This Month in History - May


May - San Po Thin and Shwe Tun Gya attempt a failed assault on BIA troops in Myaungmya. The attack unleashes furious retribution against local Karen villagers with over 152 men, women and children being massacred at the local Catholic Mission in Myaungmya. 52 others are killed in the Shwedagon Karen quarters including a respected local Karen official.


May - British forces recapture Rangoon while Japanese soldiers retreating south towards Thailand are attacked by Karen levies resulting in an estimated 12, 500 deaths.


May 17th – HM Government proposes that frontier areas should be under British government control until they express a wish to be joined to Burma proper and become part of the commonwealth.


May 20th – Karen forces begin the retreat across the Hlaing River ending the siege at Insein. Saw Ba U Gyi, Saw Sankey and Saw Maw Lay set up their headquarters at Taungoo while Hunter Tha Hmwe and Mahn Ba Zan decide to set up their command in the delta.


May 16th - The NDUF is formed comprising the KNUP, NMSP and also the CPB among others.


May – A KNUP delegation, led by Sgaw Ler Taw, leaves the delta and makes their way towards the CPB headquarters in Shan State.


May 10th - A number of Ethnic groups join under the umbrella NDF at the KNU’s headquarters at Manerplaw. Mahn Ba Zan is elected NDF President.


May 14th – General Bo Mya is quoted in the ‘Times’ as saying that he saw the KNU as an  anti-communist Foreign Legion for Thailand and welcomes any western support.


May 29th - KNLA shells Myawaddy opposite Thailand’s Mae Sot.


May 25th – Problems occur between the KNU and Kachin during the 2nd NDF Congress held at Manerplaw. Bo Mya is replaced as Chairman of the NDF by Saw Maw Reh of the KNPP.


May 20th – Burmese troops cross into Thailand and attack the refugee camp near Wangkha from the rear and burn down a Thai village in the process.


May – Saw Charles is asked, by Bo Mya, to conclude the matter relating to a number of KNLA soldiers who had given up their weapons to join the vegetarian commune at Thu Mweh Hta and to also deal with the general discontent felt by a number of Buddhist Karens over perceived inequality.


May 10th – Over 500 people including 200 KNLA troops demonstrate at Manerplaw. Bo Mya promises to settle the matter and the crowds disperse.


May 9th – The KNU declares it is ready to call a truce with the SPDC after bitter fighting and DKBA attacks on refugee camps.


May 15th – KNU forces raid two Burmese/DKBA bases at Phalu and Min Lat Pan in anti-narcotics actions. Six Burmese and four DKBA are killed. The retreating KNLA forces are refused entry into Thailand.






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