Monday, May 28, 2012

Private jade mining halted in north Kachin State

Monday, 28 May 2012 15:22 Mizzima News

Burma’s mining authorities will suspend all jade mining work by private companies in northern Kachin State starting the end of this month, Rangoon media reported on Sunday.

Quoting statement by the Ministry of Mines, The Voice newspaper said armed conflicts in the Pha Kant area make it unsafe there.

Because traffic was stopped in the area by the Kachin Independence Army and government forces, thousands of workers have fled the area, it said.

In times of fighting, hundreds of jade mining companies must pay a large sum of tax money to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), according to the article.

In recent months, the KIA has launched a series of attacks on electricity pylons, passenger trains and rails and bridges on the Myikyina-Mandalay railroad, the government says.

In the latest development, the KIA blew up four towers of the 230-KV Shweli-Mansan national power grid in Namkham in Shan State in upper Burma last weekend, exacerbating the country’s electricity shortage during the dry season.

The government and the KIA have failed to hold more peace talks and the fighting has intensified, forcing more than 70,000 people to flee the clashes, which began in June 2011, according to some estimates.

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