Formation Of Chin Leader's Freedom

In order to look after the interests of the undefended Zomi and save them from the oppression of the Japanese, as also the treachery of quislings who formerly belonged to the Burma Rifles and a few local traitors, an organization called the “Chin Leaders’ Freedom League’ (CLFL) was secretly formed. The names of outstanding Zomi leaders on its Executive Committee were Pu Vum Ko Hau, Chairman; Pauzakam, Khaimunmung, Vulzathang, Ginzatuang, Lunpum, Summang, Awnglin, Suktsio, and Pi Donkhoting.

It was a fact that the Japanese had forcefully used the people of Sukte and Sihzang as their labour. Strong anti-Japanese feelings led the Sukte, Sihzang and others to meet at Mualbem and form the Sukte Independence Army (SIA). Pu Hauzalian (Suangzang), Pu Thawngchinthang (Saizang) and the headmen of Gun-Gal villages were founder members of the SIA. Another anti-Japanese formation, the Sihzang Independence Army, under the leadership of Singlian and Suanglian of Sihzang, also joined hands with the Sukte Independence Army.

The resistance movement quickly spread to Ngawn, Falam, Zahau, and Haka areas. In the month of September, 1944 open rebellion against the Japanese was launched by attacking the Japanese Army units. In the meantime the Allied Forces came back and sided with the Zomi. Members of both CLFL and SIA again formed an umbrella organisation called “Free Chin”. The volunteers of the Free Chin attacked the Japanese at Mualbem, Sualim, Sung-aktuam (Thuklai) and Sakhiang (Khawsak). Chief Phutthang and his men drove the Japanese forces from Suangpi and Phunom areas. The Ngawn of Falam cleared the Japanese from the Vazang area. The Zomi attacked the base of the intelligence unit and butchered the Japanese. Field Marshall Sir William Slim aptly described the mood of the Zomi at the prospect of liberating their own country as follows:

“…The Levies were overjoyed at the prospect of liberating their own country. They took with them their families rather like the children of Israel trekking out of Egypt, dumping them in their own villages as they recaptured them one by one…”

On 17th May, 1945 the British Government issued a statement of policy in which it was declared that the 1935 Constitution would be kept in abeyance until December, 1948 and the entire responsibilities of administration would be in the hands of the Governor who would be assisted by an Executive Council. During this interim period the Government would form a Constitution making body to draft a new constitution and subsequently, they promised,

“Full self-Government to Burma within the Commonwealth; but the Scheduled areas (the Shan state and other hill areas) would remain subject to a special regime under the Governor, until such time as the inhabitants signify their desires for some suitable form of association of their territories with Burma proper”.



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