Chin History

Chin History Timeline (AD1800-2006)

collected by Salai Biak Lian Sang

Pre-Colony Period, Anglo – Chin War

1800 – 1870 – Chinland was peaceful and quiet, thus practicing feudal chief ruling system even though cruel slavery was avoided by their conscience. In these years, new villages were established by the descendents of chiefs.

1871 – British established tea plantations in the Chin territory on Indian border. The Chin people on the western side therefore raided the British tea planters accusing them intruding into the Chin territory. The Chin captures a little young girl the age of five by the name Mary Wincherster who was left behind by adult tea planters as they all ran away from the raid.

1871-72 – The British invaded the western Chinland, rescued the little girl and returned to India.

1885 – The British administrators in India who also ruled Burma since 1885 declared war to invade the whole Chin country in synchronization on both sides from Burma and India.

1888 – The British from Burma tried to negotiate with the Chin rulers to let them construct land route from British Burma to British India through the Chin country. The Chin native rulers refused the proposal. The British negotiators then fired guns behind the Chin negotiators to show threat to them when they left. The Chin negotiators took it as an insult and were preparing war against the British to drive them out from the Chinland vicinity. The British knew that the Chins were preparing for war.

On February 20 1888, a British force entered into Chin territory from Bengladesh but they were attacked and annihilated by the Chins who were patrolling the bordering areas. It was a remarkable patriotic action against the invasion of other nation.

May 1888 – Before they were fully ready for the war, the British invaded the Chin territory in The Chin resistant battle against the invading British forces were so fierce that a British Surgeon Major Lequesne was awarded Victoria Cross (VC) after the war as he treated dead and wounded soldiers though he was himself wounded in a battle with the Chin resistant force. Thus the north eastern tip of the Chin territory was occupied by the British force.

1889 – The British used the Nepalese Battalions, the best fighting force of the whole British India, and started invasion of the Chinland from three fronts Assam, Bengal and Burma since October, 1889. The Capital towns such as Falam, Tedim and Hakha were occupied in 1890.

1892– Madras Military Commander In chief, Two Secretaries to Government of British India Foreign and military Departments and Quarter Master General in India held a conference known as ‘Chin-Lushai Conference’ at Fort William/Calcutta on January 29, 1892 on the future of the occupied Chin territories.

British Colony Period (1896 – 1948)

1896 – Chin Hills Regulations 1896 was regulated and The Chinland was declared to be a part of the British Empire when the Chin Hills Regulations 1896 was adopted by the Governor General of India in Council on August 13, 1896.

1898 – The pioneer protestant missionary couple from American Baptist Mission arrived to Chin Hills and spread introduced the protestant Christianity and a new civilization to the Chin people.

1900 – 1942 Many Chin men joined the British army and thus became one of the strongest Battalion in British Burma Arm Force named Chin Hills Battalion.

1927 – The British then kept on occupying the rest of the territories till the whole territory was totally under British control in 1927. The Chinland was thus ruled in the British Empire as Naga Hills District and Lushai Hills District under the governor of Assam, India, the Chin Hills District under the Governor of Burma and the remaining part under the Governor of Bengal in Chittagaung Hills District India previously and now in Bangladesh with the Chin Hills Regulation from 1896 till 1947.

This Chinland territory, ruled under the Chin Hills Regulation 1896 in four separate districts under three governors, was planned to be carved out to make it as a province under a British governor under the Crown Colony Scheme even after WWII in 1945-1946.

Chins’ struggle for Liberation period (1928 – 1947)

1928 – Chin Hills Union Organization was born on 20 February 1928 at Hlingzung (Mahtungnu village) in Mindat Township. The founding father of the organization were U Law Ha Hing Thang(Chairman).

1932 – The first general meeting of Chin Hills Union Organization was held successfully at Ware village on 29 September 1932.

1933 – The Chin National Union (CNU) was formed by the Chin patriots and demanded Independent Chinland from British-Burma government in Rangoon. In 1933 the Chin Union led by U Wanthu Maung and Thakhin Aung Min demanded the autonomy of Chinland to the British Governor of Burma.

1938 – The British Government gave its consent to discuss the 9 proposals on 20 February 1938 under its letter of 17 December 1937. About 300 members of Chin Hills Union Organization attended the general meeting. The organization submitted nine petitions to the British Government for the improvement of Chin Hills in various fields.

Chin Hills under World War II

1942 – Japanese started invading the Chin Hills and the people under cruel fascism. One and half thousands of Japan-fascist soldiers were ambushed and killed by the Chin Hills Battalion and British force in Tiddim area. ( Sakhong : p. 196)

1942 – 1946 – The foreign missionaries left the Chin Hills because of the war and many the Chins refuge in the jungle. The war had destroyed hundreds of villages especially in the Eastern part of Chin Hills in the struggle. In positive impact, the number of conversion into Christianity became 4000 – 9000 alone in Hakha area. ( Sakhong : p. 196)

1944-1945 – The Chin Hills Battalion which retreated together with British Army to Imphal, India fought the Japanese back.

1947 – The representatives of Chin participated in Panglong Conference along with the Kachin, Shan, and Burman representatives, singed historic Panglong Agreement on February 12, 1947 to form a federal union with equal rights, privileges, and status including secession right.

1947 – The Chin representatives participated in Drafting Process of the Future Constitution of the Union of Burma under the leadership of General Aung San. The draft Constitution was drawn up by a 111-member committee of the AFPFL Convention which met on May 20, 1947, and approved on May 23 when the Convention was dissolved.

1947 – Pu Vum Tu Maung became Chin Minister and was in charge of Chin Special Division till 1954. During this period, the Chin Rifle Battalion took important role as the State army to defend the Union of Burma against many different insurgencies.

1948 -The Union of Burma gained independence from Britain on January 4, 1948; and the Constitution of Burma (1947) was enforced. However, the Burman politicians disregarded the principles of Panglong Agreement so that the independence was stumbled with the civil war.

In 1948, Captain Mang Tung Nung formed the Chin People’s Freedom League and started the movement for the Rights of the people. It led the end of hereditary and the birth of Chin National Day in February 20, 1948.

1948 – Over five thousand Chins from all over the Chinland held unprecedented gathering in Falam Town and proclaimed in their unity and determination to be free from traditional feudal administrative system, and adopted a democratic system of governance on February 20, 1948, which later became the Chin National Day.

1954 – Pu Shein Thang became Chin Minister and was in charge of Chin Special Division till 1956.

1956 – Pu Za Hre Lian became Chin Minister and was in charge of Chin State till 1962 the military coup of the power.

it had a single Chairman of the Supreme State Council, U San Kho Lian, who remained in office until March 1974 (two months after the 3 January 1974 creation of Chin state)

1957 – The Chin People’s Freedom League and the Chin Union were amalgamated and then stood for the rights of the people under the constitution.

1961 – In order to amend the Constitution of Burma (1947) into more federate features as agreed in Panglong Conference, the Chins and all non-Burman nationalities gathered in Taunggyi, the Capital of Shan State from June 8 – 16, 1961.

In 1961 Pu Laldenga formed the Mizo National Front. The Mizo National Front entered to peace accord with the Government of India in 1986

The Period of Chin’s Revolution against Burmese Dictator

1962 -The General Ne Win and his associates staged a coup in the name of Revolutionary Council (RC). Many Chin politicians and scholars presumed to participate in Taunggyi Conference were arrested.

1964-Chin National Organization (CNO) went underground to overthrow the military junta and restore democratic government.1971 Chin Democracy Party (CDP) was formed in liberated area to overthrow the military junta and restore democracy in Burma.

In 1964, after the military coup led by General Ne Win, Col. Son Khaw Pau, Pu. Dam Khaw Hau, Pu. Mang Khan Pau, Pu. Hrang Nawl, Pu. Son Cin Lian and Pu. Thual Zen formed the Anti-communist Freedom Organization and then struggled for the Chin people freedom. It however, ended with the arrest of the leaders. But the movement still lingers in the minds of the people.

On 30 December 1969 – John Mang Tling and his comrades formed the Parliament Democracy Party and it later came to be known as Chin Democracy Party since 1st January, 1970.

In 1969 Pu Tial Khar formed the Chin Liberation Front. The president was Pu. Tial Khar, the Vice-president being Thawmluai and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs was Thawng Sai.

In February 2, 1970 – Jimmy’s Zomi Chin Liberation Front amalgamates with Chin Democracy Party and then formed the new front called United Zomi Democracy Party.

1972 – Over 70 Chin intellectuals, who had made suggestion to Revolutionary Council on RC announcement No. 74, Date December 5, 1968, were arrested by the military junta and sent them to jail.

1974– The Revolutionary Council drafted and enforced the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. The said Constitution has promoted and protected one party dictatorship.

In 1976- the Chin Liberation Army, led by Major Sa Lian Zam, was formed. It was organized widely and young men from different parts from the Chin inhabitants joined it.

In March 20, 1988 the Chin National Front was formed and then struggling for the self determination of the Chin people and restoration of democracy and federalism in the Union of Burma.

1988 – The Chin National Front became a member of the Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB) on November 18, 1988.1989 The Chin National Front became a member of the National Democratic Front (NDF) on February 1989.

1990 – Many Parties from Chin State participated in National election. ZNC won the most

1992- The Chin National Front, as a member of National Democratic Front (NDF), participated and gave its consent on the Manepalaw Agreement to establish genuine Federal Union. The Manepalaw Agreement was signed by National Democratic Front, Democratic Alliance of Burma, National League for Democracy (Liberated Area), and the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma on July 11, 1992.

1993 The first Chin National Front’s Party Conference was held in the General Headquarters of Chin National Front on June 9 – 16, 1993 and the Government of Chinland was formed.

1997 – The Chin National Front participated and signed the Maetharawhta Agreement. The Agreement was signed by KNPP, PPLO, WNO, UWSP, PSLF, KIO, AASYC, LDF, NMSP, ALP, KNLP, SURA, CNF, SDU, and KNU.

1997 – The second Chin National Front’s Party Conference was held at the Camp Victorian from June 20 – July 8, 1997.

1998 – The First Chin Seminar was held in Ottawa, Canada and attended by 17 Chin compatriots – including former Members of Parliament, Elected Members of Parliament, Religious leaders, Chin scholars, and activists. The attendants formed the Chin Forum to work together by the Chin individuals on Chinland Constitution, Development, Communication, Education, and Historical Research.

2001 – The Chin National Front became a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), representing the Chin people.

2004 – A Chin Consensus Building Seminar was held in Camp Victoria, the General Headquarters of the Chin National Front, Chinland and attended by representatives of Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD), Chin National Front (CNF), Mara Peoples Party (MPP), Zomi National Congress (ZNC), as well as 95 representatives from Chin Civic Organizations/Socities based in and outside Chinland. The attendants of the said seminar formed Political Affairs Committee of Chinland (PACC) based on Chin National Political Parties.

2006 – The Political Affairs Committee of Chinland (PACC) conducts the first Chin National Assembly at Mt. Sainai and the Chin National Council was formed. The Chin National Council comprises the Chin National Front, Chin National League for Democracy, Mara Peoples Party, Zomi National Congress and Civic Organizations to promote, protect, safeguard, and working together to implement the Chin national interests and benefits.

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References:

1). Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, “In Search of the Chin’s Identity”

2). “Important Historical Events of the Chin people” in Chinland.org

3). Betram S.Carey and H. N Tuck, The Chin Hills: A history of the people, our dealings with them, their customs and manners, and a gazetteer of their country(1976)
4). Lian Uk, “Facts about Chin State and its people”
5). Lian Uk, “Statement on the Chin people”

By nccdburma

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