Dr. Sasa’s Speech on the 75th Anniversary of Chin National Day’s event in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

20 February 2023

Dear my beloved Chin people of Launceston, leaders of Launceston Chin Community of Tasmania State, Mr. Mayor of Launceston, honourable Premier of Tasmania State, the state officials, and honourable members of Parliament of Australia, Mingalarpar to you all. Thank you for inviting me today on this special occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Chin National Day which has everything to do with the 76th anniversary of the signing of the Panglong agreement which was a historical agreement that led to the Burma’s independence from Britain. 75 years ago, if the Panglong agreement had been implemented, Chin state could have become a flourishing state in Myanmar just as Tasmania is in the Australia. Chin state could have been as vibrant and prosperous as Hong Kong or Singapore are today but 75 years of failure to implement the Panglong agreement, has left Chin State broken and weak; the victim of three quarters of a century of military oppression, and now officially become the poorest state in Myanmar where conditions are gradually worsening to those of North Korea. Sadly, we are marking today 75 years of oppression and attacks on our Federal Democratic values and principles by a brutal repressive dictatorship. Before British rule, for centuries the Chin people enjoyed self-administration, self-determination, and political autonomy. We had our own kings and royal family and were never ruled by an outside power. Due to the 75 years of oppression by the horrific dictatorship, the Chin people have not only lost their self-determination, self-administration, and political autonomy but have also suffered genocidal attacks from successive brutal dictators.

In the last 24 months alone, the genocidal military junta have carried out more than 9,000 attacks on the people of Burma, killed more than 3,000 unarmed civilians, arrested more than 20,000 people including the duly elected officials, members of Parliament, President U Win Myint and State counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and have wilfully destroyed more than 50,000 homes, schools, churches, and monasteries. These horrific atrocities have forced more than 1.6 million into homeless and they are now living as refugees and IDPs. Furthermore, as a result of the military’s cruelty, more than 17 million people across Burma are great in needs of humanitarian assistance – compare to less than 1 million in 2020. One in three people are now acute in need of humanitarian aid and half population of Myanmar are being forced to live in extreme poverty. The brutal military junta are using diseases, hunger and starvation as weapons.

We the Chin people have much to be grateful for to Australia. Alongside America, Australia is host to one of the largest Chin communities in the world. Australia has given much to us and we, in turn, have offered a broad range of skills and contributions to Australia. To many in our community, Australia represents a hope for peace, freedom, democracy, and a chance to seek a better life, and provide a better life for our children, and our children’s children. Sadly, our people have been beset, for three quarters of a century, by a violent military dictatorship hell-bent on eradicating our people, our language, our culture, our faith, and our way of life. We are eternally grateful to those who have helped us in our time of need, who have harboured and sheltered our refugees and supported the victims of the military’s brutality, but in truth, we do not want to be refugees. We do not want to have to find better lives and opportunities away from our homeland. Our dream is to build a stable and prosperous Chinland , New Chin State in which we can live and thrive, where we can know freedom, peace and prosperity, and where we can finally live and breathe without fear of violent arbitrary attacks, shelling, arson, genocidal attacks, and starvation. The military’s barbarism knows no boundary and the more ground they lose in this war, the more savage they become. It is for this reason that we must again turn to Australia and ask her to lend a helping hand in the cause for justice and humanity.

Australia is a vital bridge between Asia and the West. As a strategic partner of ASEAN, a member of the Quad, and a member of G20, Australia is in a uniquely privileged position to engage with the Myanmar crisis. This Myanmar’s Spring Revolution is not merely a Revolution for the future of Myanmar, it is a test case for the principles of democracy and freedom against the continuation of corruption and military repression in all of South East Asia. There are many actors working to undermine the revolution for fear of what a functioning popular democracy would mean for dictatorships in the region. They are desperate to crush the people’s democratic movement as a warning to all other subjugated and oppressed peoples hoping to throw off the yoke of their own dictatorships. The eyes of the region, and indeed the entire world, are on this conflict between freedom-democracy and tyranny- dictatorships, and the outcome will have long reaching ramifications democracy the world over. Australia must engage quickly and decisively with the cause of the people, the cause of democracy. Dictatorship is a cancer, and Australia stands as one of the few great bastions of democracy holding back the spread of this disease.

Australia has already done much to hinder the junta’s efforts. Australia has not only accepted our refugees, but has placed sanctions on the junta and their associated businesses, crucially including MEC and MEHL, the two largest corporate entities under the military’s control. But sadly, this is not enough. The junta’s network is large and so we knew that they will continue to find ways to skirt sanctions and restrictions. There are many powerful allies who continue to engage with and arm the military in order to expand their own spheres of influence and to bring about a new reign of dictatorial oppression and the cheap labour and resources that offers them. But they will failed and victory belongs to the brave people of Myanmar. The future of over 54 million people of Myanmar are in the hands of the brave people of Myanmar but their fate hangs in the balance. If we lose this fight, Myanmar’s people will become slaves to brutal military in their own homes. Forced to work to death to line the pockets of cronies and generals as the nation burns around them. Australia must act to help save the people of Myanmar, and keep the dream of democracy alive.

We ask Australia to pressure ASEAN and Myanmar to see the 5 point consensus implemented immediately. We ask that Australia protest and block Myanmar’s military from engaging with ASEAN Defence Ministers’s plus (ADMM Plus) meeting and attending any associated meetings. We ask Australia also to apply the principle of universal jurisdiction as enshrines in Australian law, to take seriously the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the the military and to actively pursue the guilty parties and attempt to secure justice for their victims. And most importantly, we ask that Australia formally recognise the NUG, NUCC, and CRPH as lawful and legitimate representatives of Myanmar in conjunction with declaring the military junta, SAC, and so-called “caretaker government” to be unjust, illegitimate, and unlawful, and refusing to engage with them officially.

We are so thankful that many Australians are deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation, and luminaries like Sean Turnell have given so much and sacrificed even more for the cause of Burmese emancipation. We reiterate our sincerest appreciations. Australia has a long and vaunted history of foreign aid and advocacy in the cause of human development and political liberation. It is for these reasons that so many Australians are themselves migrants or the descendants of migrants who fled from brutal autocratic regimes. Australia is a glimmer of hope, an image of what the world could be, and those who have made it to the bless country are proud to call themselves Australian and to contributes, with both hands and a full heart, to the land they now call home. And yet, there exists in us all a deep spiritual connection to our homelands. The places we were born, or where our forebears were born. Many still wish to return, or hope that one day their children might see the land of their ancestors. We all hope and wish fervently that one day our countries of origin can know the same peace and prosperity that Australia knows. This is a desire deep within many Australians and we ask Australia to help make this dream become a reality in Myanmar.

May God Bless Myanmar!

May God Bless Australia!

Myanmar Spring Revolution will prevail!


Union Minister

Ministry of International Cooperation

National Unity Government

Republic of the Union of Myanmar