20 Feb 2024
Edit Mirante / Project Maje has a new report out summarizing the 2023 situation in Chin State.
This is a follow up on reports she filed in January 2023 and October 2021.
Edith has been at this a good long while and the Project Maje link above leads to quite a detailed set of histories of many different areas of Myanmar. She was kicked out of Thailand in the 1980s after showing how easy it was to get tea with the “elusive” Golden Triangle warlord Khun Sa. From the jacket of her 1994 page-turner Burmese Looking Glass:
Mirante, who has been called “one of the great adventurers of our time,” first crossed illegally from Thailand into Burma in 1983. There she discovered the hidden conflict that has despoiled the country since the close of World War II. She met commandos and refugees and became a “connoisseur of corruption,” learning firsthand the machinations of Golden Triangle narcotics trafficking. Horrified by the damage wrought on the rain forest and its inhabitants, she lobbied successfully against U.S. government donation of Agent Orange chemicals to the dictatorship.
Mirante was the first Westerner to march with the rebels from fabled Three Pagodas Pass to the Andaman Sea; she taught karate to women soldiers, was ritually tattooed by a Shan “spirit doctor,” and was deported from Thailand in 1988. She remains committed to bringing the true story of Burma to the attention of the world.
Via email she provided an exec summary of this new Chin State report from the introduction:
“Since 2021 conditions in Chin State have evolved from scattered but resolute resistance to a full scale revolution which extends to civil government in its vital functions.”
“Political unity has long been elusive in Chin State (as in other regions of Burma) so serious governance challenges will remain, despite the people’s common purpose in opposing the Myanmar coup regime and impressive military cooperation among resistance forces. Like many mountainous lands, Chin State has a long-ago history of inter-group raiding and a legacy of linguistic diversity. Distinctive traditional woven textile patterns tell a story of peoples with deeply localized identities but also with common bonds and goals. Going forward, inclusive unity will be a necessity and respect for diversity will be just as crucial.”
“2023 was eventful for Chin State and 2024 is likely to bring even more momentous changes. This year may be the start of a transformative, post-coup era for Burma and the time when the region so many know and love as Chinland can turn its attention to repair of war trauma, political representation, cultural rebirth, sustainable development and environmental preservation.”