Kawlram runtu Chinmi pawl an si


Joseph Piang Khaw Lian (Founder of BMFC) hi New Delhi ah fimthiamnak zirin le raltlansinak neiih khawsa a si. Ani hi, kan kawlram Chinmi hrang ih tumtahnak sangzet neitu pakhat si. A tumtahmi lakih pakhat ol aite kan sim thei dingmi cu kawlram hi Christian ram ih her dang lam ter a si.

Cuvek tumtah aneitu cun hna nasa takin a tuan ding timi khal kan thinlung in kan ruat cio ding kan zum. Chinlandtoday siartu pawl hrangah “Chin The Savior Of Burma” timi in ngansak. Himi a nganmi hi nasa takih a zingzawi rero laimi a si.

Asinan, mitam pi cun Mirang ih kan ngan ruangah siar harsa nan ti ding. Ngaithiam kan lo dil. Hmansehla Mirang siarthiam pawl cun that hnemnak tampi an hmu ding. 



                    CHIN THE SAVIOR OF BURMA

                             (FIRST CHIN RIFLES SAVED BURMA)

Our modern Chin forget Chin histry ang devised our generic name which derived from China, Chin Lung and Chin dynasty mentioned in Chinese histry. However, I am going to state on Chin Soldiers saved Burma or How Chin soldiers saved Burma…..

Chin Soldiers saved Burma in 1949 because:

I. Though “they” know that out of ignorance and lack of understanding modern welfare states, some Chin leaders had agreed to join Burma at panglong conference, they wanted to preserve Burma hoping that other ethnic groups, especially the Burmans would respect and abide by that panglong agreement too.

II. The Karen leaders at that time failed to win their support before they state their attack against U Nu’s government. (It could be that the karens undermined the Chin soldiers fighting spirits as well as U Nu’s craftiness in persuading the Chin soldiers to take side with him).

Background of First Chin Rifles:

First chin Rifles came into being in April 1945 at Falam comprising Chins from Falam, Hakha, Than Tlang and Matupi. Lt. col. Dat was the first co (commanding officer) from 1945-1946; Lt. col. Flanagam,R.A(Royal Artilery) from 1946-47 and Lt.col. Hrang Thio because co from 1947.

As soon as Burma got independence “Multi-colored insurgency broke out through out the country. Together with Bo Thein Dan and Bo Aung Min. Thakhin Soe went underground with the name of Red Flag communist party on 28March 1948.White Flag communist party led by Thakhin Than Tun went underground again.

First Burma Rifles led by Bo Sein Tin, third Burma rifler led by Bo Ye Htut and Bo Ye Ya also joined Thakhin Than Tun. Zebaw phyus led by Bo Pu Kun also went to the jungle on 27 July 1948. Many towns and areas fall under the control of insurgent groups. First Chin rifler led by Lt.col. Hrang Thio had to guard Rangoon City. Prime minister U Nu had also to have Chin rifler  for his protection, as Burmans could not trusted because of their various political loyalties.

During the British occupation, Karens converted to Christianity and served the British loyally. When World War 2 broke out, Burmans formed Burma Independence Army (BIA) against British. Following withdrawal of the British from Burma, Karens fought the Japanese underground and closed with the BIA, and racial war broke out between Karens and Burmans at Papun and Myaung Mya.

KNDO (Karen National Defense Organization) was formed in December 1948 and declared war on Burmans. One of their demands for an independent state covering all of lower Burma. KNDO captured Bassein and Mawbin on January 28th 1949 and Insein on 2nd February the same year.

They also captured Taungoo, Mandalay, Pyu, Maymyo and Meiktila. First Karen rifler from pronce and 2nd Karen rifler from Taungoo reached  Insein  to take Rangoon. Capt. Naw Siang from Kachin refler joined KNDO in August 1948.

Entry Of Chin Rifler Into Battle Gone To Save Burma: 

Chin rifler were faced with a difficult decision. The officers felt that the quarrel was between Burmans and Karens, and that it should be decided between the two parties. Although they wanted to be loyal to the government, they were friends of the Karens and they didn’t want to take sides. As they saw it as a purely racial conflict, the Chin office led by col. Dal Za Kam ane Lt.col. Lian Cin Zam decided to help neither the Burman nor the Karen.

If the Chin Rifler stayed neutral or sided with the Karens, there was no chance that the Burmans could defend themselves. When the Prime minister heard news of the Chin rifler’ refusal to fight, he, together with Brig. Kyaw Zaw and a Chin parliamentary secretary capt. Mang Tung Nung rushed to speak to their commander lt.col. Lian Cin Zam at their Pegu headquarters.

The dispirited Chin officer was at the forward position and all those at battle situation could see him. The Prime Minister made an earnest appeal to his patriotism and loyalty. Capt. Mang Tung Nung reinforced his appeal in Chin language. Thakhin Nu pointed out that Chins had established a well deserved reputation for gallantry. He didn’t believe that the present company could return home and tarnish the record of great campaigns and great victories.

The Union expected the officer to do his duty in its hour of need. At last, the Chin officer said, “We will not let you down, we’ll stay and fight.”One evening at about 5:00pm in February 1949, Saya Ba Than, a Karen, telephoned 1st Chin Rifler c.o, Lt.col. Hrang Thio and said , “We are going to capture Rangoon tonight, what is your opinion?”Col. Hrang Thio replied that they fire at them if they do so, or tried so.

Col.Hrang Thio ordered his battalion too. They covered important roads. So that Karens from Insein could not come easily. They requested the people of Rangoon to get out with whatever arms they had and they did. The world now called them “Rangoon government”could control Rangoon only.

First Chin Rifler moved to Mingaladone Jacob barrarks on 14 February 1949. They started firing from western side of Rangoon, Pegu Road. First Chin Rifler and 5th Burma Rifler led Major saw Myit took their turn day by day alternately. KNDO were on the hill and had a better position.

5th Burma Rifler and 1st  Chin rifler had to fire from below had high casualties and loss of lives. Col.Hrang Thio ordered Sgt. Thai Sawn chose five soldiers and caps to the hill from the left. KNDO did not know as they paid attention to the front. Sgt. Rhai sawn’s shot green light to show his victory. KNDO Camp was captured. Lt.col. Hmung Ci from Thai Sawn’s unit was shot dead by KNDOs riper while talking rest.

There was fierce fighting between KNDO and 1st Rifler at Insein. They fought violently to get one inches of ground or a small hill. First Chin Rifler could proceed on slowly with some casualties and funerals every day. KNDO’s arms were better then that of the government. The fiercest fight took place around U Set Khaing Kyaung, Sa Ben Sen house and red house building. Many Chin soldiers died and many wounded at Insein battle in February and March 1949. They had to recruit new soldiers from Chin Hills.

When they were defeated day by day, KNDO approached the government for talk. U Saw Ba Kyi and Manh James came to Rangoon in April and cease of fire followed. All were happy. Peace agreement war signed on 5 April 1949 by Saw Ba Kyi and Manh James from KNDO and Prime Minister Thakhin NU, Major general Ne Win, U Aye Maung and sir Ba U from the government. KNDO representatives returned to Insein to tell the agreement. A letter from Saw Hunter Tha Hmui and Saw Sein Maung reached again on 8 April 1949. It started that the talk was not complete and that they wanted to talk with other hill peoples.

They had to fire again, loser were high both side. But First Chin Rifler could proceed slowly and could captured Insein on 22nd May 1949 after 112 days of seize. For Chin soldiers, Insein was one of their fairest batter capt. Thai Sawn of Matupi war awarded the Medal of Nung San Thueciya, the highest decoration of the Burma Army. He was the only to be so honored while still alive.

At day break on 6th August 1949, on his way to the front from Hmawbi, It.col Hrang Thio war wounded at his abdomen. He was sent to Mingaladom Hospital. But he could not be healed and breathed his last at 3:15 AM on August 8,1949.

Major Van Kulh BGM &BAR, replaced him as the C.O. Although the government to busy at Rangoon Martyr’s cemetery where General Aung San and his colleagues laid, his coffin was carried to his native village Laizo, Than Hniar near Falam at his native wish.

However, after this happening these have been probibitations against forming pure Chin battalions. Though col.lian Cin Zam served the Burma Army loyally, he was never given a promotion. col.Dal Za Kam was  dismissed.

Note on Bitter Experience From Insein Battle:

The government of Burma was restored and the Burmans were saved from the brink of death. In deed the Chins were the savior of the government of Burma and Burmans. But when the war was over, the Burman dictators looked around and found the Chins as heroes, the best fighter of the day and they were afraid of them.

They were afraid that the Chins, so brave and so good fighters as they were, could be at heart to their totalitarian rule, their survival, and especially their so-called Burmanization policy.

The arrogant and ungrateful Burmans fearing to be seen forever as having been saved by others, paid back their debt to the Chins in a very forming of pure Chin Battalion, barring from promotion and dismissing the Chin Army officers.

More to that , scaring to death that the Chins would be seen in histry as heroes and saviors of not only the Burmans but the whole country, the Burmans to write off that famous Insein battle and who really fought in that battle for the survival of the nation.

However from their bitter experience, the Chin came to know that it is better to help deads than helping the Burmans.

Application And Conclusion:

My dear Chins know and make known your history. We are not the tail of Burma, we are the head of Burma. We are the savior of Burma. Remember one thing, “If there’s no Chin there’s no Burma” your value is equivalent with the whole Burma. We are paramount people in Burma and abroad like Israelites.

Secularly we are paramount people to survive Burma once, spiritual realm we are the chosen people of God to occupy the whole Burma to establish Christendom. The LORD assigned every Chin to be entangled with the Gospel of Christ to transform Burma as we enter into the last phase of human history.


                          Ref:    1. Falam High School Diamond Jubilee Magazine, Rgn 1983.

                                    2. Dr. Vum Son, Zo Histry 1986

                                    3. Hlatamein, Burma Diary 1968

                                    4. Comparative of Zionism and Chin 1986







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One Comment

  1. Dear Editor,

    Zangfah ten correction tuah leh aw, rifller timi kha rifles tin, cule Battle Gone timi kha Battle Zone ti ih remleh seh la a tha ding. Spelling kha mistake a um hnuaihni e, ka hand writing na kai lo ti cu ka thei thiam kan hman zawng ah kan rem leh pei ti aw,

    ka lung awi,

    Khaw Lian


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