Location of Kachin State in Burma
|• Chief Minister||La John Ngan Sai (USDP)|
|• Total||89,041 km2 (34,379 sq mi)|
|• Density||14/km2 (37/sq mi)|
|• Ethnicities||Kachin, Bamar, Shan, Naga, Chinese, Indians, Gurkha|
|• Religions||Majority:Christianity Minority:Buddhism|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+06:30)|
Kachin State (Burmese: ကချင်ပြည်နယ်, pronounced: [kətɕʰɪ̀ɴ pjìnɛ̀]; Kachin: Jingphaw Mungdaw), is the northernmost state of Burma. It is bordered by China to the north and east; Shan State to the south; and Sagaing Division and India to the west. It lies between north latitude 23° 27' and 28° 25' longitude 96° 0' and 98° 44'. The area of Kachin State is 89,041 km2 (34,379 sq mi). The capital of the state is Myitkyina. Other important towns include Bhamo.
The majority of the state's 1.2 million inhabitants are ethnic Kachin, also known as Jinghpaw. The state is home to other ethnic groups including the Rawang, Lisu, Zaiwa, Lawngwaw, Lachik, Bamar, Shan and a small number of Tibetans. Christianity (Protestant and Roman Catholic) is the main religion in Kachin State. The Kachin language is the state's lingua franca.
The economy of Kachin State is predominantly agricultural. The main products include rice, teak, sugar cane. Mineral products include gold and jade. Hpakan is a well known place for its jade mines. Over 600 tons of jade stones which were unearthed from Lone-Khin area in Hpakan aka Pha-Khant Township in Kachine State had been displayed in Myanmar Naypyidaw to be sold out in November 2011. Most of the jade stones extracted in Myanmar, 25,795 tons in 2009-2010 and 32,921 tons in 2008-2009, are from Kachin State. The largest jade stone in the world, 3000 tons, 21 metres long, 4.8 metres wide and 10.5 metres high was found in Hpakan in 2000. The Myanmar government pays little attention on deterioration of environment in Kachin because of jade mining. There has been erosion, flooding and mudslides. Several houses have been destroyed in each year.
A controversial construction project of a huge 1,055 megawatt hydroelectric power plant dam is ongoing. It is funded by China Power Investment Cooperation. When it is finished, the electricity will be sold to China. It will be 152 metres high when it is finished. It is one of the 7 projects going to be implemented across the Irrawady River. Around 15,000 population were displaced because of that Project.
Bhamo is one of the border trading points between China and Myanmar.
Kachin State is served by the following airports:
There is a railroad between Myitkyina and Mandalay (through Sagaing). The train will take 24–30 hours to finish it trip from Mandalay to Myitkyina.
Kachin state has invaluable natural resources.
Most areas of Kachin state are undeveloped. Many people are still engaged in agriculture.
Under the current regime, the government exploits the country by taking various timber land. Although the government has been extracting the natural resources of the Kachin people, there is little or no development in infrastructure, health care, and other basic necessities of the people.
Educational opportunities in Myanmar are extremely limited outside the main cities of Yangon and Mandalay. It is especially a problem in Kachin State where constant fighting between the government and insurgents for over 60 years has produced thousands of refugees and internally displaced people. The following is a summary of the education system in the state.
The general state of health care in Myanmar is poor. The military government spends anywhere from 0.5% to 3% of the country's GDP on health care, consistently ranking among the lowest in the world. Although health care is nominally free, in reality, patients have to pay for medicine and treatment, even in public clinics and hospitals. Public hospitals lack many of the basic facilities and equipment. In general, the health care infrastructure outside of Yangon and Mandalay is extremely poor but is especially worse in remote areas like Kachin State. The following is a summary of the public health care system in the state.
|2002–2003||# Hospitals||# Beds|
|General hospitals with specialist services||2||500|
The Burmese government under Aung San reached the Panglong Agreement with the Shan, Kachin, and Chin peoples on 12 February 1947. The agreement accepted "Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas" in principle and envisioned the creation of a Kachin State by the Constituent Assembly. Kachin State was formed in 1948 out of the British Burma civil districts of Bhamo and Myitkyina, together with the larger northern district of Puta-o. The vast mountainous hinterlands are predominantly Kachin, whereas the more densely populated railway corridor and southern valleys are mostly Shan and Bamar. The northern frontier was not demarcated and until the 1960s Chinese governments had claimed the northern half of Kachin State as Chinese territory since the 18th century. Before the British rule, roughly 75% of all Kachin jadeite ended up in China, where it was prized much more highly that the local Chinese nephrite.
Kachin troops formerly formed a significant part of the Burmese army. With the unilateral abrogation of the Union of Burma constitution by the Ne Win regime in 1962, Kachin forces withdrew and formed the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) under the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). Aside from the major towns and railway corridor, Kachin State has been virtually independent from the mid-1960s through 1994, with an economy based on smuggling, jade trade with China and narcotics. After a Myanmar army offensive in 1994 seized the jade mines from the KIO, a peace treaty was signed, permitting continued KIO effective control of most of the State, under aegis of the Myanmar military. This ceasefire immediately resulted in the creation of numerous splinter factions from the KIO and KIA of groups opposed to the SPDC's sham peace accord, and the political landscape remains highly unstable.
Traditional Kachin society was based on shifting hill agriculture. Political authority was based on chieftains who depended on support from immediate kinsmen. Considerable attention has been given by anthropologists of the Kachin custom of maternal cousin marriage, wherein it is permissible for a man to marry his mother’s brother’s daughter, but not with the father’s sister’s daughter. Traditional religion was animist, but missionary activity since the British period have converted the vast majority of the population to Christianity (notably Baptist and pockets of Roman Catholicism).
2011 Outbreak of Civil War
Renewed fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese army began on June 9, 2011 at Ta-pein hydropower plant and continued throughout 2012. Initial reports suggested that from June to September 2011 a total of 5,580 Internally Displaced Persons from 1,397 households arrived at 38 IDP camps under Myanmar Government control. In August, 2012 Thousands of Kachin refugees were forced by the Chinese Government back into Myanmar despite the continued fighting there, calls to cease such action by NGOs like Human Rights Watch and the illegality of doing so under international law. As of Oct 9, 2012, over 100,000 IDPs are taking shelter in various camps across Kachin State. The majority of IDPs (est. 70,000) are currently sheltering in KIA controlled territory. Fatality estimates were difficult to estimate but most reports suggested that between government troops, Kachin Independence Army rebels, and civilians upwards of 1,000 people had died in the conflict.
- "Division and State Administrations". Alternative Asean Network on Burma. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
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- "Education statistics by level and by State and Division". Myanmar Central Statistical Organization. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- "PPI: Almost Half of All World Health Spending is in the United States". 2007-01-17.
- Yasmin Anwar (2007-06-28). 06.28.2007 "Burma junta faulted for rampant diseases". UC Berkeley News.
- "Hospitals and Dispensaries by State and Division". Myanmar Central Statistical Organization. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Kachin fighting hits IDP health, MYITKYINA, 15 November 2012 (IRIN), http://www.irinnews.org/Report/96785/MYANMAR-Kachin-fighting-hits-IDP-health
- BBC, 24 August 2012 Last updated at 08:02 GMT, China 'forcing Kachin refugees back to Burma', http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19365075
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||Arunachal Pradesh, India||Tibet Autonomous Region, China|
|Sagaing Region||Yunnan, China|