How are the Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), those advocating for land issue in state, saying concerned with the State Government’s land managements during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Saw Eh Say (Kayah Earthrights Action Network)
During the globally outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the government actually should prioritize to protect the citizens from the infection. Nevertheless, they have done taking action with their controlled law on land issue and approving the land seizing application. In fact, it should not be because they neglect the pandemic and use it as opportunity for the benefit of one group or a group of authorities while the people over the world are concerning about the pandemic. So, that is totally unacceptable.
Khoon Angelo (MATA, the Person-in-Charge of MATA in Kayah (Karenni) State)
We have said them even before the covid pandemic concerned with the land management that we have Karenni State Land Policy. We have drafted it. They (the authorities) should take reference with it where appropriate and proceed the land management. Whatever, there is no vacant land in Kayah (Karenni) State. They should at least meet with the local people before they proceed the land management.
Ko Dee Di (Karenni State Farmer Union)
I don’t want to allow any investments. Another one is how they could help to minimize the difficulties of social communication and movement during the COVID crisis. Maybe helping financially, legally, or technically which they have to think about how they will support. It is the responsibility of the government. So far, the land issues are occurring now, and it is intentionally taking opportunity. They take those opportunities while people are in crisis.
Ko Kyaw Htin Aung (LAIN Technical Support Group, Board Chairperson)
We desire to break-off all the land issues temporarily during the COVID crisis because it can cause a huge problem after the COVID crisis if they make use of their authorities and existing laws on land management while the publics can’t gather and sit meeting or negotiate to make their expression and request during the restriction of gathering. During this COVID crisis, therefore, I expect to break-off the land issues, fining of the local who hold Form-7 and building houses or tents for lack of applying for usage. Our state will have peace and tranquility, and free from land issues and complaints only if they proceed it transparently after the COVID crisis.