The SHWE Gas Movement: For a Sustainable Future in a Free and Democratic Burma


For a Sustainable Future in a Free and Democratic Burma



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Shwe Stakeholders: Peoples

Chin State, Burma

Chin state is among the most remote and least populated areas of Burma with less than half a million people. Foreign tourists are currently not allowed access to the mountainous state with dense jungle valleys.

Chin is commonly used as a collective name for around forty ethnic There are three different tribal Chin clans on the southern part of Chin region, known as Chinbon, Chinbok and Layhtoo Chin, each practicing a different kind of facial tattooing. This tradition began thousands of years ago as an attempt to avoid the women being captured as sex slaves, and lives on today. peoples in western Burma, such as Zo, Lai, Lushei, Matu and are part of the same stock as the ethnic Mizos in India.

In modern times, over 70% of the Chins have become Christian, but there are still many practising animists as well as Buddhist, Hindus and Moslems in Chin State. Religious persecution by the military regime against the Christian Chins have seen the destruction of numerous churches.

The hilly terrain of Chin StateMore than half of the Chins are rice farmers engaged in shifting cultivation but corn is also a common staple crop with a majority of the people living hand-to-mouth. Villages are often located on mountaintops and the collection fire wood and drinking water a time consuming part of their survival.

The most common national symbol of the Chins is the Hornbill which is becoming a rarity even in the Chin hills. Other wild animals include Tiger, Elephants, Bear, Barking deer and the nearly extinct wild Mithun ox.

The Shwe Project threatens not only the culture of the Chins, but their livelihood and environment as well. (see: Issues, Cultural and Environmental Destruction)  

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[1] The Chin Human Rights Organisation




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