Olive Yang, Burmese opium warlady, Died at 91

Olive Yang was born on June 24, 1927, in northern Shan States, British Burma and died on July 13, 2017.

She also known as Yang Kyin Hsiu, nicknamed Miss Hairy Legs).

She was the half-sister of Sao Edward Yang Kyein Tsai, the saopha (chief) of Kokang, a state in post-independent Burma from 1949 to 1959.

Yang received an education at Lashio’s Guardian Angel’s Convent School.

At the age of 19, Olive organized ethnic Kokang forces, nicknamed the Olive’s Boys, an army of over a thousand soldiers and consolidated control of opium trade routes from the highlands to lowlands.

Yang dominated Kokang’s opium trade from the end of World War II to the early 1960s.

During the 1950s, after the Nationalist defeat and their subsequent expulsion from mainland China, she partnered with the Kuomintang to establish opium trade routes along the Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia).

From 1948 to 1950, Yang was married to Twan Sao Wen, the son of Tamaing’s chieftain, and had a son, Duan Jipu (段吉卜), in 1950.

Olive’s son is a teacher in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Yang was a prominent figure in opium trafficking and gold trading.

Yang was arrested in 1962, along with her brother Jimmy, a member of parliament in Yangon, by Burmese authorities, to remove them from power and place Kokang territory under Burmese administration.

Yang was imprisoned at Insein Prison and released in 1968.

She was known to be a bisexual who carried on affairs with film actresses and singers, including Wah Wah Win Shwe.

She spent her final years as a nun.

Olive Yang passed away at 91 years old.