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Hpakant (Burmese : ဖားကန့်, Burmese pronunciation: [pʰá ga̰ɰ̃] ; also Hpakan and Phakant) is a town in Hpakant Township, Kachin State of the northernmost part of Myanmar (Burma). It is located on the Uyu River 350 km north of Mandalay in the middle of one of the world's most inhospitable and malaria infested jungles, cut off for several months a year during the monsoons. It is famous for its jade mines which produce the world's best quality jadeite.
The word Hpakant comes from the Shan language words for rock fall. Hpakant was first established in 1832 as a village but shortly afterwards the village was destroyed in a landslide. Thereafter, Hpakant was established for the second time in 1836.
In 2011, fighting broke out between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar Army in the area around the Hpakant jade mines, displacing an estimated 90,000 people by September 2012 and killing hundreds of others.
Like an old mining town of the American West, Hpakant has been dubbed "the wild wild east" replete with alcohol, gambling, prostitution, and opium dens.[ citation needed ] Since after the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) came into the area before negotiating a ceasefire agreement with Burma's military government in the early 1990s, heroin is no longer openly on sale on the streets of Hpakant. Both addicts and drug dealers were rounded up, taken to the nearby Uru River, shot and dumped in the river.
Concerns have been expressed regarding the encroachment on and destruction of the environment from deforestation and landslides resulting from mining activities and consequent flooding. The Uru River has also been affected by the dumping of soil. There have been instances of locals being forced to leave their homes when upland areas were bulldozed by the big mining companies.
The KIA however lost control of the jade mines once the ceasefire had been arranged, and firms from China, Hong Kong and Singapore started to operate in the area after winning concessions from the government.More recently however the mining contracts went to the well known Burmese tycoon Tay Za's Htoo Group and also to Myanmar Dagaung Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the Hong Pang Group headed by Wei Hsueh-kang, a former drug trafficker and leader of the Wa insurgent group UWSA turned entrepreneur after the cease-fire deal.
Maran Brang Seng, former chairman of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) from 1976 until he died in 1994, was born in Hpakant in 1930.
One thousand miners apparently drowned in 2000 when flood waters of the Uru River rushed into the underground mines, but the news was hushed up by the authorities according to the locals.[ dubious ] An explosion at Hpakant Gyi mine on New Year's Eve 2008 killed 2 miners and injured 7. It is owned by another one of the ethnic ceasefire groups, the Pa-O National Army (PNA) headed by Aung Kham Hti.
More than 30 (and up to 70) people are believed to have been killed in a massive landslide near Hpakant in early July 2009; official figures are not available.[ citation needed ] The flood waters swept away homes, blocked roads and cut communications.[ citation needed ] The disaster is being blamed on jade mining, which creates large deposits of debris that block heavy rain from reaching natural rivers and drainage, including the Uru river.[ citation needed ]
About 100 jade mining companies operate in the Hpakant area. The Kachin Environmental Organization, based on the Sino-Burmese border, says that people living in the Hpakant area had appealed to the companies not to dump waste near the Uru River and to avoid environmental damage. The companies enjoy government backing, however, and local complaints are regularly ignored.
Over 100 people were killed in a landslide in the 22 November 2015 Hpakant jade mine disaster. Most of those killed were people living near the waste heap, who made their living scavenging through waste soil looking for jade remnants. At least 15 jade-seekers in a closed mine were killed and 45 injured by a landslide in July 2018.Six people were killed in the 22 April 2019 Hpakant jade mine collapse. More than 162 people were killed in a landslide in the 2 July 2020 Hpakant jade mine disaster.
Jade is an ornamental mineral, mostly known for its green varieties, though it appears naturally in other colors as well, notably yellow and white. Jade can refer to either of two different silicate minerals: nephrite, or jadeite.
Kachin State (or) Zaiwa Wunpawng Mungdan; Burmese: ကချင်ပြည်နယ်) is the northernmost state of Myanmar. It is bordered by China to the north and east ; Shan State to the south; and Sagaing Region 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 89,041 km2 (34,379 sq mi). The capital of the state is Myitkyina. Other important towns include Bhamo, Mohnyin and Putao.
A mining accident is an accident that occurs during the process of mining minerals or metals. Thousands of miners die from mining accidents each year, especially from underground coal mining, although accidents also occur in hard rock mining. Coal mining is considered much more hazardous than hard rock mining due to flat-lying rock strata, generally incompetent rock, the presence of methane gas, and coal dust. Most of the deaths these days occur in developing countries, and rural parts of developed countries where safety measures are not practiced as fully.
Myitkyina is the capital city of Kachin State in Myanmar (Burma), located 1,480 kilometers (920 mi) from Yangon, and 785 kilometers (488 mi) from Mandalay. In Burmese it means "near the big river", and Myitkyina is on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River, just below 40 kilometers (25 mi) from Myit-son of its two headstreams. It is the northernmost river port and railway terminus in Myanmar. The city is served by Myitkyina Airport.
The Chindwin River is a river flowing entirely in Myanmar, and the largest tributary of the country's main river, the Ayeyarwady. Its official name is also spelled Chindwinn.
The Irrawaddy or, officially, Ayeyarwady River is a river that flows from north to south through Burma. It is the country's largest river and most important commercial waterway. Originating from the confluence of the N'mai and Mali rivers, it flows relatively straight North-South before emptying through the Irrawaddy Delta in the Ayeyarwady Region into the Andaman Sea. Its drainage basin of about 404,200 square kilometres (156,100 sq mi) covers a large part of Burma. After Rudyard Kipling's poem, it is sometimes referred to as 'The Road to Mandalay'.
Wei Hsueh-kang also known as Prasit Cheewinnitipanya or Charnchai Cheevinnitipanya and Suchat Phanloetkun, is a military commander of the United Wa State Army. He has been accused of illegally trafficking drugs in Wa State, in the US, and through Myanmar's border with China.
The Kachin Independence Army is a non-state armed group and the military wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), a political group of ethnic Kachins in Northern Myanmar. The Kachins are a coalition of six tribes whose homeland encompasses territory in Yunnan, China, Northeast India and Kachin State in Myanmar.
The Kachin Independence Organisation is a Kachin political organisation in Myanmar (Burma), established on 5 February 1961. It has an armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army, which operates in Kachin and Shan State.
The internal conflict in Myanmar is a series of insurgencies in Myanmar that began shortly after the country, then known as Burma, gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1948. The conflict has largely been ethnic-based, with several ethnic armed groups fighting Myanmar's armed forces, the Tatmadaw, for self-determination. Despite numerous ceasefires and the creation of autonomous self-administered zones in 2008, many groups continue to call for independence, increased autonomy, or the federalisation of the country. The conflict is also the world's longest ongoing civil war, having spanned more than seven decades.
The Uyu River, also pronounced Uru River, is a river in northern Myanmar, formerly Burma. It is a major tributary of the Chindwin River, itself the largest tributary of the country's chief river, the Ayeyarwady. Its source lies in the Hukawng Valley of Kachin State, and it takes a southwesterly course through a fertile and well irrigated valley. It enters the Chindwin on the left bank at Homalin in Sagaing Division.
The Kachin conflict or Kachin War is one of the multiple conflicts collectively referred to as the internal conflict in Myanmar. Kachin insurgents have been fighting government soldiers since 1961, with only one ceasefire being brokered between them, which lasted for 17 years from 1994 to 2011.
The jade trade in Myanmar consists of the mining, distribution, and manufacture of jadeite- a variety of jade- in the nation of Myanmar (Burma). The jadeite deposits found in Myanmar's northern regions are the source of the highest quality jadeite in the world, noted by sources in China going as far back as the 10th century. Chinese culture places significant weight on the meaning of jade; as their influence has grown in Myanmar, so has the jade industry and the practice of exporting the precious mineral.
This article pertains to modern economic, social, and political relations between the People's Republic of China, and the rebel-occupied Kachin State of northern Myanmar. Since the renewal of the Kachin Conflict in 2011, violence between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese military continues to prevent contact with lowland Burma; China has become the Kachin region's sole window to the outside world. Currently, the majority of activity between Kachin, and the neighboring Chinese province of Yunnan is made up of illicit trading and the illegal migration of refugees.
The following lists events that happened during 2015 in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
On 21 November 2015, a major landslide in Hpakant, Kachin State, northern Myanmar killed at least 116 people near a jade mine, with around 100 more missing.
The Muse offensive, also known as the Mong Ko offensive, was a joint military operation by members of the Northern Alliance, which consists of the Arakan Army (AA), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). The groups targeted towns and border posts along the China–Myanmar border in Muse Township, Myanmar.
On 22 April 2019, a landslide triggered the collapse of a jade mine near Maw Wun Kalay, Hpakant, Kachin State, Myanmar, trapping at least 54 miners. The deaths of four miners were confirmed, along with the later deaths of two rescue workers.
Events of 2020 in Myanmar.
The Hpakant jade mine disaster was a mining disaster in which a landslide killed at least 174 miners, while at least 100 went missing, and an additional 54 people were injured in a jade mining site in the Hpakant area of Kachin State in Myanmar. The disaster took place on 2 July 2020 and is the deadliest mining accident to date in Myanmar.