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SHANLAND’S GRIEVANCES

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A presentation by the Shan Representatives

At the Multi-Nationalities Seminar

Held at the Rangoon City Hall

(September 29, 1957)

U Htoon Myint
U Htoon Myint

FOREWORD FOR SHANLAND’S GRIEVANCES

This translation is a result of second thoughts which occurred after the completion of the preceding booklet – the Secession Issue: To part or together. As the latter’s commentary on Shan grievances was too brief and generalized, making it difficult for outsiders to understand fully why the Shans are “on strike”, I decided this further translation was needed. All thanks are due to my friends who took such time as trouble to edit my miserable English.

Khuensai Jaiyen

July 9, 1982

Re-edited:27 June 2016

*The presentation was prepared by U Htoon Myint Taunggyi—Translator*

Mr. Chairman, Venerable Monks, honored citizens, esteemed Members of Parliament and representatives from fellow nationalities, I offer you my respects and sincere thanks.

I am especially honored and heartened because, firstly, I have the opportunity to present our grievances at this historic seminar, and secondly because I have the opportunity to meet fellow representatives from various States and to enter into close discussion with them. I believe that the rest of the representatives will feel as honored and heartened as I do.

At the same time, I recall the first meeting between us ten years ago. It was at the historic conference attended by the late General Aung San and leaders of various nationalities in Panglong that ended successfully on February 12, 1947. We first met then to secure an enduring unity. I sincerely hope this meeting will further cement the unity that was established there.

Mr. Chairman and representatives from nationalities of common suffering, before we unfold the facts surrounding our present grievances, allow me to present a brief past history of Shanland.

PAST HISTORY

Regrettably, a review of the past finds that the people of Shanland have throughout history been “other people’s slaves.”

During the reign of the Burmese emperors, the Shan princes and princelings were forced to pay tribute in the form of gold and silver garlands and beautiful maidens. Their people consequently became servants and slaves. The Burmese enlisted their services both in wars involving territorial disputes, and in wars of expansion, such as the invasions of Siam, Manipur, etc.

Shanland followed Burma into the British Colonial Empire in the wake of King Thibaw’s forced exile. And when I 1942 Burma was occupied by Japanese fascists, Shanland too was occupied. It was when Shans allied themselves with Burmese comrades to struggle against Japanese fascism that we began to see political awakening in Shanland. There arose among the Shan people an unprecedented aversion to a life of enslavement, a longing for freedom and an urge to determine their own destiny.

However, for a people anxious to achieve freedom, their organization was still weak. In searching for allies, they chose the people of Burma, who were in the same situation. During their over 100-year-long subjuagion by the British the two countries had developed a closeness with respect to economy, religion, culture and tradition. British colonialists had tried to distance the Shans, Kachins, etc. from the Burmese, but nevertheless, the realization had dawned on us that freedom could only be won by unity between the Hill Peoples and the Burmese, rather than by fighting separately.

Leaders of the various national groups therefore met in February 1947 at the Shan town of Panglong to forge unity. One of the Hill Peoples’ worries then was whether the Burmese would turn out to be worse than the British colonialists in terms of political, administrative, economic, cultural and racial discrimination. Frankly, they were not looking forward to the kind of freedom where the Burmese merely replaced the British as Shans’ masters.

For this reason, Bogyoke Aung San had to patiently spend time persuading the various national representatives of the need for unity. The Anti Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) headed by him and other progressive Burmese leaders then agreed to the following points:

  1. The present cooperation shall not affect future cooperation or separation.
  2. Despite agreement to join the Union, the Shans shall reserve the right to secede if the when they choose.
  3. The Shans can still join the Union even thought they shall choose to defer their decision to do so until after the convening of the Constituent Assembly.
  4. Full autonomy for internal affairs.
  5. No prejudice against the customs and traditions of the Shans.

The non-Burmese recognized that nobody could be more magnanimous than this, and they warmly welcomed this fresh stand. They naively trusted Aung San at his word. They thought that other Burmese leaders would also uphold the same lofty ideals. However, today’s grievances in the States prove that our naïve faith in the Burmese leaders was an unpardonable mistake.

The non-Burmese then signed the Panglong Agreement, having joined together to cooperate in overthrowing the British colonialists. Here I would like to point out the following main points in the Agreement:

5.Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas is accepted in principle.

7.Citizens of the Frontier Areas shall enjoy rights and privileges which are regarded as fundamental in democratic countries.

8.The arrangements in the Agreement are without prejudice to the financial autonomy now vested in the Federated Shan States.

Concerning the rights of secession, Bogkyoke Aung San said clearly: “The right of secession must be given, but it is our duty to prove our sincerity so that they don’t wish to leave.”

He had also warned Burmese residents in the Shan States to refrain from the practice of bullying: “Burmese citizens in Shanland, live in fraternity with the Shans! Don’t go in for bullying. Those who are intent upon it shall have to answer to me before anything else!” Such were his clear words.

During the drafting of the Constitution, Shan representatives had vehemently opposed the inclusion of Section 202 in the Chapter dealing with the Right of Secession: “The right of secession shall not be exercised within ten years from the date on which this Constitution comes into operation.”

We opposed it because it was contradictory to the Principle of Federation and in violation of the minority rights.

But Bogyoke Aung San, after explaining both the international and domestic situation at that time, asked to be allowed to implement at least two Five-year Union Development Plans. Only after these plans had been given a chance to work should we be allowed to secede at will if we were still dissatisfied. His words so moved the Shans that they finally agreed to the 10-year condition.

So it was that Shanland joined Burma, and now both have been free from the British colonialist yoke for ten years. It is therefore time to assess what has been gained and what has been lost during the period. I shall do this by making a comparison with the British era with respect to two issues:

  1. Whether or not we have enjoyed equality, and
  2. Whether or not the Shan State has totally and freely enjoyed the right of self-determination.

POLITICAL GRIEVANCES

First of all, allow me to point out the irregularity in the composition of the Chamber of Nationalities, which has caused the Shans to suffer a loss of their democratic rights.

As we all know, there exists in the Union Parliament two component houses, namely the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) and the Chamber of Nationalities (the Upper House). As members of the Lower House are being selected on a population quota basis, the Burmese naturally enjoy a majority of seats. Such being the case, were there only a single House in the Legislature, the minorities would obviously be at the mercy of the Burmese majority. Therefore, in order to safeguard their rights, another House, the Chamber of Nationalities had to be created. This is a very equitable arrangement. However, let us now see whether the Upper House has lived up to our expectations.

A look at the composition of the Upper House reveals a conspicuous irregularity: according to Section 154 (2), Shan members in the Upper House can be elected by the ruling princes only from among themselves. At the same time, they are being denied the right to become members of the Lower House.

152 (2).                 All the representatives from the Shan State in the Chamber of Nationalities shall be elected by the Saophas of the Shan State from among themselves. The Saophas shall not be eligible for membership of the Chamber of Deputies. (Translator’s Appendage)

In the Chamber of Nationalities, the Shan State is allotted 25 seats. But the problem is that the representatives cannot be elected by the people. Only the princes enjoy the right to choose from among themselves. This proves that:

  1. The people of the Shan State do not have the right to choose their own representatives in the Upper House. This is a loss of their democratic rights.
  2. At the same time, the princes are denied the right to be elected to the lower house, which is also a loss of democratic rights on their part.

Ideally, both the Shan people and the Saophas should democratically elect their representatives to the Upper House, while the Saophas themselves should be allowed to become elected members of the Lower House.

Next, I would like to discuss the appointment of the State Chief Minister. According to Section 160, the Prime Minister only appoints the State Chief Minister, called the Minister for the Shan State, after consultation with the State legislature, called the Shan State Council.

Section 180. A member of the Union Government to be known as the Minister for the Shan state shall be appointed by the President on nomination of the Frime Minister acting in consultation with the Shan State Council from among the Members of Parliament representing the Shan State. The Minister so appointed shall also be the Head of the Shan State for the purposes of this Constitution. (Translator’s Appendage)

On the surface, there is nothing wrong with the said Section. The Prime minister should indeed consult the respective State council before appointment. However, it should also provide who holds the real power to elect the Chief Minister. In a democracy, this power should normally belong to the State Council concerned.

In practice, if the person elected by the State Council concerned happens to be pro-the Prime Minister in office or pro-AFPFL, the Prime Minister accepts him readily and jubilantly. On the other hand, if he does not happen to be a supporter of the Prime Minister in office or the AFPFL, the Prime Minister not only refuses to accept him but forcibly dismisses him. The first Chief Minister elected by a majority vote in the Shan State Council was U Htoon Myint Langkhurh, but he was not accepted by U Nu and finally ended up in a different portfolio. As both of them are still alive, I am sure they can certify the fact. (Translator’s Note: According to Ohn Pe Taunggyi, Htoon Myint was threatened with outright dismissal, as empowered by Section 56 (3): “The President shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, accept the resignation or terminate the appointment of any member of the Union Government.”)

To what extent the Prime Minister ruthlessly meddles in the appointment of Chief Ministers, we have only to ask the Chins. The present Minister for Chin Affairs, U Zahre Lyan can surely testify to this.

What really happens is that the name of the Chief Minister elect has to be submitted to the Prime Minister for consideration, and he is appointed only if he is acceptable to the Prime Minister. He is removed if he does not suit the Prime minister’s fancy. In this manner, the Prime Minister’s personal wish prevails over that of the majority in the State concerned. This is firstly a blatant violation of the democratic tradition. Secondly it is an intimidation of the whole State Council concerned, since it forces them to acquiesce to the Prime Minister’s wishes.

Allow me to explain this further. If the State Council is dominated by an anti-AFPFL majority, the Chief Minister elect logically will come from that party, which is clearly what the Prime minister is unlikely to accept. The proper way to have a pro-AFPFL Chief Minister is, of course, to have a pro-AFPFL dominated State Council. And the only way to have this it to campaign for more AFPFL votes during the polls. Unfortunately the Prime Minister’s conduct is rendering meaningless the State’s right of self-determination. It is interference in the States internal affairs. This will become more evident as I proceed to present further how it really is in practice.

MILITARY RULE

Allow me now to present how the Mainland Government, by using different strategies, is trying to undermine the whole Shan State administrative apparatus. For instance, martial law was introduced in the Shan State in 1952, thereby collapsing State administration. The Mainland Government then, citing the Kuomintang invasion of the Shan State, sent more troops than was needed into the Shan State. At first the Shan people were beholden by what they regarded as the Mainland’s goodwill. They offered their services to the front lines in very possible way so the Burma Army could successfully launch its operations. However, under the pretext of anti-Kuomintang war efforts, the Mainland Government engaged in unwelcome interference. Areas far from KMT troops such a Yawnghwe, Kalaw, Taunggyi, Mongpawn, Loilem, Laikha and Mong Keung were also designated Militarized Zones and placed under military rule.

However, the Mainland Central Government’s politico-military ploy could not be disguised for long. Nobody can deny that fascistic bullying, tortures and injustices were committed by members of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) who were taking advantage of martial law.

The military, unbidden, rode roughshod into local administrative affairs, making unwarranted arrests and suppressing the population. As a result, the whole Shan State is now sickened by the sight of the Burma Army because of their despotic practices. The AFPFL Central Government, instead of checking their mistakes, continued to make another ploy: In 1955, martial law was revoked, but in practice, nothing has changed as far as the people are concerned, although martial law was withdrawn, the Army was not. The people therefore remain under their boots. This is how the hopelessly arrogant AFPFL Government, by misusing the Burma Army as a tool, has been shamelessly interfering in Shan affairs.

And this is only a summary of life under martial law.

DEMOCRACY

Allow me to take this opportunity to further present the features and standard of democracy prevailing in Shan State. There is no need to explain in depth and breadth the principles of democracy, with have been familiar to the world for centuries, but, it would be helpful to bring to light their general essence for our purpose.

Everybody will agree that the democratic system rests entirely on the rights of human beings to think, express themselves and propagate freely. So let us examine here what systems have been dominating in our Shanland, one of the bright stars in the Union, which is supposed to have been founded on democratic principles.

It will not be necessary to explain in length how Shanland has been, since pre-independence days, enjoying the status of the State. Administrative power was in the hands of the ruling princes. The whole Shanland was at the mercy of their customary law, better known as Section 10. Exercising the power provided by Section 10, the ruling princes could persecute and arrest any person at will.

This was generally considered the worst evil that could befall any person. However, when the Japanese occupation resulted in the let-up of Section 10, the degree of suffering in fact increased. We were subject to the usual fascist treatment: slapping of faces and ears, confiscation of property, rapes, etc. It was only natural that the people stood up to oppose them. By 1945, thanks to the unity forged with the Burmese people, we were able to expel the Japanese fascists and celebrate our victory. These sufferings under two successive regimes taught the Shans to try and find a way out. The result was the successful overthrow of British colonialism in unity with the Burmese.

The Shan people actually believed that they would soon be enjoying the fruits of democracy in the independent Union era. However, our dreams have not been fulfilled, ever though ten years have elapsed. According to the Constitution, our State was granted free and total administrative power. But in practice, we are being subjected to the AFPFL socialists’ intrusions in our affairs.

  • They provided cash and arms to organizations under their control in order to sow discord among the people of Shan State. In short, they themselves have been practicing the Divide-and-Rule policy.
  • The military is being used to oppressing and suppressing people. Martial law was introduced in 1952 and lifted in 1955. But in reality, the troops were not withdrawn, In fact, even more troops are being imported into Shanland, and the people have continued to suffer under the military.

Therefore, regardless of the fact that they say they do not want to meddle in our State affairs, in practice they cannot deny their shameless interference. As the Burmese saying goes: “The mouth says God, but the hands are spread out.”

A plain example can be seen from their disposal of the Pa-O National Organization (PNO).

  • The PNO President, Heng Maung, disappeared after being summoned by the Burmese authorities. There has been no trace of him since.
  • Just about the same time, U Pyu, U Kyaw Sein and U Htun Yee were unjustly arrested and kept in captivity under the notorious Section 5.
  • And just before the 1956 Parliamentary Elections, U Aung Tha, a Pa-O candidate and four of his colleagues were “invited by our captain” and strangely murdered. Up to this day, the Government has failed to expose the culprits.

These barbarous acts have stuck in the Shan people’s hearts like hammered nails. I would like to assure you that they will neither be forgotten nor forgiven. If one compares this behavior to Japanese atrocities, the Burmese clearly are enjoying a comfortable lead.

Peaceful villagers are tortured, murdered and relocated on mere suspicion of being in touch with rebels. In this way they forcibly moved people from the villages of Hoteung and Tawngnawk in Laikha to Loilem. They also threatened to burn down other villages that refused to obey their orders.

Villagers in the eastern Shan State are being press-ganged as porters and laborers like during the Japanese occupation. They even had to take their rations with them from their homes. For months, they have to risk their lives at the front-lines to follow army orders. And their reward for all their services is kicking and beating from the soldiers. Some ferrymen in the Taping Ferry in the Namlwe were reported to have been kicked down from their vessels into the rushing torrents. Mules and horses are also  seized for army use without compensation. The owners have even been forced to hire grooms for them. Nowadays, the appropriation of private automobiles is continually making headlines in the papers, and has been causing discontent among the Shan auto community.

Most outrageous for the Shan people are the overwhelming number of reports of rape cases in the east. One of the blackest events in the Union’s history must be the news of the death of a holy nun after being gang-raped. And on top of all this, instances of Shan girls being sold in the cities by Burmese soldiers are being witnessed.

One of the most distasteful acts is the enticement of Burmese soldiers with monetary rewards to marry Shan girls. This is certainly an act of deliberated racial degradation.

Considering this political and racial oppression, I would venture to state that Shanland is displaying the unenviable characteristics of a colonized country.

ECONOMIC GRIEVANCES

Mr. Chairman after presenting these political issues, allow me to present how we are suffering and being exploited economically.

Every national group knows that the Shan State is the richest in the Union, both economically and in terms of natural resources. Our main economic endeavors are mining, forestry and agriculture.

That we have been enjoying these endeavors only in name –that we have been consuming only the bones and not the meat itself – I would like to explain under separate headings.

MINING

Prior to explaining the mining issue, I would like to acquaint you with the abundance of Shan subterranean resources. The following is the average annual value of minerals extracted during the period 1935-1940 from Burma (i.e. Shan State).

Serial                      Mineral                  Amount                                  Value

1                              Silver                      6 mil.ounces

2                              Lead                       77,000 tons                           Totaling 4.3 mil

3                              Zinc                         60,000 tons                           pounds sterling

4                              Wolfram                                10% of worlds needs or      60 mil. Rupees

&35% of empire needs

GEOLOGICAL REPORTS

A study of Indian geological reports made by Dr.Coggin and Sondhi in 1933 reveals Northern Shan’s incredible mining potential…As for Southern Shan’s remarkable resources, they can be studied from the reports made by a G.V. Hobson…

Unfortunately, the Shan State government does not enjoy the right to dig its own wealth. According to the Constitution’s Third Schedule, List 1&2, states are not authorized to extract and develop these treasure troves. The right belongs exclusively to the Central Government.

This explains how powerless the States are in terms of economy.

We would especially like to emphasize how helpless the States are in practice. It should be more understandable if we compare the current situation with the colonial period.

According to the 19th Report:

Year                                                       Profit (in Rupees)

1936                                                       10.5 mil

1937                                                       16.5 mil

1938                                                       8.7 mil

1939                                                       6.9 mil

Total      42.6 mil (av 10.85 mil)

The profits were shared among the foreign companies. The Shan people did not receive any part of them.

Now that we are independent, Shans should naturally be sharing the profits. However, contrary to reason, they  are not. The only beneficiaries are the foreign companies and the AFPFL Government who are partners in the joint-venture. During the colonial period, the Federated Shan States government at least received 99% of the taxes from the Namtu-Bawdwin Mines, if not the profits. But after independence, the Shan people and their Government are being totally deprived of both the profits and the taxes.

It is the same with other mining enterprises. The Shans enjoy neither the profits not the taxes. The profits go to the Ministerial Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) and some Burmese capitalists, while the taxes go to the Central Government.

This is the reason why even though the land is rich, the people are still deep in poverty.

Some would of course argue that I have ignored the State Subsidies, but I hope you will allow me to answer this in the appropriate section.

FORESTRY

Prior  to explaining about forestry, allow me to acquaint you with the abundance of the Shan forests, according to statistics from 1938-39, the Shan forests cover an area of 19,036 square miles  and the Shan Government received 1.1 million from the logging and timber business.

However, as in mining, the Shan Government now has no right, according to the Constitution, to engage in logging and timber production. Only the Central Government holds this special privilege.

During colonial days, the profits from logging and timber went to the foreign companies, though the Shan Government got the taxes. In contrast, after independence, the profits are going to the State Timber Bureau (of the Central Government), while the taxes are going to the Central Government. The Shan people and their Government are being deprived of both benefits. As a consequence, despite Shanland’s verdant landscape, its people are living in want.

Here also, some may argue about the State Subsidies, but again, the hope you will allow me to explain this later in the appropriate chapter.

AGRICULTURE

After mining and forestry, allow me to present the subject of agriculture. Even though I have placed it last, I would like to point out that it is not of lesser importance.

Agriculture comprises the growing of rice, wheat, gram-pea, peanuts, potatoes, onions, coffee, tea, cheroot-leaves and the cultivation of orchards of pineapples, oranges, etc. 80% of the population make their living mainly from agriculture.

According to the Constitution, the Shan people and their Government are free to engage in this field. Yet, without warning, one million acres of Shan arable land were handed over to Israeli capitalists in March 1956, in accordance with the terms of agreement of the Burma-Israeli Economic Accord.

One million acres is roughly half of the total arable land of the Shan State. The Central Government, on such an issue of importance, had simply forgotten to consult with or ask for consent from the Shan people and its government beforehand. This is a deliberate undermining of the Shan people’s rights, and a direct violation of the provisions in the Constitution which say, in effect, that land must be cultivated only by citizens of the Union.

Consequently, Shan students, workers, peasants and patriotic individuals have strongly protested against this agreement. However, the AFPFL Government simply ignored the protests and forged ahead. This is clearly a veiled insult to the States.

Therefore, when it comes to economic matters, who can guarantee that the AFPFL government will not continue to abuse us as they did over the Burma-Israeil affair?

I am making this presentation at this seminar so that all the participants can deliberate these issues thoroughly.

STATE SUBSIDIES

Mr. Chairman and groups of common suffering, I would now like to explain about the State Subsidies that I referred to earlier.

Subsidies, as the name implies, do not mean liabilities or bounden duties, but donations according to the prevailing goodwill of the Central Government. Even the name itself is overbearing and self-complimentary.

To make my point clear, I would like to bring to light the financial arrangement between the Shan Government and the Mainland Government during the 1940-41 fiscal year. During that year, the Shan government received from the Mainland Government the following percentages of various taxes:

  1. Import-export sea customs…7%
  2. Salt, sugar, cash and cigarettes…6.7%
  3. Gasoline, kerosene and matches imported from Burma..100%
  4. Namtu Silver mines…99%
  5. Government and Railway Department Personnel income..100%
  6. Government lottery sales in Federated Shan States…40%
  7. Alcoholic liquor imported from Burma…100%
  8. Exported lacquer…93.1%
  9. Exported cutch…2%
  10. Railway profits…7%
  11. Postal and Telegraph…7%
  12. Profit from Coinage Department (from India to Burma)..5%

The total revenue for the Shan Government was approximately 5,888,000 rupees.

In the same year, the Shan Government, as a liability, paid the Mainland Government the following percentages:

  1. Total port customs expenditure…6.2%
  2. Total expenditure incurred from salt, sugar and match taxation…6.2%
  3. Railway Departments loss…7%
  4. Postal and Telegraph Department’s loss…7%
  5. Total debts of Railway, Postal and Telegraph Departments to India..7%
  6. Total debts to India…6.8%
  7. Assistance to missionary activities under Defense Department…6.8%
  8. Expenses incurred during census (according to population quota)…6.8%
  9. Payment for coining to India…5%
  10. Total retirement pay to India…6.6%
  11. Defense expenditure…6.8%

The total payment for that year was 2,382,000 rupees.

One discovers here that the financial relationship between Shan and Burma even during those days was not that between the DONATOR and the DONATED, but in terms of liability to pay and to receive.

It is unfortunate that after we have become Free, we have to use th4e word “subsidy”, a discrimination even in terms of terminology.

This is not yet all. The Post-Independence financial relationship between the two Governments, instead of being on a fair quota basis, has become decidedly disadvantageous for the Shans.

The so-called subsidies from the Central Government are far less than the total per capita dues, as can be observed for the following statistics:

Fiscal     Total Revenue                   Total payment   Net        Revenue              Subsidy                                Deficit

Year       due                                        due

(population basis)            (population basis)

1951-52                33,128,960           19,883,360           13,245,600           10,277,780           2,967,820

1953-53                68,142,560           30,920,800           37,221,760           14,460,000           22,761,760

1954-55                59,729,440           29,109,040           30,822,400           14,460,000           16,362,400

The above statistics are calculated from the Government’s Revenue. Now let us calculate from the Government’s Expenditure.

According to the 1952-53 Fiscal Year Budget statistics:

Heading               Mainland pop. 14,717,097 Shan pop. 1,617,000

Expense               Expense               Expense               Expense

Estimates            per capita            Estimates            per capita

Forestry               7,663,000             0.52                        704,340 0.44

Local Ad               21,113,000           1.43                        1,241,250             0.77

Justice                  7,629,000             0.52                        115,400 0.07

Police                    66,974,000           4.55                        931,000 0.58

Education            52,263,000           3.55                        2,303,700             1.42

Medical                 11,396,000           0.57                        1,468,700             0.91

Pub Health          16,356,000           1.11                        636,850 0.39

Agri                        6,693,000             0.45                        586,900 0.36

Veterinary          1,045,000             0.07                        293,600 0.16

Indust&Tech      1,887,000             0.13                        26,600                   0.02

Civil Wks              32,789,000           2.23                        3,871,200             2.39

Stationery

&Printing             4,537,000             0.30                        39.000                   0.02

Total                      230,345,000        15.63                     12,218,540           7.55

(Translator’s note: The population figures are from 1941 census)

Due to the lack of a fair quota basis, the Shan annual budgets have been imbalanced, as can be seen here:

1956-57 Fiscal Year State Budget Statistics

State                     State Revenue                  Subsidies             Normal Expenditure

From Central

Shan                      4,127,340                             12,500,000           17,211,000

Kachin                   3,904,230                             7,500,000             12,069,000

Kayah                    506,390                                2,000,000             2,938,000

Karen                    2,008,430                             3,800,000             6,916,000

If the budgets that fail to cover even normal expenditures are to be continued, how can one be expected to work on the progress and prosperity of one’s State?

Considering the facts that I have presented:

–The Shan people being deprived of the benefits from economic enterprises in their State;

–The inequality between the Central and the State Governments on the allocation of national revenue; and

–The failure of State budgets even to cover normal expenditure;

I wish to suggest that the Shan state has the economic characteristics of a colonized country.

CONCLUSION

Mr. Chairman and all nationalities of common suffering, we have seen that Shanland bears that political and economic characteristic of colony, and that its plight is even worse than it was during the British colonial era.

These grievances have caused the voices of discontent and the cries for secession to become louder and louder.

Therefore, on behalf of the Shan people, I would like to request the nationalities, who share our suffering and the representatives of the oppressed Burmese people in this momentous meeting, to help consider how we can save luckless Shanland and work for its progress and prosperity.

TOWARDS THE UNITY OF ALL NATIONAL GROUPS!

END OF TEXT

IMPORTANT DATES FOLLOWING THIS BOOKLET

September 28, 1958        First military takeover

April 24,1959                      Princes forced to relinquish power

February, 1960                  Return to Parliamentary rule after General Elections

February 24, 1961            “Equal Shanland in the Union”, written by Htoon Myint Taunggyi, which formed a basis for the Constitutional Amendment Proposal, better known as  the Shan Proposal.

June, 8-16, 1961                The Inter-States Convention where the Amendment Proposal was read and approved.

The Main points were:

  1. To make Burma a state
  2. To grant equal power to the two Houses of Parliament
  3. All States should be allowed to send an equal number of representatives to the Upper House, ie.e, the Chamber of Nationalities
  4. To reserve the following matters for the Central our Union Government and let the States have power in the remaining matters:

Foreign Affairs

Defense

Finance

Coinage and paper currency

Post and Telegraph

Rail ways, airways and waterways

Union Judiciary (Federal Judiciary)

Sea Customs duty

  1. To distribute the revenue collected by the Federal or Union Government among all the States in fair proportion.

March 1,1962                     Multi-Nationalities Convention held at the Burma Broadcasting Service on Prome Road, Rangoon, to discuss the “Shan Proposal”

March 2, 1962                    Second takeover by the military which unilaterally declared the Constitution null and void.

TURMOIL IN THE BLUE HILLS

Lakes, woodlands and mountains blend in harmony
That is where Shan State has lain from time of yore
Renowned for its lovely dames and superb scenery
But now the peace has left and misery flows.

In every nook and corner uniforms spell danger
Harsh orders mingle with the boom of guns
Pushed and pulled around, the Shan people suffer
Ever since Shan State and Burma became one.

All sorts of tragedies reign upon the blue hills
Endless tears stream down from desperate eyes
Nothing else but cries, mourns, wails and shrills
Could answer to the evil force that terrorizes.

For Shan State there awaits a sinister destiny
For her sons and daughters an eventual doom
There is no solution to this unenviable calamity
Save the mercy of the so-called socialist grooms.
(Poo Loiban) in Tai Youth Magazine

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