Resident's homes on Ledo Road to move back 20 feet

Residents owning houses on Stilwell Road also called Ledo Road between Waingmaw and Kambaiti in Kachin State in Northern Burma have been ordered to move back about 20 feet from the current location by local Burmese junta authorities as of May, local sources said.

[The completion ceremony of reconstruction Stilwell Road was held on Kambaiti Sino-Burma border on April 26, 2007.] Every house owner along the Stilwell Road from Waingmaw to Kambaiti on the China-Burma border, east of Kachin State were informed in a letter by the junta's Township and Village Peace and Development Council (Ma-Ya-Ka and Ya-Ya-Ka) in May.

In Waingmaw township, east of Irrawaddy River (Mali Hka in Kachin), opposite Myitkyina Township, the capital of Kachn State, over twenty houses and shops on the roadside have begun to move back since early this month, said residents of Waingmaw.

Locals added that the junta is not paying any compensation to house owners who will lose their land and homes because of the widening of Ledo Road.

According to roadside house owners, they have been given a deadline to move back before the end of this year by local military authorities.

Locals said the junta plans to rebuild the current Ledo Road in Waingmaw Township into a two-lane road and also plans to open the Myitkyina-Waingmaw-Kambaiti Road as the official China-Burma border trade road soon instead of the current Myitkyina-Waingmaw-Laiza.

The Myitkyina-Waingmaw-Laiza Road is shorter than Myitkyina-Waingmaw-Kambaiti Road from the border. However the junta does not want to open Laiza as an official border trade road because Laiza is controlled by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), local merchants said.

One part of Ledo Road between Myitkyina and Kambaiti on the Burma side was reconstructed by the Chinese government and the opening ceremony was officially held in Kambaiti on April 26, 2007.

Another part of Ledo Road between Danai (Tanai) and Myitkyina is under construction by the Rangoon-based Yuzana Company chaired by U Htay Myint. The company also bought over 200,000 acres of land in Hukawng valley in 2006 from the ruling junta.

The Ledo Road connects Ledo in Assam State in India and Kunming in China's Yunnan province and the road was constructed by the US Army during World War II from 1942-1945.