The Irrawaddy‘s Khun Sam – a rising star who I have highlighted in the past as a top contributor to regional media – has penned an informative new report that follows his previous article on forced labour in the southern Kachin State. It looks like he has asked some pretty hard questions of the local Kachin Independence Organization liaison officer in his efforts to probe road construction projects.

According to Khun Sam:

The Burmese military has ordered local residents in southern Kachin State to supply forced labor in what is so far a month-long effort to complete work on buildings and roads that are thought to support a new military base and ongoing logging projects in the area.

Residents say that the Hpakant-based tactical commander, Col Khin Maung Cho, ordered Hopin Township and its surrounding villages to supply workers for a new road leading east to Sinbo through the heavily forested Gau Gwi Pa region.

The full report is definitely worth a read for anybody following current developments in the southern Kachin State. Khun Sam’s reports – even when compared to much of the vernacular language reporting on this region – is, in my experience, usually both well-researched and at the cutting edge of local developments. For these reasons, his articles are always worth a read.