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The Government are deeply concerned by reports that the ceasefire agreement in Kachin State has broken down, leading to renewed conflict and the internal displacement of up to 20,000 people, according to local sources. The number of people who may have crossed the China-Burma border as a result of the fighting is hard to determine as access to information about the situation on the ground is limited. We understand that conflict is reported to have started over local objections to a Chinese hydro-electric dam construction project, but tensions in ethnic areas are increasing following efforts by the Government to force armed ethnic groups to join a national border guard force.
Our ambassador to Rangoon raised concerns with the Burmese Government on 9 and