Over 160 Families in Trouble after Forced Relocation in Kalaymyo
16 May 2012: More than 160 Chin families are struggling to rebuild new houses in Taungphila of Kalaymyo in Sagaing Division after being forced to relocate due to an expansion of Kalaymyo Airport.
The families, who were ordered to move out from Pinlung-7 Ward near the airport in July 2010, are just given a land plot of 40ft by 60ft in a new place as compensation by the authorities, according to a local reporter.
“Families are facing trouble in constructing houses as they haven’t got enough money. We heard that some families received a certain amount of money from the authorities while others got nothing. But all of them are now struggling,” the Chin reporter told Chinland Guardian.
Up to date, an estimated total of 165 households have been forced for relocation due to the expansion of Kalaymyo Airport since 2010.
The local authorities in charge of the new location have been accused of taking some plot of land for themselves out of the actual size given to each family, according to another source.
“We were told that we would get an area of land measuring 60ft by 80ft. But what we actually got is only 40ft by 60ft, which means a 20ft-by-20ft plot of land has been missing in the process,” a family was quoted as saying.
Some households who had got bigger sizes of land or more than one house near the Kalaymyo Airport are given only one plot of land in the new place of Taungphila, according to the reporter, who conducted interviews with the affected families.
More than 600 family members affected by the ongoing expansion of the Kalaymyo Airport are mostly of Chin ethnicity residing in Pinlong-7 Ward of Kalaymyo.
“We made a report of the situation to the local authorities but no action has been taken regarding this unfair matter facing the local people until today,” complained one of the families.
The expansion construction of the airport has been undertaken since March this year by a construction company owned by U Tay Za, a Burmese business tycoon closely linked to Senior General Than Shwe.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang