Falam town has never been the capital of Chin State. It is often said that before 1965, Chin State did not have a capital. Therefore, we decided to present some historical evidence that Falam was the capital of Chin State before 1965. This talk is not new. On page 28 of the book “In Search of Chin Identity” written by Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, he wrote, “After the arrival of the British, Hakha became the capital of East Chin ram [Since the arrival of the British, Hakha became the capital of Eastern Chin ram].”
Dr. Vumson Suantak strongly criticized this article and responded with an article about how the capital of Chin State was moved from Falam to Hakha. It is also written on the Kyauktai (Monument stone) in Hakha city’s landscape today that Hakha became a capital city in 1965. In the meantime, politicians are also seen doing this. When I looked at the things they did on this page, the things written on the Falam side. Dr. Vum Son’s writing is on the one hand – Pu Lian Uk, It was found that the points written by Pu Ngun Thu and Colonel Van Kulh were quoted on the same side. I will not refer back to the information they used.
When I present the historical information, I will refer to the points written by outsiders. There are many things written by Falam, but as a resident of Falam, I don’t think it would be appropriate to refer to the points written by Falam. Also, many people already know what Dr. Vum Son wrote, so I don’t think I need to say enough. If we look at the dictionary, it says that the city or town that functions as the seat of government and administrative center of a country or region means the city that has the highest level of government office according to the administration of a country or a state or a region. Therefore, if we are talking about the capital of Chin State, the capital of Chin State must be from Chin State.
The city with the highest-level government office in Chin State was designated as the capital. Since Yangon is outside of Chin State, it cannot be the capital of Chin State. Similarly, Kale City is outside the boundaries of Chin State, so it cannot be the capital of Chin State in any way. There was no history. Only the city with the highest administrative headquarters in Chin State can be defined as the capital.
Since the British era, all the administrative machinery of Chin State has been managed from Falam. At that time, Chin Paya was located as Chin Hills District, and the Deputy Commissioner Office, the highest administrative office of Chin State, was headquartered in Falam. Therefore, during the British era, Falam was the capital of Chin State. At that time, in Chintaung District, Titinal, In 1928-29, the Pakokku Hill region, which is now Matu and Kanpalet Townships, was incorporated into the Chin Hill District, which included Falam District and Haka District (now Thang Tlang District and Mutupi District).
During the British era, under the Chin Hill District, it included everything except today’s Paletwa Township (at that time the Rakhine Hill Region). Falam was also the headquarters of the Chin Taung Battalion. In the records of the British era, Falam is referred to as the Capital of Chin Hills. Let’s look at historical records.
(1) In the map included in Burma – The Struggle for Independence, 1944-48 by Hugh Tinker, Burma is written as “Administrative Capital”.
(2) American Baptist missionary Rev. In the book “History of the American Baptist Chin Mission” written by Robert G. Johnson, you can see that Falam is referred to as the capital several times. As an example… In 1923, the British government decided to teach the French language in all public schools in Chin State.
Rev. Robert G. Johnson as Rev. Written with reference to J. H. Cope’s records. At that time, Falam was also the capital of Chin State. He wrote that it is also the seat of the British government. [ Falam was at that time the capital of the Chin Hills and the seat of British administration].
(3) In the book A Soldier’s Story by Brig Thenphunga Sailo, AVSM (Rtrd) about his duty in Falam for the Chin Levies, it is written that Falam is the capital of Chin Taung. “I proceeded to Falam, the Capital of Chin Hills, Burma and reported to Colonel Hasewell, the Commander of all Forces in the Chin Hills”.
(4) In the book History of Basic Education of Chin State written by U H Lian Thiel, “Prior to 1965, when the revolutionary government council government designated Hakha as the capital of Chin Wittitah Taing (now Chin State), Falam was not only the capital of the district, but also of the province. It is written that it was also the capital of the Chin Province, where the department headquarters were located at the division level (except for the Minister of Chin Affairs).
(5) In the book Kelly’s Burma Campaign written by Desmond Kelly, Burma is referred to as the administrative capital. He is his father Lt.Col. Norman Kelly’s book is written about his father’s war, referring to the records of the battle with the Japanese army in northern Chin State during World War II. Writing about the British army preparing to leave Falam when the Japanese army invaded Chin, he wrote about Falam being the administrative capital, “In Chin culture, Falam was the key from a military point of view and was also the administrative capital.”
Some wrote. During the British era, Chin Pyay was only at the district level and was administered through the Magwe Commissioner Office. It is written that Falam cannot be the capital because only the ruler is in office. During the British era, there was no capital in Chin State. They wrote in the sense that only the place where the office of the Commissioner, who is higher than the Deputy Commissioner’s office, can be considered a capital city. First of all, this is not written based on historical data, but based on personal analysis. In the records written during the British era, Falam was considered as the capital of Chin State. The points I presented above are historical evidence.
1948 – 1965 period
At the time of Myanmar’s independence, Chin State became Chin Special Division. After independence, Falam continued to be the capital of Chin Wittitah Taing (now Chin State) until it was moved to Haka in 1965. Let’s look at the historical evidence.
(1) Encyclopedia of Myanmar
Aimed at public education, Myanmar encyclopedias were published in 15 volumes under the leadership of the Union Government from 1954 to 1976, under the leadership of the Union Government. Funding provided by the federal government and approved and issued by the federal government. Published in 1963, Volume 7 of Burmese Encyclopaedia included Falam town and wrote as follows.
Falam Town: In addition to being the regional headquarters of Falam District, which is part of Chin Taung District, Falam is also the capital of Chin Wi Si Tha, and the seat of the regional king, the seat of the North Chin Taung District Minister. Falam is the capital of Chin Wittitah Taing, and in addition to the regional king and district ministers, the heads of departments such as the regional education minister, the district teacher minister, the forestry minister, and the agriculture department head are also based in the city.
Even during the time of the British government, communication between the mainland and Langpan was difficult, but the buildings such as the district minister’s office, the house of the three generals, and the inspection office were magnificently constructed. Therefore, they began to say that the road was built with gold. When this encyclopedia volume 7 was published in 1963, the capital of Chin Wittitah Taing (now Chin State) was Falam. It was published the year after General Ne Win took power.
In the 13th volume of Burmese encyclopedia published in 1973, we can see Hakha town. In 1965, the capital of Chin Wittitah was moved from Falam to Hakha. The fact that it has become a new capital is described in the 13th volume of Myanmar Encyclopedia.
(1) Hakha town, located in the northern part of Chinwe Seithain, is the headquarters of Hakha township. In addition, it is also the capital city where the head office of Chin 0 Wisei Thain is located. [Also, after writing about the history of Hakha City, he continued to mention about the relocation of the capital of Chin Vishita] Now, in addition to the mentioned government buildings, Hakha City has become the capital of Chin Vishita, as well as various government departments, such as the office of the head of the general administration department and corporations at the division level and township level, as well as a government high school.
The 13th volume of this encyclopedia was published in 1973, and it is widely used. At the time of writing this document, Chin Pyay existed as a Chin State, and in 1973, Chin State became Chin State. (Refer to Figures 8 and 9). Burmese encyclopedia has been published by the government of the Union of Myanmar and is a strong proof. In this book, it is clearly written that Falang City was the capital of Chin Wih Thitah.
(2) A photo from the Pu Van Kio Museum in Suur Khua, Haka Township:
From February 19 to 22, 1948, the Independence Day Victory Ceremony and public conference were held in Falam. It was also the public conference that led to Chin National Day. In this conference, representatives from all areas of Chin State also attended the public conference in Falam, capital city. At that time, the representatives of Hakha district also attended and took a group photo. You can now see the photo at the Pu Van Kio Museum in Sur Khua Village, Hakha Township. The photo is captioned as “Chin National Day” and an archive photo of the Falam Conference (February 20, 1948) with the following text added.
“Struggles to resist imperialist invasion, Imperial colonial revolutionary battles; After the liberation war of Chintaung, which began with the fascist revolution, a public conference was held in Falam, the Capital of Chins, to transform the Chintaung region from the ancient hereditary system of succession to a democratic system. tian), It is a collective photo of village heads. This photo is a historical proof that Falam is the capital. (Refer to Figure 10)
(3) In 1958, about the plan to move Zomi Baptist Bible School (now Chin Christian Institute of Theology) from Hakha to Falam, Rev. Robert Johnson wrote this in his book History of the American Baptist Mission. “I remember we debated on moving the Zomi Baptist Bible School from Hakha to Falam, the capital of Chin Witthitah Taing (now Chin State). In general, the Hakha and southern groups wanted to keep the Hakha. But they want to move to Falam and Titin side. The reason for Hakha is.. Hakha is located in the center of Chin. It is also a place where Baptist missionaries can teach at school. There is also a large missionary area. Christians will be able to provide fruits and vegetables from their sons. It is also a good place for a Bible school.
Flambe’s reason is that such a high-level Bible school should be in the capital of the Chin Hills. The Bible School will also be located at the current Zomi Convention headquarters and will be closely supervised by the leaders of the Zomi Baptist Church. For Christians in the Chin state, Falam is more central. Better transportation. It is also closer to the airport of the city. Students should be able to communicate with government officials more easily. At the 1957 Zomi Baptist Conference, it was voted to move the Zomi Baptist Bible School to the Capital Road”. Rev. According to Robert Johnson, when he wrote about these things, the capital of Chin Taung at that time was Falang.
(4) From 1964, he was a district minister in Falam and U Wan Tin, who also served as the chairman of the District Security and Administration Council, said in the article “Falam town is a unique town” “When I started my service, Falam town was a unique capital. After that, I moved to the central city of Hakha,” he wrote.
The history I presented above testifies that Falam was the capital of the Chin dynasty. Some wrote.. From 1948 to 1962, the Chin Affairs Council was located in Yangon, so Falam could not be the capital of Chin. Again, since the Chin administration was headquartered in Kalemyo from 1962 to 1965, Falam could not be the capital, so they designated Yangon as the capital of Chin State after Yangon.
These writings are written based on their personal analysis, not based on historical evidence. A town or city outside the borders of Chin State cannot be the capital of Chin State in any way. If we talk about the capital of Chin, it should be a city inside Chin. For example.. Choose the most developed city in Chin State and say that Yangon is the most developed city in Chin State. It cannot be correct.
In the book “History of Chin State Administration (1896 – 2019)” written by U H Lian Thiel, it is written that Falam was the first capital of Chin State between 1896 – 1948. However, he designated Yangon, the capital of Chin State until 1948-62, as a child town during 1962-65. I was surprised by his writing. Why, in his first book “History of Basic Education in Chin State”, he wrote, “Prior to 1965, when the Revolutionary Council government designated Hakha as the capital of Chin State (now Chin State), Falam was not only the capital of the district, but also the headquarters of departments at the state and regional levels (except for the Minister of Chin Affairs). He wrote that before 1965, Falam was the capital of Chin Province. His writing is inconsistent. Before 1965, Falang was the capital of Chin Wittitah Taing (now Chin State). Among the many facts that I have presented, only one historical record from Myanmar Encyclopedia has strong evidence.
In fact, it was not until 1965 that they attempted to move the capital of Chin State from Falam to Hakha. At the meeting of the Chin Affairs Council held in March 1958, U Ral Hmung proposed to move the regional commissioner’s office to Ha Kha, but was rejected by the Minister of Chin Affairs U Za Hre Lian. In 1959, when U Ral Hmung was the Minister of Chin Affairs, he tried to move the regional commissioner’s office from Falam to Hakha, and because he issued an order designating Hakha as the capital, he was fired by General Ne Win as the Minister of Chin Affairs. This was written about this in the book History of Chin State Administration (1896 -2019) written by U H Lian Tial.
“In 1958, the parliamentary democratic general election was held and the caretaker government came to power, and General Ne Win became the prime minister. U Ral Zun also won the election and became Minister of Chin Affairs on March 5, 1959. At that time , Minister U Ral Hmung, who repeatedly expressed his desire for the Chin capital, decided to move the regional commissioner’s office from Falam to Hakha without first obtaining the consent of Prime Minister Ne Win, and designated Hakha as the capital of Chin. “Prime Minister Ni Win accused her of violating the rules and asked her to resign, but she refused to do so, so she sacrificed herself until she was removed from her position as Minister of Chin Affairs,” wrote U H Lian Tial.
[I note. In 1958, there was no parliamentary democratic general election. In the 1956 election, U Ral Hmung was elected as a tribal member of parliament from the Hakha constituency. As written by U H Lian Tial, U Ral Hmung did not become the Prime Minister because he won the election. As a result of the split between the Fascist Revolution and the People’s Liberation Organization (PLO), he was able to become the Minister of Chin Affairs. On May 6, 1958, the F.S.P.A.L party split into two factions: the clean (Phah Sah Pah Lah) led by Prime Minister U Nu, and the Permanent (Phah Sah Pah Lah) led by U Ba Shwe and U Kyaw Nyein.
Prime Minister U Nu was eventually forced to hand over power to a caretaker government led by General Ne Win. With the approval of Sosto, the caretaker government led by General Ne Win took effect from October 1958 and the government was reorganized. The caretaker government is to hold elections again in 6 months. General Ne Win decided to choose the Chin Affairs Minister from among the members elected by the Chin Affairs Council. As a result, Chin MPs had to split the vote. Among the 14 Chin MPs, there are 7 who stand on the side of the clean Phah Sah Pah Lah and 7 who stand by the permanent Phah Sah Pah Lah so they could not elect a Chin minister.
Therefore, they accepted U Than Lian, a member of the national assembly of Falam Township, who was on the side of the pure FSP, and he accepted the position of prime minister if he joined the permanent side. U Thang Lian served as minister for only three months. Because General Ne Win dissolved the caretaker government he formed in February 1959 and asked the parliament to extend the caretaker government. The Hluttaw also approved General Ne Win’s request, and the caretaker government continued to be in charge. Thus, in February 1959, the caretaker government had to be reconstituted again.
Note: Chin Historian Dr. Vom Son’s original quoting. This is a response to Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong’s statement (Falam town was never a capital).