WEDNESDAY, 09 SEPTEMBER 2009 12:51 S.H.A.N.
The man who led the founding of the United Wa State Party (UWSP) in 1989, following the successful mutiny against the Communist Party of Burma (CPB), passed away in Lanxang, Yunnan province, China, yesterday (8 September), according to one of his relatives. Chao Ngi-lai aka Ta Lai, 70, had been crippled by a stroke since 1995.
Born in 1939 in Hsaopha, Pangwai township, he had set up an armed force in 1965 which later merged with the CPB’s People’s Army. In 1985, he was elected as a candidate member of the Party’s Central Committee.
According to those who knew him, he was cool-headed and fought alongside his men in battles. Brought up by his stepfather Ta Khun Nyi, he had converted to Christianity, a minority religion (0.1%) in Wa area, according to Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO), that published Unsettling Moves: The Wa Forced resettlement program in Eastern Shan State in 2002.
His successor Bao Youxiang has also been suffering from trichinosis, which he got from eating uncooked pork, according to Merchants of Madness, by Bertil Lintner and Michael Black.
The date of his funeral is yet to be fixed, according to the relative.