Next on DPDM: Jade Land

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DVB stockphoto by Kyauk Hpa Kyae

Hpakant (Burmese: ဖားကန့်; also Hpakan, Phakant and Farkent), is a town in Kachin State, 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 each year during the monsoons. It is famous for its jade mines which produce the world’s best quality jadeite.

KIA-soldier
DVB stockphoto from KIA soldier in 2012

In 2011 fighting broke out between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese Army in the area around the Hpakant jade mines displacing an estimated 90,000 people by September, 2012 and killing hundreds of people.

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. Since the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) came into the area in the early 1990s, heroin is no longer openly on sale on the streets of Hpakant. (source: wikipedia)

DPDM_loc_week7

Aired first this Saturday at 17:30 on DVB TV.

Recent news stories by DVB related to Hpakant:
Govt ‘doesn’t speak the truth’: Gun Maw

Ethnic negotiators demand answers on boot camp shelling

Schools, businesses close as tensions rise in Hpakant

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