貌强：Our Congratulations to Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong |
by Maung Chan (Burma’s Chinese)
Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, the General Secretary of the Ethnic Nationalities Council, the General Secretary of the United Nationalities League for Democracy and the General Secretary of the Chin National League for Democracy in exile, is to be honoured on 15-1-2007 with the Martin Luther King Prize for 2007 by the parliament of Sweden.
Fifty years ago, the black Christian leader Dr. Martin Luther King considered segregation, poverty and war to be humanity's greatest problem. He called upon all nationalities worldwide to co-contribute to peace and harmony amongst the human race regardless of whether they were black or white.
In 2003, the Martin Luther King Prize, with a value of 25,000 USD, was established in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King by the Swedish based global peace groups including the Baptist Union of Sweden, the Christian Initiative for Peace (Peace Initiative), the Christian Association to Combat Racism, and the Afro-Swedish Association.
On 15-1-2005, the birthday of Martin Luther King, the first Martin Luther King Prize was given by the Swedish parliament. On the birthday of Martin Luther King, 15-1-2007, the parliament of Sweden this time will honour our Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong with the Martin Luther King Prize for 2007, for his unwavering work in national reconciliation and democratization, in peaceful coexistence of all nationalities and for the genuine Federal Union of Burma.
During his stay in Burma, Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong actively took part in the 1988 student uprising and 1990 democratic movement. At that time he was the General Secretary of the Chin National League for Democracy and the General Secretary of the United Nationalities League for Democracy, a legal party of ethnic nationalities, having gained great success in the General Election together with their ally the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy. Because of his active involvements in the pro-democracy movement and the ethnic nationalities' struggle, Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong was arrested, interrogated and tortured by the Burmese junta who had lost the General Election but refused to handover power to the people. Before the Burmese junta attempted to re-arrest him he successfully fled abroad in 1990, and since 1991 has settled in Sweden.
Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong has been devoted, both during his stay in Burma and Sweden, to striving for the oppressed and suffering people of our country. He believes that through Tripartite Dialogue, i.e. the junta, the democratic forces and the ethnic nationalities, via democratisation and national reconciliation, that to build a genuine Federal Union is the solution to the Burma issue. With the late ethnic leader Chao Tzang and the director of EU-Burma Office Harn Yawngwe he founded the National Reconciliation Program. He worked as its Research Director until 2004 and now serves as its Senior Advisor.
Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong has been elected the General Secretary of the State Constitution Drafting Committee. His concept paper “the Basic Principles for Future Federal Union” was discussed, revised and adopted at the historic gathering in the jungle of the Thai-Burma border in 2005, by 104 delegates from 64 political parties and various political organizations. His establishment of a genuine Federal Union is based on the principles of the Panglong Agreement, signed on February 12th 1947, by General Aung San, Chief Minister of the Interim Government of British Burma, the leaders of the Federated Shan States and the Frontier Areas - the Chin and Kachin Hills.
Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong has published numerous articles on Chin history, traditions and politics in Burma, including his Ph.D. dissertation: Religion and Politics among the Chin People in Burma (Uppsala University, 2000), and his book, In Search of Chin Identity: A Study in Religion, Politics and Ethnic Identity in Burma (Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2003). He has also edited a series of ten books under the title of Peaceful-coexistence: Towards Federal Union of Burma (Chiang Mai: UNLD Press, between 1999 and 2006).
Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong is now the General Secretary of the Ethnic Nationalities Council, the General Secretary of United Nationalities League for Democracy and the General Secretary of the Chin National League for Democracy in exile.
We are very happy to know that he is honored with the Martin Luther King Prize for 2007 by the Swedish parliament, so we, Burma’s Chinese, sent him our congratulations as follows:
Burma’s Chinese congratulations to Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong
General Secretary of Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC)
General Secretary of United Nationalities League for Democracy (UNLD)
General Secretary of Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD-exile) Dear Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong,
You have strived decades for national reconciliation and democratisation, peaceful coexistence of all nationalities and the genuine Federal Union of Burma and therefore you are honored with the Martin Luther King Prize for 2007 by the Parliament of Sweden.
We, Burma’s Chinese, have the same pleasure and honour as you for that award.
Under the sunshine of Martin Luther King’s thinking, we heartily hope that the national reconciliation and democratisation of our country will be realized soon, the peaceful coexistence among all nationalities will be seen soon, and the genuine Federal Union will be established soon.
With Revolutionary Salute,