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The Come Back of tribal Politics

The Come back of Tribal Politics; Chin

What what what! Chin Politics! A man surprisingly asked his fellow netters, when talking the Chin politics. Some might have been wondering what are the major determinant factors among the Chin activists, money, women, power, opportunity, ideological, communalism or tribalism? I, after having experienced inside the party politics as well as having been observed from distance, would say “the return of tribalism” or “tribal politics.” There is no significant “majority vs. minority” problem among Chins, although it may exist in a rare case. But based on the ethnic settings of the Chin tribal groups, consist of multi-tribes and sub units of tribes, the political competition among tribal groups to get hold of the major decision making process appeared to be the most powerful driving factors behind the fragmentation of the political force that delays or hinders the building of one and united Chin national political force against the Burmese tyrant.

In many societies around the world, there usually is majority vs. minority problems. Being a minority in the whole Burma society, within itself, the Chin society contains multiples sub-ethnic groups, and tribal groups. Among them, none is majority and none is exceedingly fit to get hold of the major decision making process at hands. Demographically, each tribal group occupies their own specific regions and each political administrative district is composed of different tribal group, except Tidim-Tawnzang where the same (or very close) tribal groups occupies the region, and in Hakha and Thlantlang the similar or same tribes occupies the tribal territory. Therefore, it would be a grave mistake to ignore the tribal setting of the Chin people when analyzing the potential social political structure to build one and united national force. On the other hand, when one tribal group tries to dominant the major and important decision making process at hand, without winning public
trust, it simply returns unilateral action with a few foxes of political alliances, pushing back all the rest at distance. This is a problematic major political cause factor so far among the Chin exile movement.

Previously, some still may hold, the politicians and activists, hate addressing the naked truth about the ethnic setting and essential political steps to accommodate the diverse and fragmented social political forces. However, having gone almost two decades without significant development, most, if not all, appeared to be accepting the reality and the essential political steps to recognize the political reality. However, we will continue to see the impact of the past tribal mindset and political ambition to control the decision making tools at hand within one’s own tribal group, attacking (potential) leaders from other tribal group to downgrade their public image, in stead of dealing with critical issue to issue, while protecting one’s own tribal leaders even when deadly wrong or committed crimes. That’s one of the most striking nature of tribal politics anywhere around the globe.

There has recently been a progressive movement among the key tribal groups, armed forces as well as other non-violent political and social organizations that the political mode has changed toward reciprocal relationship, mutual recognition, and appeal for cooporation, at least among visible actors. However, there are more things to do toward mutual representation of the national issues if building a one and united national force is put top priority that any group or tribe of people should be encouraged to join the collective national force, in stead of marginalizing others, opportunity should be opened for all whether as political party, organization or as represents of their own tribal groups. Accommodating the diverse ideas and opinions would enhance building the essential and collective national force.

Moreover, as we move into a new age, democratic information age, there must be means to enhance transparency in dealing any public agenda. The General public should be encouraged to voice their opinion, whether in a public media or thru direct contact with key decision makers, and the ways should be opened for them to freely express their opinion without potential retaliation, for as long as the general public are intimidated not to speak their minds, they will never wholeheartedly involve in the movement and may not development sense of ownership of the movement. The general public are entitled to know where their money goes, where their support goes, unless such decision is confidential to serve the collective interest of all.

Lastly, but not the least, it is important that the movement has to have check and balance, a standard of measurement, to measure the progress, the fairness, and impact of the movement if the movement is heading toward the collective end goal or facing a dead end route. People hate to talk about this topic. To eliminate deadly social political evils, such as the extreme tribalism (communalism) , corruption, and destructive politics, while working to enhance building the collective national forces, is the essential part of the movement. Having a standard measurement would also help how much social political capital should be vested in what public agenda.

These are known as anti-democratic elements: Extreme tribal politics, oppression of free expression of opinions,