LAND CONFISCATION BY
Dear Mon people and supporters of social justice in Burma
There are serious developments taking place in Mon state
that requires immediate attention by the international community as a matter of
long-term national survival for the future of the Mon people and civil society
In light of these developments, Amnesty International (
The greatest prevalence of land confiscation is being reported in Ye township. Uniformed officials, notably high ranking army personnel, like Myanmar General Maung Bo met with village headmen and farmers on August 24, 2002 at Mokanin to inspect a site beneficial to a plan of the government’s to build a heavy artillery battalion. In all incidents of land confiscation, villagers are ordered by the army to attend meetings with army officers and are informed of the proposed sites, the owners of the land are then informed that their farms will be seized for the building of a heavy artillery battalion. Landowners are asked whether they disagree with the proposed plan but no villagers dare to speak out fearing that to do so would risk arrest or worse.
Cases of displacement have also been reported with the implementation of land confiscation. Commercial farmers are being forced to vacate their farms, leaving all their property behind. They are told to pack up their belongings and leave the premises immediately. Several families, with no other means to earn a living, face starvation and prolonged hardship within a context of violence and civil war. Some 30 Mon families have had their land and rubber plantations seized. In several cases, families are forced to move into town and are ordered by the military to build barracks.
According to the AI report, a Mon man from Min Hla village, Ye township said that his family’s rubber plantation of 25 acres was confiscated along with that of 500 acres of others in July 2001.
At another location, Lt Col Thant Zin Maw, commander No. 311
Heavy Artillery Battalion and officials from Land Records Office, Forestry
Department and General Administration Department arrived in
The Tatmadaw recently seized an additional 2000 acres of
land from villagers that includes 600 acres belonging to Mokanin,
Lamine Hnitkayin and DeinPeen villages, 500 acres between Jao-Khalae
and Taungbon village, and 500 acres between Aung-Thayar and Leinmaw-Chan in
Northern Ye Township,
Local sources said the Tatmadaw plans to build four heavy
artillery battalions equipped with missile launches near Kamarwet
Mon villagers have used this land for generations to sustain
a livelihood based on farming vegetables, fruits, rubber and rice. Land
confiscation will further increase hardship and deepen the problems of poverty,
future economic development, and prolong conflict and civil war in the
country. In all cases, farmers receive no compensation and do not have
recourse to any complaint mechanism or other means of redress. Some villagers,
as a result, are planning revenge and have bought arms to fight the (Tatmadaw).
In other cases, villagers being forced from their farms with nothing but the
clothes on their back and, with no other means of survival, leave to
Thus this petition written by Mon Unity League urges the
concerned institutions, activists, civil and political circles within the
international community to extend their solidarity and not to leave the
civilians in Mon State alone amid this unjustified action from the Burmese
authorities, especially that of confiscated land which poses a national threat
to the Mon homeland and the future of Burma. It is incidents such as these that
without democracy and human rights, the problems of economic underdevelopment
and poverty in
As well, the Myanmar authorities are deeply urged to accept, accommodate and incorporate the ethnic nationalities, human rights activists, institutions, and civil society circles within the Myanmar society because their intellectual capacities are needed, their never-ending activities are reflections to the extent of Myanmar development and tolerance, and add to Myanmar image within the international community.
Write to the
Mon Unity League