Shan Community to Demand Return of Kengtung Palace Site

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The haw was demolished by the military in 1991, and a hotel was built in its place. 

Kengtung Palace
Photo by – chiangtungbiz.com/ Kengtung Palace

Members of the Shan community in Kengtung have announced they will send a petition to the President of Burma calling for the return of the venue of the old Kengtung haw, or palace. 

The Kengtung haw—a symbol of Shan history and culture—was destroyed by the Burmese military at 7:41 a.m. on November 9, 1991. A hotel was built on the site of the former palace. 

Photo by – Seng Ywet Sai/ 

The Shan community has been demanding that a replica of the Kengtung haw be rebuilt at the site of the demolished palace. To this aim, they formed the Shan State Heritage Restoration Committee in 2017. 

The palace restoration committee, political parties, lawmakers, civil society representatives and locals held a meeting to discuss the future of the haw site on August 3. 

The meeting took place at Kengtung’s Par Leng monastery. According to restoration committee members, relatives of the Kengtung saopha—or hereditary prince—attended the meeting, including Dr. Yin Yin Nwe, the daughter of late Kengtung saopha Sao Seng Mueng. 

“Relatives of the saopha will provide necessary assistance. We are not demanding it for them. We are demanding it for our people,” Sai Sam Tip Hsur, who attended the meeting, told SHAN. 

Shan community representatives will send a petition letter to Burma’s President, culture minister, and hotel and tourism minister, as well as Shan State’s chief minister, calling for the site of the Kengtung haw to be returned to the people. Next, a replica of the palace would be constructed in the place of the hotel. 

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