The military regime has ordered an organising committee not to hold the 76th Shan National Day in Mong Pan Township, southern Shan State. The holiday that’s celebrated on 7 February has already been postponed for three years, mainly because of the pandemic.
“We have been preparing for the Shan National Day celebrations for three months and have already set up the stage and some buildings for visitors,” a man told SHAN on condition of anonymity. He said the soldiers had said they could hold the celebration elsewhere, just not at this location in Ner Wam village but after planning it since October, it was too late to move to another location.
Another local source, who also requested anonymity, said the military regime wanted to prevent the event from taking place in the township in Langkho District because the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) is one of the main organisers. “I think the military is afraid that the RCSS will expand its territory in Mong Pan after the Shan National Day celebrations and why they banned it.”
However, RCSS spokesperson Col Oum Khur said the ethnic armed group wasn’t involved. He said the Shan Literature and Cultural Association branch for the township was organising the event together with the residents.
Before the pandemic, the RCSS commemorated the holiday every year at its headquarters in Loi Tai Leng and invited the Shan community to come to its hilltop camp on the Burmese side of the border with Thailand.