May 9th, 2011

By JALOON HTAW – Hundreds acres of rubber land and paddy farm in Kywe Thone Nyi Ma village, in Yephyu Township, Tenasserim Division, were seized by the Mawyawaddy Navy, which is based in the Kywe Thone Nyi Ma village.

Part of a rubber plantation confiscated by the Burmese Army ( Photo:IMNA )Part of a rubber plantation confiscated by the Burmese Army ( Photo:IMNA )

The Mawyawaddy navy is under the control of the Mawyawaddy Regional Command, based in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State.

Villagers from Kywe Thone Nyi Ma explained that the navy began measuring the village’s land in February, and put small poles over certain areas to show that those areas had become the navy’s.

The land seized was seven miles in length and four miles in width, including both rubber plantation and paddy farms.

Speaking to the Independent Mon News Agency, a victim of land seizure said that 8 acres of rubber trees and 18 acres of cashew nut plants were seized from him.

“They seized all the land that I have. We do not dare say anything because we are afraid of them [the navy]. The current price of all my rubber plants is 30 million kyat [$37,500 U.S.],” he said.

“We heard that about 6,000 rubber plants were confiscated to build military barracks,” said Awe Mon, coordinator for the Human Rights Foundation of Monland, an NGO which documents human rights abuses in Burma.

Sources from the village explained that some land owners had just bought their rubber plants recently and now that they have been confiscated, leaving landowners depressed over their land loss.

Those who lost their land are now unemployed. Some have moved to Ye Township while others have sought work in Thailand, explained a Ye Township resident, who recently arrived at the Burmese border.

“About 15 people arrived in Ye Township, and 20 people went to work in Thailand. They told me they did not have jobs after their land was confiscated,” the source said.

Land confiscation is a common occurrence in Mon State, where many farmers have experienced confiscation of their land with no payment. Land confiscation has been documented repeatedly in HURFOM’s monthly online report, called The Mon Forum.

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