History repeats itself: the fall of the Myanmar Military Dictators

History repeats itself:

the fall of the Myanmar Military Dictators

30 April 1975 was the day that Saigon fell. And it fell because the government did not have its fingers on the pulse of the nation. 30 May 2008 may be the day that Senior General Than Shwe — and therefore SPDC as well — falls after getting a beating on 8 May 2008.

Modified and edited the article, “Back to the future: the fall of Saigon revisited” by DYMM Raja Petra Kamarudin  in the Malaysia Today’s THE CORRIDORS OF POWER chapter.

 I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original article. I hope that DYMM Raja Petra Kamarudin  could understand and forgive us for this. He should even be proud that they could contribute a very good article for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

Saigon finally fell on 30 April 1975 after a protracted war that saw countless lives lost.

The fall of Saigon was not about superior firepower because that is exactly what the Vietcong did not possess. If anyone had superior firepower it was the vanquished, not the victor. But in a mere three days the superior Americans were sent packing back to Washington with their tails between their legs.

The fall of Saigon and eventually that of the entire Vietnam can be attributed to one fundamental problem.

  • The government was in denial mode.
  • They did not understand what the real problem was
  • and they failed to recognize that the army no longer had any will to win.
  • The war against communism can’t be won with guns alone.
  • The people must also have the desire to reject communism.
  • This was the secret of the British success in its war against the Communist Party of Malaya.

The British realized that the government cannot win the war against communism or communist terrorism.

  • It has to be the people themselves who must want to reject communism.
  • To achieve this, the British embarked on a campaign to win the hearts and minds of the people.
  • It can’t be a war of guns or of superior firepower.
  • It has to be a ‘war’ of winning over the support of the people.

This was what the British saw. But this was not what the Americans saw. So Malaya sustained while Vietnam fell.

The present SPDC Myanmar Military government took the route of the Americans rather than that of the British in the coming referendum and general election.

  • And the May 2008 referendum and the general election later would prove what a disastrous route this can be.
  • Myanmar Military thought it had superior firepower and it threw everything it had at the opposition.
  • But where the opposition lacked in political power, military might, government machinery, money and media control it more than made up for in strategy.
  • And where the SPDC government failed, the opposition succeeded.
  • And where the opposition lacked in ‘firepower’, it compensated for by winning the hearts and minds of the voters.

So all of us vote NO in the coming referendum.

Let’s crush the mask of illegitimate government by voting NO.

Let’s prove the whole world and UN that we, BURMESE CITIZENS reject the sham democracy of SPDC Junta.

Let’s free our Daw Suu with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our Ethnic Minority leaders with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our 88 Generation leaders with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our Saffron Revolution revered monks with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our all the political prisoners with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our country with this vote of NO.

Let’s free BURMA with this vote of NO.

 

 

Criminal terrorist PM Samak praises Myanmar Junta

  Criminal terrorist Thai PM Samak

praises Myanmar Junta

(BangkokPost.com) – Mr Samak Sundaravej hailed his trip to Burma last Friday as a success when he spoke on his weekly television programme aired on Channel 11 on Sunday.

The premier said he managed to talk to Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein about several important issues including bilateral cooperation on the economic front, and on energy issues.

 “It was my job as a prime minister to judge the country through first hand experience. The general view of this country has always been one-sided, but there are two sides to a coin,” he said.

My comment: You must open both eyes and look at Myanmar. Now you closed one eye meant for the democracy, Justice and Human Rights. You open only one eye look at the benefits of your country, your cronies and yourself. And that only eye you looked at Myanmar is also covered with the greedy green spectacle.

The premier said before he left that he would not bring up human rights or democracy issues with the dictators, and also wound up witnessing the signing of a previously secret economic agreement that mandates Thai cooperation with Burma in several economic projects.

Mr Samak added that the trip made him realise that Burma is a peaceful Buddhist country. The country’s prime minister even prays and meditates on a daily basis.

My comment: In Burmese there is a saying,

” Pasat Ka_Phaya Phaya.

Let Ka_Karyar Karyar.”

So what? Myanmar PM prays and meditate daily. Pray for what? Asking Buddha to forgive the killings, torturing and jailing of Monks, demonstrators and unarmed civilians who protested peacefully?

Let’s the history of that bird with the same feathers with Myanmar SPDC Junta leaders_

Samak Sundaravej 

Samak Sundaravej (Thai: สมัคร สุนทรเวช) (born June 13, 1935) has been the Prime Minister of Thailand since January 2008, as well as the leader of the People’s Power Party since August 2007. He is of Chinese descent , ancestral surname Lee (李). Ref: [泰国] 洪林, 黎道纲主编 (April 2006). 泰国华侨华人研究. 香港社会科学出版社有限公司, 187. ISBN 962-620-127-4. 

In 1968 Samak joined the Democrat Party. Well connected to the military, Samak became head of its renegade right-wing faction. In the 1976 general election, he defeated Kukrit Pramoj and was made Deputy Interior Minister in the cabinet of Seni Pramoj. He quickly became prominent for arresting several left-wing activists. (Ref: Paul M. Handley. The King Never Smiles. Yale University Press (2006). )

Samak was removed from his ministerial position, and in reaction organised an anti-government demonstration calling for the removal of three young liberal Democrat ministers who he branded as being “communists”. On the evening of the massacre on October 6 he headed a lynch mob which confronted Prime Minister Seni in front of Government House. Although in 2008 interviews with CNN and al-Jazeera Samak denied complicity with the 6 October 1976 massacre that left officially at least 46 dead, the record tells otherwise. Accounts from witnesses, documents and published reports clearly identify Samak as chief operator of the “Armoured Car” radio programme, an ultra-right wing broadcast that constantly expounded anti-communist and pro-right propaganda.

Samak used this programme to stir up hatred against Thammasat University students, and intentionally disobeyed the Prime Minister’s orders at the time to “stop creating divisiveness.” In defending the return of 1973-ousted Field Marshal Praphat over the radio, Samak told listeners that students demonstrating against the dictator’s return were committing suicide.

Following the coup of October 6, 1976, Samak became Minister of the Interior in the administration of Tanin Kraivixien, a palace-favoured anti-Communist with a reputation for honesty. Samak immediately launched a campaign which saw hundreds of supposed leftists, many of whom were writers and other intellectuals, arrested.

In 1992, as Deputy Prime Minister in the Suchinda administration, Samak justified the military’s brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators by declaring that the government had the right to do so as long as the United States could send troops to kill people in other countries. He remains unrepentant and continues to stand by his justification, stating that the military was merely trying to restore law and order after the pro-democracy demonstrators, which he branded as “troublemakers”, had resorted to “mob rule”.

 

The meeting between new Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej instead focused on growing anger over killings of Cambodian immigrant workers, a spokesman said Monday.

At Samak’s two-day visit at Cambodian, issues of disputed sea borders and border killings of itinerant Cambodians had come up.

As a newly-elected leader, Samak’s visit to neighbouring nations has become a tradition for new leaders of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations, of which both countries are members.

Cambodian alleged that Thailand uses undue force in controlling Cambodian immigrant workers to Thailand, which results in at least a dozen shooting deaths at the hands of Thai border patrols per year, according to border police.

‘Please, do not use unnecessary violence (on the borders) because it could disturb the Cambodian people,’ Kanharith warned. ‘Thailand has full rights to control illegal immigrants, but Thailand should also respect human rights.’

Thai refused to accept the 1962 ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague that Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia.

The oil field border dispute had been discussed extensively by Hun Sen and Samat, and Thailand had been urged to be less inflexible, allowing a ‘win-win situation between our two nations’.

As all of us know and Samak has also admitted that he is a proxy for Thaksin Shinawatra, let’s look at his puppet-master’s history_

Thaksin Shinawatra 

(Thai: ทักษิณ ชินวัตร, IPA: [tʰáksǐn tɕʰinnawát]; (Chinese: 丘達新), nickname แม้ว (maew, a northern Thailand hill tribe also known as Hmong), born July 26, 1949 in Chiang Mai, Thailand), Thai businessman and politician, is the former Prime Minister of Thailand, and the former leader of the populist Thai Rak Thai Party. He was in exile for 17 months until February 28, 2008, when he returned to Bangkok. Thaksin is commonly referred to by the Thai press as “maew” (Thai แม้ว) which is, the derogative term for a northern Thailand hill tribe also known as Hmong.

Thaksin attended the 10th class of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.[24] He then attended the Thai Police Cadet Academy and upon graduation, he joined the Royal Thai Police Department in 1973.

Thaksin started his career in the Thai police, and later became a successful entrepreneur, establishing Shin Corporation and Advanced Info Service, the largest mobile phone operator in Thailand. He became one of the richest people in Thailand prior to entering politics, although he and his family later sold their shares in Shin Corporation.

His government was frequently challenged with allegations of corruption, dictatorship, demagogy, treason, conflicts of interest, acting undiplomatically, tax evasion, the use of legal loopholes and hostility towards a free press. He was accused of lèse-majesté, selling domestic assets to international investors, and religious desecration. Independent bodies, including Amnesty International, also expressed concern at Thaksin’s human rights record. Human Rights Watch described Thaksin as “a human rights abuser of the worst kind”, alleging that he participated in media suppression and presided over extrajudicial killings. A series of attacks in 2005 and 2006 by Sondhi Limthongkul and his People’s Alliance for Democracy destroyed Thaksin’s name and reputation.  He was also subject to several purported assassination attempts.

Thaksin initiated several highly controversial policies to counter a boom in the Thai drug market, particularly in methamphetamine. After earlier anti-drug policies like border blocking (most methamphetamine is produced in Myanmar), public education, sports, and promoting peer pressure against drug use proved ineffective, Thaksin launched a multi-pronged suppression campaign that aimed to eradicate methamphetamine use in 3 months. The policy consisted of changing the punishment policy for drug addicts, setting provincial arrest and seizure targets, awarding government officials for achieving targets, targeting dealers, and “ruthless” implementation.

Over the next seven weeks, press reports indicate that more than 2,700 people were killed.[75] The Government claimed that only around 50 of the deaths were at the hands of the police. Human rights critics say a large number were extrajudicially executed. The government went out of its way to publicize the campaign, through daily announcements of arrest, seizure, and death statistics.

Thaksin’s anti-drug approach was effective and extremely popular. According to the Narcotics Control Board, the policy was extremely effective in reducing drug consumption, especially in schools, at least until the 2006 coup.

King Bhumibol, in his 2003 birthday speech, supported Thaksin’s anti-drugs approach, although he did request the commander of the police to categorize the deaths between those killed by police and those killed by fellow drug dealers. Police Commander Sant Sarutanond reopened investigations into the deaths, and again found that few of the deaths were at the hands of the police. A Bangkok university poll conducted in February 2003 revealed 92% of respondents backed Thaksin’s approach. Nevertheless, his anti-drug approach was widely criticized by international community. Thaksin requested that the UN Commission on Human Rights send a special envoy to evaluate the situation, but said in an interview, “The United Nations is not my father. I am not worried about any UN visit to Thailand on this issue.”

A year after the 2006 coup, the military junta ordered another investigation into the anti-drug campaign. Former Attorney General Kanit Na Nakhon chaired the special investigative committee. “The special committee will be tasked with an investigation to find out the truth about the deaths as well as to identify remedial measures for their relatives,” said Justice Minister Charnchai Likhitjittha.

The committee found that as many as 1400 of the 2500 killed had no link to drugs. However, while giving the opinion that orders to kill came from the top, the panel failed to establish sufficient evidence to charge Thaksin directly with the murders. The Nation (an English-language newspaper in Thailand) reported on November 27, 2007:

Of 2,500 deaths in the government’s war on drugs in 2003, a fact-finding panel has found that more than half was not involved in drug at all. At a brainstorming session, a representative from the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Tuesday disclosed that as many as 1,400 people were killed and labeled as drug suspects despite the fact that they had no link to drugs. … Senior public prosecutor Kunlapon Ponlawan said it was not difficult to investigate extra-judicial killings carried out by police officers as the trigger-pullers usually confessed.

South Thailand insurgency

A resurgence in violence began in 2001 in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand which all have a Muslim, ethnic Malay majority. There is much controversy about the causes of this escalation of the decades long insurgency. Attacks after 2001 concentrated on police, the military, and schools, but civilians have also been targets. Thaksin has been widely criticized for his management of the situation, in particular the storming of the Krue Se Mosque, the deaths of civilian protesters at Tak Bai in Army custody, and the unsolved kidnapping of Muslim-lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit.

In October 2004, 84 Muslim human rights protesters were killed at Tak Bai when the Army broke up a peaceful protest.. The many detainees were forced at gunpoint to lie prone in Army trucks, stacked like cordwood. The trucks were delayed from moving to the detainment area for hours. Many detainees suffocated to death due to gross mishandling by the military. After the 2006 coup, the Army dropped all charges and investigations into Army misconduct related to the Tak Bai incident. Thaksin announced a escalation of military and police activity in the region. In July 2005, Thaksin enacted an Emergency Decree to manage the three troubled provinces. Several human rights organizations expressed their concerns that the decree might be used to violate civil liberties.

In March 2005, Thaksin established the National Reconciliation Commission, chaired by former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun to oversee efforts to bring peace to the troubled South. In its final report released in June 2006, the commission proposed introducing Islamic law and making Pattani-Malay (Yawi) an official language in the region. The Thaksin administration assigned a government committee to study the report, while Muslims urged the government to act faster in implementing the proposals.

There have also been complaints that Thaksin appointed relatives to senior positions in the civil service and independent commissions, for example by elevating his cousin, General Chaiyasit Shinawatra, to Army commander-in-chief. In August 2002, he was promoted from Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces Development Command to become Deputy Army Chief. Both General Chaiyasit and Defense Minister General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh denied charges of nepotism at the time. General Chaiyasit replaced General Somthad Attanan as Army commander-in-chief. However, General Chaiyasit was replaced by General Prawit Wongsuwan in August 2004, after only a year in office. His replacement was in response to an escalation of violence in southern Thailand. Prawit was succeeded by Sonthi Boonyaratglin in 2005.

Thaksin was also accused of interference after the Senate appointed Wisut Montriwat (former Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance) to the position of Auditor General, replacing Jaruvan Maintaka.

Respected former Thai ambassador to the UN Asda Jayanama, in an anti-Thaksin rally, claimed that Thaksin’s two state visits to India were made in order to negotiate a satellite deal for Thaksin’s family-owned Shin Corporation. The accusation was countered by Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon, who attended the state visits with Thaksin.

Thaksin’s government has been accused of exerting political influence in its crackdown on unlicensed community radio stations.

Thaksin has also been accused of being superstitious.

Thaksin often faced harsh comparisons. Social critic Prawase Wasi compared him to AIDS, Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda and Senator Banjerd Singkaneti compared him to Hitler, Democrat spokesman Ong-art Klampaibul compared him to Saddam Hussein, and the newspaper The Nation compared him to Pol Pot.

Thaksin has been engaged in a series of lawsuits brought by American businessman William L Monson regarding a cable-television joint venture the two partnered in during the 1980s.

Accusations by Sondhi Limthongkul

The political crisis was catalyzed by several accusations published by media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, a former Thaksin supporter. These included accusations that Thaksin:

  • Restricted press freedom by suing Sondhi after Sondhi printed a sermon by a controversial monk (see Luang Ta Maha Bua incident)
  • Masterminded the desecration of the Erawan shrine (see Phra Phrom Erawan Shrine incident)

Sale of Shin Corporation

On January 23, 2006, the Shinawatra family sold their entire stake in Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings. The Shinawatra and Damapong families netted about 73 billion baht (about US$1.88 billion) tax-free from the sale, using a regulation that made individuals who sell shares on the stock exchange exempt from capital gains tax.[132]

The transaction made the Prime Minister the target of accusations that he was selling an asset of national importance to a foreign entity, and hence selling out his nation. The Democrat party spokesman compared him to Saddam Hussein: “Saddam, though a brutal tyrant, still fought the superpower for the Iraqi motherland”.

Thaksin faced pressure to resign following the sale of Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings.

2006 Bangkok New Year’s Eve bombings

On December 31, 2006 and January 1, 2007, several bombs exploded in Bangkok. Thaksin later went on CNN to deny any involvement in the bombings.[150]

Thaksin was assaulted while eating at a Thai restaurant in London. A Thai woman threw a glass at him – it was not known whether he was injured.[151]

His diplomatic passport was revoked in December 31, 2006 after the junta accused him of engaging in political activities while in exile. Thai embassies were ordered not to facilitate his travels.

In January 2007, the Financial Institutions Development Fund complied with an Assets Examination Committee request to file a charge against Thaksin and his wife over their purchase of four 772 million baht plots of land from the FIDF in 2003. The charge was based on alleged violation of Article 100 of the National Counter Corruption Act, which specificies that government officials and their spouses are prohibited from entering into or having interests in contracts made with state agencies under their authorisation. As in truth, this particular law,has been proposed before the Thaksin’s regime, by the Democrats.

The Assets Examination Committee also accused Thaksin of issuing an unlawful cabinet resolution approving the spending of state funds to buy rubber saplings. However, it did not accuse him of corruption.

In March 2007, the Office of the Attorney-General charged Thaksin’s wife and brother-in-law of conspiring to evade taxes of 546 million baht (US$15.6 million) in a 1997 transfer of Shin Corp shares.

The Assets Examination Committee rules that Thaksiin was guilty of malfeasance for obstructing competition by passing an executive decree that imposed an excise tax for telecom operators. Thaksin’s Cabinet approved an executive decree in 2003 that forced telecom operators to pay an excise tax of 10% on revenues for mobile phone operations, and 2% for fixed-line operations.

 Reference

Bangkok Post

Wikipedia

 

What an utter disgrace!

What an utter disgrace!

KAREN,   Selangor. Letter to the Star

WE saw three Bangladeshis, in their early 20s, standing at our front gate. One was holding a rubbish bin trying to protect himself while the other two asked us for help because some boys were chasing and throwing stones at them and blocking their path. 

My parents asked if they had done anything to the boys to receive such treatment but the three, almost in tears, said all they did was to go to the night market near my home to buy some food. The boys had followed and harassed them.  

The poor foreigners also grabbed the rubbish bins in front of my house to shield themselves. 

My parents and my brother followed them to the corner of the street and saw a group of boys, who upon seeing them just laughed and ran away when my parents called them.  

My parents then watched the three men walk home to their quarters.  

It was a pitiful sight. We were upset with the actions of the boys.  

Is these how human beings deserve to be treated? 

Don’t they too have feelings and dignity?  

These are basic human rights. Just because they are foreigners does not mean that they can be bullied and no one would come to their aid.  

We are easily influenced by all the stereotypes of the world and become prejudiced and judgmental when encountering foreigners like Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Indians or Africans.  

One of my friends told me her Nigerian college mate said that when he travelled to college by bus, no one would sit beside him, even if the bus was full. 

He said some Malaysians gave him suspicious looks as though he was up to no good. Sometimes, they would close their noses and mouths when he stood near.  

We are known as a friendly and warm people but is this perception really true?  

The time has come for everyone to learn to respect and treat one another with love regardless of race, religion or nationality.  

“Treat others as you would like to be treated”  

That is the golden rule of life that is to be found in the holy books of the major faiths – phrased differently but all with the same message. 

KAREN,  

Selangor.  

Don’t cry for me grandpa, Minister Mentor

Don’t cry for me grandpa, Minister Mentor

  

There is a Burmese saying_

Kyaw poo dar_khan naing thee

Naar poo dar_ma khan naing”.

  • Most of the peaple could bear the heat on the back of the body (prefer to work hard even under the sun)
  • but could not stand the (heat/ pressure) in the ears (read: brain / stress / undue pressure from the boss).

Some of us could prefer to work hard but could not stand the mental torture, pressure, or stress.

Yes! Even our Prophet (PBUH) had taught us_

If you do not want to donate to a beggar, use polite words to apologize.

But never insult the beggar even after you donated a large some of money.

Getting / money or not is far less important than getting an insult.

Money goes into the pocket only but the insult goes deep into our hearts.

So feeding the human’s mental ego is sometimes more important than just feeding the mouths.

Successive Burmese Governments used to discriminate us as foreigners, migrants, mixed blooded persons, Kalas (Migrant Indians/Indians), Kala Dein (Indian descendent)  and “Mi Ma Sit_Pha Ma Sit”. (The words meaning Bastards used by the the Burmese Chinese General Ne Win on Burmese Muslims. I think he never look at his own BASTARD FACE in the mirror!)

Most of us emigrated (migrated out) and left Myanmar not because of economic reason. As the professionals we could earn enough to stay in upper-middle strata in Myanmar and could earn some respect not only from the non-Muslims but from the Monks and even from the Military authorities. We just hate the unfair general discrimination on our race and religion. (As all the Military leaders are corrupt, we could even do anything in Myanmar after paying bribes. If the payment is good enough we could even get their daughter’s hands.)

Once the governments could fulfill (actually all the government leaders wrongly thought like that! They think they had done favours on their on citizens but actually the people are the masters of the governments. Although the governments’ policy and guidance  are important, it is the people who really works hard to achieve every thing for the country. And the give the salaries, of cause from their tax money, to those political leaders.) the physical and psycological needs of its citizens_

Food, shelter, clothing, employment is important but should understand that they also should take care of their social, mental and psycological needs.

SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT FAILS BECAUSE OF THAT FAILURE>

Just read the following article.

Don’t cry for me grandpa Lee,

Goodbye and thank you

Excerpts from article by SEAH CHIANG NEE.  Singapore’s emigration rate, one of the highest in the world on a per capita basis, is a blow to the government.

YEARS of strong economic growth have failed to stem Singapore’s skilled youths from leaving for a better life abroad, with the number topping 1,000 a year. 

This works out to 4%-5%, or three in 10, of the highly educated population, a severe brain drain for a small, young nation, according to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. 

Such high-end emigration is usually associated with less better-off countries where living conditions are poor. Here the opposite is the case. 

The future doesn’t look better, either, despite Lee holding out promises of “a golden period” in the next five to 10 years. 

The emigration rate, one of the highest in the world on a per capita basis, is a blow to the government, particularly to Lee, who takes pride in building up this once poor squatter colony into a glittering global city. 

They are people who abandoned their citizenship for a foreign one, mostly in Australia, the United States and Canada. 

The emigrants, mostly professionals, don’t leave Singapore out of poverty but to seek a better, less pressurised life.  

Lee recently said the brain drain is touching close to this family. 

Lee’s grandson, the elder son of Prime Minister Hsien Loong, who is studying in the United States, has indicated that he may not return.  

Over the years, the children of several Cabinet ministers have also made Britain or the US their home.  

Lee, aged 84, has often spoken on the issue with emotions, once tearing when referring to the losses.  

However, he has offered no reasons for the exodus beyond economic opportunities, although the government more or less knows what they are.  

Singaporeans who have or are planning to emigrate are given a host of 10 questions and asked to tick the three most important ones. They include the following: –  

> High costs of living 

> Singapore is too regulated and stifling 

> Better career and prospects overseas 

> Prefer a more relaxed lifestyle 

> Uncertain future of Singapore. 

Some liberal Singaporeans believe Lee himself, with his authoritarian leadership and unpopular policies, is largely to blame.  

Singapore’s best-known writer Catherine Lim calls it a climate of fear that stops citizens from speaking out against the government.

Globalisation, which offers opportunities in many countries like never before, is a big reason for the outflow.  

Many countries, including populous China, are making a special effort to attract foreign talent. 

Others who leave were worried about the future of their children living in a small island, and look for security and comfort of a larger country. 

The exodus is more than made up – at least in numbers – by a larger intake of professionals from China and India. 

“The trouble is many of the Chinese then use us as a stepping stone to go to America, where the grass is greener, Lee said. 

Some feel the large presence of foreigners, and the perks they enjoy over locals in military exemption as well as in scholarships, are themselves strong push factors.  

They see the foreigners as a threat to jobs and space, undermining salaries and loosening the nation’s cohesion. 

“I just feel very sad to see the Singapore of today with so many talented, passionate Singaporeans moving out and being replaced by many foreigners,” said one blogger. “I feel sorry for the future.” (Me too, for Myanmar.)

Lee recently made a passionate appeal to youths to think hard about their country. He said they had received education and opportunities provided by Singaporeans who had worked hard for it. 

“Can you in good conscience say, ‘Goodbye! Thank you very much?’ Can you leave with a clear conscience? I cannot,” he said.  

But many Burmese just need to say this even although they could not get the same kind of welcome from their host countries. Some need to work illegally, some as refugees and many professionals have to do the manual works. So you Singaporeans are luckier than us. Just leave the old grandpa enjoy his own great authority on new comers, or new immigrants.

 

 

Burmese Muslims requested the future leaders including the opposition leaders to grant the following Basic Human Rights

Burmese Muslims requested

the future leaders of Burma

including the opposition leaders

to grant the following Basic Human Rights

The following basic Human Rights should be granted to all the citizens including all the Muslims of Burma/Myanmar:

  1. Rights of unrestricted internal travel in the whole of Myanmar/Burma.
  2. Rights to travel abroad must be accepted by the government and to relax the strict present regulations on all Myanmar/Burmese citizens.
  3. Equal access to education at all levels including postgraduate studies, locally and abroad, according to meritocracy.
  4. Equal rights to all the government jobs and chance to be promoted according to meritocracy but not based on the Military experience or relationship.
  5. Equal rights to settle and work in any parts of Myanmar/Burma.
  6. Equal rights to serve and entitle for promotion to all the ranks in armed forces, Police, immigration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.
  7. Freedom of religion, worship, religious publications, building and repairing of religious buildings and religious schools etc.
  8. Rights to allow participation in the election process and hold posts in all the levels in national and regional politics.
  9. Rights to hold the political and administrative posts in various level of government and its’ agencies.
  10. Freedom of speech and expression in any form of media is important. But freedom after speech is especially more important!

We all must recognize and implement:

  1. (i) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Ethnic Minorities.
  2. (ii) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Minority Religious groups.
  3. (iii) The Status, Rights and protection of the poor and downtrodden.
  4. (iv) Programme and implementation for the eradication of poor and general measures to increase the living standard of people. Handicapped people, youths, orphans, aged, disease inflicted people, homeless people, retrenched and unoccupied peoples’ rights and protection must not be ignored.
  5. (v) Majority got the right to rule. But they must respect, protect and guarantee the Minorities’ rights.
  6. (vi) Minorities must have the right of representation because the Majorities with their number of votes could totally monopolize all the good, lucrative and high places and positions, marginalizing the minorities.
  7. (vii) Majority must ‘sacrifice’ their absolute power by reserving some places and positions thus giving the Minorities the chance of participation and representation.
  8. (viii) Workers rights and adequate protection. Rights of forming unions, strikes, compensation, recreation, various benefits, pension and etc.
  9. (ix) On farsighted and fair distribution of investment policy in various fields of : Education, Research and Development, Science, Information Technology, Health, factories, Irrigation, Houses especially low cost houses and infrastructure projects.

There must be antitrust legislature to control the monopoly in each and every field.

We have to look, monitor and record at the –

  1. (a) Distribution of wealth and opportunity among the different groups depending on race, religion and political alignment, Political patronage- awarding government contracts, appointments, promotions, scholarships, land distributions, permits etc.
  2. (b) Rural development, Urbanization, squatter relocation and settlements.
  3. (c) Basic infrastructure facilities, water, electricity, highways, telephone, multimedia facilities, railways, seaports and etc. 

not to forget the most important basic issue of :

  1. (i) The Rights of Dissent and Disobedience of the people, parties, minorities and even among the Ruling Party (Party ordinary members, Central Committee Members, MPs and even Cabinet Ministers). Those individuals should not be forced or coerce to always toe the party line.
  2. (ii) We also wish to request that the minorities must have a say in the governance or at least the laws and rulings that are related or affected them.
  3. (iii) Democratic governments must accept that accepting the participation of minority races and religions is better than hatred, resentment, revolution, racial riots or civil wars.

 “Counting the ballots is better than cracking the skulls”.

We need the folowing undertaking by the future governments of Burma/Myanmar_:

  1. 1. “The people, whether Majority or Minority must have the right to disobey or resist the commands of the oppressive, authoritative or tyranny governments, if their commands trespass the limit and no longer serve their interests.
  2. 2. There must be enough check and balance. ACA (Anti Corruption Agency) or any organizations dealing with corruption must be independent from the administrative branch of Government.
  3. 3. Newspapers, TVs and all the media must be free and independent to probe and do investigative reports.
  4. 4. NGOs and other right groups must also be free to express their views. All of them and various reporters must have a free access to the government and the big companies as long as there is no real danger of espionage or national security. There is a danger of over protection and trying to hide under the name of national security to avoid exposure of the corruption.
  5. 5. There must be real separation of powers in the government. Administrative power of the head of the government should not let to be able to influence the Judiciary, Attorney General’s office and Legislative assembly.

In gist, the Rights we should get from the good governments are, Political, Civil, Human Rights & Economic Reform, including though not limited to:

  1. Freedom of speech.
  2. Freedom of association.
  3. True, full democracy.
  4. Separation of Powers between Government, Judiciary, Police & Military.
  5. Independent, competitive non-government media, free from government censorship or editorial restrictions.
  6. Full freedom of religious-thought, belief, expression & practice, including abolition of Government controls of religious affairs.
  7. The right of self-determination.
  8. The Rule of Law: The presumption of innocence until proven guilty; Trial by jury of peers; The right to a fair trial with appeal rights; The right to adequate & independent legal representation
  9. Non-discrimination by Governments, individuals or organisations on the basis of race, nationality, colour, religion, gender, marital status, political belief or affiliation, physical or mental disability.
  10. Religious & Political organisations must be permitted.

if I go into details of other Human Rights such as:

  1. (i) Detainees’ Rights: Prisoners’ Rights, POW’s (Prisoners of War) Rights, Political Prisoners’ Rights etc. Free from torture and inhumane treatments. Right to engage a lawyer, right to remain silence, right to defend one self in proper open court of law, right of access to medical care, communication with the love ones, rights to recreate and rehabilitate in the prison etc.
  2. (ii) Women’s Rights,
  3. (iii) Children’s various Rights,
  4. (iv) Senior citizens’ Rights, Handicapped Persons’ Rights, and various victims of diseases, HIV patients, Ca patients etc Rights.
  5. (v) Workers Rights; Workers Unions’ Rights, Foreign Workers’ (legal and illegal) Rights etc
  6. (vi) Foreigners’ Rights; Foreign temporary Residences Rights, visitors, tourists, Foreign Investors and Asylum or refugee seekers’ Rights etc
  7. (vii) Diplomatic Rights, Inventors’ Rights, Artists’ Rights, Patent Rights etc. etc…

Asean embraces a rogue regime while inking a Charter for Big Business

Asean embraces a rogue regime

while inking a Charter for Big Business

By_Anilnetto

So the Asean leaders have signed a Charter in the “wonderfully democratic nation of Singapore” in the company of leaders from Burma’s rogue regime. (Check out this excellent documentary “Burma’s Secret War”.)

Each member nation now has to take the Charter back to their home countries so that it can be ratified by their respective parliaments

  • which shouldn’t be much of a problem,

  • considering how democratic Asean member nations are

  • and how much their governments have the interests of the people at heart.

  • Which leads to the question: why not a referendum as this is a hugely important document that affects the peoples of 10 nations? That will be the day…

Civil society groups that lament that_

  • the charter is too state-centred

  • rather than people-centred are missing the point.

It was_

  • never meant to be people-centred

  • – even though that is what most ordinary people would have wanted,

  • had they been consulted.

  • That is why most of the work of drafting the charter was carried out behind closed doors –

  • Although an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) did briefly consult a sample of civil society groups.

The EPG leader, Musa Hitam, had told civil society representatives that_

  • he considered the inclusion of a reference to a human rights mechanism or body as a great achievement.

  • But such a body would predictably be toothless –

  • if and when it is formalised – for some time to come.

So let’s not get side-tracked by_

  • the lip-service paid to human rights

  • or the sweet -sounding, but ultimately unenforceable, pledges about democracy.

The Charter is not about_

  • protecting the rights of ordinary people

  • including migrant workers,

  • refugees

  • and asylum seekers.

If it was, do you really think those undemocratic or authoritarian governments among the Asean member nations would have signed it?

Instead, it’s all about_

  • facilitating the interests of Big Business

  • as well as providing an institutionalised framework

  • that would, among other things, pave the way for the EU-Asean FTA

  • and further the “free trade” and neo-liberal agenda.

How terribly, terribly sad for the people of Asean!

Charo Says:

Yeah Anil.

ASEAN is and was always paying lip service and showing face to each other.

That has not changed.

If the mentality has not changed for the last 50 years –

  • situations like Burma will remain the same.

  • Besides, ASEAN does not want to face China, if they go against Burma.
  • China has vested interests in Burma.

The Golden days of the Great Mon Empire I

The Golden days of the

Great Mon  Empire I

References 

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Cambodia History
  3. Thailand History
  4. Mon Web pages
  5. Hariphunchai, Wikipedia 

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Mon state Flag

 The Mon are an ethnic group in Southeast Asia. They live in Mon State, historic lower Burma and the area around the southern Burmese-Thailand border.

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New Mon State Party Flag

There are believed to be around 8 million people who claim Mon ancestry and retain their culture and language, but the majority of the Mon (possibly 4 million) use the modern Burmese language for daily business and are literate only in Burmese (not in their native language).  The majority of Mon live around the city of Bago or the site of their historic capital, Thaton and the port of Mawlamyaing.

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Mon Children (boys)

They also constitute a significant percentage of the population further south along the lowland coast to the city of Ye, Burma.

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Mon Children (girls)

 Early history of Burma_ 

Humans lived in the region that is now Burma as early as 11,000 years ago, but the first identifiable civilization is that of the Pyu although both Burman and Mon tradition claim that the fabled Suvarnabhumi mentioned in ancient Pali and Sanskrit texts was a Mon kingdom centered on Thaton in present day Mon state.

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Khmer Arts

The Mon were one of the earliest distinct groups to occupy Burma, moving into the area as early as 1500 BCE or possibly earlier. The Mon are primarily associated with the historical kingdoms of Dvaravati and Haripunchai.

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Ankor Wat

Up until the 14th century, outposts of Mon culture continued to spread very Far East, including modern Thailand and Isan plateau cities such as Lampang and Khon Kaen.

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Mon Khmer Empire

Look, Thai’s Upper or North Western region was under Pagan.
Remaining Thai, Laos, Upper Malaysia and Lower Burma
was under Mon-Khmer rule.

As late as the 14th and 15th centuries, it is believed that the Mon were the ethnic majority in this vast region, but also intermarried freely with Khmer and Tai-Kadai populations.

Archaeological remains of Mon settlements have been found south of Vientiane, and may also have extended further to the north-west in the Haripunchai era.The Mon converted to Theravada Buddhism at a very early point in their history.

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Mon Buddha

Unlike other ethnic groups in the region, they seem to have adopted Theravada orthodoxy before coming into contact with Mahayana tendencies, and it is generally believed that the Mon provided the link of transmission whereby both the Thais and Cambodians converted from Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism to Theravada Buddhism (increasingly from the 1400s).

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Mon Buddha (side view)

Although the precise date cannot be fixed, it seems that the Mon have been practicing Theravada Buddhism continuously for a longer period than any other extant religious community on earth, except for Sri Lanka, as the lineage was destroyed in India.

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Mon Scripture Wheel

Like the Burmese and the Thais, some modern Mons have tried to identify their ethnicity with the semi-historical kingdom of Suwarnabhumi. Today, this claim is contested by many different ethnicities in South-East Asia, and contradicted by scholars. Historical scholarship indicates that the early usage of the term (as found in the edicts of Ashoka) indicated a location in Southern India, and not in South-East Asia. However, from the time of the first translations of the Ashokan inscriptions in the 19th century, both the Burmese and the Thais have made concentrated efforts to identify place-names found in the edicts with their own territory or culture. Sometimes these claims have also relied upon the creative interpretation of place-names found in Chinese historical sources.

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(Mon Khmer) Grand Palace Bangkok

The 6th century Mon kingdom of Dvaravati in the lower Chao Phraya valley in present day Thailand extended its frontiers to the Tenasserim Yoma (mountains).  With subjugation by the Khmer Empire from Angkor in the 11th century the Mon shifted further west deeper into present day Burma.  

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Khmer Women in the field

Oral tradition suggests that they had contact with Buddhism via seafaring as early as the 3rd century BC and had received an envoy of monks from Ashoka in the 2nd century BC. 

The Mons adopted Indian culture together with Theravada Buddhism and are thought to have founded kingdoms in Lower Burma including Thaton in the 6th or 7th century and Bago (Pegu) in 825 with the kingdom of Raman’n’adesa (or Ramanna which is believed to be Thaton) referenced by Arab geographers in 844–8.The lack of archaeological evidence for this may in part be due to the focus of excavation work predominantly being in Upper Burma. 

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Shampoo Island

The first recorded kingdom that can undisputedly be attributed to the Mon people was Dvaravati, which prospered until around 1000 AD when their capital was sacked by the Khmer Empire and most of the inhabitants fled west to present-day Burma and eventually founded new kingdoms.  These, too, eventually came under pressure from new ethnic groups arriving from the north. 

Mon kingdoms ruled large sections of Burma from the 9th to the 11th, the 13th to the 16th, and again in the 18th centuries. About the same period, southward-migrating Burmans took over lands in central Myanmar once dominated by Pyu city-states and the Tai started trickling into South-East Asia.  

The Burman (Bamar ) established the kingdom of Bagan.  In 1057, Bagan defeated the Mon kingdom, capturing the Mon capital of Thaton and carrying off 30,000 Mon captives to Bagan. 

After the fall of Bagan to the invading Mongols in 1287, the Mon, under Wareru an ethnic Tai (Shan), regained their independence and captured Martaban and Bago, thus virtually controlling their previously held territory. 

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Shampoo Island

Mon kingdoms A main body of ethnic Shan / Tai migration came in the 13th century after the fall of the Kingdom of Dali to the Mongol Empire and filled the void left by the fall of the Bagan kingdom in northern Burma forming a loose coalition of city-states. These successive waves of Bamar and Tai groups slowly eroded the Mon kingdoms, and the next 200 years witnessed incessant warfare between the Mon and the Burmese, but the Mon managed to retain their independence until 1539. 

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Mon State Mudon

The last independent Mon kingdom fell to the Burmese when Alaungpaya razed Bago in 1757.  Many of the Mon were killed, while others fled to Thailand. Hanthawaddy (or Hanthawady; in Thai หงสาวดี Hongsawadi) is a place in Burma.  Hongsawatoi ( Bago/Pegu/ Handawaddy )  Hongsawatoi, Capital city of old Mon kingdom.  

It was destroyed by Burman King, U Aungzeya or Aloungpaya in 1757.  Hongsawatoi (Mon language pronounce) (Pali Hamsavati) Bago is about 50 miles from Rangoon. 

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Shampoo Island

According to legend, two Mon princess from Thaton founded Bago in 573 AD.  It was written in the chronicles that eight years after enlightenment, Lord Buddha along with his disciples went air-borne around Southeast Asian countries. 

The earliest mention of this city in history is by the Arab geographer Ibn Khudadhbin around 850 AD.  At the time, the Mon capital had shifted to Thaton. The word Mranma, in both Mon and Myanmar inscriptions came into being only at about the same time, lending support to this claim that the Pyu were an earlier vanguard of southward Tibeto-Burman migration who were entirely absorbed into a newly formed identity by later waves of similar people.  

The Pagan Kingdom grew in relative isolation until the reign of Anawrahta (1044-77) who successfully unified all of Burma by defeating the Mon city of Thaton in 1057. The area came under rule of the Burmese from Bagan in 1056.  

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Kyansittha, Alaungphaya, Bayintnaung and Nga Paw

Consolidation was accomplished under his successors Kyanzittha (1084–1112) and Alaungsithu (1112-67), so that by the mid-12th century, most of continental Southeast Asia was under the control of either the Pagan Kingdom or the Khmer Empire.  The Pagan kingdom went into decline as the Mongols threatened from the north. The last true ruler of Pagan, Narathihapate (1254-87) felt confident in his ability to resist the Mongols and advanced into Yunnan in 1277 to make war upon them. He was thoroughly crushed at the Battle of Ngasaunggyan, and Pagan resistance virtually collapsed. The king was assassinated by his own son in 1287, precipitating a Mongol invasion in the Battle of Pagan.  

The Mongols successfully captured most of the empire, including its capital, and ended the dynasty in 1289 when they installed a puppet ruler in Burma.  

After the collapse of Bagan to the Mongols in 1287, the Mon regained their independence. From 1369-1539, Hanthawaddy was the capital of the Mon Kingdom of Ramanadesa, which covered all of what is now lower Burma.  

The area came under Burman control again in 1539, when it was annexed by King Tabinshweti to his Kingdom of Taungoo.  

The kings of Taungoo made Bago their royal capital from 1539-1599 and again in 1613-1634, and used it as a base for repeated invasions of Siam.     A Mon dynasty ruled Lower Burma after the fall of the Pagan dynasty from 1287 to 1539 with a brief revival during 1550–53. At first Martaban was the capital of this kingdom and then Pegu.

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Mawlamying jetty

The Mon king Rajadhirat, who waged war with the northern Burman kingdom of Ava during the whole duration of his reign, unified and consolidated the Mon kingdom’s domains in Lower Burma.The most famous Mon monarchs during this period were Queen Baña Thau (Burmese: Shin Sawbu; reigned 1453–1472) followed by Dhammazedi (reigned 1472–92). Queen Baña Thau personally chose Dhammazedi to succeed her. Dhammazedi had been a monk before he became king of Pegu. Under Dhammazedi, Pegu became a centre of commerce and Theravadan Buddhism. These two devout Buddhist monarchs initiated a long period of peace in Lower Burma.Many foreign traders were attracted to the capital, which became well-known to the outside world as a centre of commerce. As such it is mentioned by the Russian merchant, Nitikin, who traveled in the East about 1470.

Its fifteenth century rulers were, like those of old Pagan, chiefly interested in the development of religion. Missions were sent to Ceylon and on their return stimulated an important religious revival, which affected the whole of Burma.

Its centre was the Kalyani thein near Pegu, so named because its original monks had been ordained on the banks of the Kalyani River in Ceylon. Kalyani ordination became the standard form for the whole country. The story of the reforms is told in the Kalyani inscriptions erected by King Dammazedi (1472-92). Dammazedi was the greatest of the rulers of Wareru’s line. His reign was a time of peace and he himself was a mild ruler, famous for his wisdom. A collection of his rulings, the Dammazedi pyatton, is still extant. He maintained friendly intercourse with Yunnan and revived the practice of sending missions to Buddhagaya. He was a Buddhist ruler of the best type, deeply solicitous for the purification of religion. Under him civilization flourished, and the condition of the Mon country stands out in sharp contrast with the disorder and savagery which characterized the Ava kingdom. When he died he was honoured as a saint and a pagoda was erected over his bones.

The Mon kingdom possessed two great pagodas of especial sanctity, the Shwemawdaw at Pegu and the Shwe Dagon at the small stockaded fishing-town of Dagon, now Rangoon, the capital of modern Burma.

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Shwe Dagon

The last Mon kingdom was Hongsavatoi—they re-conquered much of their lost territory until the energetic Burman leader U Aungzeya forced them back and captured the kingdom by 1757, massacring a considerable part of the population. The Mon religious leaders were forced to flee to Siam and the Mon have been harshly repressed from the 1750s to the present day. 

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Shwe Maw Daw (Pegu)

King Mingyinyo founded the First Toungoo Dynasty (1486–1599) at Toungoo, south of Ava, towards the end of the Ava dynasty. After the conquest of Ava by the Shan invaders in 1527 many Burmans migrated to Toungoo which became a new center for Burmese rule. The dynasty conquered the Mohnyin Shan peoples in northern Burma. By this time, the geopolitical situation in Southeast Asia had changed dramatically. Mingyinyo’s son king Tabinshwehti (1531-50) unified most of Burma. The Shan gained power in a new kingdom in the North, Ayutthaya (Siam), while the Portuguese had arrived in the south and conquered Malacca. With the coming of European traders, Burma was once again an important trading centre, and Tabinshwehti moved his capital to Pegu due to its strategic position for commerce. Tabinshwehti was able to gain control of Lower Burma up to Prome, but the campaigns he led to the Arakan, Ayutthaya, and Ava in Upper Burma were unsuccessful. When Tabinshwehti’s brother-in-law, Bayinnaung (1551-81), Tabinshwehti’s brother-in-law, succeeded to the throne he launched a campaign of conquest invading several states, including Manipur (1560) and Ayutthaya (1569). An energetic leader and effective military commander, he made Toungoo the most powerful state in Southeast Asia, and extended his borders from Laos to Ayutthaya, near Bangkok.  His wars stretched Myanmar to the limits of its resources, however, and both Manipur and Ayutthaya, which had remained under Myanmar domination for 15 years, were soon independent once again.  Bayinnaung was poised to deliver a final, decisive assault on the kingdom of Arakan when he died in 1581. Faced with rebellion by several cities and renewed Portuguese incursions, the Toungoo rulers withdrew from southern Burma and founded a second dynasty at Ava, the Restored Toungoo Dynasty (1597–1752). Bayinnaung’s grandson, Anaukpetlun, once again reunited Burma in 1613 and decisively defeated Portuguese attempts to take over Burma. Encouraged by the French in India, Pegu finally rebelled against Ava, further weakening the state, which fell in 1752.                 

         

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Mon Shan dominence
Indo China

The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VII

The Golden days of the

Great Shan Empire VII

Detention of Ethnic Shan and other opposition Leaders

Read detail in Irrawaddy, “Detained Ethnic Leaders Denied Outside Medical Aid” By Shah Paung on January 8, 2008

Detained ethnic Shan leaders are being denied medical treatment from outside for serious health problems, according to the Shan National League for Democracy.

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SNLD chairman Hkun Htun Oo

SNLD spokesman Sai Lek told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that prison authorities had rejected or ignored requests by the families of SNLD chairman Hkun Htun Oo and SNLD member Sai Hla Aung for medical attention from outside.

Hkun Htun Oo suffers from_

  1. prostate problems,
  2. diabetes,
  3. heart disease
  4. and high blood pressure.

Sai Hla Aung has_

  1. a hyperthyroid condition,
  2. diabetes
  3. and heart disease.

They were arrested in February 2005, together with_

  1. SNLD General-Secretary Sai Nyunt Lwin,
  2. Shan State Peace Council President Maj-Gen Sao Hso Ten
  3. and Shan politician Shwe Ohn, who was later released.

They were arrested days before a resumed session of the National Convention opposed by Shan leaders.

  • Hkun Htun Oo was sentenced to 92 years imprisonment and is detained in Putao prison, Kachin State.
  • Sai Nyunt Lwin received a 75 year sentence and is in Kalay prison, Sagaing Division.
  • Sao Hso Ten was sentenced to a total of 106 years imprisonment and is in Hkamti prison, Sagaing Division.
  • Sai Hla Aung received a sentence of 75 years and is in Kyauk Pyu prison, Arakan State.
  • Meanwhile, arrests of National League for Democracy members continue. NLD spokesman Nyan Win said five members of the NLD youth wing had been arrested between Burma Independence Day on January 4 and January 6. No reason has yet been given for the arrests.
  • According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), based in neighboring Thailand, there are more than 1,400 political prisoners in Burma.

SPDC Junta and Myanmar Tatmadaw failed to understand that patriotism is not the sole property of the Myanmar Tatmadaw and its Generals alone.

Each and every citizen_

  • regardless of his race,
  • religion,
  • social status
  • or political alignment,

has the right and is duty-bound to show his sense of patriotism to the country he loves in his own way.

Tatmadaw failed to acknowledge that the opposition parties like NLD, SNLD etc are equally patriotic, if not more so than SPDC leaders.

Many opposition leaders, to name a few_

  1. U Gambari lead real Buddhist monks,
  2. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD leaders like U Tin Oo,
  3. U Hkun Htun Oo led SNLD Shan leaders,
  4. Min Ko Naing lead 88 Student leaders, like Ko Ko Gyi etc,
  5. Burmese Muslims such as, Daw Win Mya Mya (NLD Mandalay, Panthay) and Ko Mya Aye (88 Student leader)

Are unlike those in the SPDC and Tatmadaw,

  • have given up much of their comforts in life,
  • endured so much pain and humiliation
  • and even have been detained
  • and tortured
  • under the illegal, undemocratic, unjust, draconian laws of the SPDC.

SPDC Junta should answer my question even if their brain is slightly larger than a bird’s brain.

If sacrificing the major part of one’s life for the nation is not patriotism, what is it then?

It is extremely distressing that the ruling Myanmar Generals and Tatmadaw want to cling onto power instead of being an instrument for the peace, progress, prosperity, unity of Myanmar and power house to start an inertia of change to democracy.

Not only the different Races and religions have become the cause of disunity, hate, violence and turmoil but the Myanmar Generals and Tatmadaw show the world that they are even willing to assault, arrest, torture and kill their own monks to stop the momentum of people’s peaceful struggle to initiate the changes to democracy.

So what’s left now to think about the safety or guarantee of other minority races and religious groups’ fate, life and property ?

We all now witnessed that Myanmar Tatmadaw is even willing to sacrifice and annihilate any one or any obstacle on their way to the road to their permanent dominance of Myanmar. 

But the whole world looks quite cool, slow and looks like willing to patiently waiting forever for the SPDC promised, “Rice presenting on the moon-plate”

SPDC Generals should stop playing the politics of fear and intimidation on the unarmed Myanmar civilians. They should not politicise or use the national security as an excuse because it would be the most unpatriotic act, amounting to treachery.

We have journeyed together, sharing a common brotherhood for 60 years and we have attained wisdom and maturity to effect change that would create an environment where all of the Burmese/Myanmar citizens can have our voices heard, rights respected and continue to live together without fear or suspicion of each other.

We should not allow selfish Military Generals to sow the seeds of disunity, suspicion, hate and jealousy that will only be detrimental to us in this multi-racial and multi-religious nation of Burma/Myanmar.

As Barrack Obama, the US presidential candidate, said after his first defeat in the primaries:

‘Change is hard. Change is always met by resistance from the status quo. The real gamble is to have the same old folks doing the same old things over and over and over again and somehow expect a different result’.

We cannot and should not expect a better outcome from the same old Tatmadaw system over and over again. They will try to keep all the issues and dialogue in the back burner.

In order to create a just government for all of the Burmese/ Myanmars, we must strive to effect a change.

We have no much time to wait for the evolution, until or unless, UN and Mr Gambari could forced the snail paced present (almost effectively stalled) dialogue on the rocket louncher to install on to the fast track.

To bring about that change may not be that easy, it may be a monumental task, but there must be a beginning for all good things to happen.

Why shouldn’t it be now?

Is the saying, “Time and Tide wait for no man” irrelevant to the inhumane, noncivilized uniformed Tatnadaw?

Why did UN and the whole world allow the Junta to procrastinate when all of us already know that what the SPDC want was TIME only.

SPDC stupidly thought that time could heal the bleeding hearts of the people seeing their beloved revered monks beaten, arrested and killed.

It is now in our hands to make that change.

Do we have the will and courage to do so?

Except for the USA and EU leaders,

  • are ASEAN leaders,
  • OIC leaders,
  • Common Wealth leaders,
  • Non Allied movement leaders
  • and UN member countries’ leaders

all became cowards? Eunuchs with any B–ls? Greedy Crooks?

Or are they all willing to close their eyes, as the Burmese saying, “Myauk Thar_ Sar Chin Yin_Myaul Myet Nher_Ma Kyi Ne’.” meaning. “if you want to eat the flesh of the monkey, avoid looking at the face of the monkey.”

So carry on world leaders, just close your eyes to avoid seeing us beatened, tortured, arrested and killed by the Than Shwe Junta.

Please continue to enjoy the following article I republished from Irrawaddy.

Pro-Democracy Political Prisoners in Poor Health Condition
By Shah Paung
January 16, 2008

At least four detained political prisoners in Burmese prisons are in poor health and need medical attention, according to their family members.

The four political prisoners are Hla Myo Naung and Kyaw Soe of the 88 Generation Students group, who are both in Insein Prison in Rangoon; Win Maw, a pro-democracy activist, also in Insein Prison; and Myint Oo, a committee member of the Magwe Division of the National League for Democracy, who is in Mandalay Prison.

Hla Myo Naung has eye problems and is nearly blind in both eyes, according to a family member. He has had eye problems since October 2007, and was arrested while he was enroute to a Rangoon clinic to have an operation on the left side of one eye.

After he was arrested, authorities performed an operation on one of his eyes, but it was not successful and an eye nerve was damaged.

Family members of both Win Maw and Kyaw Soe said they received medical treatment in prison after they were tortured by the authorities in an interrogation center.

However, Win Maw has now contracted pneumonia. Kyaw Soe suffers from fainting spells. Both men were victims of water torture, according to sources.

A family member of Win Maw said they have not been allowed to visit him for nearly three weeks.

Myint Oo, who also suffers from pneumonia, began receiving medical treatment in a Mandalay prison hospital three days ago, according to family members.

Tate Naing, the secretary of the exiled-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), said that since August 2007, the military government has arrested more than 7,000 people, including pro-democracy activists.  Prisoners are not allowed to receive outside medical treatment.

88 Generation Students leaders Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi also have health problems, say their family members. They were arrested by authorities in August 2007.

According to the AAPP, there are more than 1,850 political prisoners in Burmese prisons.

 

The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VI

 The Golden days of the

Great Shan Empire VI

Country Profile 

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Size:
Lies between 19 and 24 degrees latitude North, and Stretches from 96 to 101 degrees longitude East, covering approximately 64,000 square miles; shares boundaries with Burma, China, Laos, Thailand and the Karenni.

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Topography and Drainage:

Bisected north to south by the Salween River, one of the longest rivers in Asia. It lies at an average of 2,000 feet above sea-level, and the highest point, Mount Loilaeng, is 8,777 feet. It is composed of broad valleys, thickly wooded mountain ranges and rolling hills forming scenic landscapes.

Jong-ang, the biggest waterfall (972 feet) can be found near the town of Kengtong in Mongnai State.

Climate

There are three seasons:

  1. Monsoon (May to October),
  2. Cold season(November to January)
  3. and Summer (February to April).

Annual rainfalls average between 40-60 inches.

The overall temperature is equable throughout the year: not too cold and not too hot.

Vegetation

Pine and evergreen forests can be found in abundance. Teak and various kinds of hardwood cover over 47,210 square miles.

Minerals
The bulk of the so-called Burmese natural resources are in the Shan State: silver, lead, gold, copper, iron, tin, wolfram, tungsten, manganese, nickel, coal, mica, antimony, fluorite, marble, gemstones and even uranium.

Major Operating Mines are:

  • the Mogok (Mognkut in Shan) and Mongsu ruby mines,
  • and the Namtu Bawdwin silver mines discovered by the Chinese traders and renovated in 1904 by none other than Herbert Clerk Hoover (1874-1964) who became the 31st President of the United State.
  • A study of the Indian geological reports made by Drs Cogging and Sondhi in 1993 reveals Northern Shan States as incredible mining potential…
  • As for Southern Shan’s remarkable resources, they can be studied from the reports made by a G.V. Hovson (Shanland’s Grievances, by Htoon Myint of Taunggyi, )

People :

The population of these multi-racial people, described by ancient travelers as the most peace loving people who trust everybody and envy nobody is estimated at 7-10 million, the majority of whom are Tai, of the same ethnological stock as Thai and Laos, plus several other racial groups including Pa-o, Palaung and Wa of Mon-Khmer stock; and Kachin, Akha and Lahu of the Tibeto-Burman stock.

All in all, it’s various indigenous races have lived harmoniously together for centuries. This fact is supported by the political analyst Josef Silverstein, who say’s:

“Although the Shans dominated the people in the area both politically and numerically, they never assimilated the minorities; as a result, cultural pluralism existed through out the Shan States”. (Politics in the Shan State, The Question of Secession from the Union of Burma, 1958, by J. Silverstein).

The Shan’s stand on the racial question is best described by Sao Shwe Thaike, who in his capacity as the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly,

countered the objection that Muslims could not be considered as being indigenous by saying :

“Muslims of the Arakan certainly belong to one of the indigenous races of Burma. If they do not belong to the indigenous races, we also cannot be taken as indigenous races.”

Culture:

Shan is still the first language of the majority, though due to 60 years under the British Protectorate and 40 years under Burmese neo-colonialism, usage of English and Burmese has become fairly common.

As for attire, Shan men, unlike the Burmese, who wear longyis or long skirts, don long baggy trousers. Theravada Buddhism is the pre-eminent faith, and perhaps due to this tolerant religion, Hinduism, Christianity, Islamism and even animisms flourish in this land.

Agriculture:

Primarily a self-sufficient agricultural economy, being blessed with fertile soil, it produces rice, tea, cheroot leaves, tobacco, potatoes, oranges, lemon, pears, and opium.

Cattle-and horse-breeding is also a common sight in low grasslands. Added to the fact that it is rich in mineral resources and abundant in teak timber, there is no reason why the Shan State could not become one of the richest and most economically dynamic countries in Southeast Asia, given a favorable political climate. 

Shan States is a beautiful and fertile land, with green hills and mist-covered mountains. 

Shans are on the whole, good natured gentle, independent people.

Shan States have a diverse mix of ethnic groups; Tai Yai, Tai Khurn, Tai Lui or Tai Neir, Tai Keiy, Pa-O or Daung Su, Daung Yoe, Palaung, Kachin, Dai Nawng or in Burmese Intha, Danu, Lisu, Lahu, Wa, Kaw, Padaung, as well as Chinese, Indians, Burmans and others. 

The Shans are the most widely scattered of the ethnic people in Myanmar and they can be found in every part of the country.

Their Mans (villages), Mongs (city-states) and settlements stretch from the northernmost region of Hkamti Long down to Tharrawaddy and then to southern Taninthayi (Tenasserim) and from the tip of Kengtung in the east to Hsawng Hsup, Kabaw valley and Ta-mu in the west.

In central Myanmar many Shan settlements can be found around Ava, Pinya, Sagaing, Toungoo, Pyinmana and Pyi (Prome). 

Now-a-days, Shan people are spread around the world, many having left Burma to escape the persecution and brutality of the SPDC, many to study overseas. 

Shans live overseas in Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Europe, Taiwan, China, Japan and elsewhere.  Many overseas groups are actively campaigning for freedom in Shan States and Burma. 

Until recently many groups worked almost independently.  In recent years the more widespread use of e-mail and internet technology means that overseas Shan groups can communicate more easily with one another, sharing ideas, discussing campaigns and global change.

Shans feel immensely sad that their beautiful homeland has been ravaged and abused by SPDC, and because they have deep love for their motherland, they feel deeply bereft and betrayed.

sao.jpg

Two Soa Hso Kham Pha is the eldest son of the late Last year Soa Hso Kham Pha, also known as Tiger Yawnghwe, founded the Interim Shan Government with the cooperation of a group of Shan elders. Recently the ISG has established a freedom fighting force called Shan State Army (Central) with thousands of troops to fight against the neo-fascist military regime in Burma.  

List of Shan state rulers

 Read more in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.The Shan State of Burma (Myanmar) was once made up of a large number of traditional monarchies or fiefdoms. Three ranks of chiefs where recognized by the Burmese king and later by the British administration. These ranks were Saopha or Chaofa (Shan for king or chieftain) or Sawbwa in Burmese, Myosa (”duke” or chief of town), and Ngwegunhmu (silver revenue chief).

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Contents

1 Shan states

  1. 1.1 Hierarchy and Precedence

  2. 1.2 Baw (Maw)

  3. 1.3 Hopong (Hopon)

  4. 1.4 Hsahtung (Thaton)

  5. 1.5 Hsamönghkam (Thamaingkan)

  6. 1.6 Hsawnghsup (Thaungdut)

  7. 1.7 Hsenwi (Theinni)

    1. 1.7.1 North Hsenwi

    2. 1.7.2 South Hsenwi

  8. 1.8 Hsihkip (Thigyit)

  9. 1.9 Hsipaw (Thibaw)

  10. 1.10 Kehsi Mangam (Kyithi Bansan)

  11. 1.11 Kengcheng (Kyaingchaing)

  12. 1.12 Kenghkam (Kyaingkan)

  13. 1.13 Kenglön (Kyainglon)

  14. 1.14 Kengtung (Kyaingtong)

  15. 1.15 Kokang

  16. 1.16 Kyon

  17. 1.17 Kyawkku Hsiwan (Kyaukku)

  18. 1.18 Laihka (Lègya)

  19. 1.19 Lawksawk (Yatsauk)

  20. 1.20 Loi-ai (Lwe-e)

  21. 1.21 Loilong (Lwelong)

  22. 1.22 Loimaw (Lwemaw)

  23. 1.23 Mawkmai

  24. 1.24 Manglon

  25. 1.25 Monghsu

  26. 1.26 Mawkmai (Maukme)

  27. 1.27 Mawnang (Bawnin)

  28. 1.28 Mawsön (Bawzaing)

  29. 1.29 Möngkawng (Mogaung)

  30. 1.30 Mongkung

  31. 1.31 Möngleng (Mohlaing)

  32. 1.32 Mönglong

  33. 1.33 Möngmit (Momeik)

  34. 1.34 Mong Nai (Monè)

  35. 1.35 Mongnawng

  36. 1.36 Mong Pai (Mobye)

  37. 1.37 Mong Pan

  38. 1.38 Mong Pawng (Maing Pun)

  39. 1.39 Möngping (Maingpyin)

  40. 1.40 Möngsit (Maingseik)

  41. 1.41 Möngtung (Maington)

  42. 1.42 Möngyang (Mohnyin)

  43. 1.43 Möngyawng

  44. 1.44 Namhkai (Nanke)

  45. 1.45 Namhkok (Nankok)

  46. 1.46 Namhkom (Nankon)

  47. 1.47 Namtok (Nantok)

  48. 1.48 Namkhok-Nawngwawn

  49. 1.49 Panglawng

  50. 1.50 Pangmi

  51. 1.51 Pangtara (Pindara)

  52. 1.52 Pwehla (Poila)

  53. 1.53 Sakoi

  54. 1.54 Samka

  55. 1.55 Tawngpeng

  56. 1.56 Wanmaw (Bhamo)

  57. 1.57 Wanyin (Banyin)

  58. 1.58 Yawnghwe (Nyaungshwe)

  59. 1.59 Ywangan (Yengan)

  60. 1.60 Bibliography

Shan states

State Area (sq. mi) Classical Name Notes
Sawbwas
Kengtung 12,400 Khemarata Tungaburi
Hsipaw 4,524 Dutawadi
Mongnai 2,717 Saturambha/Nandapwa
Yawnghwe 1,392 Kambawsarata
Tawngpeng 800 Pappatasara
South Hsenwi 2,400 Siwirata or Kawsampi Also known as Mongyai
North Hsenwi 6,330 Siwirata or Kawsampi
Mongmit 3,733 Gandhalarata
Mongpai 730
Lawksawk 2,362 Hansawadi?
Laikha 1,560 Hansawadi
Mawkmai 2,557 Lawkawadi
Mongpan 2,988 Dhannawadi
Mongpawn 366 Rajjawadi
Manglun Jambularata
Kantarawadi 3,015
Samka 314
Mongkung 1,593 Lankawadi
Myosas
Nawngwawn 28 Pokkharawadi Amalgamated with Mong Pawn, 1931
Mongnawng 1,646 Nandawadi
Mongsit
Kehsi-bansam 551
Mawnang Amalgamated with Hsamongkham, 1934
Loilong (Pinlaung) 1,098
Hsahtung 471
Wanyin 219
Hopong 212
Namkhok 108 Amalgamated with Mong Pawn, 1931
Sakoi 82
Mongshu 470 Hansawadi
Kenglun 54 Amalgamated with Kehsh Bansam, 1926
Bawlake 565
Kyetbogyi 700
Hsamongkham 449
Baw 741
Pwela 178
Ngwegunhmus
Yengan (Ywangan) 359
Pangtara (Pindaya) 86
Pangmi 30
Loi-ai 156 Amalgamated with Hsamongkham, 1930
Kyaukku 76 Amalgamated with Pwela, 1928
Loimaw 48 Amalgamated with Yawnghwe, 1928
Kyone 24
Namtok 14 Amalgamated with Loilong, 1931

    Chinese provinces with the name Shan

  1. Shan is another name of the Dai, an ethnic group in China.

  2. Shan, an abbreviation for the Shaanxi province of the People’s Republic of China

  3. Shan, or Shan county, also refers a county in Shandong province of PRC

  4. Shan, or Shantou (汕头), a city in Guangdong province of PRC

  5. Shan, name for a region in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

  6. Shan, also refers to the name of ancient Western Regions (西域)

Shan also means hill, peak, or mountain in Chinese languages and Japanese There is also Chinese surname, Shan (surname), is a in Chinese.There is also river name with Shan , in Zhejiang Province of PRC

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Photos of the His Royal Highness Tzao Hso Khan Pha, President and Head of States, Interim Shan Government of the Federated Shan States.The remaining  are Shan Freedom Fighters’ photos, Six photos are copyright of Chris Sinclair mailto:csinclair@pobox.com.Four…….. Four other photos are courtesy of TSY taisamyone@yahoo.co.uk. All are taken from Burma Digest.

Burma’s FIRST PRESIDENT Sao Shwe Thaike’s support of Burmese Muslims

 Burma’s FIRST PRESIDENT

Sao Shwe Thaike’s

support of Burmese Muslims

The Shan’s stand on the racial question is best described by Sao Shwe Thaike, who in his capacity as the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly,

countered the objection that Muslims could not be considered as being indigenous by saying :

“Muslims of the Arakan certainly belong to one of the indigenous races of Burma. If they do not belong to the indigenous races, we also cannot be taken as indigenous races.”

So shut up ILLEGAL SPDC GENERALS.

Just look at the another Greatest leader’s view on Muslims and other religious minorities_

General Aung San’s Acceptance of migrants as brethren

“I want to address the Indians and Chinese residing in this country.

  • We have no bitterness, no ill will for them,
  • or for that matter for any race and nationality in the world.
  • If they choose to join us, we will welcome them as our own brethren.
  • The welfare of all people of this country irrespective of race or religion has always been the one purpose that I have set out to fulfill.
  • In fact it is my life’s mission.”

What then constitutes nationalism?

  • The main factor is the having to lead together one common life
  • sharing joys and sorrows,
  • developing common interests
  • and one or more common things like racial or linguistic communities,
  • fostering common traditions of having been and being one
  • which give us a consciousness of oneness and necessity of that oneness.
  • Race, religion, and language are thus by themselves not primary factors which go to the making of a nation
  • but the historic necessity of having to lead common life together that is the pivotal principle of nationality and nationalism.
  • We cannot confine the definition of a nationality to the narrow bounds of race, religion, etc.

  • Nations are extending the rights of their respective communities even to others who may not belong to them except by their mere residence amongst them and their determination to live and be with them.

  • I am glad to know that you (Indians and Chinese residing in Burma ) regard yourselves as nationals of this country.

  • So far as I am concerned, I am perfectly prepared to embrace you as my own brothers and sisters.

  • Every student of social and political science knows very well that such slogans as race, religion, language do not alone constitute nationalism.
  • There are one or more races in almost every country.
  • Nowadays, we have different religions being embraced by members of the same nationality.

  • Nowadays, with the increasing mutual intercourse of nations, there is such a provision in many of the constitutions of the world for naturalization of foreigners.
  • But it is in history that opportunist political leadership taking advantage of the strong national sentiments of the people may try to exploit the nationalism of the people for their selfish individual or group interests.
  • We must be careful of such exploitation of nationalism. For then racial strives and bitterness will be fomented and fostered among us by interested parties in order to divert our attention from the main objective.

  1. I believe in the inherent right of a people to revolt against any tyranny that people may have over them.
  2. History has amply demonstrated the right of a people to its own freedom,
  3. and that once it is denied to them, even in the case of the peoples who belong to the same stock.

Some of them can be read in Bo Gyoke’s speeches.

And I will now present the Burma’s only Democratically elected Prime Minister U Nu’s support of Burmese Muslims. U Nu while requesting to dissolve Bama Muslim Congress, to revoke its membership from AFPFL said_

 

We all are the same Burmese people.

You Burmese Muslims happened to be Burmese of Islamic faith.

The rest of us are Burmese of Buddhist faith.

If Muslims do politics under Bama Muslim Congress, Buddhists , Christians, Hindus etc also wish do set up parties based on their religions.

If we do politics depend or base on religion, our democratic system would be compromised.

So let us work together under AFPFL.

 

Bo Gyoke’s Address to the Anglo-Burmans 

I am glad to know that you regard yourselves as nationals of this country. But if you regard yourselves as nationals of this country, it should not be sufficient by mere verbal declaration; you must identify yourselves in all national activities for national welfare. Let me be perfectly frank with you-your community in the past did not happen to identify yourselves with national activities; on the other hand, you were even frequently on the other side. Now you have to prove that you want to live and to be with the people of this country, not by words but by deeds. So far as I am concerned, I am perfectly prepared to embrace you as my own brothers and sisters. 

 

The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire V

The Golden days of the

Great Shan Empire V

Shans around the world (Tai peoples) 

The Tai or Tai-Kadai ethnicity

The Tai or Tai-Kadai ethnicity refers collectively to the ethnic groups of southern China and Southeast Asia, stretching from_

  • Hainan to eastern India
  • and from southern Sichuan to Laos,
  • Thailand, and parts of Vietnam,

which speak languages in the Tai-Kadai family and share similar traditions and festivals, including Songkran or Thingyan water festival.  

  • Despite never having a unified nation-state of their own,
  • the peoples also have historically shared a vague idea of a Shan or Tai or “Siam” nation, corrupted to Shan in Burma or Assam in India, and most of them self-identified themselves as “Tai”. 

Origin of the Tai Comparative linguistic research seems to indicate that the Tai people were a proto Tai-Kadai speaking culture of southern China, and that they may have originally been of Austronesian descent.

Prior to inhabiting mainland China, the Tai are suspected to have migrated from a homeland on the island of Taiwan where they spoke a dialect of Proto-Austronesian or one of its descendant languages.

After the arrival of Sino-Tibetan speaking ethnic groups from mainland China to the island of Taiwan, the Tai would have then migrated into mainland China, perhaps along the Pearl River, where their language greatly changed in character from the other Austronesian languages under influence of Sino-Tibetan and Hmong-Mien language infusion.

The coming of the Han Chinese to this region of southern China may have prompted the Tai to migrate in mass once again, this time southward over the mountains into Southeast Asia. 

While this theory of the origin of the Tai is currently the leading theory, there is insufficient archaeological evidence to prove or disprove the proposition at this time, and the linguistic evidence alone is not conclusive.

DNA Analysia

  1. However, in further support of the theory, it is believed that the O1 Y-DNA haplogroup is associated with both the Austronesian people and the Tai.
  2. The prevalence of Y-DNA Haplogroup O1 among Austronesian and Tai peoples also suggests a common ancestry with the Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic and Hmong-Mien peoples some 35,000 years ago in China. 
  3. Y-DNA Haplogroup O1 is a subclade of O Y-DNA haplogroup, which itself is a clade of Y-DNA Haplogroup K, a genetic mutation that is believed to have originated 40,000 somewhere between Iran and Central China. 
  4. In addition to the ethnicities previously mentioned, the progenator of Haplogroup K was probably the ancestor of nearly all modern Melanesian people, as well as the Mongols and the Native Americans.
  5. Haplogroup K, in turn, is a clade of Y-DNA Haplogroup F, which is believed to have originated in Northern Africa some 45,000 years ago.
  6. Haplogroup F is believed to be associated with the second major wave of migration out of the African continent.
  7. In addition to the ethnicities previously mentioned, the progenator of Haplogroup F was probably the ancestor of all Indo-Europeans. 

Subdivisions of the Tai Ethnic Group

The exact structure of the clades of the Tai ethnicity are a topic of present debate among linguists and other social scientists.

There is only a general consensus as to the existence of the following distinct groups: 

  1. the nuclear Tai peoples of China and much of Southeast Asia,
  2. including most notably the  Thai, Lao, Isan, Shan and Zhuang
  3. the Li people of China (also known as the Hlai people)
  4. the Kadai peoples of China and Vietnam (also known as the Geyan peoples)
  5. the Kam-Sui peoples (which may or not include the Biao people)
  6. the Saek people of Laos and Thailand
  7. the Biao people of China  

Other Tai-Kadai speaking ethnic groups of non-Tai ethnic descent 

There is an ethnic group called the Lakkia in the Guangxi Province of China (Tai Lakka in neighboring portions of Vietnam) which is ethnically of Yao descent whose members speak a Tai-Kadai language called Lakkia. These Yao were likely in an area dominated by Tai speakers and assimilated an early Tai-Kadai language (possibly the language of the ancestors of the Biao people).

The Lingao people in the Hainan Province of China speak a Tai-Kadai language called Lincheng, although the ethnicity of the Lingao traces back to the Han nationality.

Geographic Distribution 

  1. The Tai have historically resided in China, India and continental Southeast Asia since the early Tai expansion period.
  2. Their primary geographic distribution in those countries is roughly in the shape of an arc extending from_
  3. northeastern India through southern China and down to Southeast Asia.
  4. Recently Tai migrated to Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina and North America as well.
  5. Greatest ethnic diversity within the Tai occurs in China. 
  6. Nuclear Tai peoples throughout China, India and Southeast Asia 

Further information:

  • Tai ethnic groups in China
  • Tai ethnic groups in Southeast Asia
  • and Tai ethnic groups in India

Li people

The Li reside primarily, if not completely, within the Hainan Province of China. 

Kadai peoples

The Kadai peoples are clustered in the Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan and Hainan Provinces of China, as well as the Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Lao Cai and Son La Provinces of Vietnam.

Kam-Sui peoples

The Kam-Sui peoples are clustered in China as well as neighboring portions of northern Laos and Vietnam.

Saek people

The center of the Saek population is the Mekong River in central Laos. A smaller Saek community makes its home in the Isan region of northeast Thailand, near the border with Laos. 

Biao people

The Biao people are clustered in the Guangdong Province of China.

Lakkia people

The Lakkia are an ethnic group clustered in the Guangxi Province of China and neighboring portions of Vietnam, whose members are of Yao descent, but speak a Tai-Kadai language called Lakkia.

These Yao were likely in an area dominated by Tai speakers and assimilated an early Tai-Kadai language (possibly the language of the ancestors of the Biao people). 

Lingao people

The Lingao people are an ethnic group clustered in the Hainan Province of China who speak a Tai-Kadai language called Lincheng.

They are categorized as Han Chinese under China’s system of ethnic classification. 

Other Tai populations throughout Asia

There is a large Shan community within Sri Lanka which settled in Sri Lanka from mainland India.

In other parts of Asia, substantial Thai communities can be found in Japan, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

 Tai of North America

The United States is home to a significant population of Thai, Lao, Tai Kao, Isan, Lu, Phutai, Tai Dam, Northern Thai, Southern Thai, Tay and Shan people.

There are a significant number of Thai and Lao people living in Canada as well. 

Tai of Europe

The most significant communities of Tai peoples in Europe are in_

  1. the Lao communities of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland,
  2. the Isan communities of the United Kingdom and Iceland,
  3. the Thai communities of Finland, Iceland and Norway,
  4. the Tai Dam and Tay communities of France,
  5. and the Southern Thai community of the United Kingdom. 

Thai of Oceania

There is a sizable Thai community in Australia, as well as a Northeastern Thai community in New Zealand 

Lao of Argentina

In recent times, large numbers of Lao have migrated to Argentina 

Common CultureLanguage 

The languages spoken by the Tai people are referred to as the Tai-Kadai language family.

The most widely spoken of the Tai-Kadai languages are_

  1. the Tai languages, including Thai, the national language of Thailand,
  2. Lao or Laotian, the national language of Laos,
  3. Burma‘s Shan language,
  4. and Zhuang, a group of languages of southern China.

These languages are tonal languages,

  • meaning variations in tone of a word can change that word’s meaning. 

Festivals 

The Tai throughout Asia celebrate a number of common festivals, including a holiday known as Songkran, which originally marked the vernal equinox. 

Thailand

The Tai migration from the northern mountains into Thailand and Laos was a slow process, with the Tai generally remaining near to the mountainous regions within the region, where they were able to use their specialized agricultural knowledge relating to the use of mountain water resources for rice production.

The earliest Tai settlements in Thailand were along the river valleys in along the northern border of the country. Eventually, the Tai settled the central plains of Thailand (which were covered with dense rainforest) and displaced and inter-bred with the pre-existing Austro-Asiatic population.

The languages and culture of the Tai eventually came to dominate the regions of both modern-day Laos and Thailand.

In more recent times, many of the Tai tribes of Laos also migrated west across the border establishing communities in Thailand. The Laotian Tai ethnic groups, often referred to as the Lao), are largely clustered in the Isan region of Thailand.

The coming of the Han Chinese to this region of southern China may have prompted the Tai to migrate in mass once again, this time southward over the mountains of southern China into Southeast Asia via the mountains of Burma and Laos to the north of Thailand.

It is believed that the Tai ethnic groups began migrating southward from China and into Southeast Asia during the first millennium A.D.

Tai ethnic fusion

Over the years, the Tai intermarried and absorbed many of the other populations who co-inhabited and/or politically occupied the region, particularly populations of Mon-Khmer, Burmese, and Chinese descent.

This fusion of ethnicity has led to considerable genetic diversity in the modern Thai people, and has resulted in a Tai population significantly different in culture, language and physical appearance from the Tai ethnic groups who remained in China.

In addition, many of the individual Tai ethnic groups have merged under a common Thai identity, and have adopted a nationalistic view of their culture. 

Individual Tai ethnic groups in Thailand

There are presently upwards of 30 distinct Tai ethnic groups within Thailand, making up nearly 85% of the nation’s population. The genetic stratification of the ethnic clades of the Tai ethnicity is a topic of present debate among linguists and other social scientists.

The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire IV

The Golden days of the

Great Shan Empire IV

The date 7th February 1947 is a defining moment in the record of the Shan history as a modern nation.

On that day, Shan princes and the people’s representatives of the Shan States demonstrated their newfound unity to declare it a “national day” which were followed by the resolutions of “Shan National Anthem”, “Shan National Flag” and the formation of “Shan State Council” on the 11th and 15th of February, 1947 respectively.

The people of Shan States and leaders decided in this very year later at Panglong, on the 12th of February, to join with U Aung San and the AFPFL (Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League) and leaders of other nationalities, to live together under one flag as co-independent and equal nations. This marks the birth of a nation-state now known as “Union of Burma”.

National flag

  1. The design of the national flag is as sanctioned at the Panglong Treaty conference in 1947.
  2. The size of the flag is ( 5ft. x 3ft)
  3. Diameter of the Moon is (1. ½ ft)
  4. The breath of the three colors: yellow, green and reddish (1 ft) each.

Example

 

shanstateflag.png

The meaning of the color:

  1. yellow is religion
  2. green is forest, and rich in natural resources and peace
  3. red is  bravery,
  4. white is purity

Saopha-loong, Soa Shwe Thaike was the first President of the Independent Burma. When Burma fell under military dictatorship, Soa Shwe Thaike was put into jail by the military regime, and later died in jail under suspicious circumstances.

Failed Cohabitation

  • The experiment to living together in harmony within the Union of Burma has been a disaster.
  • In 1962, the General Ne Win led Burmese military sized state power in a coup and declared the Union Constitution abolished.
  • In so doing, the Burmese terminated the only existing legal bond between them and the other ethnic nationalities.
  • So much time has gone by since February 7 1947…
  • A lot of changes have occurred, and many of them have been very painful and unfair. 
  • The leaders of Burma from Prime Minister U Nu in 1948, to General Ne Win in 1962, to General Than Shwe (now), have missed the opportunity_ 
    •  
      • to build a peaceful and prosperous nation based on
      • mutual respect,
      • understanding
      • and cooperation.
  • The problem that exist is not ethic “minority” rights versus the “majority” Burmese rights but rather of equality of rights for all.
  • The 1948 Union of Burma was understood by us to be a federal  union of equals.
  • And though the intent of the 1948 Constitution was federal, in rushing it through the Constituent Assembly by the AFPFL [Fa-sa-pa-la], the federal Union  in practice became unitary. 
  • We during 1958-62 tried to institute constitutional reforms in the Union Parliament towards a more equitable federal system as envisaged by the 1947 Panglong Agreement.
  • Ne Win staged his military coup and he and his successor Burmese military troops in Shan country raped, murdered & tortured to oppress, suppress and intimidate.
  • “Since then, Shan State has been treated as a de facto colony and occupied territory by the Burmese army.
  • Its forced assimilation and Burmanization policies to subdue our national identity have devastated the Shan homeland and make the people homeless and refugees.

Looking at the contemporary situation, one could only term the Shan nation as a downtrodden and battered one, reeling under the occupation of the oppressive Burmese military regime.

Gross human rights violations, genocide and cultural genocide, population transfer designed to make the Shan a minority in their homestead, and robbing them of their birthright sovereignty and self-determination are glaring injustice, which push the Shan into the category of sub-human or slaves, especially in the eyes of their occupiers.    

But even under such circumstances and after more than four decades of brutal suppression and occupation, the Shan sense of “national identity” and the aspiration to be the master of their own faith have not diminish but have grown stronger.

  • The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy’s (SNLD) victory in 1990 nation-wide election in the whole Shan State;
  • the continued political activities of the Shan State Army North within the limited political space provided by the Burmese military junta;
  • the active armed resistance of the Shan State Army South,
  • together with the bulk of Shan State National Army;
  • and the highly self-conscious Shan civil societies in keeping the national identity alive under intense pressure of the Burmese military junta; are indications of a nation, which refuses to be cowed.
  • the mainstream Shan organizations are endorsing the notion to rebuild a new Federal Union – together with all the other ethnic nationalities, Burman included

Practically, the Shan are faced with a dilemma to choose between secession and genuine federalism. But it is also important to note that the Federal Proposal of 1961, before the military coup,

  • is the brainchild of the Shan leadership at that time,
  • which was aimed at changing the Burman dominated unitary system into a genuine federal structure
  • with equal status for all ethnic nationalities.
  • All non-Burman ethnic groups endorse this as a balanced and acceptable solution until today.
  • Meanwhile, this proposed arrangement also find acceptance among most of the Burman opposition camps as a way to resolve the conflict as a whole.

This is perhaps lowering the aspiration to a certain degree but nevertheless, a pragmatic approach and in line with the international mood. But this is not to say that the global trend will stay forever in favor of status quo. The people concerned would eventually adjust their needs and value system, according to the prevailing international norm and structure of the time.    

Finally, if the Shan wants to be heard and advance their aspirations, they would need to seriously think globally and act locally.

  • It would need to sell the idea
  • that it is part and parcel of a viable force,
  • in collaboration with all non-Burman ethnic nationalities
  • and Burman opposition groups,
  • to replace the illegitimate military junta.
  • To do this, “broad coalition-building” among all the opposition is essential,
  • even those within the rank of the enemies, who are ready to reform, embrace justice, equality and democracy should not be neglected.
  • The Shan cannot win this fight alone
  • and it is crucial that the “multi-pronged” approach is employed,
  • coupled with the motto of “diverse actions, common goal”, as urged time and again by the late Chao Tzang Yawnghwe.

If we can bring about change now, in twenty years, Burma can still be a peaceful and prosperous country.

“Yugoslavia did break up into its components parts. The Shan States are larger both in population then Cambodia for instance and larger in area than some 24 States of the US and 20 or so Nation-States in Europe.

“I support all ethnic groups’ rights to have their own federal states, probably in US style or Canadian style. I understand that Quebac Province in Canada is an autonomic federal state. Shan state can be like that.

I never believe that “total separation of Union of Burma/Myanmar into a large number of totally separated & independent but very small tiny little countries” might be a wise decision.”

(From the Dialogue with a Shan Leader“_ Interview with Tiger Yawnghwe )

To understand the History of Shans, we need to review or revised the brief history of Burma (Pagan) 1044.

The brief history of Burma (Pagan) 1044

Anawrattha (d. 1077) seized royal power at Pagan and made it the political, religious, and cultural center of Burma; the Burmese written language was developed and Buddhist scriptures translated;

  • architectural monuments followed the inspiration of Ceylon and southern India.
  • In 1057, conquest of Thaton, Mon kingdom, which was in maritime contact with Ceylon and the Indian subcontinent and was a center for Buddhism as well as overseas trade.
  • Mon had a strong cultural influence at Pagan.
  • In 1060s-1070s, Anawrata initiated communication and exchanges with Vijayabahu I, Ceylon’s ruler (1055-1110), including the sharing of Pali Buddhist texts and monks.  

Rule of Kyanzittha, (1084-1112 )best known for his _

  • synthesis of various cultural developments
  • and the process of assimilation of different ethnic groups that took place during his reign.
  • He created a distinctive Burman style.  
  • In 1106, a Burmese embassy at the Sung capital in China was received as from a fully sovereign state.    

Pagan disintegrated into smaller states in ( 1287 )_

  • Following the rejection of Mongol demands for tribute in 1271
  • and later, Burmese raids into Yünnan,
  • and the death of Narathihapate (who ruled 1254-87),
  • Mongol forces looted Pagan and destroyed its power.
  • The invasion of Shan tribes, forced southward by the Mongols, led to the division of Burma into a number of petty states.

The chief states among them being_

  • Toungoo (established 1280),
  • Pegu in southern Burma,
  • and Ava in the middle and lower Irrawaddy Valley (established as capital 1365).

After the collapse of Pagan authority, Burma was divided.

Sagaing had been established as a capital, but later Sagaing fell to the Shan, the court moved across the river to Ava.

  1. Burmese Ava Dynasty (1364-527) was eventually established at the city of Ava by 1364.
  2. The kings of Ava set about restoring Burmese supremacy, which had disintegrated after the collapse of Pagan to the Mongol invasion under Kublai Khan that ended the First Burmese Empire founded by King Anawrattha in 1057.
  3. The kingdom lacked easily defendable borders, however, and was overrun by the Shan in 1527.
  4. There were repeated Shan/Tai raids on the capital of Ava and Ava sent military northwards to attack Tai fiefdoms such as Mong Mao.
  5. The Kingdom of Ava was involved in continuous warfare with Tai (Shan) princelings to the north on the frontier with Yunnan.
  6. The Ming dynasty that ruled China from the late fourteenth century often tried unsuccessfully to put an end to this warfare through traditional Chinese diplomacy.
  7. Ava occasionally became involved in the warfare between the Ming and Tai in Yunnan such as in the Luchuan-Pingmian Campaigns (1436-49).

Toungoo Dynasty  

King Mingyinyo founded the First Toungoo Dynasty (1486-1599) at Toungoo, south of Ava, towards the end of the Ava dynasty.

  1. After the conquest of Ava by the Shan invaders in 1527 many Burmans migrated to Toungoo which became a new center for Burmese rule.
  2. The dynasty conquered the Mohnyin Shan peoples in northern Burma.By this time, the geopolitical situation in Southeast Asia had changed dramatically.
  3. Mingyinyo’s son king Tabinshwehti (1531-50) unified most of Burma.
  4. The Shan gained power in a new kingdom in the North, Ayutthaya (Siam), while the Portuguese had arrived in the south and conquered Malacca.
  5. With the coming of European traders, Burma was once again an important trading centre, and Tabinshwehti moved his capital to Pegu due to its strategic position for commerce. Tabinshwehti was able to gain control of Lower Burma up to Prome,
  6. but the campaigns he led to the Arakan, Ayutthaya, and Ava in Upper Burma were unsuccessful.
  7. When Tabinshwehti’s brother-in-law, Bayinnaung (1551-81), Tabinshwehti’s brother-in-law, succeeded to the throne he launched a campaign of conquest invading several states, including Manipur (1560) and Ayutthaya (1569).
  8. An energetic leader and effective military commander, he made Toungoo the most powerful state in Southeast Asia,
  9. and extended his borders from Laos to Ayutthaya, near Bangkok.
  10. His wars stretched Myanmar to the limits of its resources, however, and both Manipur and Ayutthaya, which had remained under Myanmar domination for 15 years, were soon independent once again.
  11. Bayinnaung was poised to deliver a final, decisive assault on the kingdom of Arakan when he died in 1581.

 The Toungoo rulers withdrew from southern Burma and founded a second dynasty at Ava as the Restored Toungoo Dynasty (1597-1752), because_

  • they Faced with rebellion by several cities
  • and renewed Portuguese incursions

Bayinnaung’s grandson, Anaukpetlun, once again reunited Burma in 1613 and decisively defeated Portuguese attempts to take over Burma.

Encouraged by the French in India, Pegu finally rebelled against Ava, further weakening the state, which fell in 1752.

To further understand the History of Shans, we need to also review or know at least the brief history of   Thailand.

Siam (Thailand)

Early in the 11th century, Dvaravati (See Mainland Southeast Asia) was annexed to Cambodia; Haripunjaya retained its independence.

  • In the 13th century, Haripunjaya was overrun by a migration of Tai, or Shan, peoples from the north.  
  • In the year 1281, Tai leader Mangrai (1239-1317) conquered the kingdom of Haripunjaya at Lamphun. For two decades he fought Mongols who were threatening Tais from the north.
  • He is known as the founder of the kingdom of Lan Na, centered at Chiengmai, with cultural contributions influenced by Buddhist thought.  
  • In the year 1279-98, Ramkamhaeng ruled over the kingdom of Sukothai,
  • which he extended from Vientiane in the east to Pegu in the west.
  • Most important contributions were in areas of literature, sculpture, and religion; these developments strongly influenced Tai (+ Myanmar) cultural attainments as well.  
  • In the year 1350, migration of Tai, or Shan, accelerated by the Mongol conquest of the Tai state of Nan-chao (in modern Yünnan and southern Szechwan) in 1253,
  • led eventually to the suppression of the Khmer kingdoms

and the setting up of the Tai kingdom of Siam, with its capital at Ayuthia, founded by Rama Tiboti.

The early Siamese state was from the first under the influence of both Hinayana Buddhism and Chinese political institutions. The location of the Siamese state at a center of maritime commerce gave it a distinct advantage in its power struggle with Angkor. The ability to_

  • adopt the Angkorian-style administrative skills of the Mons and Khmers,
  • the martial skills of the Tais,
  • and the wealth and commercial skills of the local Chinese merchant communities was its legacy to the Tais’ cultural development.

Toward the end of the 13th century, a form of writing had been invented for the Siamese language.  

Siamese invasion of Cambodia in 1350-1460  finally led to the abandonment of Angkor (1431) and collapse of the Khmer Empire.  

In the year 1371, Siamese embassy at Nanking inaugurated tributary relations with the newly founded Ming dynasty.    

Intermittent friction between Siam and the Tai state of Chiengmai in the northern Menam Valley in 1376-1557 _

  • ended with the destruction of Chiengmai by the Burmese.  
  • During the 14th and 15th centuries, strong Siamese influence was exerted over the disunited states of Burma
  • and the northern part of the Malay Peninsula.

 Siam (Ayutthaya) (Because of this first capital of Thai, Ayuttha, we Burmese called Thais as Yow Da Yar)

Administrative centralization of Siam attributed to efforts of King Trailokanat (r. 1448-88); but most of institutionalized form of government probably resulted from reign of King Naresuen the Great (r. 1590-1605).

  • Under this king, Siam regained its independence from Burma
  • and emerged as most powerful kingdom in mainland Southeast Asia.  
  • Development of overseas trade can be dated as early as 1368. By the early modern period, Siam was a major source for sappanwood and pepper in the Chinese trading network.  
  • Siamese adopted Hinduism along with Theravada Buddhism.
  • Hindu concept of divine kingship,
  • and accompanying rituals, provided important sources of legitimation.

But in Siamese society, the claim to divinity operated without the internal checks characteristic of India, for Brahmans had little influence at the court. This may explain the pronounced aspect of absolutism in Siam.

  • Yet Buddhism was dominant in the cultural system that emerged in the early modern period, particularly in providing signs of legitimation (and delegitimation in the face of popular unrest) for rulers.
  • Royal interaction with sangha (groups of monks) provided especially important occasions for public statements of rulers’ support of Buddhist precepts; nevertheless, Thai rulers closely controlled the sangha through cultural patronage (their support ranged from sponsorship of architecture and sculpture to public processions).  

In 1569, first fall of Ayutthaya to invading Burmese army although_ 

  • In 1538, as a measure of impact of military technology, King Phrachai (r. 1534-46) retained 120 Portuguese to instruct Siamese soldiers in musketry.  
  • In 1550, new fortification style was introduced around the Siamese capital.
  • King Maha Thammarcha (r. 1569-90) also purchased large supplies of foreign cannon.

In 1590, King Naresuen the Great regained independence and utilized political, economic, and military forces to transform fragmented kingdom into relatively centralized state.  

  • Portuguese trading stations were established in the 16th century.
  • Around the beginning of the 17th century large numbers of Japanese were active in Siam in war and trade.
  • In 1602 a Dutch trading post was established at Patani,
  • where the English soon followed, until their withdrawal from Siam in 1623.
  • R. 1656-88 King Narai most energetic in pursuit of trade with foreigners.
  • His curiosity about Persian and French cultures made his court known for its openness.  
  • 1664 By a commercial treaty, the Dutch gained a monopoly of Siamese foreign trade,
  • which was, however, thwarted by French intrigue; a French embassy and military expedition (1685) in turn failed to secure the acceptance of Christianity and French influence and led to 
  • In 1688 a popular revolt that began a period of prolonged civil war. Prompted in part by reaction against Narai’s openness, it became anti-European. European trade languished,
  • But Chinese and Muslim trade continued at a high level to take up the slack.  
  • In 1690s, a dramatic decline in trade with Muslims and Europeans could be measured, although the Chinese trade helped to fill the gap. 

In 1767, Burmese invasion destroyed Ayuthia

  • and compelled temporary acceptance of Burmese rule until 1782,
  • when Rama I founded a new Siamese dynasty, with its capital at Bangkok.
  • Even in period of political anarchy, great cultural activity emerged.
  • Rama issued royal decrees aimed at controlling the sangha and addressing the need to harness the manpower represented by idle monks.

Now the time is ripe to look at the Contemporary Shan State.

Contemporary Shan State

 From the Wikipedia enclyclopedia_

Shan State is a state located in Myanmar (Burma), which takes its name from the Shan people, the majority ethnic group in the Shan State. Shan State comprises 69 townships, including 24 newly-created townships in Special Region 2 (Wa Area). Its capital is Taunggyi. The state is largely rural. Major cities of Shan State are Lashio, Kengtong and Taunggyi.

Contents

  1. Sub states, districts and townships
  2. Geography
  3. Education
  4. Economy
  5. Population History References

Continue to read about the Shan State in the Wikipedia enclyclopedia.

Contemporary Shan Nationals 

From the Wikipedia enclyclopedia_ 

The Shan (Burmese: ; IPA: [ʃán lùmjóʊ]; Chinese: 掸族; pinyin: dǎn zú) are a Tai ethnic group of Southeast Asia. The Shan live primarily in the Shan State of Burma (Myanmar), but also inhabit parts of Mandalay Division, Kachin State, and Kayin State, and in adjacent regions of China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Shan are estimated to number ~6 million; a reliable census has not been taken since 1935. The capital of Shan State is Taunggyi, a small city of about 150,000 people. Other major cities include Thibaw (Hsipaw), Lashio, Kengtong and Tachileik.

The valleys and tableland are inhabited by the Shans, who in language and customs resemble the Thais, Dai, and the Lao. They are largely Buddhists and are mainly engaged in agriculture. Among the Shans live the Bamar, Chinese, and Karens. The hills are inhabited by various peoples, notably the Wa, who are numerous in the north and along the Chinese border.The Palaung People are numerous in the Northern Shan State, in Namkham, Muse, Nampaka, Kut Kai, and Lashio Townships along the Burma China Border and also in the middle of Shan State, in Namsarn, Kyat Mae and Thipal Townships. The population of the Palaung people is over 1 million. Some of the Palaung people in Kalaw and Aung Pan in the Southern Shan State. There is a dwindling population of Anglo-Burmese in major hill stations, such as Kalaw and in Taunggyi, a hold-over from the colonial period.

Contents

  1. Etymology  
  2. Culture
  3. Language
  4.  History List of Shan States and rulers
  5. Politics Independence and exiled government

Etymology

The Shan identify themselves as “Tai”, which means “free men” while “Shan” is a Burmese language term.[1] The Shan share their creation myth with the Lao people and believe their race was founded by Khun Borom the first king to establish Sip Song Pan Na (12 thousand Fields) along the Mekong (Mae Nam Kong).

The Shan people as a whole can be divided into four major groups:

  1. The Tai Yai or “Shan Proper”
  2. The Tai Lue, located in Sipsong Panna (China) and the eastern states
  3. The Tai Khuen, the majority of Keng Tung (Thai:เชียงตุง)
  4. The Tai Neua, mostly in Sipsong Panna(Thai:สิบสองปันนา or สิบสองพันนา).

Culture

The Shan are traditionally wet-rice cultivators, shopkeepers, and artisans. Most Shan are Theravada Buddhists and/or observe their traditional religion, which is related to animist practices.

Language

The Shan language, which is spoken by about 5 or 6 millions is closely related to Thai and Lao, and is part of the family of Tai-Kadai languages. It is spoken in Shan State, some parts of Kachin State, some parts of Sagaing Division in Burma, parts of Yunnan, and Mae Hong Son Province in northwestern Thailand.[2] The two major dialects differ in number of tones: Hsenwi Shan has six tones, while Mongnai Shan has five.[3] Its written script is an adaptation of the Mon script (like Burmese), although several other scripts exist.[3] However, few Shan are literate, and many are bilingual in Burmese.

History

The Tai-Shan people are believed to have migrated from Yunnan in China. The Shan are descendants of the oldest branch of the Tai-Shan, known as Tai Long (Great Tai) or Thai Yai (Big Thai). The Tai-Shan who migrated to the south and now inhabit modern-day Laos and Thailand are known as Tai Noi (or Tai Nyai), while those in parts of northern Thailand and Laos are commonly known as Tai Noi (Little Tai – Lao spoken) [1] The Shan have inhabited the Shan Plateau and other parts of modern-day Myanmar as far back as the 10th century AD. The Shan kingdom of Mong Mao (Muang Mao) existed as early as the 10th century AD but became a Burmese vassal state during the reign of King Anawrahta of Bagan (Pagan)(1044-1077). Note: the Mao people are consider a Shan subgroup.

After the Bagan kingdom fell to the Mongols in 1287, the Tai-Shan people quickly gained power throughout South East Asia, and founded:

  • Lan Xang (Laos)
  • Lanna (Chiang Mai)
  • Ayutthaya (Siam)
  • Assam
  • Ava by Burmanized Shan kings
  • Bago by Monized Shan kings
  • Several Shan states in the Shan hills, Kachin hills, Yunnan and parts of Vietnam.

Many famous Ava and Bago kings of Burmese history were of (partial) Shan descent.

  • The Burmanized Shan kings of Ava fought Monized Shan kings of Bago for control of Ayeyarwady valley.
  • Various Shan states fought Burmanized Shan kings of Ava for the control of Upper Myanmar.
  • The Shan kingdom of Monyin (Mong Yang) defeated the Ava kingdom in 1527, and ruled all of Upper Myanmar until 1555.

Burmese king Bayinnaung (1551-1581) conquered all of the Shan states in 1557. Although the Shan states would become a tributary to Ayeyarwady valley based Burmese kingdoms for many centuries, the Shan Saophas retained a large degree of autonomy and often allied themselves with either ChiangMai, Ayuttaya or Siam.

After the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885, the British gained control of the Shan states and pushed the borders to the mountains, thereby robbing Siam of thousands of square miles of territory.

(The last Burmese king Thibaw was half-Shan.)

Under the British colonial administration, the Shan principalities were administered separately as British protectorates with limited monarchical powers invested in the Shan Saophas.

After World War II, the Shan and other ethnic minority leaders negotiated with the majority Burman leadership at the Panglong Conference, and agreed to gain independence from Britain as part of Union of Burma. The Shan states were given the option to secede after 10 years of independence. The Shan states became Shan State in 1948 as part of the newly independent Burma.

General Ne Win’s coup d’etat overthrew the democratically elected government in 1962, and abolished Shan saopha system. In an effort to extract themselves from under the Burmese thumb, various Shan political organizations have attempted ro reassert Siam’s (Thailand) ancient claim to the Shan States, but without success.

Politics

The Shan have been engaged in an intermittent civil war within Burma for decades. There are two main armed rebel forces operating within Shan State: the Shan State Army/Special Region 3 and Shan State Army/Restoration Council of Shan State. In 2005 the SSNA was effectively abolished after its surrender to the Burmese government, some units joined the SSA/RCSS, which has yet to sign any agreements, and is still engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Burma Army.

During conflicts, the Shan (Thai Yai) are often burned out of their villages and forced to flee into Thailand. There, they are not given refugee status, and often work as undocumented laborers. Whether or not there is an ongoing conflict, the Shan are subject to depredations by the Burmese government; in particular, young men may be impressed into the Burmese Army for indefinite periods, or they may be enslaved to do road work for a number of months – with no wages and no food. The horrific conditions inside Burma have led to a massive exodus of young Shan males to neighboring Thailand, where they typically find work in construction, at daily wages which run about 100-200 baht. However unsatisfactory these conditions may be, all of these refugees are well aware that at least they are being paid for their work, and that every day spent in Thailand is another day that the Burmese government cannot impress or enslave them. Some estimates of Shan refugees in Thailand run as high as two million, an extremely high number when compared with estimates of the total Shan population at some six million.

Independence and Exiled Government

His Royal Highness Prince Hso Khan Fa (sometimes written as Surkhanfa in Thai) of Yawnghwe, lives in exile in Canada. He is campaigning for the government of Burma to respect the traditional culture and indigenous lands of the Shan people, and he works with Shan exiles abroad helping to provide schooling for displaced Shan children whose parents are unable to do so. He hopes to provide Shan children with some training in life skills so they can fend for themselves and their families in the future.

In addition, opinion has been voiced in Shan State and in neighbouring Thailand, and to some extent in farther-reaching exile communities, in favour of the goal of “total independence for Shan State.” This came to a head when, in May 2005, Shan elders in exile declared independence for the Federated Shan States.

The declaration of independence, however, was rejected by most other ethnic minority groups, many Shan living inside Burma, and Burma’s leading opposition party, the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Despite this dissenting opinion, the Burma Army has begun a crackdown on Shan civilians as a result of the declaration, and Shan people have reported an increase in restrictions on their movements, and an escalation in Burma Army raids on Shan villages.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khun_Sa

 

The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire III

The Golden days of the 

Great Shan Empire III

To make it easy for the busy readers who could not give much time to read, I have prepared another version in notes form  below_ 

  1. Shan (also known as Tai) lived independently up north round about 650 B.C. in China at the lower part of the Yangtze River.

  2. Shan’s (also known as Tai) migrated down through the present day Yunnan and desended further down into Burma and settled in the Shan Plateau.

  3. A large group of them made a detour U turn and went up north and climbed the Tibet hills and stayed there forming the Tibeto-Burman ancestors of the whole region. (According to Thailand history books.)

  4. One group continued their journey west, up to the present day Rakhine.

  5. Another group even decided to continue the long march up into the present day north eastern part of India.

  6. One of the group continued south in Burma and settled in lower Burma closely with Mon and  Kayins.

  7. Few of them decided to continue to just stay-put in the present day Yunnan.

  8. One group broke away from all others and decided to go straight southwards and settled in present Thailand.

  9. One of them also broke away from all and moved to the east, settling in present day Lao and Cambodia.

  10. Actually they are a little bit different, some had more of the Chinese blood and some even have mixed blood with Khamars and some even went further and said to be settled in Vietnam.

  11. One of the group, known as Thet mixed the Pyus and their decedents are part of the ancestors of Bamars.

  12. Some of the ethnic groups, who made a detour U turn, went up north, climbs the Tibet hills and later came down and they were known as Kan Yan and formed one of the ancestors of Bama.

  13. At last intermarriage of the groups who were the descendents of Pyu, Kan Yan and Thet give rise to the present day Bama ethnic group.

Note (A) : the long march travelers of Shan came down in different times in batches. Because it happened in the prehistoric times, I have searched and collected data, and made it simple and easy from various references below.

I hereby wish to go into some details of what I had given as a gist above: Shan’s other cousins descended from the same ancestors, now inhabit northeast Assam or Asom in India.

Note (B) : they established the Ahom kingdom in Assam, India, where the Burmese General Maha Bandula’s troops committed_

  • indescribable cruelties

  • and barbarities  as to

  • annihilate something like 2/3 of the population

  • and certainly 1/3 of the men and boys –

  • disemboweling them,

  • eating their flesh

  • and burning them alive in cages

  • to intimidate

  • and suppress the Shan Ahom of Assam, India.

This event so weakened and disorganized the Shan Ahom that by 1839 the kingdom was completely annexed by the British.

Before that from about 1220 – 1812 AD they maintained themselves under one Dynasty, (that of Mong Mao 568-1604 AD when its descendants ruled Hsenwi or Theinni in Burmese).

Indeed the Shan Ahom resisted conquest by the Mughals who had conquered much of India before the British incursion.

Some groups of Shan settled along the way, at  Yunnan in the north east of Burma.

Some mixed blooded with Chinese and Khamar, went to the east and founded the Laos and  Cambodia.

Others went down to the southeast and settled in Thailand. No wonder Thailand was known as Siam or we could even easily understand it is just a slang of Shan.

Shans were  gradually pushed south, at about the beginning of the Christian era by the advancement of the Tar Tars.

About 650 A.D. one group of Shans formed a powerful country at Nan Chao, now known as Yunnan.

Nan Chao Shans were quite powerful and could resist Chinese attempts at conquest until 1253.

During the years 754 to 763 A.D. the Nan Chao Shans extended their rule even up to the upper basin of the Irrawaddy River and came into contact with the Pyu.

Pyu was one of three ancestors who founded our Burma: viz, Pyu, Kan Yan and Thet.

Pyu was then the ruler of the Upper  Burmese Plains.

Some of Shan’s descendents ventured beyond Upper Burma into Lower Burma to mingle and live together with the Mons.

During the heydays of the Nan Chao Shans, some of them had even crossed Upper Burma to reach far west and established the once powerful Ahom Shan Kingdom, in the northeastern part of India, now known as Assam or Assom , as stated above.

Shans had moved into the area now known as the Shan Pyae of Burma in large numbers and settled down and were well established by the time our first Burmese King Anawrahta ascended his throne in 1st century.

Nan Chao  Shans tried desperately to defend their Nan Chao  kingdom from the Chinese attackers, but in 1253 the Nan Chao Kingdom fell.

Some of the Nan Chao Shans, unwilling to live under foreign domination there; move towards the south in strength, to seek freedom in present day Tailand area.

They joined forces with the other Shans, who had already settled in that area, and

  • in 1262 took over Chiang Rai,
  • in 1296 Chiang Mai 
  • and in 1315 took Ayuddhaya, and established their own kingdoms.

In Upper Burma the Shans established the kingdoms of

  • Mo Gaung (Mong Kawng),
  • and Mo Hnyin (Mong Yang),
  • and in the Shweli basin, the Mao Kingdom.

Anawrahta ruled the Pagan for 43 year. He was able to unify the whole Burma under his rule for the first time in history.

During this time he sent his armed soldiers into the Shan’s kingdoms to help ensure the security of his Pagan Kingdom. However, he had no intention of annexing or taking over of the Shan’s kingdoms. He merely wished to defend the low lying plains of his Burma from raids by the Shan’s disgruntled militias.

For this purpose he established a string of fortified towns along the length of the foothills.

Relations between Shan and Burma became friendlier under Anawrahta’s successors , but the Burmese Pagan fell to the attackers from China in 1287 A. D. and was destroyed.

Then in 1312 A. D. one of the groups of Shans took the kingly Title of “Thihathu” and ascended as the Burmese king or throned in Pinya.

The (Mao) Shans, who had established kingdoms in Mo Hnyin, Mo Gaung and the Shweli areas then overran the villages of Pinya and Sagaing in 1364 A.D.

After they had withdrawn, Shan’s from Ava, whose title was Thadominbya, combined Pinya and Sagaing and established a new Kingdom, over which he ruled.

So Shans effectively became Kings in Burma from 1282 A.D. to 1531 A.D.

In 1527 A.D. due to the attacks of the Mo Hnyin Saw Bwa on Ava, the Shan’s and Burmese of the area left their homes and descended southwards towards Toungoo, where they established a new kingdom.

Thohanbwa, the son of the Moehnyin Saw Bwa, who became the King of Ava, was soon assassinated due to his lack of skill in statecraft and administration, and in 1543 A.D. Onbaung Khun Maing succeeded him as the King.

Early Shan Settlements in North Myanmar

The successive conquests achieved by Sao Hsam Long Hpa over the northern territory encouraged greater Shan migration to these new areas and led to further establishment of their Ban-Mong system. Territories which now belong to Kachin State were once under the rule of the Mong Kawng Saohpa and many Shans (affiliated to the Thai-Long ethnic group) can still be found dominating the following Bans and Mongs of the region shown below:

1. Alambo
2. Aungthagon
3. Bilumyohaung or Waing Hpai Kao
4. Bilumyothit or Waing Hpai Mai
5. Gurkhaywa
6. Hopin or Ho-Pang
7. Htantabin or Ban Htan Ton Leo
8. Htopu or Ban Hto Hpu
9. Inbaung or ban Kyapt Naung
10. Ingyigon (old) or Ban Kaung Pao Kao
11. Ingyingon (new) or Ban Kaung Pao Mai
12. Kangon or Ban Kong Naung
13. Kanhla or Ban Naung Ngarm
14. Kayuchaung or Ban Nam Haung Hoi
15. Kondangyi or Ban Kong Khay
16. Kyakyikwin Ban Naung Mo Long
17. Letpandan
18. Lwelaw or Ban Loi Law
19. Mahaung
20. Maing Naung or Mong Naung
21. Mamana
22. Manywet or Ban Ywet
23. Mawhan
24. Mogaung or Mong Kawng
25. Mohnyin or Mong Yang
26. Moknaung
27. Myadaung
28. Myohla
29. Myothitgyi or Waing Mai
30. Nam Khwin
31. Namma
32. Nampoke
33. Namti
34. Nanhaing
35. Nansawlaw
36. Nansun
37. Natgyikon or Ban Hpi Long
38. Natyingya
39. Nyaunggaing
40. Nyaunggon or Ban Kon Nyaung
41. Ohnbaung
42. Pinbaw or Ban Pang Baw
43. Pinhe
44. Pinlon or Ban Panglong
45. Pintha or Ban Pyin Hsa
46. Pwinbusu
47. Sahmaw or Ban Mao Khay
48. Shanzu
49. Shwe-in or Ban Naung Hkam
50. Tagwin
51. Ta-paw
52. Taungbaw or Ban Ho Loi
53. Taungni or Ban Loi Leng
54. Tiggyaingsu
55. Theikwagon
56. Thutegon
57. Yawthit or Ban Mai
58. Yawathikyi or Ban Mai Long
59. Thayetta

In Kamaing Township:
1. Chaungwa or Ban Pak Haung
2. Haungpa or Ban Haung Par
3. Hepan or Haipan
4. Hepu or Haipu
5. Kamaing
6. Lawsun
7. Lepon
8. Letpangon
9. Lonsan or Long San
10. Lonton
11. Lwemun or Loimun
12. Maing Pok or Mong Pok
13. Mapyin
14. Maubin Natlatan
15. Nammun
16. Nanhlaing
17. Nankat
18. Nanya
19. Nyaungbin
20. Sezin
21. Taunghaw

In Myitkyina Township:
1. Akye
2. Ayeindama
3. Baingbin
4. Hokat
5. Katcho or Kat Kiao
6. Khaungpu or Hkaunghpu old
7. Khaungpu or Hkaungpu new
8. Kokma
9. Kwitu
10. Legon
11. Maingmaw or Mong Maw
12. Mainga or Mong Na
13. Male
14. Mangin
15. Mankin Saragatawng
16. Mankin Shewzet
17. Manmakan or Man Mark Karm
18. Manpwa
19. Mintha
20. Myitkyina
21. Nampong
22. Nanhe
23. Namkalan
24. Nankwe
25. Nanpomaw
26. Nanwa
27. Naunghi
28. Naungmun
29. Naungpakat
30. Nyaungbintha
31. Okkyin
32. Pamati
33. Panpa
34. Pidaung
35. Pinlontaw
36. Pinlonyana
37. Rampur
38. Sanga
39. Sangin
40. Sekow
41. Sinbo
42. Sitapur
43. Tahona or Ta Ho Na
44. Taiklon
45. Talawgyi
46. Tasaing
47. Talkon
48. Thagaya
49. Tonpakut
50. Ulauk
51. Wainglon
52. Waingmaw
53. Washaung
54. ZigyunSource:

The Kachin Hill Manual. Rangoon: The Superintendent Government Printing, Union of Burma, 1959. pp. 17-18

Appendix II: Shan Kings in Myanmar

The list of Shan kings who succeeded the kings of Bagan and reigned at Myinsaing and Pinya is:

  1. The three Shan brothers who acquired power after the fall of Bagan and governed the country with equal status from A.D. 1298:
    • Athinhkaya,
    • Yazathinkyan
    • and Thihathu, Their joint reign lasted fourteen years.
  2. Thihathu or Ta-tsi-shin, youngest of the three brothers who made himself king at Pinya in 1312 and reigned for ten years.
  3. Uzana son of Kyawswa (1287-98, deposed king of Bagan) and the adopted son of Thihathu.
  4. Ngasishin Kyawswa (half brother of 3), son of Thihathu, he became king in 1343 and reigned eight years.
  5. Kyawswa-nge (son of 4) became king in 1350 and reigned five years.
  6. Narathu (brother of 5) became king in 1354 and reigned nine years.
  7. Uzana Pyaung (brother of 6) became king in 1364, and was assassinated after three months’ rule by Thadonminbya.

Sagaing Kings

There were seven Shan kings who reigned from 1315 to 1364:

  1. Sawyun or Saoyun, the son of Thihathu or Tai-tsi-shin who also reigned at Myinsaing and Pinya. He became king in 1315 and reigned seven years.
  2. Tarabyagyi (step brother of 1), became king in 1323 and reigned fourteen years.
  3. Shwetaungtet (son of 2), became king in 1336 and reigned three years.
  4. Kyawswa (son of 2), became king in 1340 and reigned ten years.
  5. Nawrahtaminye (brother of 4), became king in 1350 and reigned seven months.
  6. Tarabyange (brother of 5) bcame king in 1350 and reigned three years.
  7. Minbyauk Thiapate (brother-in-law of 6) was driven from Sagaing by a Shan army from the north and murdered by his stepson, Thadonminbya in 1364.

Ava 

Ava, the capital of upper Myanmar for many years, was founded with the help of the Shan chief Thadominbya in 1364.

There were nineteen chiefs of Shan descent who reigned in Ava from 1364 to 1555:

  1. Thadominbya said to be descended from the ancient Shan kings of Takawng or Tagaung on his mother’s side, he was the grandson of Athinhkaya Sawyun, the Shan king of Sagaing. He founded Ava in 1364, became king in the same year and reigned three years.

  2. Nga Nu (usurper), a paramour of Sao Umma, became king in 1368, and reigned only for a few days.

  3. Mingyiswasawke, said to be descended from both the Bagan dynasty and the Shan brothers, became king in 1368 and reigned thirty-five years.

  4. Tarbya or Sinbyushin (eldest son of 3), became king in 1401 but reigned only seven months, being murdered by his attendant.

  5. Nga Nauk Hsan, became king in 1401 and reigned only a few weeks.

  6. Minkhaung (another son of 3) hesitated to accept the throne, but his younger brother Theiddat killed a cousin claimant and made him king. He became king in 1401 and reigned twenty-one years.

  7. Thiathu (son of 6) became king in 1422 and reigned four years. He was murdered at the instigation of Queen Shin Bo Me.

  8. Minhla Ngai (son of 7) king in 1426 and reigned only three months before he was poisoned.

  9. Kalekyetaungnyo (usurper) became king in 1426 but reigned only seven months.

  10. Mohnyithado or Mohnyinmintara, chief of Shan descent who justified his claim to the throne as a descendant of the kings Narapatisithu (1173-1210) and Ngasishin (1343-1350) of Bagan and of the family of the three Shan brothers. He became king in 1427 and reigned thirteen years.

  11. Minrekyawswa (son of 10) became king in 1440 and reigned three years.

  12. Narapati (Thihathu) (brother of 11), became king in 1443 and reigned twenty-six years.

  13. Thihathu or Mahathihathura (son of 12), became king in 1469 and reigned twelve years.

  14. Minhkaung (son of 13), became king in 1481 and reigned twenty-one years.
    15. Shwenankyawshin (son of 14), became king in 1502 and reigned twenty-five years. He was killed by Thohanbwa or Hso Hom Hpa.

  15. Thohanbwa or Hso Hom Hpa, son of Mohyin Saolon who conquered Ava. He became king in 1527 and reigned sixteen years. He was murdered.

  16. Hkonmaing or Hkun Mong, Saohpa of On Baung or Hsipaw and related to Shwenanshin, was elected king of Awa in 1543 and reigned three years.

  17. Mobye (or Mong Pai) Narapati (son of 17), Saohpa of Mong Pai became king in 1546 and reigned six years and abdicated.

  18. Sithukyawhtin, a Shan chief of Salin, seized Ava and became king in 1552, and reigned three years. He was conqured and deposed by Bayinnaung in 1555.

Source: G.E. Harvey. History of Burma, from “The Earliest Time to March 1824, The Beginning of English Conquest”. London: Frank Case and Co. Ltd., 1967. p. 160.

Appendix III:

Shan Kings of Bago

The following is the list of the Shan kings of Bago of the dynasty established by Wareru in 1287:

  1. Wareru, the Shan chief who established the dynasty but had his capital at Madama. He became king in AD 1287 (S 649) and reigned nineteen years.

  2. Khun-lau’ or Tha Na’ran Bya Keit who became king in 1306 and reigned four years.

  3. Dza’u-a’u or Theng-Mha’ing (nephwe of 2), who became king in 1310 and reigned thirteen years.

  4. Dzau-dzip, or Binya-ran-da (brother of 3) who became king in 1323 and reigned seven years.

  5. Binya-e’-la’u (son of 2, Khun-lau and cousin of 4) who became king in 1330 and reigned eighteen years.

  6. Byinya-u or Tseng-Pyu-Sheng (son of 4 and cousin of 5), who restored the ancient capital Bago or Hansawadi. He became king in 1348 and reigned thirty-eight years.

  7. Binya-nwe, or Ra’dza’ Di-rit (son of 6) who became king in 1385 and reigned thirty-eight years.

  8. Binya Dham-ma Ra’-dza (son of 7) who became king in 1423 and reigned three years.

  9. Binya-Ra’n-kit (brother of who became king in 1426 and reigned twenty years.

  10. Binya-Wa-ru (nephew of 9) who became king in 1446 and reigned four years.

  11. Binya Keng (cousin of 10) who became king in 1450 and reigned three years.

  12. Mhau-dau (cousin of 11) who became king in 1453 and reigned seven months.

  13. Queen Sheng Tsau Bu or Binya-dau’ who became queen in 1453 and reigned seven years.

  14. Dham-ma Dze-di (cousin of 13) who became king in 1460 and reigned thirty-one years. He did not belong to the royal family.

  15. Binya Ran’ (son of 14 and son-in-law of 13) who became king in 1491 and reigned thirty-five years.

  16. Ta-ka’-rwut-bi (son of 15) who became king in 1526 and reigned fourteen years.He was conquered and deposed by Tabeng-Shweti, king of Taungoo in 1540.

Source: Sir Arthur P. Phayre. History of Burma, Including Burma Proper, Taungu, Tenasserim and Arakan. London: 1883. pp. 290-291. 

Meanwhile from Toungoo Kingdom, in the year 1555 A.D. King Bayinnaung succeeded in unifying the whole of Burma for the second time in our history.

He was able to “persuade’ the Shan Saw Bwa to submit his suzerainty. In accordance with the traditions of the earlier Burmese Kings, the administrative setup was that the Shan Saw Bwas who submitted to the suzerainty of the Burmese King retained full powers to rule over their kingdom.

This relationship was based on mutual respect.The military forces of Burma included contingents of Shan soldiers who proved their valour on the foreign battlefields.

That is how Shan and Burmese descendents had lived closely together, like brethren, till the fall of Upper Burma in 1886.

Then the Shan Saw Bwas, with the intention of restoring freedom to Burma and to the Shan State, chose the Burmese Princes Limbin and Saw Yan Naing to head their alliance, and started waging war against the colonialism.

We could see in the above mentioned era how Shans  migrated and grew mightier.

We should study how political, economical, social and philosophical patterns changed according to their coming.

To sum up again, after the fall of Bagan , Ava kingdom was built in 1364 M.E.

Subsequently, until Pinya, Sagaing and Myinsaing  eras, the power of Bagan collapsed and rebellious small kingdoms spread.

When the invading conqueror Shans came across Burmese, they accepted the Buddhist cultures and Burmese customs.

In this case, the saying, ‘conquerors are conquered’ need to be explained thoroughly.

Anyway no one is sure the source of Shan ancestors’ conversion to Buddhism. We should consider the fact that Shans had very good relations with Mon and Khamars. Shans could even get the Buddhism directly from them. (This is my personal idea only without reference. So I may be wrong. Please do not take this fact seriously as I am a non Buddhist and not an historian) We could see that Shan Pagodas look more like Thai and Cambodia Pagodas than our Burmese.

This episode of the history, Shans’ conquering over the  Burma, I have just highlighted is regarded by Myanmar governments as a taboo.  Our successive Bama governments’ history text books just used to mention one line only and always skipped forward to the glorious Burmese warrior Toungoo King Baying Naung who successfully established the 2nd Bama Empire.  

The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire II

The Golden days of the 

Great Shan Empire II

 

Migration and Settlement of Tai Ethnic Groups

ethic_dong_liping_guizhou_china.jpg

Ethic Dong Shan in China

Like many other ethnic peoples of Burma, the Shans or Tai once had their homeland in China.

s-b-1.png

Shan Home land

Some historians believe that the Tai people originally were from the north of the Yellow River (Huang Ho), occupying the region known as Hebei and Shanxi round about 2515 B.C.

china-manpovillage.jpg

China Shan Manpo village

The Chinese annals also mention Tai settlements in the middle basin of the Yellow River in 850 B.C.

They made their homeland there for a long time, establishing small feudal kingdoms and spreading their “Na” culture to neighboring regions.

s-b-2.png

Shans’ Migration or long march

But new emigrants coming from Central Asia later impelled the Tai and other ethnic groups to move southwards to new fertile areas between the Yellow and Yangtze (Chang Jiang) rivers covering the present provinces of Hunan and Hubei.

akha_laos_11_03c.jpg

Lao Shans
With the Yellow River in the north and the Yangtze River in the south as their natural boundaries, the Tai and other ethnic peoples felt safe, and rebuilt their feudal kingdoms and erected their “Na” which lasted for several centuries.

s-b-4.png

Migration route

However, another wave of emigrants from the north, which became powerful and aggressive, put new pressure on the Tai ethnic group. With inter-state rivalries and an inability to establish unity, the Tai and ethnic people of the south were unable to resist the intrusion from the north, and split up into numerous groups.

s-b-5.png

Shans’ settlement area

Some took refuge in the neighboring hills and valleys of Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan, where they picked up new local names which concealed their identity and turned themselves into little-known hill tribes of the region, remaining obscure for centuries.

laos_provinces.png

Laos

lao-man.jpg

Lao Shan man playing music

Other Tai groups who were displaced by the new immigrants migrated into Honan to Hubei, and crossing the Yangtze River, fanned out in different directions to settle in Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Burma/Myanmar and Assam.

thailand_map_cia.png

China, Burma, Thai, Lao and Vietnam

We wish to trace the routes of migration of the Tai people and their areas of settlement in Burma.

The Tai in Burma/Myanmar are known_

  • to the Burmese people as Shan,
  • to Kachins, A-ch’angs, Zis
  • and La-shis as Sam,
  • to the Ma-ru as Sen,
  • to the Palaung as Tsen,
  • to the Wa as Shem
  • and to the Talaing or Mon as Sem
  • and to the Yunnanese as Pai-Yi.
  • But they themselves like to be called “Tai.”

khmer_woman_fields.jpg

Shan Lao woman farmer

The Shans are the most widespread ethnic people in Burma/Myanmar.

  • Their Baan or Maans (villages),
  • Mongs (city-states) and settlements stretch from the
  • northernmost region of Hkamti Long
  • down to Taninthayi in the south,
  • and from the eastern tip of Kengtung to
  • Hsawng Hsup and Ta-mu to the west.
  • In central Myanmar their settlements and communities can be found around Ava, Pinya, Sagaing, Taungoo, Phyu, Pyinmana and Pyay.

palaung_woman_kalaw_shan_myanmar.jpg

Kalaw Shan lady

The migration of the Shans into Burma/Myanmar started 2000 years ago citing three reasons:

  • 1. first, their restless character which prompted them to find new lands to settle;
  • 2. second, their warlike character;
  • 3. and third, the pressure of new invasions from the north, such as those of A.D. 78 and A.D. 1253.

Most Shan chronicles say that a big wave of Shan migration took place in the 6th century A.D..

s-b-3.png

Looking over the shoulder of Shans’ area

The Shans moving from southern Yunnan into the Nam Mao valley and adjacent regions and establishing many Mongs, among them_

  • Bhamo,
  • Mong Mit,
  • Hsipaw,
  • and Hsenwi.

250px-shanfields.jpg

Hsipaw

They spread out over the whole of the Shan State, establishing more Mongs and Kengs (towns) like_

  • Mong Naung, Mong Nang, Mong Hsu, Mong Kung, Mong Keshi-Mansam, Mong Laihka, Mong Nai, Mong Pan, Mong Maukmai, Mong Yawnghwe, Mong Sakoi, Mong Sam Kar, Mong Hsamongkham, Mong Lawk Sawk, Mong Pai, Keng Tawng, Keng Hkam and Keng Rom.
  • From Mong Kawng, Mong Yang, Waing Hso, Kat Hsa, the Shans moved northwards to the Hkamti Long area where they established the eight Mongs of the Khamti Shans: Lokhun, Mansi, Lon Kyein, Manse-Hkun, Mannu, Langdao, Mong Yak and Langnu.
  • Moving to the west, they then occupied and established new Mongs like Hsawng Hsup, Sinkaling Hkamti, Mong Kale, Mong Leng (Mohling), Maing Kaing or Mong Kang, Hu-Kawng, Maw Leik, Mong Nyaung, Homalin, Phaungbyin, Hkam-Pat and Ta-Mu, between the Ayeyarwaddy and the Chindwin, along the Uyu river and even up to Manipur and Assam.

The Shan immigrants of north and northeastern Myanmar were recognized as the earliest branch of the Tai migration southwards, and they came to be known as Tai Long or Tai Yai, that is, “Great Tai”.

The later branch of the Tai migration to Laos and Thailand were known as Tai Noi or “Little Tai.

that_luang1.jpg

That Luan Lao-Shan pagoda

More migration of Shans into Burma/Myanmar took place when the powerful Shan kingdom of Mong Mao Long was established in the Mao valley.According to the Shan chronicles, the Mao political power reached its height in the 14th century, especially during the reign of the twin brothers Sao Hso Hkan Hpa and Sao Hsam Long Hpa.

250px-shanstatevillage.jpg

Shan village

All the principalities of northern and southern Shan State were united under the leadership of Sao Hso Hkan Hpa.

He also extended his power to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand around about 1350.

For the westward expansion, he assigned the task to his brother Sao Hsam Long Hpa who marched with his army to Mong Kawng which he easily annexed. Mong Kawng became the second capital next to Mong Mao.

Making Mong Kawng his military base, Sao Hsam Long Hpa crossed the Ayarwaddy and Chindwin rivers to annex more new lands which included all the regions of the Kabaw valley, northern Rakhine, Manipur and Assam.

New immigrants were settled into these newly conquered areas.

Some of the followers who preferred to remain in Assam established their feudal communities along the Brahmaputra river and pledged their allegiance to the king of Tai Ahom.

These Shans along the Brahmaputra river split in the course of time into Tai Ahom, Tai Aton, Tai Hkamyang, Tai Phake and Tai Tarong, to be later joined by Tai Hkamti from Burma/Myanmar. They survive to this day, although some have become Hinduized.

salween_watershed.png

Salween River

During the reign of Sao Hsam Long Hpa in Mong Kawng, several Baans and Mongs were established throughout northern Burma/Myanmar.

Each Mong was under the Chief or Saohpa, and there were altogether ninety-nine Saohpas who who pledged their allegiance to Mong Kawng. The ethnic Tai people who came with Sao Hsam Long Hpa to northern Burma/Myanmar called themselves Tai Leng, but were called Shan-Myanmar by others. They became very Myanmarized.

taunggyicity.jpg

Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State

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Hsipaw

The Tai Leng settlements were scattered all over the present-day Kachin State, which at that time was Shan (see Appendix I).

s-b-7.png

Shan State

Those who settled at the northern tip of Burma/Myanmar around Putao came to be known as Tai Khamti.

There were also Tai Long, Tai Mao and Tai Nu settlements in Bhamo, Mong Mauk, Waing Maw, Kat Kiao, Nam Ma, Nam Ti, Mong Kawng, Mong Yang and many other places in north and northeastern Myanmar.

mk_map.gif

The Shans in northern Myanmar were skilled farmers. They brought along with them from Mong Mao Long the art of cultivation and turned the fertile lands of northern Myanmar into Na or rice fields. These Shan farmers concentrated their settlements in places with good soil and fresh water.

palaung_woman.jpg

Shan Palaung

In the Kyaukse area, they improved the land and irrigation system and turned the place into a rice bowl for Bagan.

After the reign of King Narathihapate (1254-87) Bagan became very weak from the effects of the Mongol invasion.

The Three Shan Brothers, Athinkaya, Yazathinkyan and Thihathu who controlled the economic base of Kyaukse area became very powerful and played a leading role in Bagan power politics.

s-b-6.png

For two and a half centuries the Shans established their dynasties and made their power felt over Burma/Myanmar (see Appendix II).

In southern Burma/Myanmar there were several Shan settlements around Thaton, Mawlamyine, Madama and Bago.

Wareru was the most prominent and active Shan local chief. He was the son of a Shan immigrant to Thaton and was born in a village called Doonwun near Thaton. When he grew up he went to Sukhotai and became a stable boy of the king. He was assigned to look after the royal elephants and to lead the elephant troops in times of war. He was also a good soldier and after a few successful campaigns he was promoted to the rank of captain of the guards. He later became acquainted with the king’s daughter, eloped with her and brought her to Thaton. He involved himself in the local politics and later became the governor of Madama in 1281. He next turned his attention to Bago and was able to take it over in 1369, following which he established a dynasty which lasted from 1287 to 1539 (see Appendix III).

During the reign of king Wareru, the Shans from Chiangmai and Thailand moved to Lower Burma/Myanmar.

There they mixed and mingled with the Mons and became good cultivators in the delta area which later became the rice bowl of Southeast Asia.

During the period of the Wareru dynasty, trade and commercial relations developed with European countries, bringing prosperity to Bago, Madama and the Taninthayi coastal region.

Native products such as rubies and other gems of northern Myanmar, lac, ivory, horn, lead, tin, Bago or Madama jars, long peppers, and nyper wine made from dani palm were exchanged with products brought by European merchants such as camphor, pepper, scented wood, Chinese porcelain and velvet.
East of the Nam Kong River or the Salween, there are numerous Shan settlements called Waans and Kengs. The region is shaped like a triangle. Although the Shan immigrants of this area were closely affiliated ethnically to the Tai race, they retained local names such as Hkun, Lu, Lem, Ngio, Yun and Tai Nu. Based upon their Waan-Baan-Keng system the Tai ethnic people of this area established several Mongs and Kengs as their feudal states (see Appendix IV).
Kengtung is the largest of the feudal states in the eastern Shan State. It covers an area of over 12,000 square miles and is bounded by Thailand on the south, China on the north, and Laos on the east. Its inhabitants are mostly Hkun, Lu, Tai Long and many other ethnic groups, among them Yun, Ngio, Tai Nu, Lem, Laotian, Wa, La, Tai Loi, Kaw, Mu-Hso (La Hu), Ako, Li Saw, En, Hsen Hsum, Pyen, Palaung, Kwi (La Hu Chi), Kang, Yao, Hsem, Miao, Mang Tam, Sawn (son) and Thai.
The majority of the Tai Nu people have settlements mostly along the Yunnan- Burma/Myanmar border and the upper part of the Salween River in Yunnan where they had several feudal city states.

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Inside Burma/Myanmar the Tai Nu people live in Bhamo, Myitkyina, Mong Kawng, Mong Yang, Muse, Namhkam, Mong Kung, Laihka and Kengtung area especially in the northeastern part of the region around Mong Lem.
The Shans penetrated deep into Myanmar in the long course of their history, to occupy its plains, hills and valleys and turn wasteland into Na to produce rice either for their own consumption or for trade. They were hardy farmers and food cultivators and adopted a feudal type of administration and a self-sufficient sustainable economy.

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Shan fields

Wherever they migrated they introduced their system of Mong and Keng city-states. They frequently fought among themselves but also formed alliances against common enemies. Endless wars are recorded in their local chronicles. The constant fighting among themselves and against neighboring foes exhausted their strength so that they eventually became very weak. They split and settled so much and so far that it became impossible for them to retain their unity as in the days of the Nanchao and Mong Maw Long.