Thursday, October 16, 2014

Burma army orders 1,000 from their land in Hpakant, fighting expected

Burma army's LID No. 66 soldiers in a celebration of Kachin Baptist church in Hpakant, Kachin state, northern Burma

Villagers living in Ginsi Hkaw (also Kanzi hall), Awng Ba Li (also Aung Bar Lay) and Tang Gau, three villages in Kachin state's jade rich Hpakant district, were ordered by local military authorities to leave their homes by 6 pm on Tuesday, the Kachin News Group has learned.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More villagers vote against Yuzana company in Kachin state's Hugawng Valley

Oct 8, 2014 The poll was collected in Nawng Mi village in Hugawng Valley in western Kachin state, Burma

An overwhelming 98% of farmers in two villages in western Kachin state's Hugawng Valley (also spelled Hukaung Valley) voted against the Yuzana company's continued presence in the ecologically sensitive area during a community plebiscite held on October 8th.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

KIO closes Hukaung amber mines following tensions with Burma army forces

 People are returning homes after the KIA 2nd Brigade shut down amber mines in Hukaung Valley in western Kachin state, northern Burma

The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and its armed wing closed several amber mines operating in the group's territory in western Kachin state's Hukaung (Hugawng) Valley last week. The mine shut-downs come after increasing tension between the KIO and Burmese government forces in the area, KIO officials tell the Kachin News Group.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pro Myanmar government militias fighting KIO growing opium says rights group

A poster of church-led drug eradition is put in front of a Kachin Baptist Church in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state

A new report released by the Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT) says Burma's military is allowing pro-government militias operating in Kachin and Shan states to grow opium in exchange for their support in the army's campaign against the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), a group that has been in conflict with the central government since a ceasefire broke down in June 2011.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Latest round of Burma's peace talks end with little progress

 President Thein Sein's and his chief negotiator Aung Min have been pushing to secure a national ceasefire deal with all of Burma's various armed group before November when dozens of world leaders including US President Barrack Obama will be visiting Burma as part of the ASEAN summit.

Talks between the Burmese government's Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) and the National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), a group representing most of Burma's armed ethnic groups, wrapped up on Friday in Rangoon after five days of discussion which proved to be largely fruitless.

Tay Za funded Thai chopper searching for Putao climbers goes missing

A missing Thai chopper in Kachin state's Hkakabo Razi in Putao district. Photo:

Burmese billionaire Tay Za's search and rescue effort to locate two lost climbers in northern Kachin state appears to have taken a turn for the worst with the controversial blacklisted tycoon's Htoo Foundation now admitting they have lost contact with a helicopter that was chartered to assist with the search. Communication with the helicopter was lost shortly after it left Putao on Saturday. It was carrying three passengers including the Thai pilot.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Burma army detains KIO officer in western Kachin state

Two Burma Army's Light Infantry Division No. 66 soldiers take security in Hpakant jade mine, western Kachin state

A civilian official from the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and two men he was with were detained by Burma army troops on September 20th in Kamaing sub-township in western Kachin state, according to local people living in the area.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UN expert blames civil society groups for Burma's census trouble

UN census expert Paul Cheung blames civil society for census problems (UN photo)

Dr Paul Cheung, who serves as the chair of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) committee advising Burma's government on the recent census believes that civil society and rights groups are to blame for the numerous controversies that arose while Burma's census was being conducted, the first such census in over three decades.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Burmese tycoon Tay Za joins search for missing climbers in Kachin state

Tay Za (pictired right), billionaire mountain climbing enthusiast and arms dealer (Credit Facebook)

Burmese billionaire tycoon Tay Za is leading the search and rescue effort to find two Burmese climbers who appear to have lost their way somewhere on Hkakabo Razi, in northern Kachin state near Putao, AFP reported on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Clashes between Burma army and the KIO largely reduced, says KIO rep

Burmese soldiers of Light Infanty Division No. 66 soldiers secure Hpakant jade mine in Kachin state, northern Burma

Thanks in part to a committee formed between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the government that is tasked with reducing tensions in northern Burma, armed clashes between KIO forces and the military have been reduced significantly, said Lahpai Gun Ja, a member of the KIO’s technical team.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

UNFC would welcome KNU return to ethnic armed alliance

UNFC chairman and KIO vicd-president Gen. N'ban La speaking to reporters at the 2014 UNFC conference

The recently re-elected chairman of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition of Burma's ethnic armed groups, says that the Karen National Union (KNU) is welcome to return to the alliance, this after the KNU's chairman and several of his subordinates walked out of a UNFC conference in dramatic fashion last weekend.