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.

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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)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The rescue workers were about 20 kilometres from Lashio, the largest town in Shan State, where armed groups have been fighting for greater autonomy from the central government when their convoy came under attack on Saturday, Al Jazeera reported.
In some ways, the presence of several high-profile guests during Shan State National Day obscured some of the obstacles the RCSS/SSA-S is facing.
We also urge the United Nations and the Government of Burma to urgently address reports of serious human rights violations in Kachin and northern Shan States. We call on the Burma Army to cease military offensives in these areas, to allow immediate humanitarian aid access to those displaced by conflict in northern Burma, and to immediately declare a nationwide ceasefire in order to make progress towards a genuine peace process."
The first meeting, held in September 2016, was named after the historic Panglong Conference in 1947 at Panglong in the Shan States between ethnic minority leaders and Aung San, the head of the interim Burmese government.
In Kachin and northern Shan states, over 100,000 people are living in temporary camps, despite the ceasefire signed last October, Ging said.He visited Woi Chyai and Je Yang camps in the non-Government controlled areas, witnessing the senseless loss of life and human suffering caused by the conflict.
French efforts took on a new urgency in the late 1880s and early 1890s with the British annexation of the Shan states, the consolidation of Siamese authority in the Mekong valley, and the growing influence of colonialist forces within the French government.
Maymyo town looked as if it had been picked up whole from somewhere in Surrey and plonked down in the mountains of the Northern Shan states. Their billet was a large, mock-Tudor-style house, set in its own grounds with beautifully kept flower beds and well-manicured lawns.
Both the Kachin and Shan states border China's southwestern province of Yunnan.
These sanctions follow the findings of the independent international fact-finding mission of the UN Human Rights Council and of other reports, which concluded that gross human rights violations were committed in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan States. This brings the total number of persons subject to sanctions for serious human rights violations in Myanmar to 14, it added.
Although voting has also been suspended in other states including in Karen and Shan states, Kachin State will have more non-voting areas than any other state in the country.