Rangoon Shans pre-empt 2014 census

The 2014 census taking is still more than 7 months away, but Shans in Rangoon Region have already started their own count in order to prevent official irregularity that had previously registered thousands of them as Burmese.

Official pamphlet notifying census will be taken, 30 March -10 April 2014.
According to Article 161 of the 2008 constitution, a national race in a state or region having a population which constitutes 0.1 percent and above of the population of the Union is entitled to choose a representative for the State/region concerned. He/she also becomes a minister of the state/region concerned by virtue of his/her position.

The country’s population currently is estimated at 60 million.

“There must be at least 100,000 Shan in the region,” said a young volunteer. “Had there been a reliable figure in 2010, we would already be having a Shan minister in the Rangoon regional government.”

He used the usual Shan name Ta-Koong, meaning  “Shrimp Port”, for Rangoon. Shans, since early history, had established trading centers in the delta areas.

“Apart from establishing the correct national race,” another volunteer added, “we are also urging them to use Sai (Mr) Nang (Miss/Mrs) or Loong (Uncle) Pa (Aunt) instead the standard Burmese prefixes, U and Daw.”

The informal campaign, which began on 20 August, is the result of the meeting at the Shan monastery at 9th Mile, Mayangone township, on 17 August. The 11 person census committee elected includes Sai Kiao Tip, chairman; Sai Mook, vice chairman; and Nang Zaw Oong, Secretary.

Critics also believe the 2014 census will help eliminate the long-standing official hype that there are 135 rational races in the country, which necessitates the existence of a strong, modern army to prevent it from falling apart into 135 independent states.

Millions of Shans also live in Kachin state and Sagaing and Pegu regions.


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