World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Burma/Myanmar: Farmers face prison sentences for trespassing

BURMA/MYANMAR: Farmers face prison sentences for trespassing and move to remote prisons

July 25, 2014

President of Myanmar, U Thein Sein, announced that the government cannot give back over 30,000 acres of paddy land that the state has been using since it was confiscated by the army two decades ago. On the one hand the President ordered state and regional governments and land management committee to cooperate with members of the parliament to solve the problem of land grabbing cases. On the other hand he has announced the government cannot handover some land back. This is leading to prosecution and prison sentences for the farmers in conflict with the army regarding their land.

According to the Myanmar President’s Office official website, the President submitted a report (26-4-2014 to 24-6-2014) to National Parliament regarding the confiscation of land by the military, ministries, regional governments, and businesses with only small amounts of compensation. There are many more cases of the government neither paying compensation nor returning the land to its owners.

Different reasons and sectors which confiscated farmland:

1. The military grabbed lands from civilians to build up places, for military training operations, plantation and animal husbandry, and various forms of military owned businesses. To get financial support for battalions, they offer to rent the land back to farmers, essentially requiring the farmers to pay to grow crops on their own land. The Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services gave an order to the battalions not to do business with civilian and avoid offering any such tenant agreements, but the order has been ignored.

2. Ministries and corporations confiscated farmland for new town plans and infrastructure projects. Some lands were confiscated under the Land Acquisition Act, but insufficient compensation was given to the farmers. Government corporations also grabbed the farmland to build state owned factories, however they sold the land to private companies instead.

3. Private companies that applied for the virgin lands from farmland management body have, in-stead, been given farmland and pastureland mislabelled as virgin land. District and Township Officers, responsible person for companies, and farmland management bodies cooperated together to change the documents and grab the land. As the government annulled pastureland, they did not give compensation to the farmers.

On 27 and 28 May 2014, 190 farmers from Pharuso Township, Kayah State were prosecuted for ploughing in land confiscated by No.531 Light Infantry Battalion. Tanintharyi regional government seized farmland for Dawei New Town Plan Project in Dawai Township and the District Administrative Officer with his team began construction on the grabbed land. Twenty farmers who did not take compensation for their land tried to halt the team. As a result, all the farmers were prosecuted; 10 were sentenced to 3 to 9 months imprisonment and the others paid fines. There are 450 farmers from Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region who are protesting against the military and have had cases filed against them for cultivating in the confiscated land. Their lands were used for a sugar cane project and a sugar production factory by the military and the Myanmar Economic Corporation. They were brought to court under the Penal Code, accused of trespassing and mischief on the land. They cases are still going on, more than 65 farmers have been sentenced to jail since the second week of July, and they all have been sent to various prisons around the country.

The Asian Human Rights Commission calls for the military to offer sufficient compensation according to Land Acquisition Act, as well as stop prosecutions of and provide justice for the farmers. The AHRC also condemns the military’s illegal land grabs, military cooperation business with private companies to use such lands, and the practice of renting land back to the original owners.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

One Year On: WWF Fails To Act Against Abuse Of ‘Pygmies'

Baka 'Pygmies' have faced harassment, beatings and torture by anti-poaching squads supported and funded by WWF. Conservation giant World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has failed to take action against the abuse of Baka “Pygmies” and their neighbors ... More>>

Cyclone Pam Evacuation Centers Home To New-Born

UNFPA Pacific, Port Vila, Vanuatu (March 25, 2015) - As her family settled into one of the classrooms at Freswota Primary School in Cyclone Pam-stricken Port Vila, in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Meri Yalu was more troubled by an impending ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news