Shan 'FM': Freedom campaign on track
On 26 December, S.H.A.N. had the opportunity to interview Khun Hom, 'Foreign Minister' of the 'Interim Shan Government' (ISG) formed last March that drew widespread attention by declaring Independence from military-ruled Burma on 17 April...
No.07 - 01/2005
9 January 2006
Shan 'FM': Freedom campaign on track
On 26 December, S.H.A.N. had the opportunity to interview Khun Hom, 'Foreign Minister' of the 'Interim Shan Government' (ISG) formed last March that drew widespread attention by declaring Independence from military-ruled Burma on 17 April.
The following are excerpts from a one and a half hour meeting with him in Bangkok.
On reports of forced retirement
That was an unfortunate misunderstanding that arose from leakage of sensitive information from the ISG's PM Office. I know there were also reports that I was fired and then reinstated. None of them were true.
How the ISG was formed
On 18 September 2004, there was a conference of 200 representatives from all over the country at a village between Namzang and Laikha. Reports that the conference was organized by Col Moengzuen (of the Shan State Army 'South' who later declared his allegiance to the ISG) were also not true. At that meeting, the people had proposed Sao Hso Hom (Prince of Mongpawn now living in Australia) for president. But as he was unable to take on the duties, Sao Surkhanpha (Prince of Yawnghwe) was chosen instead.
The conference was the result of an underground poll conducted earlier, where 48 out of the total 56 townships of Shan State had opted for Independence. Members of the Shan Nationalities league for Democracy (the party that had won the most seats in the 1990 elections and whose leader is Hkun Tun Oo now serving a 93-year jail sentence) had also participated in the event.
On 25 March, we held a meeting on the border to form the 17 member cabinet which has now increased to 23 including deputy ministers. However, as 15 of them are still inside Burma, we will be able to give you only the names of the 8 ministers and deputy ministers outside Burma.
Since the declaration of Independence, we have received support from every corner of Shan State and outside Shan State, including Karenni, Arakan and Mon.
Also out of several nations we have been lobbying, we expect 3 of them to recognize us. But we are not privileged to disclose the names (of the 3 countries) before they make public announcements of their recognition.
We are therefore confident that freedom can be achieved in the near future. However, if things don't turn out the way we expect, please rest assured we already have other contingency plans.
On ISG's military strength
All those who have refused to lay down their arms to Rangoon are considered forces on the side of freedom. They cannot sidestep us more than we can to them.
On the Shan State Army (SSA) South
We have already made 8 attempts to hold a meeting with them (leaders of the SSA), but thus far they don't seem to be ready for it. Some of them thought I had betrayed them (Khun Hom was a member of the SSA-South's advisory council, 1996-2004). But from the beginning my allegiance has been to the people and not to any specific group. Others also accused us of plucking away Col Moengzuen's 758th Brigade, which was quite untrue. Their fragile internal relationship had already existed well before ISG's declaration of Independence, which we sincerely hope would be resolved very soon.
Whatever has happened between us, we are still ready to meet them and confident of restoration to normalcy & solidarity. The meeting should therefore be the sooner the better.
Future of Shan State
Every national race is entitled to equality. That's why we have re-adopted the old name, "Federated Shan States". * Also government should be based on the will of the people.
*From 1922-48, the present Shan State of Burma was known as Federated Shan States, composed of 34 princely states. It became co-independent with Burma on the basis of Panglong Agreement that was signed on 12 February 1947- Editor
On the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC)
We support what the ENC is doing.
On 'Common Goal, Diverse Actions' Principle
We support it. In fact, we are implementing it among our different ministries.
The Interim Shan Government (ISG)
|1.HRH Sao Surkhanpha||President|
|2.Sao Hsiha||Vice President|
|3.Hkun Hsengzed||Prime Minister|
|4.Sao Khurhsurh||Home Minister||
|5.Sao Tun Aye||Defense Minister||-|
|6.Sao Khun Hom||Foreign Minister|
|7.Sao Sai Yawd||Finince Minister||-|
|8.Sao Lawn Moeng||Deputy Home Minister|
|25 March 2005||Formation of ISG|
|17 April 2005||Declaration of Independence|
|19 April 2005||Home Ministry declares ISG an unlawful association|
|19 April 2005||NLD issues statement denouncing the declaration of Independence|
|23 April 2005||SNLD issues statement condemning the declaration of Independence|
|25 April 2005||Shan State Army South's 758th Brigade declares support for ISG|
|May 2005||Rangoon holds countrywide public rallies to denounce ISG|
|September 2005||Offensive against 758th Brigade (renamed 758th Region) that started in May joined by the Arakan State-based Military Operations Management Command (MOMC) #5. MOMC is a division-sized (10 battalion) unit.|
(Cc: to S.H.A.N. 20 October 2005)
1.To seek international recognition
|2.Withdrawal of all SPDC troops under UN auspices|
|3.Hold free and fair Elections|
|4.Drafting of Shan States Constitution (inclusive policy)|
|5.Elimination of narcotics|
|6.Development, reconstruction and rehabilitation|