‘The army has prosecuted farmers. That’s why we are demanding that the army show mercy to the farmers,’ the KSDP chairperson said.
By KANTARWADDY TIMES
The Kayah State Democratic Party (KSDP) has called on the Burma Army to show ‘mercy’ for Karenni farmers after recent prosecutions of locals. In a statement released on Monday, KSDP said that it stood with local farmers.
Farmers demanded the military return confiscated farmland in Dawmukalar village in Loikaw Township on June 21.
Following a confrontation, police arrested two Karenni farmers that night. Elders from the Dawmukalar community sent a petition letter to the Commander of the Eastern Military Command and the Regional Operational Command on June 26, demanding that the charges against the detained farmers be withdrawn, and to allow locals to cultivate the confiscated land.
“Farmers already sent a petition letter to the army… Police have been detaining farmers. The army has prosecuted farmers.
That’s why we are demanding the army show mercy to the farmers,” Hpoe Reh, chairperson of the KSDP, told Kantarawaddy Times. Thae Reh, a state parliamentarian and leader within the KSDP, said that the charges were an opportunity for the military to back down and stand with the people.
“Regarding the dispute over land, indigenous people have been suffering a lot. If they understand the life of farmers, they should show mercy toward them,” he told Kantarawaddy Times.
In addition to the case in Dawmukalar, in early June the military has prosecuted Karenni farmers from Demoso Township’s Dawsoshay village, charging them with the destruction of public property and encroachment on land.