“Burmanization” is a word that all the Kachin and all the ethnic groups in Burma know well. Burmanization refers to a carefully crafted set of government policies whose goals are a future Union of Myanmar where one of the most diverse countries on the planet will become a completely homogenized one. Minority language, religion, culture and history are all under heavy assault in Burma today.
In 1961 the central government declared Buddhism the state religion despite the fact that the Kachin are over 90% Christian and many other ethnic minorities in Burma are Christian, Muslim or Animists. Still today the Junta and the state sanctioned Buddhists build countless Buddhist Pagodas and shrines in Kachin State while actively prohibiting the Kachin from building or even repairing their own churches. Many of the new Buddhist pagodas even have false inscriptions on them saying that they are hundreds of years old, despite the local people’s testimony that they were recently built. This is one of the many manifestations of Burmanization rampant in Burma today.