Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shan People(Tai) 傣族;

The Shan people(掸族) are the Tai tribal group (傣族).They are the distant cousin of Thai(Thailand), Lao(Laos)& Dai (China). There are over 100 million Tai in China, mainly in Southern Yunnan, Sipsongpanna (西双版纳) China. There are also Tai people in Assam state, the north east of India, they are called Ahom, they are now Hindu.

They are believed to migrated from Yunan, China. Shan are descandants of oldest branch of the Tai tribe, they are called Tai Long(great Tai) or Tai Yai(or big Tai). The Tai who migrated to the South in modern days Thailand and Laos are called Tai Nyai. Those inhabited in the Northern part of Thailand and Laos are Tai Noi(or little Tai).The Shan has been in the Shan Plateau, Burma since 10th century AD. The name Shan come from Burmese,which meants Siam,the name ancient Khmer called the Tai or Thai people. Most of the Shan in Burma lived in Shanland.

The people live in Shanland are multi racial,the majority of the Shan are Tai, of the same ethnological stock with Thais and Laotian. The other included Wa, Pa-o, Palaung of Mon-Khemer stock,and Kachin, Akha, Lahu of Tibeto-Burman stock. There are some Yunan Chinese living in the area.

After the World War II, the Shan, Kachin,Chin and the other ethnic minority leaders signed an agreement with the majority Bamar leader at the Panglong Conference彬龙会议, agreed for the independence from the Britain. The agreement is known as Panglong Agreement(彬龙协议)The Shan state were given the option of secede, after 10 years of independence. The Shan state become the Shan State, part of the new Union of Myanmar in 1948. The capital is Taunggyi. The democratically elected government was overthrown by General Ne Win in 1962.The Shan begin the civil war with the Burma. There are two insurgent forces operated in the Shan state, SSNA and SSA/RCSS. In 2005, SSNA surrender to the Burmaese army.SSA/RCSS still continue the guerrilla warfare with the Burmese armies.

There is United Wa State Army(UWSA), of Wa minority, their 20,000 armies controlled the Special Region No2, including the town of Pangshang, Monk Pawk. The UWSA is currently backing the Burma armies against Shan State Army-South(SSA-S).

There are actual war in the Shan states, Burma. There are 500,000 internally displaced people(IDP) in Burma, most of them are Karen, Karenni, Mon and Shan, and other minority groups. Many Burmese IDP cross the border and come to Northern Thailand. There are many illegal border crossing point along the Burma-Thai border,especially in the mountain. They are not given the refugee status. There are 10 Burmese Border Refugee site or camp in Thailand, feeding 134,942 refugee as at November 2008. The largest being in Tak Province(3 sites, K3,K4 K5)and Ban Hong Son Province(4 sites). The site in Chiangmai Province,Waeng Haeng site is the smallest , mainly Shan people, located just near the Piang Luang village town, about 1 1/2km from the border. There are only 656 refugee as at 31-12-2009(source: These are official statistic, there are many illegal crossing not recorded by UNHCR, reported there were 2 million workers in Thailand.

From a hill in Piang Luang village, you can see the Burma military outpost on the top of the hills that straddle the border. The hill tops arecontrolled by various players, UWSA(United Wa State Army), The Shan State Army(SSA), Burmese Army, as well as Thai Army.

If you are interested in Shan people, there are many web sites on Shan, Shanland, Burma refugee issues. But they are mostly politically centered. There are articles in You Tubes , which are easy to find.

Each day, the Shan will continue crossing the border from Burma into Thailand; the war still continue, the Shan people are still waiting.....

No comments:

Post a Comment