Asian Review


Sao Noan Oo

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This paper traces the history of administration in the Shan States from ancient times to 1962. The Tais are descendents of an ancient race that existed thousands of years ago in China. During the early turbulent periods in China the Tais migrated into several parts of Southeast Asia, settling along the river valleys to cultivate wet rice for their livelihood. They also brought with them their sociopolitical organization of baan/mong with the Sao Hpas as their leader. In 1886 the Shan States were annexed by Britain but were autonomous. In 1922, they became the Federated Shan States, with established law, order, and peace. In 1947 the Federated Shan States became a Shan State as equal partners with Burma Proper and other ethnic States to ask Britain for independence. In 1958 the Sao Hpas surrendered their power to the Shan State Government and in 1962 they were put in prison, and the Shan State became a country forcibly occupied by the Burmese Military.



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