Statement of The First Falam Youth Conference (FYC)
Falam Town, Chin State
28 December 2013 - 2 January 2014
284 youths from Rangoon, Mandalay, Pin Oo Lwin, Monywa, Mogok, the four townships of Tamu, Kalaymyo, Hakha and Falam, and Rihkhuadar sub-township gathered and participated in the Falam Youth Conference held in Falam town, Chin State from 28 December 2013 to 2 January 2014 for five days, and reached the following points of agreement.
1. We plan to continue in the future this kind of youth conference that can strengthen genuine understanding and friendship among the youth.
2. We welcome the peace process of President Thein Sein's government, and urge the central government to base building the future Union of Burma on the Panglong spirit, and to establish a genuine federal Union that devolves more authority, powers and rights to each individual state.
3. We urge that the alcoholic drinks, which are increasingly available and being sold in Chin State and Kalay Township of Sagaing Region without being medically tested, be put on the market only after they have been processed in accordance with medical standards as they, once consumed, are detrimental to youths in their health and character.
4. We, having visited and inspected the airport construction site on Mount Surbung near Falam town, urge that the project be completed as soon as possible to make Chin State to be more accessible.
5. We strongly oppose the ongoing extraction of natural resources in Chin State including Gullu Mual by companies from both inside and outside of the country without transparency and consultation with local communities, urge that the projects be suspended, and recommend that they be resumed in conformity with the EIA/SIA (Environmental Impact Assessment/Social Impact Assessment) standards only after necessary laws and policies agreed by all stakeholders are put in place.
6. We desire that Chin languages, essential to protecting the Chin as a nation that had co-founded the Union of Burma, be incorporated with Burmese as part of the official language in Chin State as a sign of respect to their own literature.
7. We urge that Chin State, the poorest in the country, be designated as a Special Economic Zone focusing on all-sector developments including education, health and region.
8. We form a new body called 'Falam Youth Network' to implement the above-mentioned points of agreement.
Date: 2 January 2014