Panglong Agreement, The

The 1947 Panglong Agreement was the outcome of the Panglong Conference, a meeting on the eve of independence between Burmese nationalist hero Aung San and representatives of several of the largest minority groups in Burma, namely the Chin, Shan, and Kachin. These groups agreed in principle to the formation of the Union of Burma, which became the first post-colonial government. However, other ethnic groups, most prominently the Karen and Rohingya, did not participate in this conference. The Karen began their civil war against the central government in 1949, the year after Burma attained independence. The Rohingya were not recognized by the Panglong agreement and, even to this day, are not seen as a legitimate minority group by the government.

Contemporary politicians seeking ethnic reconciliation may appeal to the “spirit of Panglong,” although this conference is remembered differently by the various groups in Myanmar today.


Matthew J. Walton, “Ethnicity, Conflict, and History in Burma: The Myths of Panglong,” Asian Survey 48.6 (2008).