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Armed conflict in Kachin State - economic factors associated with the conflict

Individual Documents

Title: China, the United States and the Kachin Conflict
Date of publication: January 2014
Description/subject: KEY FINDINGS: 1. The prolonged Kachin conflict is a major obstacle to Myanmar’s national reconciliation and a challenging test for the democratization process. 2. The KIO and the Myanmar government differ on the priority between the cease-fire and the political dialogue. Without addressing this difference, the nationwide peace accord proposed by the government will most likely lack the KIO’s participation. 3. The disagreements on terms have hindered a formal cease-fire. In addition, the existing economic interest groups profiting from the armed conflict have further undermined the prospect for progress. 4. China intervened in the Kachin negotiations in 2013 to protect its national interests. A crucial motivation was a concern about the “internationalization” of the Kachin issue and the potential US role along the Chinese border. 5. Despite domestic and external pressure, the US has refrained from playing a formal and active role in the Kachin conflict. The need to balance the impact on domestic politics in Myanmar and US-China relations are factors in US policy. 6.A The US has attempted to discuss various options of cooperation with China on the Kachin issue. So far, such attempts have not been accepted by China.
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Language: English
Source/publisher: Stimson Center (Great Powers and the Changing Myanmar - Issue Brief No. 2)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/research-pdfs/Myanmar_Issue_Brief_No_2_Jan_2014_WEB_3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2014

Title: Guns, Briefcases and Inequality: The Neglected War in Kachin State
Date of publication: 21 September 2013
Description/subject: "Burma Partnership is pleased to announce the launch of a new documentary film today to coincide with the International Day of Peace. The film, entitled “Guns, Briefcases and Inequality: The Neglected War in Kachin State,” demonstrates the need for the government of Burma to engage in meaningful political dialogue with all ethnic nationalities on equal terms, including discussing amendments to the 2008 Constitution. These are necessary in order to address the underlying causes of armed conflict: self-determination, the lack of ethnic rights, and inequality, and to move towards lasting peace throughout the country. The short documentary film also highlights how development projects and natural resource management are exacerbating armed conflict and human rights violations in ethnic areas, without adequate means to justice for the people. The film was written and directed by Daniel Quinlan. It features interviews with Kachin internally displaced persons (IDPs), civil society and community-based organizations, leaders of ethnic non-state armed groups and advocates for human rights and democracy in Burma"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
Format/size: Adobe Flash (15 minutes 29 seconds)
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2013

Title: Blood and Gold: Inside Burma's Hidden War (video)
Date of publication: 04 October 2012
Description/subject: Deep in the wilds of northern Myanmar's Kachin state a brutal civil war has intensified over the past year between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). People & Power sent filmmakers Jason Motlagh and Steve Sapienza to Myanmar (formerly Burma) to investigate why the conflict rages on, despite the political reforms in the south that have impressed Western governments and investors now lining up to stake their claim in the resource-rich Asian nation.
Author/creator: Jason Motlagh and Steve Sapienza
Language: English, Burmese, Kachin, (English subtitles
Source/publisher: People & Power (Al Jazeera)
Format/size: Adobe Flash (25 minutes), html
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2012

Title: Untold Miseries - Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State
Date of publication: 19 March 2012
Description/subject: 'When Burmese President Thein Sein took office in March 2011, he said that over 60 years of armed conflict have put Burma’s ethnic populations through “the hell of untold miseries.” Just three months later, the Burmese armed forces resumed military operations against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), leading to serious abuses and a humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands of ethnic Kachin civilians. “Untold Miseries”: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State is based on over 100 interviews in Burma’s Kachin State and China’s Yunnan province. It details how the Burmese army has killed and tortured civilians, raped women, planted antipersonnel landmines, and used forced labor on the front lines, including children as young as 14-years-old. Soldiers have attacked villages, razed homes, and pillaged properties. Burmese authorities have failed to authorize a serious relief effort in KIA-controlled areas, where most of the 75,000 displaced men, women, and children have sought refuge. The KIA has also been responsible for serious abuses, including using child soldiers and antipersonnel landmines. Human Rights Watch calls on the Burmese government to support an independent international mechanism to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties to Burma’s ethnic armed conflicts. The government should also provide United Nations and humanitarian agencies unhindered access to all internally displaced populations, and make a long-term commitment with humanitarian agencies to authorize relief to populations in need.'
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB - OBL version; 2.25MB - original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0312ForUpload_1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012

Title: KIO Open Letter to the People's Republic of China
Date of publication: 16 March 2011
Description/subject: Text of the open letter sent to Chinese President Hu Jintao, in which the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) asks China to stop the planned Mali Nmai Concluence (Myitsone) Dam Project to be built in Burma’s northern Kachin state, warning that the controversial project could lead to civil war
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)
Format/size: pdf (878K)
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2011

Title: Dam Nation
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: "Burma and China prepare to build seven hydroelectric dams in Kachin State that will not provide the people of Burma with jobs, security or even electricity Large-scale hydroelectric dams have long been decried for the immense damage they do to the environment and rural communities. Not everyone agrees, however, that the problems associated with mega-dams outweigh their benefits. After all, say pragmatists, dams are a reliable supply of electricity, without which no country can hope to survive in the modern world. (Illustration: Harn lay / The irrawaddy) But in Burma, such arguments fall flat. Not only do massive dam-building projects take an especially high toll on people’s lives—besides destroying villages and the environment, they result in intensifying human rights abuses and make diseases such as malaria more prevalent—they also come without a payoff for the general population. At the end of the day, the electricity they generate—the only benefit the Burmese people can expect to get from them—remains as scarce as ever..."
Author/creator: David Paquette
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010