Htein Win, Kyaunggon Township, during a session of the regional Parliament on Wednesday.

“We will set up a fund in our 2018-19 fiscal year budget in line with Article 13 of the Ethnic Rights Protection Law in order to promote the literature, language and culture of Chin ethnic people,” U Htay Win said.

Article 13 states that region or state governments shall establish funds in their annual budgets to address ethnic interests.

Since 2012, Chin National Day has been celebrated alternately in Kyangin and Myanaung townships in Irrawaddy Region. The 70th anniversary of Chin National Day was held as a regionwide event for the first time in the region’s capital, Pathein, on Feb. 20 this year with donations from the Irrawaddy government and Parliament, Chin residents and other individuals.

“We celebrated Chin National Day out of our own pockets in Irrawaddy Region with difficulty. We are glad that the region government will officially allocate funds for future celebrations. We are grateful to it,” Salai Myat Thu, patron of the committee organizing Chin National Day, told The Irrawaddy.

The region’s ethnic Chin live mainly in Kyangin, Myanaung, Ingapu and Ngapudaw townships and less so in Maubin, Myaungmya, Labutta, Pathein and other areas, totaling more than 20,000 people, according to the committee.

On Feb. 20, 1948, more than 5,000 Chin delegates gathered in Chin State’s Falam Township and agreed to abolish their hereditary feudal system of administration. Since then, the day has been celebrated as Chin National Day.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.