Ethnic Mons Faced Massive Land Confiscations by Burma Navy
16 August 2011: At least 1,000 acres of land have been confiscated without compensation from around 240 rubber plantation owners and farmers on Kywe Thone Nyi Ma Island, Yebju Township of Tenasserim Division, a report by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) said.
The report released yesterday said Burma Navy Unit No. 43 has began to forcibly seize plots of land belonging to the local villagers under the command of Ka Dike-based government navy regional command Headquarters since early December 2010.
Burma Navy Unit No. 43 has also surveyed and marked out a total of another 3,000 acres of rubber plantations belonging to the residents of Kywe Thone Nyi Ma Island and the easterly neighboring villages across the water in Yebyu Township, according to HURFOM.
“Officials from Navy Unit No. 43 explained that the land seized would be used for military training grounds and construction of army barracks,” said the report.
The report stressed the authorities issued a decree banning banning the local landowners from further cultivating or entering their acreage and plots.
Late last year, the Zaykabar Company led by Dr. U Khin Shwe appropriated 800 acres in Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State, and eventually offered compensation but at an unfairly low rate after the villagers a complaint letter to Naypyidaw.
Massive land confiscation has resulted in negative socio-economic impacts on the local Mon people facing loss of traditional form of livelihood, income and housing materials, triggering mass migration into Thailand, making families unable to send their children to schools, and putting villagers to forced labours, the report added.
The Human Rights Foundation of Monland called on the Burmese government to stop land-confiscation, and on Mon State government and political parties to seek justice for the local victims and protect them from future exploitation.
Human rights violations and abuses have still been committed in Mon State and other ethnic areas by Burma Army troops backed by the ruling party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the so-called civilian-led government of Burma since March this year.
Van Biak Thang