Just as the Chin population inside and outside of Chin State numbers about 1 million, emphasis must be placed on unity by avoiding any act leading to division, said Salai Wom Za Pyaung, general secretary of Chin League for Democracy Party.
The remark was made during a broadcast by Myanmar Radio and Television on the presentation of the party's policy, stance and work programmes as a by-election campaign on September 16.
"In every matter, all Chin people may not have the same view or ideology. But we must coordinate and negotiate with mutual understanding," he said.
The aspirations and essence of the Panglong Agreement the ethnic leaders have expected have not been incorporated into the 1947 Constitution of the Union of Burma, the 1974 Constitution of the Union of Burma and the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Salai Wom Za Pyaung pointed out.
He said that it had been 70 years since civil war broke out with ethnic armed groups, citing inability to establish a federal union, no right for ethnic minorities to exercise self-administration and government influence over ethnic minorities as the reason.
"The essential things we need to do are perpetuation of the Union, stronger national unity, an end to civil war and the establishment of a federal union with ethnic minority enjoying equal rights to ensure national reconciliation," he commented.
Salai Wom Za Pyaung said it was not enough for Chin people to just enjoy genuine democracy. Only with a federal union system, will all ethnic people including Chin be able to enjoy equal rights in legislative, executive and judicial affairs.
He stressed the need to include a federal union system and rights to self-administration when the constitution is amended.