Shan Nationalities League for Democracy


Shan Nationalities League for Democracy

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy

(Second largest winning party in 1990 Election)

Date of establishment
Registered Date 26 Oct 1988
Registered number # 45
Guiding Principles (Goals) Democracy, Unity, Human Rights, Internal Peace, Development,
Free Enterprise and Equality
Leader Hkun Htoon Oo
[born 11 September 1943 in Hsenwi; Served as personal assistant to military attaché for Indonesia (1967), technical representative for Overseas Courier Service; President of SNLD since 1989]
Other prominent leaders Sai Nood a.k.a. Sai Nyunt Lwin (General Secretary);
Sai Hsawng Hsee;
Sai Hla Aung;
Sai Fah;
Sai Tha Aye.


27 May 1990 Wins 23 seats in Shan State. One elected member, Sai Hla Pay, gains the most
votes (91.45%) in all of Burma.
31 July 1990 Draft union constitution calls for 8-state union
18 August 1990 Issues statement calling for the convening of parliament. "We wish to live in
fraternity with all, but that doesn't mean we like to be bullied," it says.
29 August 1990 Co-signatory to Bo Aung Gyaw Road Declaration with NLD. Calls for the establishment of a just and equal union.
1993 Participates in the "National Convention."
No. SNLD position Junta position
1. Sovereignty rests with the people It rests only with three quarters of the people.
2. Federalism  
3. An 8 state union A 7 state 7 division union
4. Autonomy for smaller nationalities No problem.
5. Parliamentary System of government Presidential System of government

Extracts from presentations:

"Among the Three Main Causes (as laid down by the Army; Non-disintegration of the Union; Non-disintegration of national unity and Perpetuation of National Sovereignty), the most primary one is Non-disintegration of the national unity. So long as we are united, the union will not disintegrate and sovereignty will endure. To support the fact, had there been no unity, the union would not even have come into being . . ..

"Secession ruins the union. It therefore deserves opposition. Yet there is also another reason for the disintegration of the union: the long-standing inability to establish a united, just and stable genuine union. In fact, non-existence of inequality has long been a threat to the integrity of the union . . ..

"National unity cannot be achieved by denouncing and annihilating those who refuse to toe one's line..".

26 November 1995 Urges Senior General Than Shwe and Aung San Suu Kyi to begin national reconciliation process.
6 June 1996 Forms Co-ordination Committee (later Joint Action Committee) with two ceasefire groups: the Shan State Army "North" and Shan State National Army.
28 December 1996 Files complaint with Than Shwe on forced resignation of Sai Soe Nyunt, Kachin State branch chairman, on 19 December.
5 May 1997 Meets United Nations special envoy, Alvaro de Soto. Submits Union Nationalities League for Democracy's platform on democracy and equality. "Democracy and Equality are inseparable like the head and tail of a coin," it says, a stand concurred by the NLD.
5-6 February 1998 Holds EC meeting. Deplores the forced relocations and killings in central Shan State.
6 June 1998 Urges to open talks on national reconciliation, together with Arakan League for Democracy, Zomi National Congress and, Mom National League for Democracy.
. 1999 Participates in the formation of the CRPP
27 July 2000 Issues statement protesting massacres in Southern Shan State by the military.

Note: Other parties that won seats in the 1990 elections in Shan State were:

1. National League for Democracy 22 seats
2. Union Pa-O National Organization 3 "
3. Ta-arng National League for Democracy 2 "
4. National Unity Party 1 "
5. Union National Democracy Party 1 "
6. Democratic Organization for Kayan National Unity 1 "
7. Lahu National Development Party 1 "
8. Union Danu League for Democracy 1 "
9. Shan State Kokang Democratic Party 1 "
Total 56 "

Dated 5th May 1997

(Note: The proposal was submitted to Alvaro de Soto, UN special envoy)

Union of Burma is inhabited by various indigenous nationalities all of whom aspire to and envisage the establishment of a strong and firmly united body.

The basic requirements involve;

(1) democratic rights
(2) political equality and
(3) self-determination;

These principles are inseparable, like the head and tail of a coin. To achieve and realize these goals, we believe we must endeavor the following;

(1) To foster the unity of all nationalities;
(2) To promote the democratic rights, political equality and self-determination of our peoples;
(3) To establish a genuine federal union;
(4) To promote the development of member states in accordance with the resources of the states concerned proportionately, and to accomplish the development of a modern federal union.
(5) To abolish all types of dictatorship.
(6) To establish internal peace and tranquility.

Since time immemorial, all nationalities have been living together through thick and thin in accordance with our systems, traditions and ways of life. We all suffered together under feudalism and colonialism. Before independence under the leadership of national hero Bogyoke Aung San, we all nationalities agreed at "Panglong" to have a federal union, with the rights of equality and self-determination for each and every nationality. We all believed we would achieve real independence.

After achieving independence, the A.F.P.F.L. government failed to comprehend the "Panglong" agreements appropriately. Then under the one party system of the B.S.P.P., we nationalities were granted a sham "Seven" states such as Kachin, Kaya, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. On the other hand they set up seven divisions for Burma. In practice they ruled by a centralized system.

In 1988, we all the people of Burma led by students, youths, sanghas, workers and peasants toppled the one party B.S.P.P. rule. Then the military seized the state power, crushing the people's democratic movements by annihilation.

They formed S.L.O.R.C. and the military has ruled the country since then. When they took power, they then allowed people to register political parties and held general elections in 1990. However, they did not honor the results of the elections. Despite, in 1993 they convened the National Convention for the drafting of a constitution. At the Convention only 15% of elected members were included and the rest of the delegates were handpicked. Since the commencement of the convention, the nationalities attending the convention have presented the demands for democratic rights, equality and self-determination for the nationalities. The S.L.O.R.C. presented six basic guiding points, including "The military must hold the political leading role in future state affairs."

This means the military will grasp and control state power, and jeopardize democracy. They are also trying to exercise executive powers from central to divisional, state, district and township levels. The National Convention which started in 1993 has not been concluded yet, and N.L.D., the party which won the majority in the 1990 election boycotted the convention.

We nationalities are still struggling for our democratic rights, equality and self-determination. When we were allowed to register political parties, each and every nationality registered at least one party, and jointly formed a united front of the nationalities consisting of 25 parties named "United Nationalities League for Democracy (U.N.L.D.)" (See appendix). We nationalities won 67 seats in the general election (Shan 23, Rakhine 11, Mon 5, and others). Though the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy was not a member of UNLD, we have jointly struggled together for matters relating to democratic rights, equality and self-determination.

At present, we the nationalities and the great majority are severely oppressed under the military dictatorship and losing our basic democratic rights, equality and self-determination. Almost all the political parties were banned after the elections. Those few political parties which remain existing now cannot exercise their political activities; they are tightly controlled and restricted. Those nationality groups fighting against the government and which had agreed to a cease-fire are also denied political activity. They have been given very limited opportunities to be engaged in trade and economic development.

Under these conditions, we the nationalities, who had once united under the leadership of UNLD are required to be on the alert, study the situation and remain responsible to the electorate goal of democracy, equality and self-determination and work together with dedication.

The whole world has been watching the political affairs of Burma closely, and has given economic pressure to achieve democracy in Burma. But these measures have very little effect. Burma has been suffering from political and economic chaos. To be free from such chaos, we must do our best; as follows: -

(1) To have national reconciliation, we all must refrain from armed conflicts, and must have political negotiations.
(2) For negotiations to proceed in accordance with U.N. resolutions, the following parties must be included:
i. Democratic forces including N.L.D. and other democratic elements;
ii. Democratic nationalities, leaders and armed nationality groups and
iii. S.L.O.R.C.
(3) For national solidarity, all the nationalities must convene a conference in line with the Panglong Agreement for democracy, equality and self-determination.

To achieve those objectives, we urge all organizations, all personnel and all concerned to work together sincerely and promptly.


Members of United Nationalities League for Democracy

1. . Arakan League For Democracy.
2. Mon National Democratic Front.
3. Ta-ang (Palaung) National League for Democracy.
4. Karen State National Organization.
5. Chin National League for Democracy.
6. Kayah State All Nationalities League for Democracy.
7. Shan Nationalities League for Democracy.
8. Arakan National Human Rights and Peace Party.
9. Zomi National Congress.
10. Peasants, Gadu, Ganan and Shan League for Democracy.
11. Union Pa-O National Congress.
12. Southern Chin Democratic Party.
13. Kachin National Congress.
14. Mro or Khami National Solidarity Organization.
15. Highlanders Democratic Party.
16. Democratic Organization for Kayan National Unity.
17. Kachin State National Democratic Party.
18. Inn National League.
19. The Rakhine National Humanitarian and Development Organization.
20. Naga Hills Regional Progressive Party.
21. Lisu National Solidarity Party.
22. Kayin National Democratic Congress.
23. Mara People's Party.
24. Lahu National Development Party.
25. Wa National Development Party.