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THE KACHIN: LORDS OF BURMA’S NORTHERN FRONTIER

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Cognoscenti Books

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THE KACHIN: LORDS OF BURMA’S NORTHERN FRONTIER

An account of the culture, history and politics of Burma’s Kachin people, complete with maps and colour illustrations

  • By Bertil Lintner

Remarkable for their military prowess, their receptivity to Christianity, and their intricate all-embracing kinship network, the Kachins are a hardy mountain people living in the remote hills of northern Burma (Myanmar), and on the peripheries of China and India.

During the Second World War they strongly sided with the Allies in defending Burma against the imperialist designs of the Japanese military, earning themselves sobriquets such as “amiable assassins” and “Gurkhas of Southeast Asia”. After Burma's independence in 1948, the Kachins were given their own state, but in the early 1960s they went to war again, this time fighting for autonomy for their homeland.

For half a century, funded largely by the world-renowned jade trade they control, they maintained their armed insurgency, playing a key role in Burma's internecine struggles. In 1994 the Kachins and the Burmese government signed a cease-fire agreement, which they hoped would mark the start of an era of peace. However, in June 2011 government forces broke the truce and war flared anew in the Kachin hills.

  • Bertil Lintner is a Swedish journalist, author and strategic consultant who has been writing about Asia for nearly four decades. Formerly Burma correspondent of the Far Eastern Economic Review, he is now the Thailand-based correspondent for Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet and Denmark's Politiken as well as the editor of Asia Pacific Media Services. In 2004, Lintner received an award for excellence in reporting about from the Society of Publishers in Asia. He was also president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) from 1993-95.

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