"Ifthou seest the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a province, marvel not at the matter: for one higher than the high regardeth..." (Eccl 5:8)
It is not easy to say how much injustice is occasioned here by gold and jade, and caused by the greed of men and women who lust for it.
About 3km downstream from the confluence of the Mali and N'Mai Rivers, the source of the ancient Irrawaddy, the Chinese have been planning to build the Myitsone Dam. If protests do not prevent the project proceeding, then the whole area will be flooded. 90% of the electricity generated is due to go to China, not to the locals. And the gold in the silt will not be for the locals either. Like the jade not far away, it goes to the senior military, who fight not against enemies, but against their own country. Meanwhile the hill tribes have the Queen of Heaven...
Her church here will be submerged if the dam goes ahead. But the spirit of the youth here and their pastors will not go under. Nearby lies the 'bamboo church' and the most serenely happy youth group you could hope to meet:
Their spirit is the more valuable gold in these hills. Suffering perfects love.
"Receive my instruction, and not silver; And knowledge rather than choice gold." (Prov 8:10)