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Shan State National Day Celebration in Mae Hong Son

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CityNews – Shan State is a region of Myanmar, bordering China, Laos and Thailand, which has long fought for independence from the Myanmar Government.

The 7th of February 2018 marks the 71st anniversary of Shan State National Day with celebrations being held across the border with Mae Hong Son province, at Loi Tai Leng. This day signifies the signing of the Panglong Agreement on 12 February 1947 by General Aung San for the government and representatives of the Shan, Kachin and Chin ethnic groups in the southern Shan State town of Panglong.

Attended by thousands of Shan people – both from Myanmar and abroad – activities include military parades and displays by the Shan State Army as well as speeches by ethnic and military leaders from the various groups in Shan State.

Honoring the continued efforts of the RCSS and SSA, a sense of identity and allegiance to their ethnical roots remains strong, proven by the yearly increasing number of attendees to this event and the exodus of Shan people living in Northern Thailand starting in the early hours of February 5th 2018.

One of the most honoured guests will be General Yawd Serk, a Shan ethnic and political leader who was chairman of the Restoration Council of Shan State and commander in chief of the Shan State Army-South until his resignation in 2014. He was a major contributor to peace talks between major Shan rebel factions and the government of Myanmar in the 2000s and 2010s.

As far as I know, no celebrations are being held in Chiang Mai, though you can find more information about this topic through several sources in Chiang Mai, such as the Best Friend’s Library and Wat Ku Tao, as well as the Taiyai Education and Culture Association (TECA).

The Shan State flag symbolizes the core values of Shan society. Yellow represents the Buddhist religion, green represent agriculture as their prime source of income, red represents bravery, and white represent peace and stability for the future Shan State. A peace reflected by the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in October 2015.