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The Kachin

For centuries, the Kachin, who number about 1,600,000, lived in relative peace in the northern Myanmar mountains near the border with China. After Myanmar gained independence from the British in 1948, they were promised equality and self determination. Today Guardian paper says that Kachin face slow genocide. China in the past used to allow the survivors to cross over to China but it no longer allows that freedom, trapping the displaced people.

Historically, Burma was never a country but a group of kingdoms. Kachin people had their own kingdom for centuries. Currently, 40% of the population of Burma are minorities and 60% are Burman. American Baptists brought Christianity to Burma in the early nineteenth century.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report on Christian persecution in Myanmar. They concluded that Christians in Burma at the hands of Buddhist nationalists are facing:

  • Discrimination in employment
  • Forced conversions
  • Violence and desecration of churches in their communities.
  • Mass displacement from their lands.
  • More than 300 Christian churches have been destroyed in Burma’s Kachin state, where the country’s Christian population is concentrated.
  • Hundreds and thousands of civilians, mostly Christian, have fled and sought refuge from the onslaught.
  • Most of the refugees in the United States are Christian survivors of persecution. 

Now the Burmese military has warned the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) to halt humanitarian work for the displaced people.

Latest News

The latest Kachin news gathered from all over the web.

‘We Hoped a Bilateral Ceasefire Could Be Implemented’

The government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) held talks with eight non-signatories of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in Naypyitaw on March 21. The delegates of the Arakan Army (AA), which is currently clashing with the...

Irrawaddy


A Conversation With US Ambassador Scot Marciel

On March 8, The Irrawaddy’s editorial team invited US Ambassador Scot Marciel to our office in Yangon to participate in a conversation on a range of issues, particularly the many challenges Myanmar is facing. The ambassador offered his frank views ...

Irrawaddy


Growing a Controversy: A Kachin Banana Plantation in Pictures

WAIMAW, Kachin State — This 500-acre banana plantation in Kachin State’s Lamyang Township normally comes to life at 7 each morning. Workers, men and women alike, most from Rakhine State, carry freshly cut bunches of green bananas on yokes to proc...

Irrawaddy


President Travels To Kachin State

President Win Myint warned about maintaining essential health services for internally displaced camps to prevent the spread of sickness. In a landmark trip, U Win Myint, the president of Myanmar, arrived in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin State, to meet...

Burma News


How Will Myanmar’s Ethnicities Shape Its Future?

Ye Ni: Welcome to Dateline Irrawaddy! This week, we’ll discuss the role of ethnicities in building a federal Union, internal peace and amending the Constitution. Joint Secretary 2 Sai Kyaw Nyunt of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD)...

Irrawaddy


One-Hundred Years Of Christianity Celebrated In Kachin State

Kachin Baptists gathered to honour the arrival of Baptism to Sadon. Kachin celebrated a century of Christianity at Bum Wa village in the sub-township of Sadon in Kachin State, in Myanmar. Sumlut Nawng Lat, a Kachin school teacher, was the first Bapti...

Burma News


Women Sold into ‘Marriages’ in China with Help of Police: HRW Report

A young woman who was trafficked at age 17 by a friend’s mother, who had promised her a well-paid child-care job and then sold her to a family in China as a ‘bride’. Once purchased, she was confined and subjected to sexual slavery, but managed ...

Irrawaddy


Kachin Gov’t Set to Reject Mongolian Mining Proposal

YANGON—The Kachin State government has decided to shelve a Mongolian company’s proposal to conduct a feasibility study on the extraction of gold and other minerals in Myanmar’s largest national conservation area, a sanctuary nearly triple the s...

Irrawaddy


Company Charges Journalists With Defamation

Journalists said they were only reporting the facts about the mining company's dealings with a banana plantation in Kachin State. A mining company that detained and assaulted two journalists for publishing an unfavourable story about the company's de...

Burma News


Myanmar Women, Girls Trafficked as ‘Brides’ to China - HRW

The Myanmar and Chinese governments have failed to stem the trafficking of ethnic Kachin women and girls as “brides” to families in China, Human Rights Watch said in a newly released report. The 112-page report, “‘Give Us a Baby and We’ll L...

Burma News


Arakan Army Plans To Attend Peace Talks

After enduring heavy Burmese Army airstrikes AA leaders say they still want to discuss peace. Despite being embroiled in heavy fighting with the Burmese Army in northern Rakhine State an Arakanese armed group plans to send a delegation to upcoming pe...

Burma News


Hailstone Storm Strikes Kachin State

Remote villages, only accessible by a three-day boat trip from Myitkyina, were affected by the freak storm. A hailstone storm pounded Sumprabum township in Kachin State on Saturday evening at about 6 pm, damaging homes, churches and an internally dis...

Burma News


Controversial land law threatens Myanmar ethnic communities

Women rest in the yard of a monastery-turned-temporary shelter for internally displaced persons in Hsipaw, Shan State, on Jan. 13. Swathes of the state have been embroiled in conflict for decades with a fiendishly complex web of ethnic armed groups f...

ucanews.com


Chipwe Township IDP Dies Due to Lack of Healthcare, Medicine

The local hospital has one doctor, who cannot visit the camps, and the hospital lacks medicine and basic equipment, a camp leader says. Internally displaced people (IDPs) in eastern Kachin State’s Chipwe Township are failing to receive treatment an...

Burma News


Kachin Locals Call for Halt to Eight Proposed Dams on Intl Rivers Day

Yit Law indigenous peoples in Chipwi call for halt to eight proposed dams in N'mai Hka and Ngaw Chang Hka rivers on International Rivers Day on March 14, 2019 Share The proposed China-backed dams are located on two rivers, the N’Mai Hka and the Nga...

Burma News


VFV Land Law Must Be Amended: Kachin Politicians, Legal Experts

‘Ethnic people are likely to lose their farmland,’ says one Waingmaw Township lawyer. Representatives of Kachin political parties held a discussion on land issues in Burma on Wednesday in Myitkyina, highlighting multiple sections of the Vacant, F...

Burma News


Ethnic Shan Awarded Red Cross Medal for Icy River Rescue

On this day in 1959, Sai Aung Hlaing Myint, the first person to win the Henry Dunant Medal in Southeast Asia, was born in a small village in Kachin State. He was only 21 years old when he received the medal at the 23rd International Committee of the ...

Irrawaddy


Suu Kyi calls for 'open minds' over Myitsone Dam

Protesters demand the Myanmar government permanently stop the construction of Myitsone Dam in a rally in Myitkyina on Feb. 7. The controversial project was halted in 2011 following protests over environmental and safety concerns. (Photo by Zau Ring H...

ucanews.com


Kachin Gov’t Vows to Crack Down on China-Backed Banana Plantations

YANGON—The Kachin State agriculture minister will investigate controversial Chinese tissue-culture banana plantations across Kachin State, and plans to tighten regulation of the plantations in response to local residents’ concerns about their soc...

Irrawaddy


Urgent Political Action Needed to Solve Rakhine’s Problems

On Jan. 4—Myanmar’s Independence Day—the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic Arakanese armed group, launched coordinated attacks on four police outposts in northern Rakhine State. The attacks killed several policemen and sent a signal to the central go...

Irrawaddy


KIA releases 60 villagers

The Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) has released nearly 60 Ta’ang and Lahu ethnic people it had detained in a village in in Myanmar’s northern Shan state in early March, RFA reported. KIA Battalion No. 8 under the command of Brigade No. 4 deta...

Mizzima - Domestic news


Tatmadaw ‘Shock Troops’ Clash Multiple Times With KIA in Kutkai Township

Soldiers from the Burma Army’s notorious LID 99 are now fighting Kachin forces in northern Shan State. Government forces from a division accused of committing genocide in Rakhine State engaged in a series of clashes with the Kachin Independence Arm...

Burma News


Mining Company Accused of Assaulting Journalists Sues for Defamation

YANGON—A mining company in Kachin State has filed a defamation lawsuit against two editors and a reporter from the Myitkyina Journal over their coverage of local residents’ concerns about a controversial Chinese tissue-culture banana plantation i...

Irrawaddy


N. Shan Residents Live in Fear as Rights, Security Situation Deteriorates

If you lived in northern Shan State, how would you describe the current conditions, in which the human rights situation has deteriorated dramatically? And would you dare to speak out? Two men were shot and killed in Kyaukme Township this month. The f...

Irrawaddy


Burmese Government Drug Policy ‘Ineffective’: Report

Recently taken photo a poppy plantation in the Border Guard Force's controlled area of Waingmaw township The NLD’s drug plan in theory focuses on treatment and rehabilitation; in practice, it is implemented through arrests of drug users, a new repo...

Burma News


KIA releases 60 villagers

Armed rebels belonging to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ethnic group take a cigarette break as they move towards the frontline near Laiza in Kachin State. Photo: Hkun Lat/AFP The Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) has released nearly 60 Ta’ang...

Burma News


Hpaula Gam Hpang: ‘I Tried to Find A Way for IDPs to Return Before Anyone Came to Help’

KNG speaks to the Kachin singer and songwriter who negotiated for IDP return with the Tatmadaw. Nearly 280 people from 46 displaced families in camps across Kachin State were recently able to go back to Nam San Yang village in Waingmaw Township, esco...

Burma News


China offers cash to Kachin refugees willing to return

Officials from the southwestern Chinese province that borders Myanmar have offered cash to entice ethnic Kachin refugees to return to their war-torn homeland and threatened a blockade if the group's armed forces refuse to sign a peace deal, a Kachin ...

Mizzima - Domestic news


Burma Army Clashes With KIA, TNLA During Unilateral Ceasefire

The fighting with both groups occurred in northern Shan State’s Kutkai Township. The Burma Army clashed with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) on Tuesday, despite a unilateral ceasefire declared by ...

Burma News


Six Children Injured When Unexploded Bomb Goes Off in Bhamo District

Locals say old bombs and landmines have been ‘left on the battleground.’ Six children were wounded when a bomb left from previous conflict exploded on Tuesday in a village in Mansi Township, located in Kachin State’s Bhamo District. The blast o...

Burma News


Burma Army Transports 200 IDPs Back to Nam San Yang Village

Burma Army Transports 200 IDPs Back to Nam San Yang Village on March 5, 2019 With their homes still damaged, many of the returnees are staying in a church and monastery. The Burma Army transported 29 families of around 200 internally displaced people...

Burma News


Infographic: China’s Plantation Greed

YANGON—Chinese tissue culture banana plantations, banned from Laos and Thailand, came to war-torn Kachin State in 2007. For more than two years, controversial China-backed banana plantations have been facing backlash from local residents in Kachin ...

Irrawaddy


Myanmar Govt, Military Use U.N. Opium Report to Slur Enemies, Shield Allies

It is clear to see that Myanmar authorities had a great deal of influence on the Myanmar Opium Survey the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released in January. Many of us know who really grows the opium, and their ties to the authorities. Inste...

Irrawaddy


Myanmar Govt, Military Use U.N. Opium Report to Slur Enemies, Shield Allies

It is clear to see that Myanmar authorities had a great deal of influence on the Myanmar Opium Survey the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released in January. Many of us know who really grows the opium, and their ties to the authorities. Inste...

Irrawaddy


Gov’t Losing Its Way on National Reconciliation

Police break up a sit-in protest staged by Karenni activists opposed to the installation of a statue of General Aung San in Loika, the Kayah State capital, in February 2018. / MPA By Bo Kyi 7 March 2019 On Feb. 12—Union Day—in Loikaw, Kayah State...

Irrawaddy


Chinese Officials Again Pressure Kachin Leaders to Back Myitsone Dam

YANGON—Senior officials from China’s Yunnan province once again pressured Kachin religious leaders to support the revival of the controversial Myitsone hydropower project at a meeting last week in the Chinese border town of Ruili, an influential ...

Irrawaddy


Govt Calls Off Bilateral Ceasefire With Northern Alliance Members

The Burmese government’s peace commission canceled a bilateral ceasefire proposed with four members of the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups, citing clashes with the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine State. The decision was made d...

Burma News


Kachin Aid Group, Rebels to Discuss Plan to Bring Displaced Families Home

Mon State — The Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC) says it will meet with rebel leaders for a second time on Thursday to discuss prospects for some of the thousands of families displaced by fighting in Kachin State to return home. The hea...

Irrawaddy


UNODC Responds To KIO’s Criticism

The UN group said it didn’t specify which armed group is involved in the drug trade. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) disputed criticism by Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) that claimed it said in the Myanmar Opium Survey ...

Burma News


KHCC to Meet KIO Leaders to Discuss IDP Return

The Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC), headed by church leaders, will meet with the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in the coming week to discuss the safe return of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kachin State. Chairperson of ...

Burma News


Introducing Indawgyi Lake: Community Tourism With a Social Impact

LON TON, Kachin State — Face of Indawgyi is a sustainable social enterprise based at Indawgyi Lake in Kachin State. As well as facilitating sustainable, community-based tourism at the lake, Myanmar’s largest, the project works on four main princi...

Irrawaddy


KIO Denounce UN Drug Survey In Open Letter

The Kachin armed group called findings in Myanmar Opium Survey 2018 “groundless facts.” The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) have rejected findings in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODCU) Myanmar Opium Survey 2018 that ...

Burma News


Burma Army Convoy Heads to Putao Following Peace Talks

A convoy of military vehicles left the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina for the northern town of Putao on Tuesday morning, immediately following peace talks with the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups, of which the Kachin Independence Organiza...

Burma News


Emerging, Professional Photographers Recognized at Yangon Photo Night

Bawk Ra, Htang San and Zau Dam are awarded third prize in the Emerging Photographers category at the Yangon Photo Night event for their photo essay “A New Start?” / Htet Wai / The Irrawaddy By Lwin Mar Htun 26 February 2019 Up-and-coming photogra...

Irrawaddy


Joint Venture Chinese Company Faces Charges for Assaulting Reporters

By Nan Lwin 27 February 2019 YANGON—The managing director and staff of a mining company who detained and assaulted two journalists on Tuesday, face five charges including assaulting a woman and wrongful restraint, according to the editor-in-chief o...

Irrawaddy


Positions Ethnic Political Parties should take regarding 2008 constitutional amendment

As the constitutional amendment joint committee focusing on constitutional reform which was formed with 45 members are going to meet and program development aimed at submitting the result in July will be carried out, the NLD and military bloc definit...

Burma News


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