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Home > Main Library > Non-Burman and non-Buddhist groups > Ethnic groups in Burma (cultural, political) > Single Groups > Kachin (economic, social, cultural, political)

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Kachin (economic, social, cultural, political)
Kachin material also in the Internal armed conflict section

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "Kachin News"
Language: Kachin
Source/publisher: "Kachin News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 December 2010

Title: Kachin Development Networking Group
Description/subject: "Kachin Development Networking Group is a network of civil society groups and development organisations in Kachin State, Burma. KDNG's purpose is to effectively work for sustainable development together with locally-based organisations in Kachin State. It's aim is to promote a civil society based on equality and justice for the local people in the struggle for social and political change in Burma"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Development Networking Group
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2008

Title: Kachin National Organization
Description/subject: Original website is down but the Kachin National Organization has Facebook page.
Language: English
Alternate URLs: http://www.kachinland.org/
Date of entry/update: 14 December 2010

Title: The Kachinnet
Language: Kachin
Source/publisher: Kachinnet
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 December 2010

Title: Voices of the People: "A Collection of Stories of people of Burma"
Description/subject: "These are Burma’s voices for change, extraordinary stories of people of Burma from all walks of life. Their experiences, struggles, fears, and successes. These are unheard stories of incredible spirit of resilience and courage, voices of hope and dreams that have emerged from decades of oppression. Help us spread these voices across the globe!"...Stories and voices from Karen, Karenni, Shan, Kachin, Chin, Rakhine, Mon, Palaung, Pa-O, Nagas and other ethnic minorities.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 March 2016

Individual Documents

Title: The Generation to Enjoy Peace? English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 17 March 2016
Description/subject: "We are at a critical juncture in our history, more promising than at any time in recent memory. The country will have a civilian-majority government that came to office through the votes of a multitude of smaller nationality groups for a pan-national party promising political change. If this political transition is to succeed, poverty must be alleviated, corruption curtailed, drug abuse radically reduced, and a host of other social crises addressed that have long blighted our country. At the beginning of the year my son came to the Kachin state with his newly-wed bride to receive our blessings for his marriage. For the first time I began to think about becoming a grandmother, holding a tiny grandchild and then actually thinking that, at some time in the future, I would welcome a granddaughter or grandson to our home for another happy wedding. What can I pass on to this future generation? What will unfold before their eyes? Snow-capped mountains and orchids hidden in deep forests? Streams rushing downhill to join the great Irrawaddy? Flourishing farmlands? I had a vision of reforested hills in Hpakant, travellers gathering pleasure from the peaceful countryside where camps for internally-displaced persons now dot the hills. I saw organic farmers, where today great swathes of monocultures for export have now displaced the original owners. And I could imagine thriving universities, where drug-addicted young people presently waste away their lives. These reflections are not simply personal, but concerns that every parent has in our country today. We are now at a critical juncture in our history, more promising than at any time in recent memory. For the first time since the 1950s, the country will have a civilian-majority government that came to office through the votes of a multitude of smaller nationality groups for a pan-national party promising political change. For non-Burman peoples, however, an underlying question remains, as it has in every political era since independence in 1948: can a multi-ethnic country of such cultural vibrancy and diversity be governed by a party that appears to be led by one majority group?..."
Author/creator: Lahpai Seng Raw
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: https://www.tni.org/en/node/22933
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2016

Title: The International Community Must Stop Funding Gvt’s Attacks on Kachin Civilians: Moon Nay Li, General Secretary of KWAT
Date of publication: 03 August 2015
Description/subject: "Moon Nay Li is the General Secretary of the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT), an organisation which she joined in 2002 in order to work for her people and community. The KWAT was founded on September 9th 1999 in response to recognising the urgent need for women to organise themselves to help solve the growing social and economic problems in the Kachin State...The KWAT is very concerned that foreign aid and investment is serving to subsidise the government’s war machine. As Moon Nay Li points out; “They (international community) are [giving] more support to the government, [but] now the government military has not stopped attacking the ethnic people.” Instead of funding the government’s offensives, “they have to give pressure to Burmese government to have real political dialogue in our country,” says Moon Nai Li. “They have to know that (the real) situation and also have to give pressure, not listen only to the government side. But also they have to listen to the ethnic leaders and also the ground, and CBOs and ethnic people.”
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2016

Title: Pushed to the Brink - Conflict and human trafficking on the Kachin-China border
Date of publication: 05 June 2013
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Burmese government’s renewed war against the Kachin has exponentially increased the risk of human trafficking along the China-Burma border. New documentation by KWAT indicates that large-scale displacement, lack of refugee protection and shortages of humanitarian aid have become significant new push factors fuelling the trafficking problem. Burma Army offensives against the Kachin Independence Army since June 2011 and widespread human rights abuses have driven over 100,000 villagers from their homes, mainly in eastern Kachin State. The majority of these refugees have fled to crowded IDP camps along the China border, which receive virtually no international aid. Desperate to earn an income, but with little or no legal option to pursue migrant work in China, many cross the border illegally. Their lack of legal status renders them extremely vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers, who use well-trodden routes to transport and sell people into bonded labor or forced marriage as far as eastern provinces of China. Although ongoing attacks and massive social upheaval since the start of the conflict have hampered systematic data collection, KWAT has documented 24 trafficking cases from Kachin border areas since June 2011, mostly involving young women and girls displaced by the war, who have been tricked, drugged, raped, and sold to Chinese men or families as brides or bonded laborers. The sale of women and children is a lucrative source of income for traffickers, who can make as much as 40,000 Yuan (approximately $6,500 USD) per person. While some manage to escape, and may be assisted by Chinese authorities in returning home, others disappear without a trace. Kachin authorities and community-based groups have played a key role in providing help with trafficking cases, and assisting women to be reunited with their families. No trafficked women or their families sought help from Burmese authorities. The Burmese government lists an anti-trafficking border liaison office at Loije on the Kachin-China border, but it is unknown to the community and thought to be non-functional. Far from seeking to provide protection to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and mitigate trafficking risks, the Burmese government has continued to fuel the war, block humanitarian aid to IDPs in Kachin controlled areas, and even attack and destroy IDP camps, driving refugees into China. It has also closed some of the immigration offices on the Kachin-China border which could provide border passes for refugees to legally seek work in China. It is thus ironic that in 2012, Burma was recognized in the U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report as increasing its efforts in combating human trafficking, resulting in a rise from its bottomlevel ranking for the first time in the history of the report, and a corresponding increase in financial support to Burma’s quasi-civilian government. It is urgently needed to address the structural problems that have led to mass migration and trafficking in the past and also spurred the recent conflict. The Burmese military’s gross mismanagement of resource revenues from Kachin State over the past few decades, and ongoing land confiscation, forced relocation, and human rights abuses, have pushed countless Kachin civilians across the Chinese border in search of peace and the fulfillment of basic needs. These problems led to the breakdown of the 17-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the military-dominated government in 2011. Refusing to engage in dialogue to address Kachin demands for equality and equitable development, the government launched attacks to seize total control over the wealth of resources in Kachin State. Resolving the current conflict via genuine political dialogue would not only be a step towards peace, but also a concrete move towards curbing human trafficking from Kachin areas. Launching a range of reforms dealing with the political and economic factors driving people beyond Burma’s borders is critical to addressing trafficking. Therefore, KWAT recommends the following:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-OBL version; 1.37MB-original...Press release: Chinese, 90K; Burmese, 40K; English, html)
Alternate URLs: http://www.kachinwomen.com
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013

Title: Statement on Dialogue Between KIO/KIA and Thein Sein’s Government
Date of publication: 17 January 2012
Description/subject: On behalf of: • All Kachin Students and Youth Union (AKSYU) • BRIDGE • Kachin Centre • Kachin Development Networking Group • Kachin Environmental Organization • Kachin National Organization • Kachin Women's Association – Thailand • Kachin News Group • Life Vision Foundation • Pan Kachin Development Society
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
Format/size: pdf (75K)
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2012

Title: Vor der Flut
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: Sie werden nicht gefragt, nicht entschädigt und bald einfach fortgejagt: Ein Staudammprojekt am Ayeyarwady in Myanmar bedroht die Natur und die Existenz tausender Flussanwohner. Der Widerstand gegen die Pläne der Militärjunta ist lebensgefährlich. Chinesische Investitionen, Kachin; Chinese Investment.
Author/creator: Veronika Buter
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Kontinente
Format/size: html (16K)
Date of entry/update: 14 December 2010

Title: David gegen Goliath: Christen in Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 February 2007
Description/subject: Interview mit dem Präsidenten des Kachin Theological College (KTC).Im Gespräch mit Livenet berichtete er von seiner Schule in der Stadt Myitkyina, der grössten theologischen Ausbildungsstätte im Norden des Landes, die den Bachelor of Theology und den Master of Divinity verleiht und in den letzten 15 Jahren ein starkes Wachstum erlebt hat. „Seit dem Zusammenbruch des Sozialismus wollen viele Absolventen von Colleges und Sekundarschulen das KTC besuchen.“ Zahlreiche Kurse werden englisch unterrichtet; im abgeschotteten Land sehen Eltern hier offensichtlich ein Sprungbrett für die Laufbahn ihrer Sprösslinge; Verfolgung von Christen, Kachin Interview with the president of the baptist Kachin Theological College; Christian students; Persecution of Christians
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Livenet
Format/size: Html (64k)
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2007

Title: Valley of Darkness - gold mining and militarization in Burma's Hugawng valley
Date of publication: 09 January 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The remote and environmentally rich Hugawng valley in Burma's northern Kachin State has been internationally recognized as one of the world's hotspots of biodiversity. Indeed, the military junta ruling Burma, together with the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society, is establishing the world's largest tiger reserve in the valley. However, the conditions of the people living there have not received attention. This report by local researchers reveals the untold story of how the junta's militarization and self-serving expansion of the gold mining industry have devastated communities and ravaged the valley's forests and waterways. The Hugawng valley was largely untouched by Burma's military regime until the mid-1990s. After a ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the junta in 1994, local residents had high hopes that peace would foster economic development and improved living conditions. However, under the junta's increased control, the rich resources of Hugawng valley have turned out to be a curse. Despite the ceasefire, the junta has expanded its military infrastructure throughout Kachin State, increasing its presence from 26 battalions in 1994 to 41 in 2006. This expansion has been mirrored in Hugawng valley, where the number of military outposts has doubled; in the main town of Danai, public and private buildings have been seized and one third of the surrounding farmland confiscated. Some of the land and buildings were used to house military units, while others were sold to business interests for military profit. In order to expand and ensure its control over gold mining revenues, the regime offered up 18% of the entire Kachin State for mining concessions in 2002. This transformed gold mining from independent gold panning to a large-scale mechanized industry controlled by the concession holders. In Hugawng valley concessions were sold to 8 selected companies and the number of main gold mining sites increased from 14 in 1994 to 31 sites in 2006. The number of active hydraulic and pit mines had exploded to approximately 100 by the end of 2006. The regime's Ministry of Mines collects signing fees for the concessions as well as 35% - 50% tax on annual profits. Additional payments are rendered to the military's top commander for the region, various township and local authorities as well as the Minister of Mines personally. The junta has announced occasional bans on gold mining in Kachin State but as this report shows, these bans are temporary and selective, in effect used to maintain the junta's grip on mining revenues. While the regime, called the State Peace and Development Council or SPDC, has consolidated political and financial control of the valley, it has not enforced its own existing (and very limited) environmental and health regulations on gold mining operations. This lack of regulation has resulted in deforestation, the destruction of river banks, and altering of river flows. Miners have been severely injured or killed by unsafe working practices and the lack of adequate health services. The environmental and health effects of mercury contamination have yet to be monitored and analyzed. The most dramatic effects of this gold mining boom, however, have been on the social conditions of the local people. The influx of transient populations, together with harsh working conditions, a lack of education opportunities and poverty have led to the expansion of the drug, sex, and gambling industries in Hugawng valley. In one mining area it was estimated that 80% of inhabitants are addicted to opium and approximately 30% of miners use heroin and methamphetamines. Intravenous drug use and the sex industry have increased the spread of HIV/AIDS. Far from alleviating these social ills, local SPDC authorities collect fees from these illicit industries and even diminish efforts to curb them. The SPDC continually boasts about how the people of Kachin State are benefiting from its border area development program. The case of Hugawng valley illustrates, however, the fundamental lack of local benefit from or participation in the development process. The SPDC is pursuing its interests of military expansion and revenue generation at the expense of social and environmental sustainability This report documents local people speaking out about this destructive and unsustainable development. Such bravery should be encouraged and supported.".......The main URL for this document in OBL leaqds to a 1.5MB version, obtained by passing the original through ocr software. The original and uthoritative version can be found as an alternate link in this entry.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG)
Format/size: pdf (3.77MB - original and authoritative; 1.5MB - ocr version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.eldis.org/assets/Docs/24720.html
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2010

Title: When Birds Taught the Kachin to Dance
Date of publication: December 2005
Description/subject: Ancient myths lie at the heart of manau festivities... "It’s a scene out of the distant past—two columns of dancers loop, coil and weave a sinuous route around a ceremonial arch spanning a circular arena enclosed by a split bamboo fence. The arch is topped by a line of 10 tall boards colorfully decorated with linked linear maze patterns. A crossbeam, decorated with depictions of various birds and other animals, carries the carved head of a hornbill bird at one end and its tail at the other. The structure is called a manau—and that’s also the name of the ritual dance ceremony, performed by the Kachin people of Burma. In early December it was also being performed in the northern Thai village of Baan Mai Samaki, home to some 500 Kachin refugees who work on land managed by the Thai King’s Highland Development Project. This is the second manau to be celebrated at Baan Mai Samaki—the first was in 2003—and it was expected to draw Kachin exiles from as far away as China and India..."
Author/creator: Geoffrey Walton
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 12
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006

Title: A Rocky Road
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Kachin State's growing ethnic and environmental troubles... "In recent years, many political analysts in Burma and abroad have predicted growing strife in the country’s troubled ethnic regions, warning that ceasefire agreements with the ruling junta would not guarantee lasting peace. The current instability in Burma’s Kachin State bears these warnings out..."
Author/creator: Khun Sam
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006

Title: School’s Out in Kachin State
Date of publication: August 2005
Description/subject: Bleak future for students and teachers in Burma’s northernmost state... "Mai Mai gave up on education after her first year as an English major at Myitkyina University and has no plans to revive her academic career. “I don’t want to continue university,” she says. “It’s worthless.” Instead, she spends her time trying to earn money to support her family—something that has occupied her since childhood, when she routinely skipped class to work at nearby jade and gold mines..."
Author/creator: Khun Sam
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006

Title: Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border
Date of publication: 15 May 2005
Description/subject: "An alarming trend is developing in ethnic Kachin communities of Burma. Growing poverty, caused by failed state policies, is driving increasing numbers of young people to migrate in search of work. As a result, young women and girls are disappearing without trace, being sold as wives in China, and tricked into the Chinese and Burmese sex industries. Local Kachin researchers conducted interviews in Burma from May-August 2004 in order to document this trend. "Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border", produced by the Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT), is based on 63 verified and suspected trafficking cases that occurred primarily during 2000-2004. The cases involve 85 women and girls, mostly between the ages of 14 and 20. Testimony comes primarily from women and girls who escaped after being trafficked, as well as relatives, persons who helped escapees, and others. About two-thirds of the women trafficked were from the townships of Myitkyina and Bhamo in Kachin State. About one third were from villages in northern Shan State. In 36 of the cases, women were specifically offered safe work opportunities and followed recruiters to border towns. Many were seeking part-time work to make enough money for school fees during the annual three-month school holiday. Others simply needed to support their families. Those not offered work were taken while looking for work, tricked, or outright abducted. Women taken to China were most often passed on to traffickers at the border to be transported farther by car, bus and/or train for journeys of up to one week in length. Traffickers used deceit, threats, and drugs to confuse and control women en route..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (3.3MB), 2.2MB
Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/Driven_Away.pdf (original, authoritative)
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2005

Title: At What Price? Gold Mining in Kachin State, Burma
Date of publication: November 2004
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia Environment Desk, Pan Kachin Development Society
Format/size: pdf (3.4MB) 66 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs22/At_What_Price!_Gold_Mining_in_Kachin_State,%20Burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2004

Title: Shaky Future for the KIO
Date of publication: April 2004
Description/subject: "First an attempted coup then an assassination—the details are sketchy and conspiracy theories abound. It’s clear that all is not well within the Kachin Independence Organization..."
Author/creator: Naw Seng
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 4, April 2004
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 July 2004

Title: Echoing the Party Line: An Interview with Tu Jai
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) was the first ceasefire group to welcome the Burmese government’s plans to reconvene the National Convention. The Irrawaddy interviewed KIO Chairman Tu Jai, 73, by email, about recent political developments in Rangoon and Kachin State. The organization signed a ceasefire with Rangoon in February 1994 and Tu Jai has been chairman since 2001..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2003

Title: Ashes and Tears
Date of publication: March 2001
Description/subject: Interviews with Refugees from Burma on Guam, including recent interviews with Chin and Kachin refugees. "During the past year, nearly a thousand refugees from Burma have arrived on the island of Guam, a United States territory in the Pacific Ocean. They are seeking asylum in the US, having fled extraordinary levels of persecution in their homeland. Most are from northern Burma, especially the Chin State... This report consists of interviews with a small cross section of the Guam asylum seekers. It is to some extent representative of their demographics, in terms of ethnicity and gender. The interviewees have given us a great bounty of significant new information and details about recent conditions in Burma... Numerous topics are covered in these 17 interviews. There is front-line information about the AIDS epidemic which is making its grim progress into the remote mountains of Burma, and the efforts to evade the regime’s denial about it..."
Author/creator: Edith Mirante
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: pdf (329K), Text (184K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.projectmaje.org/txt/guam_rep.txt
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: This Revolutionary Life
Date of publication: March 1995
Description/subject: "Women of the Kachin Liberated Area". "12 women, all living in or near the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organization, were asked essentially the same set of questions. Topics covered included politics, culture, health, violence, and religion. The picture that emerges from their answers is one of strong, independent women, functioning confidently amid considerable hardship..." "The women -- doctors, soldiers, shopkeepers -- reveal many aspects of their lives. They tell how they survive, their perceptions of women's role and political power, and their hopes for the future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: PDF (871K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Difficult Lives
Date of publication: September 1991
Description/subject: "Interviews in the Kachin State, Northern Burma". "The eleven interviews in this report were conducted in a large village in the Kachin State (northern Burma) just across a river boundary from China. The village has been rapidly expanding in population since the 1980s, with a constant influx of internal refugees who flee here to avoid a series of campaigns by Burmese government troops...Some of the interviewees could see nothing but darkness in the future; others expressed a remarkably buoyant optimism....While frustrated by isolation and poverty, the people there have a great faith in themselves and each other, and seem to feel that whatever work they are doing, it will be productive in the end. They are exraordinarily willing to take political risks..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: PDF (610K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: My children and I have nowhere to go: Kachin IDP
Description/subject: "Despite a number of peace talks having been conducted between the central government and Kachin Independence Army (KIA), there is no sign of the war ceasing in Kachin state. The ongoing armed conflict has been driving thousands of civilians out of their villages. Many IDPs are now living in church supported camps along with relief from international humanitarian agencies. IDPs living in crowded camps with limited support face various obstacles as they cannot practice their livelihood anymore. Women have always been the ones who share most part of family burden and face many issues including domestic violence. In this interview, Burma Link AOC (agent of change) talks to Pausa Kaw Nan (PSK), a 44-year-old Kachin woman, in one of the IDP camps in Bhamo, Kachin State."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2016