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Prince Hso Khan Pha of Yawnghwe (Burmese: စဝ်ခမ်းဖ, aka Tiger; 15 April 1938 – 4 October 2016) was a consulting geologist who lived in exile in Canada. He was a son of Sao Shwe Thaik, the Saopha of Yawnghwe and Sao Nang Hearn Kham, the Mahadevi (consort).[1] Sao Shwe Thaik was the first President of the democratic and newly independent Union of Burma from 1948-52.

Hso Khan Pha
Hso Khan Pha.jpg
Hso Khan Pha was aged 14
Born(1938-04-15)15 April 1938
Yawnghwe State, British Burma
Died4 October 2016(2016-10-04) (aged 78)
Innisfail, Alberta, Canada
Throne(s) claimedYawnghwe
Pretend from21 November 1962
Monarchy abolished1962
Last monarchSao Shwe Thaik
Connection withSon
FatherSao Shwe Thaik
MotherSao Nang Hearn Kham
SpouseRosemary Catherine Otte
ChildrenRebecca Sanda-Devi
Haŏ Shwe-Thaike
Jessica Ying Sita
Hsŏ Kham-Serk



The Prince's education was first started at a local school in Yawnghwe (Nyaung Shwe) at convents run by Roman Catholic Church nuns at Kalaw and Hsenwi (Theinni) in the Shan State, later in 1949 attended The Doon School at Dehra Dun (Dehradun) in India, graduating in 1954; studied for two years at Rangoon University; attended the Bell School of Languages at Cambridge, England, and the Cambridgeshire Technical College; graduated in 1964 from the University of Keele, England, with a BA (Hons) in Geology and Political Institutions.


Tiger married Rosemary Catherine Otte in 1976 and had four children, including: Rebecca Sanda-Devi, Haŏ Shwe-Thaike, Jessica Ying Sita, and Hsŏ Kham-Serk.


Upon graduating he was hired as a geologist in England, and went to prospect for diamonds in the Ivory Coast. West Africa, for the DeBeers, Diamond Corporation Limited; in 1966 transferred to Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company Limited, starting first in Flin Flon, Manitoba, and on to exploration projects in Ontario and Quebec; joined Mattagami Lake Mines as a Senior Exploration Geologist in 1970; in 1972 became Senior Project Geologist in charge of all explorations in western Canada; opened the Western Exploration Office for Mattagami Lake Mines in Edmonton, 1975; became an independent geological consultant in 1976, working briefly in 1977 for Alberta Environment; in 1978 started consulting in the oil-patch; sought the Liberal nomination in the federal riding of Elk Island in April 1993.

Humanitarian aidEdit

Prince Hso Khan Pha worked with exiled Prince Shwebomin of Burma to promote the protection of the Shan People's religious, traditional, culture, and indegenious land rights in Burma.

Hso Khan Pha was politically active in many groups, pressuring the government of Burma. He also worked with Shan exiles abroad to help provide schooling for displaced Shan children whose parents were unable to send them to school.


Professional Societies

APEGGA (Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta); Association of Exploration Geochemists; Fellow, Geological Association of Canada and former member, Association of Alberta Petroleum Geologists.

Service Organizations

Founding member and past President of the human rights society - Burma Watch International.

Other Societies

Royal Alberta United Services Institute; Associate of the Garrison Officers Club, Mewata Armouries, Calgary.


The Yawnghwe royal family is descended from King Beingyayett (who ruled in 661-600 BC). The family ruled in what is now northern Burma and southwestern China. In 1358, the Saopha (King/Ruler) Si Hseng Hpa, a direct ancestor of this family formed his capital at Yawnghwe.

In 1850, Sao Suu Deva, Crown Prince of Yawnghwe, was assassinated by a rival claimant. King Mindon of Burma helped Prince Deva's son Sao Maung (aka Sir Sao Maung - knighted by George V of the United Kingdom) regain the crown of Yawnghwe. In 1927, Sao Shwe Thaike ascended the throne of Yangwhe, succeeding his uncle Sao Maung.

Sao Shwe Thaike (b. October 1896) was instrumental in laying the foundation in 1945 for what was to become the Union of Burma in 1948. Thaike served as President of the Constitutional Assembly and was elected by Parliament to serve as the first President of the Union in 1948. On 4 January 1948 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, handed the Union of Burma its independence.

The Mahadevi Sao Nang Hearn Kham (b. May 1916), Tiger’s mother, is sister to Saopha of Hsenwi, another ancient House. It is said by some Thai scholars that King Ramakhamheng of Sukhothai (the 13th Century precursor of modern Thailand ) was a scion of the House of Hsenwi. Sao Hern was elected to the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House or House of Commons) from 1954-58. In 1963, after Ne Wins coup of 1962 and the funeral of her husband Sao Shwe Thaike, she fled to Thailand with her younger children. Upon crossing the Thai border, the Provincial Governor called on the Mahadevi with a message of protection from the king. During her time in Thailand she organized and founded the Shan State Army (of resistance to Ne Win’s dictatorship). She became its commander-in-chief and her second son Chao Tzang served as her right-hand man. The Mahadevi lived quietly in Alberta. He died in his sleep of a heart attack on 4 October 2016.[2]


  • "I support all ethnic groups' rights to have their own federal states, probably in US style or Canadian style. I understand that Quebec Province in Canada is an autonomic federal state. Shan state can be like that?".[3]



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