Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Junta to resettle 200,000 Burmans in Hukawng Valley

Written by KNG

The Burmese military junta plans to resettle 200,000 Burman people in ethnic Kachin's Hukawng Valley (also called Hugawng in Kachin) in the country's northern Kachin State before 2010, said regime insiders.

The new Burman settlers, who make up the majority of the country’s population, will be mainly settled in areas close to three Kachin villages known as Nawng Mi, Sahtu Zup and Wara Zup on the Ledo or Stilwell Road also called Burma Road during WW II, added insiders.

In the guise of Rangoon-based Yuzana Company's crop plantation in the Valley, only Burman people from different areas of lower Burma have been resettled in the Valley since late 2006, said native Kachins from the Valley.

A Thai-styled factory is being constructed by Thai technicians under Yuzana Company.

U Htay Myint a Chinese-Burman from Kutkai town in northeast Shan State chairs the company, which bought over 200,000 acres of land in Hukawng Valley from the junta. The purchase was politically motivated, said company sources.

The company is now continuously transporting Burman workers into its crop plantation area in the Valley. However, many workers are leaving the job and fleeing because of very low salaries, said sources among workers.

All runaway workers not only do not return homes from the Valley but the company also does not have a programme of bringing them back, added company sources.

The company has already constructed over 1500 houses for the workers in identical styles in two separate places. Two Thai-styled big factories are also being constructed in two different places near the labour quarters, said eyewitnesses.

The company is now mainly growing Cassava Plants and Sugar Cane in the newly ploughed fields, said eyewitnesses. The glue and curry-sweet powder are being produced for export from next year, according to company sources.

The Burmese military junta plans to resettle 200,000 Burman people in ethnic Kachin's Hukawng Valley (also called Hugawng in Kachin) in the country's northern Kachin State before 2010.

Until now, the junta has already resettled over 40,000 Burman people from lower Burma in the Valley. They were systematically transported by both Yuzana Company and local Burmese Army battalions, said native Kachin community leaders.

There are an estimated 20,000 native Kachin in villages in the Hukawng Valley along the Ledo Road starting from Namti to Shingbwi Yang. The entire Valley has been separately ruled by 12 Kachin Duwas (rulers) in Kachin history until the Britishers gave Burma Independence on January 4, 1948.

At the same time, Htoo Company owned by the Burman tycoon U Te Za (also spelled Tay Za), son-in-law of the junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe is taking out at least 50 trucks of hardwood per day from the Valley to Mogaung train station for export under the banner of Yuzana Company, said company sources.

Besides, U Te Za's Htoo Company is also practically supporting the Yuzana Company with essential finance and construction machinery, according to company insiders.

Recently, the junta's Northern Command (Ma Pa Kha) commander Brig-Gen Soe Win landed in a helicopter at the helipad in No. 1 Yuzana Village of Yuzana Company in the Valley. He proudly spoke to the local people that the crop plantation can be done by every one because peace has been restored in the Valley, said local people.

The Hukawng Valley was named as the world largest Tiger Reserve by the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in 2004. However, the Yunaza Company is destroying the reserve by heavy logging and converting forests into crop fields, said locals.

Locals and eyewitnesses told KNG, the Yuzana Company has already occupied and destroyed the No. 1 Tiger Conservation Camp near Nawng Mi village for crop plantation.

The Burman-dominated junta’s response to people or organizations who oppose the crop plantation of Yuzana Company by saying, "Man is more important than the Tiger", said company sources.

Kachin people in Burma feels that the junta is deeply is into ethnic cleansing and huge land confiscation in Hukawng Valley by using the Yuzana Company and local Burmese Army bases.

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