IN MON AREA DOCUMENTED
(Kao Wao: October 24, 2003)
Human Rights Foundation of Monland has released a report
on land confiscation in the Mon areas.
The report mainly focuses on the issue of land confiscation,
including Burmese military deployment and the suffering of
landowners for over six years after the New Mon State Party
and the Burmese military junta signed the cease-fire agreement.
According to the report, over the six-year period, the BA
confiscated over 7780 acres of land with an estimated value
of Kyat 1,311 million from over 370 farmers in Mon State and
in Southern Burma. Land confiscation by the BA has had a widespread
impact in Mon State and the most severe cases are found in
Ye township, southern Mon State.
The Burmese military regime has deployed thousands of Burmese
troops in the area since 1995 causing internal displacement
among the populations.
The report, compiled with 21 case studies, was presented
to humanitarian organizations and other interested parties
to review the plight of refugees, displaced persons and illegal
migrants to neighboring countries.
For over nine years now, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland
published its regular monthly report titled the "Mon
Forum." The land confiscation report highlights the reasons
why people flee their home country.
After loosing their land to the BA, farmers have no options;
hundreds of families load up their belongings on their backs,
pull their children out of school, and flee to refugee camps
along Thai-Burma border. Thousands seek jobs in Thailand and
Malaysia. After the cease-fire agreement in 1995, the military
government, State Peace and Development Council built over
ten new battalions in Mon State.
The army confiscates farms and plantations and forces owners
to work on land they once owned without compensation, pay
or benefits. This act is inhumane and dehumanizing and causes
tremendous hardship on villagers, the report concluded.