Kachins lose wherewithal under KIO-junta


People in Kachin State have been largely dependent on precious and priceless natural resources like gems and the state's rich biodiversity.  The dependence was on splendid and valuable stones and precious metal such as jade and gold in large quantities and this was the main trading business in the past.

However, now the Burmese military regime has resorted to a cunning strategy for the rapid absorption of the massive resources by granting mining permission to Burmese, Chinese and Indian businessmen who have large amounts of money.

Kachin people who have a limited amount of money cannot compete with the rich Chinese and Indians, capable of investing big amounts of money. To make matters worse Kachin businessmen are losing out or are incapable of holding on to their own land which yields business.

One of the recent instances has been the case between Kachin businessman Tsinyu Zau Mung the owner of Seng Bum Company and Chinese businessman Kyaw Myint the owner of 'Hole in One' company.

According to Hpakant jade traders, "Seng Bum Company had recently bought some parts of the 'Hole in One' company's jade mines, and started excavations. Soon after which there were some good results on those particular jade mines. Therefore, the 'Hole in One' Company's owners wanted the jade mines back."

The case went to court of the Kachin Independent Organization (KIO).

The Chinese businessman claimed that he would seize that particular jade mine by filing a case in the KIO's court for he had a good relationship with many high ranking KIO officers.

The Chinese businessman even offered more than 500 million kyats for the court judgment going in his favour.

It was stated that at that particular time, the KIO court had judged fairly despite the relationship, the bribe, and allegations of racism.

After the hearing by the judge, the Chinese businessman even accused the KIO's court of racism and sent the accusation letter to the court.

However, despite the decision of the KIO's court, the Chinese businessman was allowed to do jade mining on the sold out jade mines to the Seng Bum Company.

The reason why he could continue his jade mining business in the sold out areas was because he was granted permission from the vice-president of KIO, Lt-Gen Nban La Awng and he was adopted by the general.

It was said that the Lt-Gen Nban La Awng had abused the power with no respect to the KIO's court's judgment or despite the decision of the KIO's court.

Meanwhile the Chinese businessman has been boasting and saying that nobody can touch and challenge him for he has good relations with all the officers of the KIO.

In conclusion it needs to be pondered how Kachins are going to survive in their own land, if there is no back up or support from even their own Kachin Independent Organization or Army (KIO/A). Instead of looking at the upliftment of Kachin people's life, there are all the signs of a downhill slide in different aspects of life.

Ring Aung is a staff reporter of Kachin News Group (KNG).