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Government Land-Seizure Investigation Committee Moves to Karen State
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Government Land-Seizure Investigation Committee Moves to Karen State

Kaowao
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Members from the land investigation committee formed by Burma’s Union Parliament met with land-seizure victims in Hpa-an Township today after having yesterday met with Zaw Min, the Chief Minister of Karen State.

A betel nut farm was confiscated by the Burmese government troop in Kawkareik Township, Karen State on September 2011. (Photo:KHRG)

Mi Myint Than, a member of the investigation committee from Burma’s Lower House of Parliament, said that a lot of paddy land in Karen State had been taken by authorities from different government departments and that some land had even been confiscated by private companies.

“This is a bit different from our Mon State. In our Mon State, most lands were confiscated by the army, but the lands here in Karen State were confiscated by authorities from different government departments,” said Mi Myint Than.

“We have not confirmed yet how many acres of land were confiscated. We have only met with the people, heard their complaints, and made lists of the complaints,” she said.

The local people’s lands were taken from different townships by the authorities and lands were more recently taken from people living near to the industry zone in Hpa-an Township and also those even living near the motor road in Myawaddy.

Mi Myint Than is also a member of the All Mon Regions Democracy Party. She said that it about 14,000 acres of rubber plants in Mon State were confiscated in the past.

In the five years after the 1995 ceasefire in Mon State between the Burmese government and New Mon State Party, the Burmese army confiscated over 7,780 acres of land from over 370 farmers in Mon State and Southern Burma.

The Human Rights Foundation of Monland released a report in 2003 on human rights violations in Mon State and Southern Burma titled “No Land To Farm.” This report focused on the issue of land confiscation, Burmese military deployment, and the suffering of landowners after the Mon National Liberation Army and Burmese Army reached a ceasefire agreement in 1995.

According to the report, land confiscation by the Burmese Army was widespread in Mon State. The most severe cases were found in Ye township, in the southern part of the state. The Burmese military regime had deployed thousands of Burmese troops to the area since 1995, establishing more than 15 new battalions in Mon State.

After farmers lost their land to the Burmese troops, many had to flee to refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border. Their children were pulled out of schools and many sought jobs in Thailand. In some cases, the army confiscated farms and plantations and forced the owners to work without pay or benefits.

There are numerous cases of farmers and other landowners having property seized by the military and private companies or used for national projects over the last half-century when the country was ruled by the military regime.

Ever since the 1963 Land Acquisition Act, which nationalized ownership of all land across the country, confiscation practices have been widespread for a variety of reasons—including project construction, expansion of urban areas, establishment of industrial zones and building army bases.

No one has had the right to protest land seizures during the last five decades of military rule in Burma, but the country’s recent political reforms resulted in many victims beginning to speak up in an effort to get confiscated land returned.

Burma is an agricultural country where the majority of people are farmers. Therefore, after the recent political reforms many farmers from all over the country began protesting in order to get their land returned.


COMMENT


More articles from issue 05/2 More articles from issue 02/3
More articles from issue 05/2
- Ethnic Political Party Alliance Calls for Federal Cooperation in Peace Process

- New Formed Mon Researcher To Protect Old Kingdom

- Seven Arrested in Lamine sub-Township Drug Bust

- US Delegation Meets Ethnic MPs in Naypyidaw

- Two Mon Parties Reaffirm Agreement to Unite

- A house divided will fail to win power for the Mon

- Questions Arise as Reports of Additional Military Training Surface

- Burma Tour Agency Offers Spiritual Travel Experience

- Reformist Burmese Government Continues to Use ‘Divide and Rule’ Colonial System

- Forty-Three Rohingya Boatpeople Walk Out Freely from Prison in Moulmein

- Federalism Agenda in Burma

- ‘Maintain and Be Proud of Your Ethnic Identity’ Say Suu Kyi amid Whirlwind Trip to United States

- Concerns Grows Over Threat of Increased Drug Use in Mon State

- Government Land-Seizure Investigation Committee Moves to Karen State

- Ethnic Mon in America Welcome Suu Kyi’s Visit With Words of Advice

- First Permitted Commemoration of International Peace Day Marks in Moulmein

- Ethnic Groups Issue Their Own Peace Plan

- Ethnic Mon Monk and Right Activists Make Donation to Insein Prison

- Ethnic Mon Monks Face Accusations of Partiality in Face of Difficult Political Talks

- Political Reform Comes at Cost of Ethnic Representation in Naypyidaw

- NMSP Outlines Party Objectives at 65th Mon Revolution Day

- NMSP maintains “wait and see” Policy

- Ethnic Mon MPs Meet Mon Migrants in Mahachai

- Pa-oh group agrees to a ceasefire with the Burmese government.

- Eight Thai Citizens Facing Prison in Burma

- Ethnic Languages to be Taught in Burmese Schools

- Ethnic Political Party Alliance Requests Reforms to Government Census Lists

- Initial Agreement Reached Between 88 Generation and Two Mon Political Parties

- Ethnic Conference Through to Find out Peace Hopefully (Interview)

- Starting Historic Journal, The Than Lwin Times (Interview)

- KNU says Burmese Government does not Want Real Political Dialogue

- Remembering Mon leader Nai Non Lar

- Mon Curriculum Brought to President Thein Sein

- Ethnic Mon Buddhist Doctor To Teach in Germany

- Mon Leadership at a Crossroads (Opinion)

- Ethnic Mon in Sangkhlaburi Join Buddhist Chanting to Celebrate the Buddhist Lent

- Educational Funding Possibilities Arise as Multi-Ethnic Curriculum Argument Increases

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