BURMA

KIA Keeps Tabs on Tay Za

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Kachin Independence Organization, Myanmar, Burma, Putao, Tay Za, Kachin, Myitsone, investment, business, environment

Burmese tycoon Tay Za at his office. (ygnutd.com)

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) says it is keeping tabs on Tay Za, a Burmese tycoon on the US sanctions list, to determine whether his investments in Kachin State are benefiting the local people or solely padding his own pockets.

KIA deputy chief Maj-Gen Gun Maw said he met with Tay Za in Rangoon last month and expressed displeasure at the tycoon’s financial and moral support to the Burma government army, which was continuing to exchange heavy fire with the ethnic rebel group.

“We can understand if he looks for new technology, arms and ammunition for the Burmese army, because he was assigned by the government,” Gun Maw recently told The Irrawaddy in an exclusive interview. “But we cannot accept when he provides direct assistance to the army columns that came to launch offensives against us.”

Gun Maw, who has met with Tay Za in the past, said he requested information last month about the tycoon’s investments in Burma’s northernmost resource-rich state.

“After looking at data from him, we can find out how his businesses will affect our people, and we will have a better idea what to discuss with him,” the KIA deputy chief said. “We will invite businessmen who can contribute to the good of our people and our Kachin State, with real goodwill. But we will have to say openly if any business affects our people.”

Tay Za is reportedly launching a number of businesses in the Putao area and other parts of the state, including logging, mining and resorts.

But he has not been transparent with the local people about his plans, Gun Maw said.

“The KIO is always watching to see if he is working not only for the people in Putao, but also for Kachin people as a whole, or if he is working for his own benefit,” he said.

The KIA has also voiced its displeasure at other business ventures which it believes will not help local people, including the Chinese-backed Myitsone Dam. Gun Maw said the rebel group sent an official letter to Beijing rejecting construction of the dam, which was suspended by the Burma government in 2011 due to opposition from the public.

“We sent an official rejection to both Snr-Gen Than Shwe, Burma’s former junta supremo, and the Chinese president regarding the construction of the Myitsone dam project after it was first reported in newspapers in Burma,” the KIA deputy chief said.

“The Myitsone area is historically important for local people, and also the lifeline of the whole country—that’s why we opposed it. We still hold that position.”

Beijing has reportedly urged the Burma government and the KIA to end clashes.

“Many problems go on the China side of the border whenever fighting breaks out on our side, so the Chinese government has asked the KIA not to engage in battles in the border areas, and we have heard that it told the Burmese administration the same,” Gun Maw said.


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7 Responses to KIA Keeps Tabs on Tay Za

  1. One said Kachin will get benefit from the hydropower.
    Another one said kachin only reject one of the 6 hydropower projects in the aspect of environmental issue.
    Author should make clarification for this different information. Anyhow, KIA should go out to speak those issue clearly from time to time or press conference. Whatever it is, why Tay Za is in the Kachin land for investment without prior agreement from ALL Kachine people.

  2. Just another greedy, bottom line fat cat who exploits people and the economy for vested interests.

  3. Might be double edged sword..no ones knows exactly.Hope you Kachins are not kind of getting screwed on so many issues.

  4. This fat boy is as bad as Than Shwe. He never cares about the struggle of the people. Sucking blood is his only ambition. When you guys visit Myanmar, stay away from hotel chain run by cronies. There are small hotels where you can comfortably relax in Myanmar which are free from the hands of cronies.

  5. Tay Za means ‘eats death’ so all his business activities are first to cause death then eat.

    ‘Tay’ means ‘die’ or ‘death’
    ‘Za’ means ‘eat’.

    He should be condemned for contributing (supporting military regime, buying arms for the military who murders own citizen) in the factors that has led the whole country into such miserable condition.

    Tay Za is the greatest opportunistic businessman who constantly yearns for causing death and eating death.

  6. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U 1976

    Dear Brother, Maj-Gen Gun Maw-We have fully Understand in your Position, how hard to find out A Good, Honest Business man to work & to help your People .
    A Business Man Such as Tay Za ( who also taken Gen Aung San’s 30 Comrades Name ) is Nothing, but a Warmonger,Financial & Moral Support to Present Military Regime ( Whatever they said that Govt is heading to Democracy, actually not to believe yet ) and a Burmese Tycoon on US sanction list . We tried very hard to trust him . But, How can we believe him ? What is his Credibility ?
    Dear Brother,I know you try to look Positive side, but don’t trust Everybody compare wth yourself. Physically & Materially he might be Millionaire or Billionaire, but Not Spiritually. Just A sudden Straw fire coming out and soon died. A Lot of Guys like Tay Za are Meddling, fooling around in Ethnic Kachin, Karen Areas to Exploit the Minerals , Gems ,Timber Etc. Why Ethnic People are running , Looking for Safe Haven,becoming Poorer & Poorer/Hand to Mouth Situation . When you look at American History Late John Rockefella , Andrew Carnegie who were a Great Donors to build Hospitals,Schools , Libraries Etc. How & What do you do for th Benefits of Kachin or for Burmese Citizens ?

  7. Tay Za is a greedy, selfish individual who only has clout through his family’s military connections. His wealth from raping Burma’s forests and natural resources is staggering. It should be confiscated and used to assist the majority of people who are poor and have nothing. This is one nasty and corrupt dude.

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