Kayah State

Kayah State

Kayah State (Burmese: ကယားပြည်နယ်, pronounced: [kəjá pjìnɛ̀] formerly, Karenni State) is a state of Myanmar. Situated in eastern Myanmar, it is bounded on the north by Shan State, on the east by Thailand's Mae Hong Son Province, and on the south and west by Kayin State. It lies approximately between 18° 30' and 19° 55' north latitude and between 94°40' and 97° 93' east longitude. The area is 11,670 km2 (4,510 sq mi). Its capital is Loikaw (also spelt Loi-kaw). The estimated population in 1998 was approximately 207,357, according to UNICEF. It is inhabited primarily by the Karenni ethnic group, also known as Red Karen or Kayah, a Sino-Tibetan people.

Geography Of Kayah State

Karenni ( Kayah )State is located in the eastern part of Myanmar. The relief of Karenni ( Kayah ) State is mountainous with the Dawna Range and the Karen Hills also known as "Karenni-Karen" mountains separated by the Salween River as it flows through Karenni ( Kayah ) State. Balu Chaung, called Nam Pilu in local language, flows from Inle Lake and converges with the Salween in southern Karenni (Kayah) State. Lawpita Dam, built in 1950 as a bilateral reparation agreement with Japan, is a major hydroelectric production dam which produces a quarter of the total hydroelectric power generation in Myanmar.

History Of Kayah State

19th century and British rule

Karenni States is the name formerly given to a group of states that included Kantarawadi, Kyebogyi and Bawlake. These states were located south of the Federated Shan States and east of British Burma. According to the 1930 census, the states had a total population of 58,761 with Kantarawadi (3,161 square miles or 8,190 square kilometres), 30,677, Kyebogyi (790 square miles or 2,000 square kilometres), 14,282 and Bawlake (568 square miles or 1,470 square kilometres), 13,802.

The British government recognized and guaranteed the independence of the Karenni States in an 1875 treaty with Burmese King Mindon Min, by which both parties recognized the area as belonging neither to Konbaung Burma nor to Great Britain. Consequently, the Karenni States were never fully incorporated into British Burma. The Karenni States were recognized as tributary to British Burma in 1892, when their rulers agreed to accept a stipend from the British government. In the 1930s, the Mawchi Mine in Bawlake was the most important source of tungsten in the world.am which produces a quarter of the total hydroelectric power generation in Myanmar.

Independence to 1988

The Constitution of the Union of Burma in 1947 proclaimed that the three Karenni States be amalgamated into a single constituent state of the union, called Karenni State. It also provided for the possibility of secession from the Union after 10 years. In August 1948, the Karenni leader U Bee Htu Re was assassinated by central government militia for his opposition to the inclusion of the Karenni States in the Union of Burma. An armed uprising swept the state that has continued to the present-day.

In 1952, the former Shan state of Mong Pai (1901. pop - 19,351) was added to Karenni State, and the whole renamed Kayah State, possibly with the intent of driving a wedge between the Karenni (in Kayah State) and the rest of the Karen people (in Karen State), both fighting for independence. In 1957, pro-independence groups already active in the area formed the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), backed by its own army, the Karenni Army (KA). Apart from a brief ceasefire in 1995, the KA has been fighting ever since. Rivals to the KNPP include the leftist Kayan New Land Party (KNLP), and the Karenni National People's Liberation Front (KNPLF), both of which are now allied with the Myanmar military.


In 1996, Myanmar's State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) of stepped up its campaign to crush Karenni independence with a population transfer program, forcibly moving villagers to designated relocation sites to deprive the pro-independence forces of bases of support. The Myanmar government has been accused of massive human rights violations in the region.

Coordinates: 19°15′N 97°20′E / 19.250°N 97.333°E
Country Myanmar
Region Southeast
Capital Loikaw
• Chief Minister L Phaung Sho (NLD)
• Legislature Kayah State Hluttaw
• Total 11,731.5 km2 (4,529.6 sq mi)
Area rank 13th
Population (2014)
• Total 286,627
• Rank 15th
• Density 24/km2 (63/sq mi)
• Ethnicities Kayah, Kayin, Padaung, Bamar, Shan, Pa-O
• Religions Buddhism, Christianity, animism
Time zone MST (UTC+06:30)
Website www.kayahstate.gov.mm

Kayah (Karenni )State

Myanmar location


Myanmar location

Location of Kayah State in Myanmar