By Kantarawaddy Times
In a bizarre twist of events, the Burma Army ordered farmers to harvest crops it previously stated were illegally planted on land farmers say was stolen from them.
The Army (aka Tatamadaw) built new military bases on the contested land that was taken in 2010 to increase its power in conflict-afflicted Karenni State.
Farmers were told to harvest crops they planted in the last few months but after the Army arrested many of the males of affected households, it seems unlikely remaining family members can get the crops off the ground in time.
A farmer, from Dawsoshay village, located in Demawso township where the land was reportedly confiscated from, doubted they’ll be able to pull it off.
“We need manpower and machines and vehicles. Some can’t afford to rent equipment,” said the farmer, that wished to remain anonymous.
The Army has prosecuted members from every household in Dawsoshay village, Ko Tu Reh, from the Karenni State Farmer Association, told the Kantarawaddy Times
With the majority of males in prison, only the women are left, Ko Tu Reh said.
“I heard the Army ordered farmers to harvest their crops within a day. It’s threatening!” Ko Tu Reh said.
There is over 300 acres of corn and rice planted by the farmers on the disputed land.
The Army prosecuted 22 farmers, and 12 are still in prison.
The Tatmadaw took legal action against the farmers in July, claiming they destroyed public property and trespassed for protesting on the land they say was confiscated.