Open Letter to Mrs. Clinton, US Secretary of State by SAO NOAN OO(Shan)

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

On behalf of the Shan People I wish you success in your forthcoming visit to Burma, and at the same time may I present to you the voice of the Shan people: Like all other ethnic Nationalities the Shan do not want war and they do not want to fight the dictatorial armies. They want genuine peace. But to them, genuine peace is achievable only if and when the dictatorial armed forces are withdrawn from all the ethnic states. As long as the dictatorial armed forces occupy their homelands the people will continue to suffer. There is no sign of the situation ever improving. The ethnic citizens have been living in fear and terror for more than half a century. No human beings should have the right to treat other human beings this way; in fact the regimes have no legal right to forcibly occupy the Shan State as the Shan State is a separate country in its own right. The regimes have abrogated the Panglong Agreement, so the legal tie between the Shan State and the Union of Burma has been broken. Even if the Panglong Agreement still exists between the two, the Shan State had the right to secede after ten years, that was in 1958.

All that the Shan and other ethnic nationalities ever wanted was their birthright:their ancestral and their homelands, the right to freedom, equality and self determination. Since the the Military regimes forcibly occupied the Shan State the people have not been able to move forward , they have retrogressed. The children have had no proper education, and many have become orphans because their parents had been killed by the military soldiers.

Being in occupation of a state the dictatorial regimes have many advantages. Legally, or illegally it is recognised as a de facto government by the rest of the world and by regional and big powers. Its words whether true or false has more weight than the opposition and ethnic nationalities.

I hope you will consider supporting us in calling for the the regime to withdraw the dictatorial armed forces from all ethnic states. This is the only obstacle that is preventing peace in Burma. Please make your judgement and decision based on ethical, moral and legal grounds.

Sao Noan Oo
( Shan Elder)

The contributor is the author of My Vanished World. She is a scion of the farmer Federated Shan States’ Lawkzawk princely state.

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