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Landslide at an illegal Jade mine in Myanmar kills 13

A workers can earn $300 per month or more in Myanmar. This attracts migrants who are willing to take great risks.

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Rescue teams search for the bodies of miners killed in a landslide in a jade mining area in Hpakhant, in Myanmar's Kachin state on November 24, 2015. Search teams said on November 24 they had abandoned hope of finding survivors from a landslide in north Myanmar's jade mining heartland which killed more than 100 people. It is one of the deadliest incidents surrounding the billion-dollar jade trade that enriches a shadowy elite while destroying the local environment and social structure. AFP PHOTO / AFP / STR
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YANGON— Dozens of Jade miner were killed while scavenging in a mining pit. This mishap occurred after the start of monsoon rain and due to lack of safety measure’s and dangerous conditions inside the mine.

Myanmar’s Kachi state in the north has Hpakant Township where vast wasteland of deep pits and huge rubble heaps produced by mining companies using heavy machinery and dynamite.

Due to heavy rainfall instability in area has increased and a pit wall collapsed on scores of workers, said Khin Maung Myint, a National League for Democracy (NLD) Upper House parliamentarian from Hpakant.

“They found 12 bodies so far and sent 50 to the hospital,” he said, adding he believed up to 100 men could still be under the rubble. “There is heavy raining so they had to stop searching,” he added.

extraction of bodies from the landslide area
extraction of bodies from the landslide area. Image source: voa

The men had illegally entered a company pit where work was suspended. Deadly accidents are common in the Hpakant mines, where poor migrants from across Myanmar scavenge mining waste and pits for jade stones.

On May 8, 13 people reportedly died in a landslide. Several accidents with a lower death toll occurred in December and January. In one of the worst accident in recent memory, 114 men sleeping in a mining camp died when they were crushed by a collapsing waste mound last November.

In 2015, an estimated 300,000 itinerant miners were scavenging for jade in Hpakant, a recent state media article said. It noted there had been a sharp rise in workers in the past few years, along with an increase in large-scale mining and waste dumping.

Naw Lown, secretary of the Kachin National Development Foundation, said the hazardous conditions were created by powerful, licensed companies that dumped waste with no regard for safety regulations or environmental rules.

“They don’t take responsibility, they care only for their benefits. They don’t explore according to the rules and regulations, and they don’t dump waste in a systematic way,” he said.

Authorities have thus far struggled to enforce safety laws, or to control the masses of itinerant miners, a situation that the new NLD government urgently wants to change. It has announced plans to improve mine safety during its first 100 days in office and will issue no new mining license until new rules and environmental safeguards are in place.

“We… will make arrangements for systematic mining there,” Win Htein, director-general of the Mining Department, told state media on May 19. Measures such as moving at-risk camps of miners, creating safe zones and enforcing tighter rules on dumping are being planned.

Khin Maung Myint said there were around 150 firms extracting jade, adding that NLD officials “want to stop all mining during the rainy season because it’s dangerous, but that’s very difficult because there are interests (of companies) owned by the military.”

Living conditions in the remote, mountainous area are tough and most workers share simple shacks set up in dirty camps. Addiction to drugs such as heroin and opium, which are cheap and produced in northern Myanmar, is common.

Yet income levels are good by Myanmar standards as workers can earn $300 per month or more. This attracts migrants who are willing to take great risks.

Jade rock found at the mine
Jade rock found at the mine. Image source: voa

Khin Maung Myint said many are driven by the hope of finding a large jade stone. “They dream they can find a golden pot at the end of the rainbow,” he said, adding that most migrants come from impoverished, crisis-affected Rakhine State

Reverend Sai Naw of the Baptist Church in Hpakant said many laborers simply work to feed their drug addiction. “The main danger for miners is the landslide, but we estimate that 60 percent of the migrant miners use drugs, though there is no detailed or correct data,” he said, adding that the recent opening of a NGO health clinic providing free clean needles would help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.

While countless poor men toil in dangerous conditions and scores die, the owners of mining companies are reaping huge profits.

Jade industry has an estimated worth as $31 billion annually according to an investigation by the London-based natural resource watchdog Global Witness and is Myanmar’s most valuable sector. It found most mining firms had military connections and hid their ownership and license contracts.

China is the market of Jade where it is highly priced. The Jade is exported to nearby border as unregistered raw blocks from where it goes to Hong Kong for processing.(VOA)

 

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Beauty Rituals to Follow During Monsoon

Contrary to what most people believe, moisturising is as important in summer as it is in winter

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Beauty Rituals to Follow During Monsoon
Beauty Rituals to Follow During Monsoon. Pixabay

During monsoon, do not stop taking care of your skin thinking that the blazing sun would not harm your skin anymore. Use a soap-free cleanser, exfoliate regularly and do not skip the toner, say experts.

Shankar Prasad, founder at Plum; Chytra V Anand, Cosmetic Dermatologist and founder of Kosmoderma Skin and Hair Clinic, and Cyril Feuillebois, director of Kronokare, have listed the must-follow steps for the rainy season:

* Limit washing your face 2-3 times a day with a soap-free cleanser. This will help maintain a clean, healthy skin without stripping your skin off its essentials oil.

* Exfoliating the skin is necessary to get rid of the dead layers on your skin. Get a regular skin exfoliation treatment like microdermabrasion or mild chemical peel to reduce the risk of falling prey to infection.

* Always go for a minimal make-up and products from the organic front. Let your pores breathe. Apply a lip balm that can moisturize the lips, keep one handy so that you can use it anytime.

Always go for a minimal make-up and products from the organic front
Always go for a minimal make-up and products from the organic front. Pixabay

* Don’t skip the toner. In summer, we tend to sweat a lot and this can cause our skin pores to open up. Use a toner after cleansing to help shrink these pores. Invest in an alcohol-free toner with antioxidant ingredients like green tea and glycolic acid that help tighten enlarged pores, to control blemishes and acne, while removing dead cells.

* Choosing the right sunscreen for the right complexion and skin type is extremely important. Use nothing below SPF 30. Put where your skin gets exposed to the sun for a long period of time, apply evenly and generously on the face before sun exposure.

Re-apply frequently, especially after swimming or drying yourself with a towel. Apply every 2-3 hours for optimum protection.

* Seal the moisture with a mask. Control oiliness in the skin caused by humidity, with a once-a-week clay mask that naturally absorbs oil. Look for one with tea tree or green tea extracts and gentle exfoliation to prevent breakouts by removing dead cells and impurities from the pores.

* Contrary to what most people believe, moisturising is as important in summer as it is in winter. Exposure to the sun and pollution strips off the natural oils of your skin, causing it to tan and age early. So you need a light, non-greasy day cream that has a minimum of SPF30, and mild natural ingredients such as grape seed and sea buckthorn that aid cell repair and regeneration.

moisturising is as important in summer as it is in winter.
Moisturising is as important in summer as it is in winter. Pixabay

* Take extra care of sensitive areas: The skin on our lips and around our eyes is thinner than that on the rest of the face, so they need extra attention during the summer. The heat can make the eyes burn and lips, chapped. Make sure you splash your eyes regularly, and keep your lips protected with lip balm.

* If you can’t do without kajal, invest in an ophthalmologically approved, waterproof kajal pencil, free from parabens, mineral oil or paraffin. Also, remove all make-up before retiring for the night, and soothe your eyes with rosewater-dipped cotton balls.

Also Read: French Skincare Founder Says, Indians Paying More Attention To Skin

* Take Vitamin C to boost your immune system as that can help fight infections.

* Dust yourself with antifungal powder on clean dry skin to stay away from unwanted infections.

* Use gentle products and maintain a good, simple routine using sunscreen regularly and incorporating chemical peels or exfoliants, so your skin will transition smoothly. (Bollywood Country)