State minister apologizes to local people for cross demolition

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Those responsible for demolition of a cross in Cin Dwei village of Kanpetlet township were made to apologize by Mr. Ba Maung, Social Minister of Chin state, Burma on 15 May. Some Cin Dwei villagers were involved in the demolition.

The cross was built two years ago by the local Christian community. The cross was destroyed by setting it on fire by some Cin Dwei villagers on 28 July 2011 and a woman’s sex organ was painted on the destroyed cross.

The programme was organized by the ministerial team in Cin Dwei village with around hundred local Christian members attending. The minister made the culprits apologize for the demolition of the cross.

Some local people had demanded that the authorities take action on those who destroyed the cross but some were against it,” said Mr. Ling Htun, a leader of the group campaigning for action.

Mr. Ba Maung, the minister of Chin state and Mr. Ngian Maung, saw to the apology to local Christian members from the placation program stage.

“Mr. Ba Maung apologized on behalf of the local people, who are suspected to have destroyed the cross. He did not attend on behalf of the Chin state government. I think that it was meant to solve the problem, but the minister’s group seems to have placated the people angry with the demolition,” said Salai Myo Chit, a member of the Chin National Party.

The minister, however, rejected on the spot a demand by the local people to rebuild the Christian cross. Building churches the permission of the central government and the budget too is sanctioned by the government for all religions, the minister explained to the people. He or the state government did not have the authority to act, said a local.

The placation programme was not acceptable to some local people, but local Christian leaders persuaded and requested them to understand the minister’s efforts.

The minister or government authorities and local Cin Dwei villagers should do something for Christian members as is customary in Chin tradition, said Salai Ling Htun.

The new Burmese constitution in article (364) says that the abuse of religion for political reasons is forbidden. Moreover, any act which is intended or is likely to promote feelings of hatred, enmity or discord between racial or religious communities or sects is contrary to this Constitution. A law may be promulgated to punish such activity.

The complaint regarding the demolition of the cross was signed by 18 Hluttaw members and submitted to Mr. Thein Sein, leading the new government in Burma on 9 November 2011. Khonumthung news

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