Farmers’ Protest Outside Karenni GAD Office Prohibited

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Hpruso Township farmers instead held a silent protest on the highway.

By NAW DWE EH KHU / KANTARAWADDY TIMES

Some 30 Karenni farmers and activists held a silent protest on designated demonstration grounds on Monday after Hpruso Township administration refused to grant permission for them to hold the same protest in front of state department offices.

The protest was instead held on the highway—also known as Nyaung Zin Road—in the ward by the same name. The original place for the demonstration was in front of the General Administration Department and the market in Hpruso.

Participating farmers demanded that the military withdraw from seized farmland and release the farmers currently in police detention and facing legal charges for challenging the confiscation of their land.

“We requested many demonstration areas. We got permission to protest here,” farmer Khun Bwe Moo, who applied for the protest permission, told Kantarawaddy Times of the protest on the roadside. “Are they really making a democratic country? It was a local order that prohibited our protest.”

Farmers hold placards stating, “return our farmland to us” and “release and drop all charges against detained farmers immediately” as well as calling for respect for indigenous rights.

“My farmland has been confiscated. That’s why I participated in this protest,” Karenni farmer Pa Ku said. I have nothing to do if I do not get my farmland back. If I cannot work on my farmland, how can I provide for my children?”

Karenni farmers also held a silent protest in Ngwe Tawng and Lam Khwa in Demoso Township, Karenni State on July 4.

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