Merinews.com, 1 May 2010, http://www.merinews.com/article/mizoram-cm-praises-chakma-culture-promises-development/15805778.shtml
By Paritosh Chakma
SPEAKING AS Chief Guest on the occasion of 39th ‘CADC Day’ held in the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) headquarters Kamalanagar on April 29, 2010, Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Lal Thanhawla highly appreciated the unique culture of the Chakmas and promised rapid development of the CADC and other Chakma-inhabited areas.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla was accompanied from Aizawl by his wife, Pi Lalriliani, Deputy Speaker of Mizoram state assembly John Rotluangliana, Minister of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Nihar Kanti Chakma, and Deputy Commissioner of Lawngtlai district, C Ralkapa, among others.
Promises rapid development
Pointing out that it was the Congress government at the Centre which created the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) way back in 1972, Pu Lal Thanhawla stated that the CADC can’t be dissolved. Three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) respectively for Chakma, Lai and Mara were created in 1972, but some Mizo political parties have opposed the Chakma ADC and even introduced resolutions in the Mizoram assembly demanding its dissolution.
Having separate autonomous legislature, executive and judiciary, the Chakmas administer their autonomous region in accordance with the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
The Chief Minister promised rapid development of the Chakma inhabited areas – both the CADC and non-CADC areas. He said development in Mizoram was mainly taking place from the North, but now development should begin from the South, and provided examples of proposed trade centre with Bangladesh to be established near Demagiri in Lunglei district.
Spelling out his development plan for the CADC, Pu Lal Thanhawla informed that the Backward Region Grant Fund to the tune of Rs 57 crore will be implemented in six installments and the CADC authority will be empowered to directly implement the programme. To improve road connectivity, Routlang (Chhumkhum)-Kamalanagar road will be upgraded to state highway within one or two years and Kamalanagar-Boroponsury road will be completed with priority.
Kamalanagar Greater Water Supply Scheme will be introduced soon to solve the water woes. The Kawlchaw Hydro Project that is being constructed over the Chhimtuipui River will generate 460 MW of electricity for CADC, he stated. He further stated that he would like to see the CADC as the rice bowl of Mizoram and a technical team led by state Agriculture Minister will soon undertake a visit to carry out a study on agriculture prospects in the CADC area.
Beguiled by Chakmas’ culture
In particular, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and his wife appreciated the beautiful culture of the Chakmas that was presented as part of the CADC Day celebration. So beguiled they were that they even performed a dance on the stage to the tune of a Chakma song.
Pu Lal Thanhawla stated that he found the Chakmas’ culture and tradition very rich and would invite Chakma cultural troupe to perform at state level cultural programmes. Mindful of the fact that not many Chakmas can speak the Mizo language, he appealed to them to learn the Mizo language which he said would bring them closer to the Mizos and help them grab more opportunities in the state. However, he was quick to add that no one should be forced to learn Mizo language.
Read another report:
Chakma Autonomous District Council will not be dissolved, says Mizoram CM, Mizoram Express, 30 April 2010, http://mizoramexpress.com/index.php/2010/04/chakma-autonomous-district-council-will-not-be-dissolved-says-mizoram-cm/