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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   1 July 2013  

Shan studies conference in Maehongson

Reinhard Hohle

Almost 4 years after an International Conference on Shan Studies (ICSS) was convened at Thailand’s prestigious Chulalongkorn University, Maehongson is holding its first Shan Studies Conference, Saturday 29 June-Sunday 30 June.

It is expected to be joined by scholars and Shan far (US, Burma, India, and Japan) and near (Chiangmai and Bangkok).

Sai Aung Tun, 80, who in 2009 published the acclaimed History of the Shan State: From its origins to 1962 is among them.

The forum is jointly organized by Maehongson Community College’s Shan Studies Center and Chiangmai University’s Center of Ethnic Studies and Development (CESD).

Khuensai Jaiyen, editor of the Chiangmai-based Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN), who has been invited as one of the panelists said he was happy with the topic chosen for him: History and Social Memory of Tai People in Southeast Asia. “As topics go, it’s a loaded one,” he said. “It means it’s up to myself what I wish to present to the conference. I’m grateful to the organizers for their consideration.”

Maehongson, together with Chiangmai and Chiangrai, shares border with Burma’s Shan State, and has a sizeable Shan population.

The conference will be conducted in Thai and English. “For panelists who wish to speak in Shan,” said Ajarn Yothin Boonchaluey of Maehongson Community College, “interpreters will be provided.”

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