Expatriates can return home: Shan State chief

Sao Aung Myat, Shan State Chief Minister, told her his government is ready to welcome exiles from Shan State, according to MP Nang Kham Aye, Shan State Assembly.

Nang Kham Aye (Photo: SHAN)
“If they are coming in big groups, say 70-80 households per group, they will even be allowed to choose the place they want to resettle,” he was quoted as saying, as the two met on the sidelines of the latest session of the Shan State Assembly, 20-21 December.

His disclosure came after Col Aung Thu, Shan State Government’s military-appointed Security and Border Affairs minister, in response to the question posed by Nang Kham Aye about the status of the migrants, had replied:

  • Those who choose to return as individuals to their relatives can do so freely
  • As for those who want to return in sizeable groups, they should contact the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, so it could arrange for their safe journey

Sao Aung Myat, Shan State Chief Minister (Photo: SHAN)

Nang Kham Aye said there are three categories of migrants:

  • Those who wish to return but are afraid of the mine fields around their former villages
  • Those who wish to return but have no supporting documents to prove that they are from Burma
  • Those who decide not to return

Between 500,000-1 million Shans have left Burma’s Shan State since Independence in 1948 due to war, failed economy and widespread human rights abuses. The largest migrations took place during the Kuomintang incursion (1950-1961), the Burma Army’s 4 cut campaign against the Shan State Army (1996-98) and the United Wa State Army’s forced relocations of the Wa people from the Chinese border to the Thai border (1999-2001).


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