Chin villagers forced to leave, houses bulldozed
01 September 2016 — The government of Chin State in collaboration with the authorities from neighoring Kalay, Sagaing Region destroyed houses in a newly settled village of Bualpi in Falam township today.
The unexpected move, despite official warnings in July and August, by the new government of the National League for Democracy forced over 500 families, the majority of them being victims of natural disaster that hit Chin State last year.
A represenative of Chin Human Rights Organization, who arrived at the site this morning, said: “The villagers have no places to go. A lot of them are now taking shelter at two buildings of the Baptist and Assembly of God churches in Cicai village, Sagaing Region.”
“Some families try to go to stay with relatives in Kalay town as both authorities of Chin State and Sagaing Region do not provide assistance in terms of accommodation and food,” he said.
He said that the residents were victims coming from other parts of Falam township, Tedim, Hakha and Matupi townships after their houses had been put in danger following heavy landslides.
Mang Hen Dal, State minister of Agriculture, Livestock & Forest, said in the Chin World Media that the State government had given official notices twice to the residents to move out of the village.
According to local sources, the villagers were accused of illegally occupying the land, officially registered as Sizaang reserved forest. However, the residents said that the village was named according to a suggestion of the State minister during the summer.
Since last year, the State government had been informed by residents to recognize their new place as a village as an increasing number of landslide-affected families arrived. But the previous authorities handed the matter over to the new government in April.
It is reported that the destruction was carried out under the directive of the State Ministry of Border Affairs and the Falam District General Administration Department.
The authorities said that remnants of the building materials in the village would be completely destroyed if the residents could not get them by tomorrow.#