Thousands of Red Shan march for self-rule

Thousands of Red Shan march for self-rule

Thousands of ethnic Tai Leng, also known as Red Shan, marched the streets of Homalin in Sagaing Division on Saturday demanding a self-administered Tai Leng state.

The rally on 17 September, led by the Tai Leng Nationalities Development Party, was joined by several thousand local Red Shan people from Sagaing, who were joined by busloads of fellow marchers from as far afield as Hpakant, Mogaung and Myitkyina in Kachin State.

The demonstrators chanted slogans, mostly focused on the creation of an autonomous Tai Leng state and a federal union in Burma.

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Sai Than Linn, coordinator of the Tai Leng Youth Federation in Sagaing, said the Red Shan people have previously made several calls for their own state, but this was the first time they had staged a rally to highlight their demands.

It is believed that the Red Shan population is around 300,000, mostly concentrated in northern Sagaing Division and parts of Kachin State.

It was announced by local media in January 2016 that the Red Shan had formed their own army.

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