On the 73rd Shan National Day on 7 February, the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) organized a military parade and cultural performance at Loi Kaw Wan, the RCSS/SSA’s regional eastern base.
The event was attended by the Shan community from both Shan State and Thailand.
RCSS/SSA Deputy Commander Col. Korn Zuen said that the mission of the RCSS/SSA after the ceasefire is still peacekeeping and protecting the people.
The RCSS/SSA signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the Myanmar government in October 2015. However, the peace negotiations have not made any progress, and around the end of 2018, the Shan State Army withdrew from the formal negotiation process.
Photo: Yiamyut Sutthichaya
Col. Korn Zuen still expects the Myanmar government to be sincere in the negotiations in order to reach the goals of the peace talks. “Genuine peace means the rights for Shan State people to do what we want in our nation, in terms of education, economy, and politics. That is genuine peace,” he said.
The 73rd Shan National Day commemoration was also held at Loi Tai Leng, the headquarters of the RCSS/SSA, government representatives and high-ranking Burma Army representatives have for the first time travelled to Loi Tai Leng to attend the anniversary, which fell on 7 February.
According to the Irrawaddy, Union Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo and Defence Services Inspector-General Lieutenant General Aye Win were among the 11-member delegation that arrived at the RCSS/SSA headquarters.
The first Shan State National Day was held in February 1947, when Shan leaders, as well as the Shan saophas (the former ruling hereditary princes) and the public formed a united Shan State and agreed on a Shan national flag and anthem during the Panglong Conference from Feb. 3-12 that year.
The RCSS/SSA was founded in 1996 after the Mong Tai Army, a Shan insurgent group, surrendered to the Burmese military government. It is now a signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and a leading organization in peace-building and political negotiations.