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rakhine state
Rakhine is one of the states of Myanmar (Burma) now and formerly known as Arakan. It was a kingdom of 16 dynasties, 234 kings and monarchical period of 5108 years. In 1784, Burmese king-Boe Daw colonized it. After ruling for about 40 years by Burma, it was occupied by English Company from India in 1824 and became a colony of Britain. Rakhine co-obtained the Independence from Britain on 4 January 1948 with other ethnic groups and was becoming one of the states of Burma.
In 1988, the military coup seized power and cracked down on the people. Over 3000 people lost their lives across the country. General Than Shwe, the successor to general Saw Maung , is ruling the country and oppressing the people. Therefore, lots of people are suffering and so do the Rakhinese people.
Rakhine state is enriched by marine products and other natural resources. The main livelihoods of the people in this state are fishing, fish farming, rice growing, etc. But, the majority people are not sufficient to live with their earnings because of inflation and sky-rocketing of commodity prices. People are not allowed to do businesses freely and they are completely controlled by local authorities. Transportation is also inconvenience and most people depend on risky and poor voyage.
Insufficient Electricity is as well another problem. Most people rely on Candle-light every night. Only Sittwe, the Capital of the Rakhine State has 2 hours electricity from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and the rest are blackout. With this time of electricity, you can imagine how they live. Electrical appliances are given a rest. Moreover, it costs about 200 kyats per unit as 25 kyats in Yangon and this is the highest charge in Myanmar.
In fact, Rakhine State has a lot of natural gas reserves. Several gas fields have found its off-shore. Shwe Gas is one of those and experts said that it has about 4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) to 6 TCF and is worth at least 52 billions US dollars. Energy-starved neighboring countries –China, India are cooperating in this gas field to extract gas and import to their own countries. But, local people especially Rakhinese people have no chances to benefit from this. Besides, they are suffering a lot and getting poorer than poorer day after day.
Waters are restricted to search for gas, so fishermen are facing difficulties to catch fish. Although the regime can supply electricity with some gas or other means such as building hydroelectric plant, they have not done yet. There are so many rivers, creeks and “Sai Daung ” waterfall in Rakhine State.
So, it is cleared that Military Juntas will be using the profits from this gas exploitation for strengthening their power and self-interests. In my opinion, they should be kept as they are for the moment. If the military government were over, we- all the people in Myanmar would share them for our development.
Tags: history , NEWS
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