Shwe Taik, Sao


Shwe Taik, Sao
   (1894-1962)
   Prominent Shan (Tai) leader and the Union of Burma's first president. Educated at the Shan Chiefs' School in Taunggyi, he served in the British army for 20 years and in 1927 was chosen as successor to his uncle as sawbwa of Yawnghwe by the state's council of ministers. After World War II, he initially opposed the policy of Prime Minister Clement Attlee's government to merge Burma Proper with the Frontier Areas in an independent Burma, but compromises reached with Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League President Aung San at the Panglong Conference of February 1947 persuaded him to sign the agreement that concluded the historic conference. He served as president of the Union of Burma from 1948 to 1952. From 1952 to 1960, he was speaker of the upper house of parliament, the Chamber of Nationalities. An advocate of reform and modernization in the Shan States, he endorsed the formal relinquishment of authority by the sawbwas to the Shan State government in 1959, but also played an important role in the Federal Movement. When General Ne Win seized power and shut down parliamentary government in March 1962, Sao Shwe Taik's house in Rangoon (Yangon) was surrounded by troops, and his youngest was son killed. He died at Insein Jail under ambiguous circumstances in November 1962.
   See also Hearn Kham, Sao Nang.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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