Nagas and Chin are two separate entities

DIMAPUR, MARCH 13, 2013 (MExN): The Eastern Naga Students’ Association (ENSA) has strongly condemned the statement of U Win Myint the Deputy Union Minister for Immigration wherein the latter had stated that Nagas are one of the 53 ethnic minorities in Chin state.

According to a press note from ENSA, the controversial statement was made during the first session of Parliament on 27th February 2013. The Deputy Union Minister was responding to a question put up by U Aung Thein MP who represents Ywa Ngan constituency of Shan state. “Who are the 135 tribes in the country?” was the question put forth to the Minister. In reply, U Win Myint included Nagas under Chin State in his statement which was termed as “shocking and an insult” to the Nagas particularly in Myanmar.

“It is not only insulting to the Nagas but also an insult to the article 56 (a) of Chapter II of the constitution of the Government of People Republic of Union of Myanmar which clearly stated about Naga Self-Administered Zone under Sagaing Region”, said the ENSA.

It was informed that following this controversial statement, the Naga MPs had also sent a letter addressed to the Speaker Lower House of Parliament for clarification on March 5.

However, due to non-response, the Naga Student Youth Federation Yangon organized press conference at Hotel Yuzina Yangon on 11th March to express solidarity and also to show that Nagas and Chin are two different entities and that Nagas are not Chin.

In this connection, ENSA urged upon all Nagas wherever they are to be aware of our unique identity and rich history and called upon every sensible Naga to condemn such unbecoming and immature move to belittle the identity of the Nagas.

Meanwhile in a separate press note, several Naga organizations have reiterated on the identity as a peoples. “The Naga people are the Indigenous people in Myanmar and India and we have our own dialect, culture, customs, long history and distinctive identities”, stated a joint statement issued by Eno HninWa (Chairman), Naga Tradition and Culture Sub-Township Committee, Yangon; Eno ZawWint Phyo (Secretary) Naga Hills Development Network; Eno Naw Aung Sann (President) Naga Student Youth Federation, Yangon; Rev. Eno Sein Maung (General Secretary), Naga Baptist Convention and Rev. Eno Tsimuthong (Pastor) of Naga Baptist Christian Fellowship, Yangon.

According to the joint statement, the region in which the Nagas are residing has been recognized as the “Naga Self-Administered Zone” in the 2008 Constitution of the Union of Myanmar as per their “cultural distinctive identities, geographical territory and population ratio”.

As such it stated that including Nagas among the 53 tribes of the Chin ethnic group cannot be totally accepted. “The baseless, unacceptable and non-logical reply of the Deputy Minister of Immigration and Population can impact on national unity and reconciliation”, it stated. The joint statement has asked for an addendum on the nationality lists legally issued by the State.

Full Joint Statement on Naga People’s Proclamation is given below:

Naga People’s Proclamation with Respect to 135 Nationalities of the Union of Myanmar
Published on 14th March, 2013
The PyithuHluttaw, Lower House of Representative U AungThein from the YwaNgan constituency in Danu Self-Administered Zone, Shan State raised the questions about 135 ethnic nationalities of Myanmar in 20th day meeting of the sixth session of the 1stPyithuHluttawheld in 27th day of February and Deputy Minister U Win Myint for Immigration and Population replied to these queries. The desire and proclamation of Naga people on this reply are as follows.
1. The Naga people are the Indigenous People in Myanmar and India and we have our own dialect, culture, customs, long history and distinctive identities.
2. The region in which the Naga are residing has been recognized as the Naga Self-Administered Zone in the 2008 Constitution of the Union of Myanmar according to their cultural distinctiveidentities, geographical territory and population ratio.
3. The reply in the parliament in which the Naga people are included and put in the 53 tribes of Chin ethnic group can not be totally accepted,
4. The baseless, unacceptable and non-logical reply of the Deputy Minister of Immigration and Population can impact on the national unity in the time of trying to get the national unity and reconciliation.
5. The recognition of Naga people as the tribes in the other nationalities that is opposing the reply of the ministry of Immigration and Population are seriously rejected.
6. We deeply and seriously request to re-issue the making amendment and addendum on the nationality lists legally issued by the State.
7. Besides the Naga people are being displayed and featured as the tribes of Chin nationality in the Union National Races’ Village the Naga traditional appurtenance and utensils are displayed as the Chin national races’ traditional objects. Seriously requested to remove and withdraw these displayed and disclosed items and materials like that as soon as possible.
8. We seriously demand and request any person, any organization or any business institution not to mention, describe or refer the Naga people and Naga Region intentionally or unintentionally as the tribes or region being under other race’s or region’s
domination.
EnoHninWa (Chairman)
Naga Tradition and Culture Sub-Township Committee, Yangon

EnoZawWintPhyo(Secretary)
Naga Hills Development Network

EnoNawAungSann (President)
Naga Student Youth Federation, Yangon

Rev. EnoSeinMaung (General Secretary)
Naga Baptist Convention

Rev. EnoTsimuthong (Pastor)
Naga Baptist Christian Fellowship, Yangon