The Department of Energy is forcing a Roman Catholic Church to move a cemetery which lays next a road in Kawa Hka, Myitkyina, Kachin State so they can use the land for the distribution of electricity.
The church, which does not have legal documents for the land, received a notice last year (June 2011) to move the cemetery that was built in the ’60s. The government has offered no compensation for taking the land.
The Catholic Church is trying to raise the necessary funds to purchase new land to in order to move the cemetery.
“The government told us we need to move but they didn’t provide replacement land. We thought they would give us at least between 20 to 30 acres so we can move the burial plots,” said Pastor Hkun Awng.
Kachin singers and actors, Kai Dim, Zau Ding, Zau Doi Hkawng, Zau Mun Awng, Mun Pan, Lahpai La Ja, Kumhtung Seng Ra organized a fundraising concert on July 9 to raise money to buy new land.
Hkun Awng says they are still looking to find an affordable location to move the church cemetery. They are hoping to find something in Kawa Hka because it is close and would make the move easier.
“We hope we can find something which costs between eight to ten million kyat. We have some of the money but we still need to raise more.”
Most Kachin are Christian but face ongoing discrimination based on their religious beliefs from the Buddhist majority Burmese government.