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Armed conflict in Shan State

  • Armed conflict in Shan State - general articles

    Individual Documents

    Title: Myanmar's long road to peace
    Date of publication: 02 March 2014
    Description/subject: "Despite a ceasefire signed in 2011, clashes continue between ethnic Shan rebels and government troops....Like many other armed ethnic groups, the SSA-S signed a ceasefire after Myanmar transitioned to a nominally civilian government in 2011. Deadly clashes between SSA-S forces and the Myanmar military, however, continue despite the agreement. Accordingly, Myanmar's government is pushing the country's armed ethnic groups to sign a new nationwide ceasefire this year..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Al Jazeera
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 22 August 2014

    Title: Tensions and Concerns in Shan State
    Date of publication: May 2013
    Description/subject: "As the Thein Sein Government’s peace process with its armed ethnic minorities continues, concerns remain in relation to Burma Army activities in Shan State and claims that the UWSA has increased its arsenal and is seeking an autonomous Wa State. Although armed ethnic groups, like the RCSS-SSA, have continually attempted to minimalize the impact of various clashes with the Burma Army, the continuing offensive in Northern Shan State, the on-going conflict in Kachin State, and reports of a possible offensive against the Wa further threatens peace in the area and could result in both the RCSS/SSA and the UWSA being drawn into a much wider conflict..."
    Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 7, May 2013)
    Format/size: pdf (184-OBL version; 211K-original))
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-AP-7.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 17 June 2013

  • Armed conflict in Shan State - ceasefires and ceasefire talks

    Individual Documents

    Title: Warlords ’ s Learning Curve: A Case Study of the Pa-O Self Administrated Zone
    Date of publication: 26 July 2015
    Description/subject: Introduction: "With 135 ethnic groups divided into eight major national ethnic races,1 Myanmar2 is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. The Panglong Agreement in 1947 tried to set the path for the integration of these nationals into one state. However, with the assassination of the architect of the Panglong Conference General Aung San and the subsequent military takeover of the country, the curtain of ethnic struggles was drawn. Among ethnic groups fighting for their self-adetermination is the Pa-O3. The research focused on the period from 1988 to 2012 because this is the period when most of the ceasefire agreements were signed, which allowed some forms of law and order to return to the local community. The research methodology is mainly qualitative, using. Yet, amid the chaos after the democracy movement in 1988, the military regime managed to sign over 20 ceasefire agreements with various armed groups, among them were with the Pa-O National Organization (PNO) and the Shan State Nationalit ies People’s Liberation Organization (SSNPLO). PNO agreed to ceasefire in 1991 and SSNPLO followed in 1994. Therefore, theoretically, the Pa-O area has been pacified since the 1990s. Indeed, the Pa-O populated region known as Area 6 was granted the status of Self Administrated Zone (SAZ) in 2011. This paper attempts to look into what ceasefire means to the Pa-O people from the perspective of the development of the political economy in the SAZ. Developing on the theory put forward by Mancur Olson (Olson, 2000) that a stationary bandit should provide better development prospects to the local people than a roving bandit, this paper argues that the benevolence of the stationary bandit is not given per se, it needs competition to bring it forward. Since signing the ceasefire agreement and receiving lucrative economic concessions from the central government, the PNO have effectively become a stationary bandit with an informal mandate to rule over the Pa-O area. In a way agreeing with Charles Tilly (Tilly, 1985) that the state is no different from the Mafia, in that they both tax their people in return for providing protection, Olson argued that a roving bandit will only concern about h is short-term gains whereas a stationary bandit will actually try to provide genuine development for the people in order to perpetuate the control over the area. Effectively, the PNO have become a stationary bandit after signing the ceasefire agreement, bu t whether they have performed their duties like Olson has predicted is the subject of this investigation...".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
    Author/creator: Ricky Yue
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
    Format/size: pdf (131K)
    Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
    Date of entry/update: 03 September 2015

  • Armed conflict in Shan State - displacement, mass exoduses and the humanitarian situation

    Individual Documents

    Title: How China Fuels Myanmar’s Wars
    Date of publication: 04 March 2015
    Description/subject: "...When an estimated 50,000 ethnic Kokang civilians poured into southwest China last month to escape fighting between the Myanmar Army and Kokang rebels, Beijing called for peace and provided food, medical supplies and camps for the refugees. But China’s stance as a benevolent mediator in Myanmar’s many internal conflicts and its treatment of asylum seekers is far less altruistic than Beijing cares to admit. The Myanmar military has been at war with dozens of ethnic groups for decades, fueled by long-burning animosities, competition over natural resources and minority demands for more autonomy. Kokang fighters, seeking to regain territory lost in 2009, are jockeying for a better position in nationwide cease-fire talks set to resume this month in Yangon. More than 130 soldiers from the Kokang and national armies have been killed in the latest clashes. China has publicly distanced itself from the Kokang conflict and maintained neutrality. But Chinese-led development projects have long stoked the ethnic tensions and military conflicts in Myanmar, particularly in recent years..."
    Author/creator: Mattew Smith
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The New York Times"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 05 March 2015

    Title: Is Myanmar’s Peace Process Unraveling?
    Date of publication: 24 February 2015
    Description/subject: "Over the last three weeks, fighting has broken out in Myanmar’s northeast between the military and several ethnic minority militias, including the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and, allegedly, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). The KIA is one of the most powerful insurgent groups in Myanmar. At least 30,000 civilians have fled across the border into China, and the fighting has killed at least 130 people. The Myanmar military has attacked rebel groups with air strikes, and the fighting shows no sign of letting up. The fighting began on February 9, when Kokang rebels attacked government troops in the town of Laukkai and the Myanmar army launched a fierce counterattack. The exact reasons for the clash on February 9 remain somewhat unclear. The fighting may stem from a personal feud between the Kokang group’s leader and the Myanmar armed forces’ commander in chief, or it may have been sparked by a desire by the Kokang militia to take back control of Laukkai. Or, the attack may have been retaliation for previous unreported attacks on Kokang fighters by the Myanmar military. Or, it may have stemmed from a dispute over drug trafficking and its profits; the northeast of Myanmar is one of the biggest producers of opium and synthetic methamphetamine stimulants in Asia. Still, the broader security environment in Myanmar clearly has played a role in this recent outbreak of fighting. Indeed, the Kokang clashes with the Burmese army are reflective of several disturbing trends in Myanmar – trends that, if they continue, could undermine the country’s peace process and possibly lead to a wider outbreak of civil war..."
    Author/creator: Joshua Kurlantzick
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: [US] Council on Foreign Relations
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 25 February 2015

    Title: Statement from TSYO and PWO on current situation: The Burmese government must immediately end human rights violations, including violence against women, in Palaung areas
    Date of publication: 06 May 2013
    Description/subject: "During the past four months, the Burmese Army has been carrying out fierce military offensives in Palaung areas against the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). The Palaung Women’s Organization and Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO) are gravely concerned at the impacts of the fighting on local communities, who have suffered widespread abuses by the Burmese military. Women have been raped, and young girls forced at gunpoint to guide and porter for Burmese troops. Villagers have been killed by landmines while tied up and forced to work as porters. Thousands of people in Palaung areas have fled their homes due to attacks and human rights abuses since the renewed fighting against the KIA, TNLA and SSA-N in 2011. Over 2,000 in Mantong and Namkham, and 2,000 in Kutkhai have become internally displaced person in Mantong, Namkham and Kutkhai, and over 1,500 have been displaced in Tangyan..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organisation (PWO), Ta'ang Student and Youth Organization (TSYO), Ta'ang (Palaung ) Working Group
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 27 May 2013

  • Armed conflict in Shan State - the human rights situation

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation
    Description/subject: Contains the Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly newsletters from 1998
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 07 December 2009

    Title: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
    Description/subject: "SWAN is a founding member of the Women's League of Burma (WLB), an umbrella women's organization comprising eleven women's groups from Burma. SWAN, through its affiliation with other women's organizations, establishes common platforms to promote the role of women from Burma in the struggle for democracy and human rights in their country. SWAN's objectives: * Promoting women's rights and the rights of children; * Opposing exploitation of and violence against women and children; * Working together for peace and freedom in our society; * Empowering women for a better life; * Raising awareness to preserve natural resources and the environment. Background of SWAN SWAN was set up on 28 March 1999 by a group of Shan women active in Thailand and along the Thai- Burma border seeking to address the needs of Shan women. In fact, before the formation of SWAN, Shan women in various locations had already been active in a number of projects to assist women. Even though informal networks were in place, it was felt that more could be achieved, in addressing both practical and strategic needs of Shan women, if a more concrete network among the various women could be formed. This Shan women's network would also be able to coordinate with other women's organizations from Burma, as well as GOs and NGOs working with women locally, nationally and internationally. General Background The Shan State is over 64,000 square kilometers in size and forms the eastern part of the Union of Burma bordering China, Laos and Thailand. The people of the Shan State, like in other areas of Burma, suffer from abuse inflicted by the Burmese military regime, which according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Asia is amongst the worst in the world. The abuse inflicted on the Shan people by the Burmese military has forced many people to flee for their lives to Thailand. The Thai government, however, does not recognize the Shan people as refugees and unlike the Karen and Karenni refugees, has not allowed them to set up refugees camps along the Thai-Burmese border. Consequently the Shans are forced to enter Thailand illegally, which leaves them extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Despite this, Shan people are still coming to take refuge in Thailand. The estimated number of Shans working illegally in Thailand is at least 300,000. Among them are many girls and young women who have been trafficked into Thai brothels, where they face a wide range of abuse including sexual and other physical violence, debt bondage, exposure to HIV/AIDS, forced labor without payment and illegal confinement..." Reports, programmes etc.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: April 2003

    Title: The human rights situation in Shan State
    Description/subject: Link to "Discrimination Against the Shan" in the OBL Human Rights section
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 20 June 2012