MAC: Mines and Communities

Kachin Environmental Report Banned

Published by MAC on 2005-10-14

Kachin Environmental Report Banned

Khun Sam: IRROL

October 14, 2005

The Kachin Independence Organization has censored an environmental report by a community development organization, effectively banning it. The organization, the Pan Kachin Development Society, says the KIO was concerned that the report affected its image and possibly its relations with the Rangoon regime.

The report covers environmental destruction in Kachin State, particularly through illegal logging. The KIO is one of Burma’s ethnic minority groups which have a ceasefire agreement with the junta.

Bau Naw Ja, the PKDS’s executive director, told The Irrawaddy the KIO had instructed that the report needed to be censored, because it should not affect the regime, the KIO or relations between the two. The report was originally intended for printing in early October. It had been submitted for censorship to the KIO in early 2004, when the former insurgent group had decreed its censorship powers.

Another member of the PKDS said he thought the KIO did not want its image to be affected by any report of environmental destruction in the state. “We in fact conducted this with as positive a view towards the KIO as possible,” he said. “But it seems we can’t write anything here.” The PKDS is based in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, where it is operated by Kachin.

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