The Public’s Deserved Lands Under Returning Process in Accordance with the Military Land Confiscation Policy

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Naw Dway Eh Khu

Kayah State Chief Minister U L Poung Sho said they have informed about the public deserved land confiscation issue to the Union Government and are working in accordance with the policy of military land confiscation.

“We have submitted about the land issue that is deserved to the citizen, reclaimable, and to return the land to citizens. In case of returning the land, we reviewed and revised in accordance with the land returning policy and submitted about it to the district, township, and state. After that, we submitted to the Union Government Central Committee for Scrutinizing Confiscated Farmlands.

On July 24, the Prime Minister answered Kantarawaddy Times’ question at the 4th press conference of Kayah State Government’s regional development project in response to how the state government are solving on the farmers’ land confiscation issue.

It said the state government is scrutinizing in accordance with the (52) policy guidelines related to union’s confiscation and the (3) policies related to military land confiscation. Besides, they are also supporting in the processes where possible, and finding the way where it is supposed to be.

According to the three policies regarding the military land confiscation, (1) civilian lands are reserved for the farming lands that are confiscated more than required by the Tatmadaw for their army base construction, or no joint ventures at all and to retain only the required size of army base; (2) to measure only the minimum required land area for the security requirements of the army base and headquarters and the training ground and to return the remaining surplus land to the union in order to be able to return to the original farmers as soon as possible in accordance with the procedures; (3) with regard to the confiscated lands adjacent to the army base and headquarters areas, all lands except those directly used by the Tatmadaw for military purposes should be vetted and handed over to the union as soon as possible in order to return it to the relevant owners.

The Prime Minister said that the Central Committee has informed the state government of the union’s returning lands, and the state government is reviewing the returned lands based on the amount of returning lands, and now they are handing over to the deserved farmers who have evidence.

Khu Tu Reh, the Chairperson of the Karenni State Farmers’ Union, said those who were not allowed to cultivate their land were in trouble because of the military confiscation of their land and were afraid of being arrested and prosecuted for working on their farmland.

“As the military confiscated their farms and threatened the farmers they will arrests the farmers who enter and work on the land. Thus, they are being frightened as they are also the people who are alive. They are worried and do not dare to enter because they are scared,” he said.

Mu Innocent, the Second Joint Secretary of the Kayan Women’s Union, said the military’s unnecessary confiscation of farmers’ farmland is kind of a political ploy.

“I think it’s a political ploy. Because the army is confiscating land all over the country; in fact, they really don’t need it. They are confiscating without any necessary, so it simply revealing it is political trick.”

The battalion officials have filed with different types of lawsuits against 37 farmers from Loikaw and Demawso Townships and three members of the Karenni Farmers’ Union, a total of 40 farmers.

According to the saying of Prime Minister at the press conference, the army confiscated 14,776.01 acres as military land in the whole extent of Kayah State, and there are 4,111.66 acres of land returned in accordance with the policy.

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