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Gov’t forbids climbing Fukanrazi Mountain in Kachin State

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Since a helicopter carrying Burmese Tycoon Tay Za and five colleagues went down on Fukanrazi Mountain in northern Kachin State, people have been forbidden to climb the mountain, according to local residents.

Burmese business tycoon Tay Za in front of a passenger jet in his airlines, Bagan Airways. Photo: MizzimaThe Putao Township Council read the order dated March 7 out loud in local governmental departments and churches. Local authorities also erected a sing warning “Climbing the mountain is forbidden. Forbidden Area,” in Khalam Village located at the foot of the mountain. The ban has caused difficulty for local villagers who rely on the mountain for food, herbs and other resources.

Tay Za’s helicopter is still on the mountain, sources said. He and his colleagues went to the mountain via helicopter to conduct a survey prior to climbing the mountain. On February 22, due to bad weather the helicopter attempted to land on the mountain and became bogged down and stranded. Rescue aircraft dropped packages containing clothes, food, medicine and satellite phones. The packages have not been found so far and the helicopter has not been removed.  

“We don’t know how many packages they dropped. The authorities don’t want the people to get the phones and to communicate with foreign countries. That’s why they ordered that climbing the mountain had been forbidden,” a religious leader in Putao told Mizzima.
Tay Za and his colleagues were stranded on the mountain for three days before the rescue helicopter hired from a Thailand-based company dropped a rope and lifted them to carry them off the mountain. The Putao military strategic command and Meiktila Air Force managed the rescue operation.

Because of heavy rain, snowfall and landslides it is difficult to locate the helicopter and packages dropped in the rescue operation, residents said.

The height of the mountain is 12,000 feet and the location is very romote. Nearby villagers do hillside cultivation and need to rely on the mountain to grow their crops and for other resources.

“The bamboo plants on the mountain are great. The bamboo is used to make bamboo cups. Because of the prohibition, we could not collect herbs and plants which have medicinal properties. And some people used to hunt on the mountain. So, we have encountered difficulties,” said a Rawang resident. 

Currently, Tay Za’s Htoo Company is conducting a survey to set up a business to provide skiing in the area, and there are security guards posted around the mountain, residents said.

“The authorities ordered relevant village heads to watch in order to know who climbs the mountain. The areas around mountain are accessible by road, but there are no roads on the mountain.”

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 July 2011 18:20 )  

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