|Life in Mon State
FARMERS REFUSE TO SIGN OVER LAND
(IMNA: November 26, 2003)
Farmers in southern Mon State are refusing to sign over their
land into the hands of the military regime.
Although the Burmese Army promises local farmers compensation
for confiscated rubber and fruit trees, the army pays only
Kyat 4,000.00 (4 US Dollar) per acre of land.
Last month, before the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur
went to Burma, local battalions called a meeting with the
landowners who lost their land to discuss compensation, saying
they would pay only according to the numbers of trees.
The source reported the BA would pay 250 Kyat per one tree,
but now have changed their decision declaring they would pay
only Kyat 4,000 per acre of land.
One acre of land normally has about 500 rubber trees and
landowners would get about Kyat 125,000 (125 US Dollar), now
will get only Kyat 4,000 (4 US Dollar).
The LIB No. 588 confiscated lands from 28 farmers to build
residential lines for army families.
3 farmers have consistently refused to sign the agreement
while others are forced to sign that they are voluntarily
offering their lands. Some landowners are forced by the army
to sign promising that they are offering their lands permanently
to the army without future consideration.
Land confiscation in the southern part of Burma is a relentless
undertaking and has increased substantially under the regime's
'self-reliance' policy that encourages the BA to find own
income. Farmers and their families already suffering from
years of hardship have no rights and are forced from their
land to feed a territorial army; already poor they face a
future of starvation and impoverishment.
About 8,000 acres of land in the Mon areas have been confiscated
during 1998 to 2002 period.