Kachin State


Kachin State

Infobox Burmesestatedivision
englishname = Kachin State
burmesename = ကချင်ပြည်နယ်
transcription = kahkyin-pi-nai


capital = Myitkyina
region = Northern
area = 89,041
population =1,200,000
ethnic = Kachin, Bamar, Shan, Naga, Indians, Chinese
religious = Christianity, Buddhism,Islam, Hinduism
locatormapfile = MyanmarKachin

Kachin State (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 34,379 sq. miles. The capital of the state is Myitkyina. Other important towns include Bhamo.

Kachin State has Myanmar’s highest mountain, Hkakabo Razi, at 5889 meters in height, forming the southern tip of the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia’s largest inland lake, Indawgyi Lake.

Population

The majority of the state's 1.2 million inhabitants are ethnic Kachin, also known as Jinghpaw, Rawang, Lisu, Zaiwa, Lawngwaw, Lachyit, and the state is officially home to other ethnic groups such as Bamar, and Shan. No census has been taken in almost a century. Official government statistics state that the distribution by religion is 57.8% Buddhist, 36.4% Christian. The Kachin language is the lingua franca in the State, and has a written version based on the Roman alphabet. [http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/Moha/Kachin.pdf]

Economy

The economy of Kachin State is predominantly agricultural. The main products include rice, sugar cane. Mineral products include gold and jade.

Transportation

Kachin State is served by the following airports:
*Banmaw Airport
*Myitkyina Airport
*Putao Airport

Education

History

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 all 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 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).

ee also

* [http://www.kachinnet.com/ The KachinNet ]
*Kachin Hills
*Kumon Bum Mountains

External links

* [http://www.kachinland.org Kachin National Organization]
* [http://www.kachinpost.com/ The Kachin Post]
* [http://www.kachinstate.com/ KIO News in English]
* [http://www.kachinnews.com/ News in Jingphaw, English and Burmese]
* [http://www.irrawaddy.org/multimedia.php?art_id=8384 World's End in Kachin State] Wofgang H Trost, "The Irrawaddy", July 1, 2007


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