Karen (Kayin) State


Karen (Kayin) State
   One of Burma's 14 states and divisions, with an area of 30,383 square kilometers (11,731 square miles) and a population estimated at 1.49 million in 2000 (1983 census figure: 1,055,359). Ethnically, the majority of the population belongs to Karen (Kayin) groups. Until the mid-1990s, much of the state was under the control of the insurgent Karen National Union (KNU), which maintained strongholds along the border with Thailand. The state capital is Pa-an (Hpa-an). Established in 1951, Karen State contains three districts (Pa-an, Myawaddy, and Kawkareik), subdivided into seven townships.
   The topography is generally rugged. Mountains, such as the Dawna Range, run from the northwest to the southeast of the state and have traditionally provided refuge for insurgents. Being elongated, Karen State shares a boundary with Mon State to the west and southwest, Pegu (Bago) Division) to the west and northwest, Mandalay Division and Shan State to the north, and Kayah State to the northeast. It also shares a long international border with Thailand to the east, southeast, and south. The Salween (Thanlwin) River bisects the state before entering Mon State and emptying into the Gulf of Martaban (Mottama). Forestry is economically important, though stands of valuable hardwoods, such as teak, have been seriously depleted since 1988, when the State Law and Order Restoration Council gave logging concessions to firms from Thailand, which often practiced clear-cutting. Once controlled by insurgent groups (such as the KNU and the New Mon State Party), border trading posts (such as Three Pagodas Pass and Mae Sot-Myawaddy) played an important role in Burma's black market, drawing in imports from foreign countries in exchange for Burmese raw materials, such as forest products, rice, and livestock. There are plans to open the "Asian Highway" through Mae Sot in Thailand's Tak Province into Burma by way of Myawaddy, which would link Rangoon (Yangon) with Bangkok.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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  • Karen National Union — Official flag of KNU The Karen National Union (Burmese: ကရင် အမျိုးသား အစည်းအရုံး; abbreviated KNU) is a political organisation with an armed wing, the Karen National L …   Wikipedia

  • Karen Goodwill Mission —    (1946)    A four man delegation, consisting of Karen (Kayin) lawyers Saw Ba U Gyi, Saw Tha Din, Sidney Loo Nee, and Saw Po Chit, who went to London in August 1946 to express to the British government their community s opposition to being… …   Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)

  • State —    Pyi ne (plural: pyi ne myar) in the Burmese (Myanmar) language; refers to the major unit of territorial administration below the national level (along with divisions) and above the district and township levels. There are seven states: Arakan… …   Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)

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