Northeast part of Burma declares independence
Shan government seeks recognition from UN, Thailand
DPA , BANGKOK
Friday, Apr 29, 2005,Page 1
The self-declared Shan government, which earlier this
month claimed independence from Myanmar, is seeking
recognition from the UN and several countries
including Thailand, leaders of the rebel government
said on Thursday.
"We are in the process of seeking recognition from a
number of countries including the United Nations,"
said Hkun Hom, the self-proclaimed foreign minister of
the Shan government.
On April 17, Shan Prince Surkhanpha, the son of
Myanmar's first post-independence president Saopalong
Sa Shwe Thaike, declared the Shan State of
northeastern Myanmar independent and the establishment
of a Shan government with himself as president.
The self-proclaimed government has called on the UN to
send in a peacekeeping force to the Shan State to help
remove Myanmar troops from their territory to pave the
way for a free election.
"We have foreign troops in our country and have to see
that they withdraw back to Burma before we can hold an
election to elect a new government," said Hkun Hom,
addressing an informal gathering of journalists in
Hkun Hom said the Shan government has also sought
support and recognition from Thai King Bhumibol
Adulyadej, head of state of Thailand.
"We have no quarrel with the Thai government. In fact,
we share the same heritage, history and culture so we
would welcome full cooperation with the Thais,"
Surkhanpha, a geologist by profession who has been
living in exile in Canada since 1966, claimed he had
earned his mandate from the Shan people by secretly
canvassing their support over the past two years.
"Our government's mandate comes from 48 townships out
of 56 in the Shan State who voted for independence,"
He claimed firm support from the 8 million people
residing in the Shan State, including the Shan State
Army and other rebel groups who have been waging
insurgencies in the area for the past five decades.
Surkhanpha said Myanmar, which has been under military
rule since 1962, had lost its constitutional right to
preserve the country as a union because of the
Yangon-based military regime's mistreatment of ethnic
minorities, including the Shan.
"The 1948 Union of Burma does not exist. The Burmese
generals have converted it into a Burmese empire,"
said Surkhanpha, who refused to call the country by
its official name, Myanmar.