Shan State


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Shan State

(shän), state (1983 pop. 3,718,706), c.60,000 sq mi (155,400 sq km), E central Myanmar. TaunggyiTaunggyi
, city (1983 pop. 108,200), capital of Shan State, central Myanmar. Located on a steep mountainside, Taunggyi is a regional market center some 100 mi (160 km) SE of Mandalay. Lake Inle to the south is noted for the vegetable gardens cultivated within its waters.
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, the capital, and LashioLashio
, town, Shan state, E central Myanmar. It is a trade center and the terminus of the railroad line from Mandalay. Lashio was famous in World War II as the starting point of the Burma Road.
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 are its principal cities. It borders on China in the north, Laos in the east, and Thailand in the south. Most of the Shan State is a hilly plateau; there are higher mountains in the north and south. The gorge of the Thanlwin (Salween) River cuts across the state. Silver, lead, and zinc are mined, notably at the Bawdwin mine, and there are smelters at Namtu; tin is also mined, at the Man Maw mine controlled by Wa rebels. Teak is cut, and rice and other crops are grown. Running through Shan is part of the Golden Triangle, an area in which opium and heroin are illegally produced, though the drug trade is much less significant than it formerly was.

The valleys and tableland are inhabited by the Shans, who in language and customs resemble the Thais and the Laos. They are largely Buddhists and are mainly engaged in agriculture. Among the Shans live Bamar, Chinese, and Karens. The hills are inhabited by various peoples, notably the Wa, formerly head-hunters, who are numerous in the north and along the Chinese border.

The Shans dominated most of Myanmar from the 13th to the 16th cent. In the 19th cent., long after their power declined, they were distributed among more than 30 petty states; most of them paid tribute to the Burman king. Under British rule, the Shan States were ruled by their hereditary chiefs (saophas or sawbwas) as feudatories of the British crown. In 1922 most of these small states were joined in the Federated Shan States, under a commissioner who also administered the Wa states. This arrangement survived the constitutional changes of 1923 and 1937.

A single Shan state, including the former Wa states, was established by the 1947 Burmese constitution. In 1959 the saophas relinquished much of their power to the Burmese government. Shan State's autonomy was further eroded by increased federalization of the Burmese government in the 1970s. Generally, the Shans remain committed to the preservation of their distinct ethnic heritage; Shan groups have fought for an independent state since the late 1950s. A number of Shan rebel groups have signed cease-fires with the government since 1989, but one of the largest Shan rebel armies revoked its cease-fire in 2005 when Shan leaders were arrested and charged with treason. A peace agreement was reached in 1989 with the United Wa State Army, a large Wa rebel group, and ethnic Chinese rebels in Kokang, a region in the state's northeast. In 2009, after Myanmar abandoned a 20-year truce, there was fighting between Kokang rebels and the military; some 37,000 refugees fled across the border in China. The Wa rebels also became involved in the fighting; in 2013 they signed a new peace agreement with the government. Fighting with the Kokang rebels flared again in 2014, leading to a new surge of refugees across the Chinese border.

Shan State

an administrative division of E Myanmar: formed in 1947 from the joining of the Federation of Shan States with the Wa States; consists of the Shan plateau crossed by forested mountain ranges reaching over 2100 m (7000 ft.). Pop.: 4 416 000 (1994 est.). Area: 149 743 sq. km (57 816 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
My fieldwork also included two short trips in February and July 2006 to the Shan State Army's headquarters where I interviewed Shan soldiers and participated in festivities with them.
However, in 2007, a significant resurgence of cultivation occurred, particularly in eastern and southern Shan State and Kachin State, where increased cultivation, favorable weather conditions, and new cultivation practices increased opium production levels, led to an estimated 29 percent increase in overall opium poppy cultivation and a 46 percent increase in potential production of dry opium.
After spending one year in preparation at a big Catholic missionary station in Calcutta, eight nuns, including Sister Giuseppa, were finally assigned to missionary activities in the British-controlled country, specifically the rugged, mountainous hill tribe area in Shan state.
The Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT) has documented over 70 cases of gang-rape, rape and attempted sexual violence by Burma Army troops in Kachin and northern Shan states since the Burma Army broke a 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in June 2011.
The Shan State Army, another ethnic rebel group, is also active in the area.
Today, Thai soaps dubbed in Shan have become the most popular form of entertainment among Shan communities throughout the Shan state in Burma.
However, a small resurgence of cultivation occurred in 2006, particularly in eastern and southern Shan State, where improved weather conditions and new cultivation practices increased opium production levels, leading to a slight overall increase in cultivation and production in Burma.
Many of the Panthays who escaped execution by the Chinese settled along the old trading routes in Yunnan; at Panglong in the Wa States; at Taunggyi, Lashio and Kengtung in the Federated Shan State s; at Mandalay and Rangoon in Burma proper; and at various centres in northern Siam such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai and Fang.
Following heavy bombardment by government troops since Monday, about 200 Shan State Army rebels retreated early Thursday morning from the two strategic posts of Pachee and Noh Lae.
More than 100 couples linked to Burma's ethnic Wa armed group got married on Thursday at a mass wedding ceremony in Mong Ton Township, Shan State.
Chua personally handed over the Embassys in-kind donation for the families affected by fires that hit Namhsan, Northern Shan State and Labutta, Ayeyawaddy Region.
State-run media claimed control of strategic hilltops in the Kokang region of Shan state, after more than 250 armed clashes with ethnic Kokang rebels of the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army, dpa reported.