CHIN FORUM Chronology of Events
Prologue: The CHIN FORUM is not a political, social or religious organization. It is not a part or a branch of any active political organizations of the Chins. It is a common Platform, from which any Chin individual can exchange his or her knowledge, capacities, skills and expertise with other fellow compatriots impartially and independently. It is a “Forum” for promoting the common NATIONAL INTERESTS of the Chin people. There is no place in the CHIN FORUM for promoting any individual, organizational or local interests.
The CHIN FORUM’s activities include organizing seminars, conferences and publishing books. It also disseminates information through various training programs. The FORUM also initiates group discussions that are conducive to the development and consolidation of the notions of civil liberty and democracy for the Burmese people as a whole.
THE FIRST CHIN SEMINAR and THE INCEPTION of the CHIN FORUM
1998 April- May – The CHIN FORUM was founded by the First Chin Seminar in Ottawa, Canada. The First Chin Seminar, initiated by Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong and organized by Canada-based members of the Chin National Front, was held on April 29 to May 2, 1998, with the aims to promote unity among all the Chin democratic forces in the exiles.
The said Seminar, sponsored by the Euro-Burma Office (EBO), was attended by 17 Chin compatriots [*].
The Chin Seminar agreed to form the CHIN FORUM, which will implement various tasks under different working groups, namely :
- Constitution Drafting Working Group (CFWG I)
- Information and Communication Working Group (CFWGII)
- Education Working Group (CFWG III) and later expanded the number of working groups to
- Economics and Data Collection Working Group (CFWG IV)
- Health Working Group (CFWG V) and
- Historical Research and Preservation Working Group (CFWGVI)
Conveners and Co-conveners were selected for each working group. All the working groups were to execute their respective assignments according to the program and the policy laid out by the Chin Forum Managing Board (CFMB).
The INITIAL DRAFT of the CONSTITUTION OF CHINLAND
1998 – Pu Lian Uk (Convener of the CFWGI) started to draft the Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland, which ignited the first wave of the Chin Federal Movement in the exile to unify the Chin democratic forces. This was literally a continuation of the student-led Chin Federal Movement that started in 1968-69 inside the country, ignited by submitting to the then Revolutionary Council government a federal paper known as “The Proposal of the Chin Youth”.
CHIN FORUM INFORMATION SERVICE
1998 – Salai Kipp Kho Lian (Convener of CFWG II) launched the CHIN FORUM INFORMATION SERVICE, sending out to all Chin e-Groups selected strategic information compiled from various media sources on daily basis. The CFIS also informed the Chins worldwide about the activities of the Chin Forum.
ENGLISH FOR CHINS in the 21st. CENTURY
1999 – English for Chins in the 21st. Century project was initiated by the CHIN FORUM with the financial support of the Open Society Institute (OSI), Burma Project. The project was implemented under the leadership of Pu Vumson Suantak (Convener of the Education Working Group – CFWGIII) at eight centers in Chin State. English was taught to young Chins for several years assisting and preparing for them in their pursuit of higher learning abroad.
The Constitution Drafting Working Group (Convener – Pu Lian Uk and Co-Convener Dr. Vumson), the Education Working Group (Convener – Dr. Vumson) and the Information and Communication Working Group (Convener – Salai Kipp Kho Lian) executed their assignments very well. But the other Working Groups remained inactive.
ROUND TABLE CONSTITUTION CONSULTATIVE MEETING
1999 March – The FIRST Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland with Chin Political History and Social background prepared by Pu Lian Uk, the Convener of CHIN FORUM Working Group (I), was presented to the Round Table Constitution Consultative Meeting of the WGI and the CFMB in Washington DC. The Round Table Meeting was sponsored by the EBO. The participants of the Round Table Meetings consulted on the FIRST Initial Draft with a constitutional law expert of the National Endowment for Democracy and along with a professor from Princeton University. Based on these consultations and inputs by members of the CFMB, the Convener of the CFWGI was assigned by the Meeting to work further and produce a Second Draft.
THE SECOND CHIN SEMINAR
2000 April – The Second Chin Seminar, sponsored by the National Reconciliation Project and attended by 95 Chin delegations from Mizoram, New Delhi, Europe, USA, and Australia was successfully held in New Delhi, India from April 4-8, 2000. CFMB members including Pu Mang Bur, Dr. Za Hlei Thang, Salai Kipp Kho Lian, and Salai Nilian actively participated in the Seminar. For the first time, the CHIN FORUM presented the SECOND Initial Draft of Principle Guidelines for the future Constitution of Chinland to the general public of about 200 participants during this Second Chin Seminar. The participants were made up of individuals and members of Chin political and social organizations belonging to all tribes and regions of Chin State. Based on the input during the Seminar, the CFWGI was assigned to prepare the THIRD Draft. During the Seminar, three new members were inducted into the CFMB.
STATE CONSTITUTION SEMINAR
2001 August- Pu Lian Uk, Convener of the Working Group (I) and Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian, Co-convener of the Working Group (I) attended the State Constitution Seminar held by the National Democratic Front and United Nationalities League for Democracy, sponsored by National Reconciliation Program in Chiang Mai,
Thailand on August 20-26, 2001. Pu Lian Uk and Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian distributed the SECOND Initial Draft of Principle Guidelines for the future Constitution of Chinland at the request of the Seminar and explained its process and its contents at a special session. The drafting process and the contents of the Chinland Constitution were thus widely credited by Karens, Kachins, Mons, Arakans, Shans, Karennis and Burmans.
ROUND TABLE CONSTITUTION CONSULTATIVE MEETING
2002 January – With the assistance of the Department of States – USA, the National Endowment for Democracy and the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, the Chin Forum Working Group (I) Round Table Constitution Consultative Meeting was held in Washington D.C. on January 15-22, 2002. The meeting took place at the Chin Baptist Mission Church in Washington D.C. and was attended by Pu Lian Uk, Dr. Vumson Suantak, Dr. Za Hlei Thang, Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, Salai Ni Lian, Dr. Chum Awi, Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian, Dr. Roding, Pi Dawt Chin, among others. Louisa Coan of the NED was also present as an observer.
The Round Table Meeting thoroughly reviewed the FIRST and SECOND Initial Drafts of the Constitution of Chinland and gathered inputs for the THIRD Draft. Once the THIRD DRAFT was prepared in its complete form it was to be submitted to a public Seminar to collect further feedback. The Meeting considered that the Chinland Constitution drafting process had reached a mature stage and it was decided to hire a constitutional law expert to review the draft. Consequently, Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian informed us that Professor David Williams of John S. Hastings, Professors of Law, from the Law School of Bloomington, Indiana University accepted our request to assist us as our legal advisor in Constitutional Law without any commercial fee.
STATE CONSTITUTION SEMINARS
2002 November (First week) – The State Constitution Seminar held in November 1-5, 2002 New Delhi, India was attended by Conveners of the Chin Forum Working Group (I) such as Pu Lian Uk (Convener), Dr. Vumson Suantak (Co-Convener) and Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian (Co-Convener) with the active participation of the following CFMB members: Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, Victor Biak Lian and Salai Kipp Kho Lian. The Seminar was jointly sponsored by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Besides, the State Constitution Seminar was attended by other Chin political and social organizations, including leaders from the Chin National Front (CNF) and Kuki organization, etc. and also individuals from other organizations and ethnic groups belonging to Shan, Kachin, Naga, Burman, and Arakanese attended the Seminar.
The THIRD Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland was presented to the general public by the CHIN FORUM to gather feedback and provoke discussions and debates. More than 200 participants took part in the fruitful discussions which became the basis for preparing for the FOURTH Draft.
Consequently, another State Constitution Seminar held in Chiang Mai for those from the eastern front was attended by Victor Biak Lian (Secretary), Pu Lian Uk (Convener) and Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian (Co-convener) of the Chin Forum Working Group (I).
BURMESE – GERMAN DIALOGUE in BERLIN
2002 November (Third week) – Federalism and Local Self-Government in Germany, Burmese – German Dialogue held in Berlin on November 25-26 was attended by CFMB member Dr. Vumson Suantak representing the Chin. Other CFMB members like Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong and Salai Kipp Kho Lian also took active parts during the Conference. The Conference was also attended by various delegations of Shan, Pa-O, Karenni, Kachin, and Burman, which included, among others, delegations of NCGUB, NLD (LA).
CHINLAND CONSTITUTION CONSULTATIVE MEETING
2003 June – The Chinland Constitution Consultative Meeting was held in the Indiana University School of Law Faculty Conference room on June 8, 2003, and attended by Prof. David C. Williams, consultant of the CFWG (I) and Pu Lian Uk, Dr. Za Hlei Thang, Dr. Vumson Suantak, Salai Victor Biak Lian, Salai Ni Lian, Salai Hre Mang, and Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian. The Constitution Consultative meeting at IU School of Law – Bloomington prepared the ground works for the publication of the FOURTH Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland.
CHIN CONSENSUS BUILDING SEMINAR
2004 April – The Fourth Draft of Chinland Constitution was officially presented at the Chin Consensus Building Seminar, held at Camp Victoria, General Head Quarters of the Chin National Front. Around a hundred delegates from various Chin civil society groups, political parties such as CNF, ZNC, CNLD, MPP, civic
societies of youth and women groups attended the Seminar. Dr. Vumson Suantak, Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, Salai Kee Lee Awm, Dr. Sui Khar, Dr. Roding and Victor Biak Lian of the CHIN FORUM attended the Seminar. The FOURTH Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland was approved during the Chin Consensus Building Seminar.
(NOTE: The CHIN FORUM played a major role in bringing all the Chin political parties and civil society organizations and other groups to work together for a common cause through its Federal Movements in the exile. The subsequent formation of the Political Affairs Committee of Chinland (PACC) during this Consensus Building Seminar further strengthen the unity of all Chin organizations. These important milestones also coincided with the CHIN FORUM’s constitution drafting process reaching its mature stage – the FOURTH Draft. ).
CHINLAND CONSTITUTION CONSULTATION
2005 September – A one-day Chinland Constitution Consultation was held on the FOURTH Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland at Bloomington University, School of Law, between our consultant Professors David and Susan Williams with the Chin Forum Management Body and later a CFMB meeting, was held in Indianapolis. It was the last time Dr. Vumson Suantak participated; he passed away just days after this consultation, at the age of 67.
THE 5th. STATE CONSTITUTION SEMINAR
2005 November – The 5th State Constitution Seminar, which was organized by the Supporting Committee for State Constitution (SCSC) sponsored by NRP, and was held in Chiang Mai from November 15 – 17, 2005. Three representatives from each of the Constitution Drafting Committee from the seven States of the Union of Burma such as Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan as well as three representatives from the Burman Constitution Study group attended the Seminar. Pu Lian Uk, Dr. Run Bik, Dr. Sui Khar, and Victor Biak Lian also attended the meeting.
FEDERAL CONSTITUTION DRAFTING & COORDINATING COMMITTEE WORKSHOP
2005 December – The Federal Constitution Drafting & Coordinating Committee (FCDCC) [**] Workshop was held from December 9 – 16, 2005. It discussed the Draft of the Future Constitution of the Federal Union of Burma which was drafted by the FCDCC. The FCDCC members and one Representative from each Constitution Drafting Committee of all States as well as the Burmans Constitution Study Group attended the Workshop with a Constitution Drafting Technical Advisory Team (TAT) led by Professor David Williams. Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian, Co-Convener of the CHIN FORUM Working Group (I), was one of the members of TAT.
3rd. CHIN FORUM MANAGING BOARD MEETING
2006 July – The Chin Forum held its 3rd Managing Board meeting in Frankfurt am Main, Germany from July 17 – 19, 2006. Eight members of the Chin Forum Managing Board from Germany, Thailand, United States, Sweden, and India were in attendance. The meeting discussed and reviewed the Chin Forum’s projects and undertakings for the past eight years, as well as laid down future plans. More significantly, the Forum’s structure and operational scope were reformed and redefined. Victor Biak Lian, the Secretary of the CFMB was replaced by Salai Kipp Kho Lian to become the Coordinator of the Board. The Board meeting also inducted two new members: Pu Nang Lian Thang (Japan) and Pi Bianca Son Suantak (Mang Khan Cing) of Germany.
The Chin Forum also held a series of public consultative meetings in Germany, Norway, and Denmark to collect comments and suggestions from Chin communities in Europe towards the development of the FIFTH DRAFT of the Chinland Constitution.
2007 January – A series of consultation on the FOURTH Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland was held in New Zealand and Australia with the Chin Communities in those countries.
FEDERAL CONSTITUTION DRAFTING & COORDINATING COMMITTEE SEMINAR
2007 July – A Federal Constitution Drafting and Coordinating Committee Seminar was held in Thailand and was attended by the members of the Chin Forum Managing Board and the Chin National Council Constitutional Affairs Committee. After the above-mentioned Seminar, the CFMB and the CNC- CAC members had a two day long Chinland Constitution Consultation with Professors David and Susan Williams with David Hamilton. Participants in these consultations were CFMB Coordinator Salai Kipp Kho Lian, CFMB members Dr. Sui Khar, Pu Lian Uk (MP), Pu Nang Lian Thang and Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian and members of the CNC – CAC
such as Pu Khua Uk Lian, Pu Thang Len Piang and Pu Lalramlawma, among others. Feedbacks and inputs were collected during this consultation, for the eventual preparation of the FIFTH DRAFT of the Chinland Constitution.
ADVANCE CONSTITUTIONAL TRAINING FOR TRAINERS
2007 October – The Chin Forum and the Chin National Council conducted the Advance Constitutional Training for Trainers in Aizawl, Mizoram from October 15-20, 2007. Over 40 Chin individuals from inside and outside Chinland attended the training. Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian, a member of Chin Forum Managing Board and Research Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies at Indiana University School of Law lectured the training.
2008 April – The CHIN FORUM in close cooperation with the Chin National Council and Chin Human Rights Organization conducted training and launched a “Vote NO” campaign in Chin State in response to the Military Regime’s referendum planned for May 10, 2008. The referendum result was an overwhelming “NO” to the SPDC’s drafted Constitution although the military junta rigged the voting result.
CHIN FORUM MAGAZINE
2008 September – The CHIN FORUM MAGAZINE commemorating its Tenth Anniversary and was published. At the same time the FIFTH Initial Draft of the Chinland Constitution was also published.
Note: Victor Biak Lian, who had served as Secretary of the Chin Forum Managing Board (1998-2006) had continuously held a series of consultation and explanations on the FOURTH Initial Draft of the Chinland Constitution in the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and India to members of the local Chin communities. Apart from that the process of drafting the Chinland Constitution, it has been updated and reported regularly via CHIN FORUM INFORMATION SERVICE, an email information service regularly compiled and distributed by Salai Kipp Kho Lian (Convener of WG I), and on the CHIN FORUM webpage (www.chinforum.info) for over a decade.
Inspired by the Chin Federal Movement in the exiles, other ethnic nationalities adopted the FOURTH Initial Draft of the Chinland Constitution as a model State Constitution and followed suit by drafting their own State Constitutions. This, in turn, paved the way for a cooperative atmosphere for drafting together, with other Burman-led democratic forces, a Constitution for the future Federal Republic of the Union of Burma.
INTERNATIONAL CHIN SEMINAR
2008 October – An International Chin Seminar titled ‘Exploring the history, culture and identity of the Chin people’ was held at Chaltlang Tourist Lodge in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram State, India. The three-day seminar (13-15 October 2008) was jointly initiated by the CHIN FORUM and the CNC and organized by Mizoram University. Presentations and discussions on the Chin history, culture and identity were conducted. More than 150 Chin/ Mizo/ Kuki and other international scholars, including the USA, Canada, Thailand, India, Burma and Europe participated. A total of 36 scholarly papers on Chin related topics were presented during the seminar. Professor A.N. Rai, Vice Chancellor of Mizoram University, inaugurated the program and the introductory speech was given by the Coordinator of the seminar, Dr. K. Robin of the History and Ethnology Department. The keynote address was delivered by Professor J.L. Dawar. The event was sponsored by the Euro- Burma Office.
The Euro-Burma Office Research Director and Chairman of the Chin National Council, Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, gave a speech on behalf of the Euro-Burma Office (EBO) and Salai Kipp Kho Lian, CHIN FORUM Coordinator, spoke on behalf of the Chin National Council.
The Mizoram University published all the papers presented at the seminar in a book form.
VANSANGVA DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT (http://www.vansangva.com)
2009 / 2010 – The CHIN FORUM conducted a cross-border political training to 11 Chin students and 10 members of the Chin National Council in Aizawl, Mizoram. The student trainees were from various universities inside Burma. The trainees further disseminated their newly acquired knowledge to the other Chin students in their respective universities and also to the grass root organizations in Chin State and surrounding areas. The project was funded by our traditional donor, the National Endowment for Democracy. The contents of the training were the basic principles of democracy, establishing and strengthening civil society organizations, political strategy, and tactics, among others. The trainers were Dr. Andrew Ngun Cung Lian, Pu Lian Uk and Pu Nang Lian Thang of the CHIN FORUM. This training was part of the FORUM’s long-range strategy intended to empower the Chin people with a comprehensive knowledge of democracy.
The CHIN FORUM launches another new website http://www.vansangva.com in March 2010 as its Online Democracy Training which is complementary to its cross-border training while serving as a communication portal with Chin student trainees inside the country. Even though the website was initially meant for Chin students, it was launched for a wider public in response to advice from students inside the country. The website gained a widespread acceptance as it attracts the attention of other Burmese political activists inside and outside Burma. Thomas Khaipi and Salai Hau Khan Cin serve as the IT Consultant / Web Developer for the Vansangva Online Democracy Training. Salai Kipp Kho Lian is the author (blogger) of the web contents while U Khin Maung Saw helps as an editor and all members of the CFMB assist the production of the web contents as consultants.
2010/ 2011 – The CHIN FORUM conducted a cross-border political training to 10 Chin students in Shillong, Meghalaya State in India. The training was funded by the NED, as usual, and the content is heavily based on the Vansangva Online Democracy Training among others like Strategy, SWOT Analysis and Introduction to Rural Wireless Communication Network etc (lectured by Thomas Khaipi via the Internet). The trainers were Salai Kipp Kho Lian and Victor Biak Lian. The student trainees further disseminated their newly acquired knowledge to other students and to the people at the grass-root level inside the country.
2011/ 2012 The NED continues to sponsor the Vansangva democracy awareness campaign of the CHIN FORUM. The CFMB members namely Salai Kipp Kho Lian and Victor Biak Lian convene a strategic meeting with four student leaders in Aizawl at the end of 2011, to work out in detail on how we could best and clandestinely print the digital contents of the www.vansangva.com in hard copies and widely distribute them in Chin State and other areas inside Burma.
In February 2012, more than 2,000 copies of VANSANGVA VOLUME I (126 pages in B5 size) were printed in Rangoon. Three of our Field Coordinators and one volunteer inside the country disseminated copies of the book to all parts of Chin State, to all political parties and 88 Generation leaders as well as to the media in Rangoon. Workshops and political discussions based on the book were conducted in the universities and in the cities in Chin State and Rangoon whenever the situations allowed.
The Vansangva website is to further disseminate valuable materials as the FORUM’s long-term strategy for the eventual realization of the reestablishment of a federal democratic Union of Burma – the ultimate goal of the ethnic nationalities as well as the Burmans.
6th. CHIN FORUM MANAGING BOARD MEETING
2012 July – The CHIN FORUM MANAGING BOARD convened its Sixth Meeting on July 28-29 at the Comfort Suites Hotel, Elkridge, Maryland, USA. The CHIN FORUM Rules and Regulations were revised and amended in line with the political changes and reform process taking place inside the country. The CFMB decided to incorporate one new member and recruit other new CHIN FORUM members, especially from inside the country. It elected a Chairman, a Program Coordinator, two Assistant Program Coordinators and a Financial Officer for the next three-year tenure.
CHIN FORUM: HOME COMING FROM THE EXILES
2012 December – For the first time ever since its inception, the CHIN FORUM, taking advantage of the reform process initiated by U Thein Sein government after the 2010-election, conducted a Seminar titled “Constitutional Democracy – The Way Forward” from 13-15 December 2012 in Rangoon. The Seminar was attended by 44 people made up of leaders of major political parties, students and members of civil societies of various ethnic backgrounds. The resource persons during the three-day Seminar were Dr. Alan Smith, Dr. Thein Lwin of the NLD, Maj. Tu Tu Lay of the KNU, Salai Kipp Kho Lian, Victor Biak Lian, and Salai Za Ceu Lian.
2013 January – On the 6th and 8th of January, the CHIN FORUM conducted Vansangva Workshop in Rangoon for the Siyin Chin Youth Forum.
On 9th of January, the CHIN FORUM conducted a Workshop with the Chin Youth Forum, where 18 Chin students and youths attended.
VANSANGAV VOLUME I
2013 March – The CHIN FORUM officially published 5,000 copies of the “Basic Principles of Democracy” as Vansangva Volume I. The book is authored by Salai Kipp Kho Lian and edited by U Khin Maung Saw. Throughout the year, the CHIN FORUM distributed the book to all States and Divisions, including the Burmese university students, the Wa area in Shan State and also to all parliamentarians at Naypyidaw. To the surprise
and delight of the CHIN FORUM, the book is the first of its kind to be allowed by the Thein Sein government to be distributed in Naypyidaw. Especially the military sector of the Hlutdaw shows great interest in this book.
CHIN NATIONAL CONFERENCE
2013 November – The CFMB Emergency Meeting was held on 12 November, on the evening of the first day of the Chin National Conference in Haka.
The meeting discussed on how best to present the CHIN FORUM’s Fifth Initial Draft of Chinland Constitution (2008) to the Chin National Conference (12-15 December 2013) in Haka, Chin State, so that the conference could further decide the role of the FORUM in fulfilling the objectives of the Conference as below:-
- To discuss for the development of a common platform for Chin in political dialogue;
- To develop common negotiation strategies;
- To develop consultative mechanisms on different levels during political dialogue;
- To emphasize the FORUM’s platform so that all Chin may participate in the strengthening of mutual understanding, trust and solidarity.
On 12 November, Pu Lian Uk, the Chairman of the CHIN FORUM addressed the public during the opening session of the Chin National Conference and detailed the long history of the Chin federal movement which started in the late 1960s. He emphasized the efforts and sacrifices of the Chin student generations of the 1960s and 1970s. These students planted the seeds of democracy and federalism among the Chin people.
On 13 November, Salai Kipp Kho Lian, the Program Coordinator of the CHIN FORUM delivered a speech as the Chairman of the Conference on the second day of the conference. He detailed the decade -long activities by the exiles of the CHIN FORUM in the drafting of the Chinland Constitution. He emphasized that this was the continuation of the Chin federal movement which was first ignited by the Chin students under the oppressive military regime in the 1960s and 1970s.
On 14 November the CFMB members engaged with conference participants in the Constitutional Workshop. State constitutional issues were discussed. The CHIN FORUM presented its Fifth Initial Draft of the Chinland Constitution in the workshop. The CHIN FORUM along with the conference participants discussed working out a comprehensive strategy to achieve constitutional democracy for Chin State, in the federal Union of Burma. Furthermore, it was thoroughly discussed which common position the Chin should take in political dialogue with the President Thein Sein government.
On 15 November it was decided to form a 45 – member committee comprising delegates from all the regions, women, youth, political parties, the Chin National Front (CNF), and the Chin National Conference resource persons. Moreover, it was decided to form a Joint Organizing Committee of the Chin National Conference of experts and scholars to implement the above-mentioned points of objectives.
The CHIN FORUM is to be part of this body and to take the leading role in composing a comprehensive paper relating to Constitutional affairs of Chin State, as part of the federal Union of Burma. The said comprehensive paper is to be prepared in consultation with the said 45-member committee, Chin political parties, other relevant groups and individuals over the coming year. This paper, once finalized, will be used as a vital part of the common position for the Chin in political dialogue with the government.
VANSANGVA VOLUME II
2015 March: The CHIN FORUM published 2000 copies of the book “Back to Panglong” (Vansangva Volume II) and distributed widely across the country.
2015 July 3-4: The CHIN FORUM conducted a Vansangva Democracy Workshop at the Wesley Hall in Tahan, Kalemyo. The resource persons were Salai Kipp Kho Lian (Coordinator) and Taang Zam Thuam (Field Coordinator). The workshop focused on the importance of Panglong as the principle guideline for
The workshop was attended by 35 participants from Chin political enthusiasts, members of Chin CSOs,
40th. ANNIVERSARY OF SALAI – MAI MOVEMENT
2016: The CHIN FORUM coordinated with the current Chin students leaders of the Chin Literature and Culture Committee (Universities – Yangon) for the commemoration of the student martyr and hero Salai Tin Maung Oo and the 40th. Anniversary of the Salai Mai Movement held in Rangoon on 26 June 2016.
The CHIN FORUM continues its Vansangva Online Democracy Trainings on Facebook.
2016 December: “The Seeds of Democracy and the Panglong Pyidaungsu” the book authored by Salai Kipp Kho Lian is published.
CHIN FORUM: OFFICIAL HOME COMING FOR REGISTRATION
2017 July & October: With new opportunities opening up for the ethnic nationalities following the democratic reform since 2012, there are yet many challenges and obstacles to be overcome, especially as regard to constitutional issues within the context of the ongoing peace process. Taking serious consideration into these challenges, the Chin Forum realizes the need to assert itself and take initiative to integrate its
With such a realization, the CFMB members conducted two separate emergency meetings in the USA on 23 July and again on 1 October in Bangkok with the sponsorship of EBO.
Both meetings agreed on
- a. the need to register the Chin Forum in Burma (Myanmar) with 5- to 7 Board Members to be selected from inside the country that will take care of the Forum’s activities.
- b. the CFMB to review the 5th. Initial Draft of Chinland Constitution.
- c. to launch the Chinland Constitution Drafting process through various stages of consultations with the
- Chin political parties, CSOs, selected individuals and the general masses.
- d. To find ways and means to integrate the Chin Forum’s State Constitution Drafting process into the ongoing peace process.
- e. to celebrate the 20th. Anniversary of the inception of the Chin Forum in May 2018
- f. to publish the Chin Forum Magazine in commemoration of its 20th. Anniversary.
- g. to convened a CFMB Meeting as soon as possible and reform its structure and lay down new principles and action guidelines in line with the new political atmosphere at an appropriate time.
2017 – 7 October: Salai Kipp Kho Lian organized a meeting for General Discussion on the Chin Forum in Yangon at Summit Parkview Hotel, sponsored by Pu Cin Khan Lian of Aryone Oo. The meeting was attended by members of various Chin political parties, CSOs and selected individuals.
During the discussion Salai Kipp Kho Lian gave a presentation about the process of Chin Forum’s Chinland Constitution Drafting process through the Chin Federal Movements in the exile and about the principles of Panglong as the guiding principles. Dr. Sui Khar presented the Chin Forum’s chronology of events and Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian about the legal and technical principles of drafting the Chinland Constitution etc.
2017 – 18 October: The Legal Advisors of the Chin Forum Professor David C. Williams and Professor Susan H. Williams of Center for Constitutional Democracy, Indiana University, presented two separate presentations titled “Designing a Process for Public Participation in the Chin State Constitution Drafting” and “State Constitutions in a Federal System” to our invited guests at the Summit Parkview Hotel in Yangon. The event was again sponsored by Aryon Oo.
Following the two events at the Summit Parkview Hotel as mentioned above and with the scholarly presentations and the discussions and Q&A sessions that followed the invited guests, made up of leaders of Chin political parties, CSOs and respected individuals, were convinced of the need for valuable contributions of the non-political organization and neutral think tank body like the Chin Forum in drafting the Chin State Constitution for the Chin people to reassume their legal status as a co-Independence equal partner in the future federal Union of Burma.
2018 – 4 & 5 May: The combined meeting of the Chin Forum Managing Board (old and new) was held on 4th. May. The FIFTH Initial DRAFT of the Chinland Constitution was reviewed on 5th. May morning at Summit Parkview Hotel and in the evening at the same venue the 20th. Anniversary of the CHIN FORUM was celebrated simultaneously with the Golden Jubilee – 50th. Anniversary – of the Chin Federal Movement initiated by the Chin students in 1968/69 academic year. This Chin Federal Movement of half a century ago is the forerunner of the Chin Forum.
This year, 2018, marks the 20th. Anniversary of the inception of the CHIN FORUM.
The year also coincide with the 30th anniversary of the historic Four Eights Democracy Revolution also known as the 8-8-88 movement in Burma.
Moreover, the year also marks the 50th. Anniversary – the Golden Jubilee – of the historical event of the Chin peoples unanimous demand for a Statehood for the then Chin Special Division, incorporated with the demand for democracy and federalism for the country during the year 1968-69. The Chin students of the Universities –Rnagoon at that time took the lead to submit a federal paper known as “The Proposal if the Chin Youth” and submitted to General Ne Win, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council. The move eventually mobilized a wider Chin Federal Movement in the whole Chinland in the following years 1970-71. As a result, starting from the end of 1972, the Government of the Revolutionary Council arrested more than 60 Chins from all walks of life. This event has reached its 50th. Anniversary – GOLDEN
Looking back at the past two decades, the CHIN FORUM can proudly claim successes in its endeavors as its stated goals, set at its inception in 1998, has been accomplished:-
i) The Forum played a vital role in inspiring not only the Chins but the Burmese Democracy Movement as a whole and thus naturally accomplished one of its initial aims to, “continuously strengthen unity among the Chins”;
ii) It has updated the Chinland Constitution to the Fifth Draft and submitted to the Chin National Conference in 2013.
iii) It has conducted numerous training, seminars and workshops on Constitutional democracy for Chin students and the general public over the past decade (for security reasons not all details are mentioned in this chronology) and heightened political awareness, and moreover solidified the unity among the Chin;
iv) It has set-up a good reputation and strong relationship with Chin students as well as the general masses inside the country;
v) It has created the vansangva.com website and published the contents thereof as VANSANGVA VOLUME I (2013). and VOLUME II (2015). Vansangva received overwhelming support and positive comments from all ethnicities inside the country, including parliamentarians from Naypyidaw, as well as those in the exile.
vi) Following the publication of VANSANGVA VOLUME I, the CHIN FORUM conducted Workshops for the Chin students and other students of all ethnicities, including the members of newly formed Student Unions in various universities inside the country. Hence: The CHIN FORUM has started to inspire the younger generations of all ethnicities in the Union of Burma thus extending its realm of activities beyond Chin State, its initial target.
vii) Since 2017 the FORUM has prepared to reform itself and formed a new Board inside the country to unitedly launch its long enduring federal movement with the supports of all Chin political party, CSO, youth, students and women leaders in Burma. So far, all sectors of the Chin society has welcome the new move initiated by the Chin Forum.
Nevertheless, reviewing its past experiences, the FORUM, in order to sustain its strengths and dynamism, is committed to remain a Political Think-Tank and has no intention to transform itself into a political organization.
Words of Appreciations
Our deepest appreciation goes to all friends of Chinland world-wide and to our generous traditional donors such as the NED, EBO, OSI, NRP.
Our deepest appreciation also goes to Pu Cin Khan Lian of
Without their solidarity and financial support the CHIN FORUM’s activities, over the past two decades, could not have been as fruitful.
We also appreciate our legal advisors Professors
[*] The list of the 17 Chin comüatriots, who attended the first Chin Seminar: 1. Pu Lian Uk (elected MP of the1990 General Elections and an ex-prisoner of conscience), 2. Dr. Za Hlei Thang, (elected MP of the 1990General Elections and an ex-prisoner of conscience), 3. Dr. Vumson Suantak (Chin historian and Human Rightsactivist in the exile), 4. Salai Kipp Kho Lian (student activist of the 1970s and an ex-prisoner of conscience), 5.Pu Mang Tling (former Paliamentarian of the 1960s ) 6. Pu Mang Bur (Chin intellectual), 7. Salai Lian HmungSakhong (Chin National League for Democracy), 8. Dr. Roding (National League for Democracy), 9. Pu ZingCung (Chin National Front), 10. Dr. Sui Khar (Chin National Front), 11. Pu Bawi Lian Mang (Chin HumanRights Organization), 12. Pu Victor Biak Lian (Chin Human Rights Organization), 13. Dr. Chum Awi (formerGeneral Secretary of Zomi Baptist Convention), 14. Pu Cung Cin, 15. Pi Khuang Cin Par, 16. Pa Mang Bik(Salai Sang Chin), 17. Pa Za Peng
[**] Federal Constitution Drafting and Coordination Committee (FCDCC) came into existence on April 19,2005. It comprised members of ENC, NCGUB, NCUB, NDF, UNLD, WLB, Nationalities Youth Forum (NY-Forum) and Students and Youth Congress of Burma (SYCB). The FCDCC presented the first draft of theFederal Constitution of the Union of Burma at the Federal Constitution seminar held April 6 – 9, 2006 and wasadopted by 101 participants from 52 organizations including democratic forces and ethnic nationalities. TheFCDCC has completed the second draft of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of the Union of Burma in2007-2008.
CFMB = Chin Forum Managing Board
CFB = Chin Forum Board
CFWGI = Chin Forum Working Group I
CCDPS = Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies
CNF = Chin National Front
NLD = Chin National League for Democracy
CNC = Chin National Council
CNC-CAC = Chin National Council – Constitutional Affairs Committee
CHRO = Chin Human Rights Organization
EBO = Euro-Burma Office
ENC = Ethnic Nationalities Council
FCDCC = Federal Constitution Drafting & Coordinating Committee
MPP = Mara Peoples Party,
NRP = National Reconciliation Program
NCGUB = National Coalition Government of Union of Burma
NLD(LA) = National League for Democracy (Liberated Area)
NED = National Endowment for Democracy
OSI = Open Society Institute
PACC = Political Affairs Committee of Chinland
UNLD = United Nationalities League for Democracy WLB Women’s League of Burma
ZNC = Zomi National Congress
The CHIN FORUM MANAGING BOARD (2018)
- Pu Lian Uk – Chairman
- Salai Kipp Kho Lian – Program Coordinator
- Dr. Roding – Assistant Program Coordinator
- Dr. Za Hlei Thang – Member
- Pu Taang Nang Lian Thang – Member
- Pu Victor Biak Lian – Member
- Dr. Salai Ngun Cung Lian – Member
- Dr. Lian Sakhong – Member
- Dr. Sui Khar – Member
- Salai Mamang – Field Coordinator
- Taang Zam Thuam – Field Coordinator
The CHIN FORUM BOARD (2018)
- Salai Cin Lam Mang
- Chin Chin Pek Thang
- Pu Cin Khan Lian
- Salai Cung Lian Thawng
- Salai Many Lyan
- Ki Aung Naing
- Rosalind Zahau
- Adviser – Pu Lian Uk
- Technical Consultant – Salai Kipp Kho Lian
c/o Chin Chin
No. 20, Room 58, 5th. Floor
Shin Saw Pu Pagoda Street
NOTE: This CHIN FORUM Chronology of Events is last updated by Salai Kipp Kho Lian on 26 October 2018