“We also would like to request to release the farmers imprisoned”

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Regarding to land confiscation in Kayah State, military army have sued 41 farmers under Articles 447-trespassing, and the Public Property Protection Act 6/1, yet those farmers are from the villages of Daw Muklar, Myay Ni Kone, Daw Hso Shay, 6-mile, located within the two townships; Loikaw and Deemawso. Some of the allegedly prosecuted farmers are dealing with the lawsuits in jail, and some surviving with guarantee.

Those sued farmers are struggling with their livings, and they say they would like the responsible government to give a hand to them.

The artillery-360 army sued them with Article 447- trespassing, and Kantarawaddy Times interviews as below to Khu Paku, the local farmer of Daw Hso Shay Village.

KT- As first question, how long have Daw Hso Shay Village, forced to relocate by the military army, founded?

Khu Paku- I am not sure about it. I think it is already over 70 years as it is founded since our parents are married.

KT- When did the military army command the village to relocate?

Khu Paku- Around 1989-1990.

KT- With what reason did the military army forced the village to relocate?

Khu Paku- How to say, at that time, they did the four cuts to our villages. So, they commanded to relocate.

KT- Since they commanded to relocate, do they compensate for the loss of land? How about the farmers, where did they relocate to?

Khu Paku- There were no land-compensation. We relocated next to 6-mile Village. Some relocated to Kayan Kya Ku, Daw Tanaw, and some to Pha Ti Mar and Loilin Lay area.

KT- How did you make your living after relocated?

Khu Paku- As for our living, we do cultivation in our former village area.

KT- Yeah, we hear that the military army prosecuted you, so with what case do they sue you?

Khu Paku- Article 447- Trespassing.

KT- We hear they have been suing you approximately four months. What challenges do you have when you confront the prosecuted case as it is still on the process?

Khu Paku- We have financial problem to travel to the court appointment. As we do not have money to buy petrol for our vehicle (Tway Lar Gyi), we have to ask for help from our villagers and travel there.

KT- Your land is seized, and you are prosecuted. What do you want to say regarding to it?

Khu Paku- In case it is impossible to reclaim our land, at least we would like them to compensate for our loss. It becomes impossible although we try so many ways to reclaim our land.

KT- Is there any help given from state government onto prosecution to farmers?

Khu Paku- No, some MPs and the farmer related organizations, however, came and helped us.

KT- Regarding to the prosecution to farmers, what would you claim if you get chance to propose your claims to responsible government?

Khu Paku- We would like to request to stop this prosecution lawsuit. We also would like to request to release the farmers imprisoned. The farmers imprisoned might be in trouble. The ones who are not jailed also encounter various kinds of difficulties as we have to go the court appointments. What we mainly want to request is to free the farmers.

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