Enforcing a rule that ethnic groups must remain in the Union goes against the Panglong Agreement, said Pu Zin Cung, the chairman for the Chin National Front (CNF).
Ethnic groups worked with the central government to form the Union of Burma after the Panglong Conference in 1947 and the right to secede was included, the chairman said during the 71st Chin National Day.
“Bamar (Burmese), Shan, Kachin and Chin signed the Union agreement knowing they had these rights. Now, no-one can block these original rights to be able to secede.”
The peace process faced a deadlock in the second round of 21st Century Panglong – Union Peace Conference when the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) said that demands for “self-determination” from ethnic armed organizations depended on if they “never depart from the Union.”
Ultimately, having the right of secession or not is something that the Chin people will have to decide for themselves, Pu Zin Cung said.
Celebrations for Chin National Day on February 20 took place across Myanmar and around the world where Chins have resettled.