Families of 1947 Panglong Signatories Voice Support for 21st Century Panglong

By Kyaw Kha 15 February 2017

PANGLONG, Shan State — Family members of the ethnic delegates who signed the historic Panglong Agreement in 1947 together with Gen Aung San have voiced their support for the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference which is slated to start on Feb. 28, under the leadership of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The family members released a five-point statement on the 70th Union Day anniversary on Feb. 12 in Panglong town, Shan State. The families said they support the upcoming peace conference and any other actions that will benefit internal peace in Burma.

The family members said they support taking a fresh approach to the Panglong Agreement, which was signed in a show of unity by ethnic Burman and ethnic minority peoples. Their statement also condemned any actions that deviate from the original Panglong Agreement, which is responsible for the creation of modern Burma.

“We support the 21st Century Panglong because it is the most significant step toward peace right now,” said Sao Tha Oo, grandson of Hsamonghkam Saopha Sao Tun Aye, one of the Panglong signatories.

Gen Aung San and 21 representatives signed the first Panglong Agreement in 1947, in which they pledged to work together to gain their independence from the British.

The Union government invited the family members to attend the 70th Union Day celebration on Sunday.

However, family members of U Khun Saw, who signed the 1947 Panglong Agreement as a people’s representative, declined to sign the new statement.

“I fully support the peace process and unconditionally support the 21st Century Panglong. I will make contributions to the best of my physical and mental ability,” U Win Wunna Win, the grandson of U Khun Saw, told The Irrawaddy.

“But we did not sign the new statement today because we are not clear about points No. 4 and 5,” U Win Wunna Win said. Points 4 and 5 referred to “deviating” and “taking a fresh approach” to the Panglong Agreement.

He said the family members had not discussed the statement in advance; the statement was already prepared, and family members were asked to sign it.

“I’d like to see a peaceful, federal Union with unity and trust toward each other before I die,” said Sao Haymar Thaike, the 72-year-old daughter of Sao Shwe Thaike, who was Burma’s first President.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko