News, Personal Accounts, Report & Analysis on Human Rights Situation in Mon Territory and Other Areas Southern Part of Burma

 

The Mon Forum

Issue No. 6/99   June 30, 1999

 

The Publication of Human Rights Foundation of Monland (BURMA)

 

 

Contents

 

News:

(1)       Land confiscation by SPDC troops in connecting electric wires from gas-pipeline area to Ye,

(2)      Forced labour in building Chaunghtitkwa- Kya Inn Seikyi motor road,

(3)      Conscription of forced labour and Illegal tax collection in Paung Township,

(4)      Forced labour and Illegal tax collection in Pa-an Township,

 

Report:

The plights of rice cultivation farmers: The harassment against farmers in Mon State in taking 1998-99 yearly paddy tax.

 

Some Acronyms in This Issue

SPDC-             State Peace and Development Council,

SLORC-          State Law and Order Restoration Council,

USDA-            Union Solidarity and Development Association (of the SPDC)

IB -                  Infantry Battalion     (of Burmese Army),

LIB-                 Light Infantry Battalion (of Burmese Army),

LID-                Light Infantry Division, (of Burmese Army)

KNU-              Karen National Union,

KNLA-            Karen National Liberation Army,

DKBA-            Democratic Karen Buddhist Army,

USDA-            Union Solidarity and Development Association.

 

 

News

 

Land Confiscation by SPDC Troops in Connecting Electric Wires from Gas-pipeline Area to Ye

(May, 1999)

 

Since the beginning of April, until the end of May, 1999, the local Burmese troops from military operational control command No. (8), Coastal Region Military Command, has confiscated some civilians' lands in Yebyu township area, in connecting electric wires from gas-pipeline area to Ye town. Due to development program in gas-pipeline area, France's gas and oil company, TOTAL planned to provide electricity in Ye town and the villagers near Ye town. Therefore, the soldiers have taken responsibility in clearing the routes, setting up the wooden poles, connecting wires along Ye-Tavoy motor road.

 

In connecting the wires, the wire poles passed some of civilians' lands and these lands were also confiscated as "land nationalization" and the civilians who lost the lands have not received any compensation costs and other assistance to reconstruct their life. The confiscation of the lands differed from one family to another. Some lands and houses were totally confiscated while other villagers lost some parts of plantations or gardens.

 

When the army put the wooden poles near Kyaukadin village, the poles also passed in a house surrounding of a Mon family, Nai Daing and Mi Hla. The soldiers ordered the whole family to urgently move from their house and garden. Thus, the family destruct their houses and abandoned their garden. According to family, they lost about 1 million Kyat for their house and garden, but they did not receive any compensation costs from soldiers.

 

Similarly, when the poles passed near Kwethalin village in Yebyu township, it also crossed into Nai Char-Mi Hla Kyi betel-nut plantation. The soldiers took all betel-nuts fruits, cut all trees and burnt them down. This family lost about 600 betel-nut trees which might cost about 2 million Kyat totally, because their betel-nuts could make fruits for another over ten years and the prices of land in the area was high. He also did not receive any compensation costs for lands and fruit trees.

 

The poles crossed many betel-nuts and other fruit plantations and another six families from Kwethalin villagers also lost their lands and fruits. These families were (1) Nai Lain-Mi Hla Din, (2) Nai Pho Sein-Mi Khin Nyunt, (3) Nai Pha-Mi Nyi Ma Lay, (4) Nai Thaung Nyein-Mi Khin Myint, (5) Nai Myint-Mi Khin Aye, and (6) Nai Kit-Mi Khin Nu. Their betel-nut and other fruit plantations were also confiscated. All of these family lost the whole or some parts of their plantations and all of them did not receive any compensation costs from government authorities or gas and oil companies.

 

Not only Kwethalin villagers lost their lands, other villagers who were staying along Ye-Tavoy motor road also lost the lands and other belongings. Under the name of development program of gas and oil companies and SPDC, the villagers in the area are always conscripted to contribute their labour without payment in building military encampments, roads and other projects which are considerably supporting for the security of gas pipeline projects and providing smooth communication for both SPDC troops and companies' field personnel. Due to propaganda by companies that they have planned to develop the area such as building schools, clinics and others were also implemented around 13 villages in Kanbauk area, where the companies put facilities and industries to operate bringing gas from the sea. However, the other villagers outside of these 13 villages are still suffered by various human rights abuses committed by SPDC soldiers.

 

 

Forced Labour in Building Chaunghtitkwa-Kya Inn Seikyi Motor Road

(June, 1999)

 

Since May 26, 1999, to widen about 100 kilometers long Chaunghtitkwa-Kya Inn Seikyi motor road, many hundreds of local inhabitants in Kya Inn Seikyi township have been conscripted by local troops from IB No. 32's column commander, Maj. Win Bo. Many Mon and Karen villagers in Kya Inn Seikyi township area were ordered by the commander to contribute their labour in this road construction for at least three days on a rotation basis. In every round, at least 50 villagers were working in the construction and they have work-duties such as clearing the bushes outside the road and widen the roads. They have to clear 3 feet in each side of the road and fill the stones in the new tract. But the authorities have not tarred the widen tract yet. Sometimes, the villagers also have to repair the bridges.

 

On June 1, 1999, when the villagers from Hteepauklo village tract were conscripted, about (123) villagers went and contribute labour in the construction for three days. When they went to construction site, they have to bring foods and tools for themselves to eat and work in the construction. At night time, these villagers had to go to nearest villages and slept there.

 

Later on at least about 50 villagers were everyday ordered to work in the construction from over 8 village tracts. While the villagers were working in the construction, the soldiers also guarded the villagers and the villagers were ordered to work for the whole day except to take lunch. The commander also came very often for the surprise check.

 

Because of the promise by SLORC/SPDC to Karen armed group, DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) and Pado Aung San led a Karen splinter group, to develop Karen State, the government have attempted to build more roads and bridges that connected between Mon and Karen States. This Chaunghtitkwa-Kya Inn Seikyi motor road was also included in the border area development program of SPDC and so the government, by giving responsibility to local battalions, has built this road by using forced labour.

 

In order to have more control in the area and protect attack from KNU/KNLA troops, the government required the better communication from Mon State to Karen State where they deployed many thousands troops to operate regular offensives against KNU. The roads are very important for the Burmese Army to provide their troops who are in front-lines with food supplies and ammunitions.

 

In building most of these roads, the government has no enough budget and normally, they have used the local villagers to contribute labour. Under the name of border development program, the villagers have been suffered both to contribute labour and pay tax for all construction.

 

 

Conscription of Forced Labour and Illegal Tax Collection in Paung Township

June, 1999)

 

Under management of Paung Township PDC authorities in Mon State, they have planned building a 30 kilometers long motor road, from Paung town to Ngarlepoh-taung road since October, 1998 until May 1999. In building this new road, Paung township authorities not only conscripted forced labour from local town civilians but also collected tax from them. Each family has to pay 200 Kyat to authorities in January, 1999, for the fund to spend in the road building and they have collected that fund from over 10,000 households in the township. Besides the tax collection, the civilians have been constantly forced to work in the construction. The authorities have asked at least 20 civilians from about 13 town wards and used them everyday in the construction site.

 

Similarly, the authorities also collected tax especially portering fee under the name of social expenses in the township. Since the civilians have not known for what the government authorities have spent in social works, some also asked the authorities. Some authorities simply replied that they have to pay to army battalions to cover for their monthly expenses. In Paung, there are two military battalions, LIB No. 1 and LIB No. 102 which are under the command of Light Infantry Division No. 44. According to town civilians and villagers, the authorities could receive about 600, 000 Kyat every month.

 

This amount of fund could cover for the expenses of both battalions in town and government offices. Since the government has no budget to support for expenditures for government offices and battalions, it has secretly instructed its local offices to seek their funds by their own ways.

 

 

Forced Labour and Illegal Tax Collection in Pa-an Township

(June, 1999)

 

Under the management of IB No. 81 which bases in Pa-an town, the capital of Karen State, the local troops have conscripted many hundreds of local inhabitants from many Mon and Karen villages in building their military barracks. In building of the extended military barracks in their headquarters, the soldiers have conscripted at least 50 civilians every day to work in work-sites since May 13, 1999. The building of this military barrack is under construction and many villagers from Mon villages, such as Zathapyin, Thanhlae, Khyayar-ahtwin, Khayar-apyin, Kawlamu and Kronebar, in the west side of township area have been forced to work.

 

The battalion commanders ordered the concerned village headmen to send the requested number of the villagers to the construction site on a rotation basis. One village have to send about 50 villagers in one round duty in the construction and the villagers have to stay in construction at least for three days. If one villager failed to work in the construction, they have to pay about 1,000 Kyat for the battalions as a ransom. For nearly one month, the above mentioned villages have to provide the requested number of villagers on a rotation basis to the work-sites. Thus, one family have to work in the construction about two rounds without payment and other assistance. When the villagers went and worked in the construction, they had to bring their own tools and foods. Besides the construction of the military barrack, DKBA groups also collected fund from the villagers.

 

In recent many months, the DKBA battalion No. 3 and No. 4 has collected 200 Kyat per household to run their office and spend for their troops' expenses. Besides the cash, the villagers always have to provide polished rice for those DKBA soldiers. In attempt when SPDC and DKBA to establish the control in the area, the local villagers in Pa-an township under hard burden to contribute labour for military purposes and pay the regular tax.

 

 

Report Part I: The Plights of Rice Cultivation Farmers

 

The Harassment against Farmers in Mon State in Taking 1998-99 Yearly Paddy Tax

 

I. The Effects in 1998-99 Paddy Tax Collection in Mon State

 

The government has said they has bought paddy from farmers, but the price they paid to the farmers was too low and so the farmers are likely giving yearly paddy tax to the government. Due to the paddy tax since BSPP era, the economy situation of the farmers in Burma has been deteriorated and they became the poorest class in Burma. Although the military government, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), officially declared to not buy any paddy from farmers in December 1997 through from their paddy buying centers, it has not kept their promises and resumed taking or buying yearly paddy tax from local rice cultivating farmers since the beginning of 1998. Similarly to 1997-98 paddy buying year, the local Mon farmers in Mon State, Karen State and Tenasserim Division have suffered, like the farmers in the whole country, from the government instructed taking yearly paddy tax in 1998-99 paddy buying year .

 

Since before the end of December, 1998, until June, 1999, the local SPDC's respective township authorities by coordinating with local police, militia, and military battalions has forced the local Mon, Karen and Tavoyan rice cultivated farmers in the whole region of southern part of Burma to pay this yearly paddy tax through the government set paddy buying center or bring the paddy to township SPDC offices and military bases. According to government term, under the instruction of the Agriculture Ministry, the Trading and Agriculture department takes responsibility to buy paddy from farmers. Actually, the local Townships have this department in each town and however the entire local authorities are instructed to buy or take the required amount of paddy from farmers. Depending on the difference of area situation, the local SPDC authorities decided whether to open paddy buying centers or takes paddy from the farmers by forces.

 

In Mon State alone, the government required about 3 million baskets of paddy to feed their local government servants, military battalions' soldiers and for export to foreign countries. Due to this requirement, the local authorities were instructed to set up many paddy buying centers in many parts of Mon State. Normally, the government authorities set up one paddy buying center in every town ward or village tract. Therefore, the farmers in the town-ward or in village tract have to send their paddy with oxen-carts or trucks to the respective paddy buying center. The government set price for any kind of paddy is about 300-350 Kyat per basket. The official measurement for one basket of paddy is 46 pounds in weight.

 

Among 10 townships in Mon State, depending on how large of the farmlands in the township area, the requested amounts of paddy were also different. For example, in Mudon township, it comprises about 70,000 acres of paddy growing farmland and so the government authorities instructed to ask about 850,000 baskets of paddy from farmers in the whole township area. Thus, the farmers are also instructed to sell 12 baskets of paddy per acre at low price with 300-350 Kyat per basket. Mudon township PDC also set up about 14 paddy buying center in the whole township and by coordinating with local militia, police and army, have forced the farmers to sell their paddy in the set time. Similarly, the local farmers in other townships have been forced to sell their paddy to paddy buying center at low price. According to reliable source, Moulmein, Thanbyuzayat, Kyaikmayaw, Ye, Paung and Chaung-zon townships' farmers were also requested to sell 300, 000 baskets, 250, 000 baskets, 200, 000 baskets, 350, 000 baskets, 300, 000 baskets and 400, 000 baskets of paddy respectively to sell these amounts in government paddy buying center.

 

The map of Mon State

 

Due to less rain and drought in the last year rainy season, the paddy plants did not gain enough water to produce the crops, and so the local farmers also lost paddy in every township area. Even the local farmers approached and reported their crops situation to the village leaders or SPDC officials to reduce the amount of buying paddy from them, but they never received any kind reply. Practically, the government officials never reduced the amount of paddy tax for every township. Sometimes, the authorities went into villages and also confiscated paddy from farmers who failed to give the set amount of paddy tax to center. Normally, the farmers gave as much as possible and they also kept the remaining paddy in their stores to feed their families for the whole year. Or, if the authorities did not get paddy from those farmers, they also looted the other belongings from the farmers.

 

In the government paddy buying center, the authorities paid only 300-350 Kyat per basket at low price while the paddy in the public market was around 800-900 Kyat per basket. Because of this yearly paddy tax from farmers, the economy conditions of the majority farmers have been deteriorated and some farmers also stopped cultivation. However, such these farmers are still forced to give this paddy tax. Because of this paddy tax, the farmers also lost some income every year. For example, for a farmer who owned about 10 acres of farmlands have to sell to center about 120 baskets and the income for him is reduced about 60,000-70,000 Kyat every year. These reduced cash could feed their family for nearly one year in buying supplementary foods except rice.

 

Since the economy situation in Burma is worst, the added paddy tax made the rice cultivated farmers to be more poorer and poorer. In the rice cultivation processes, the rice farmers have to invest their time and money a lot in their farms until they receive crops.   One farmer who owned one pair of oxen could only cultivate only 5 acres of farmlands, and so the farmers who owned more then five acres of land normally have to hire labourers or oxen to complete their cultivation. If one farmer hired a labourer for the rice cultivation season for nearly eight months, they have to give about 100 baskets of paddy for one labourer. The rental costs for two oxen is about 50 baskets of paddy for eight month. Depending on the land quality, the farmers who owned about 10 acres of land could receive about 500-800 baskets of paddy. From these crop production they have to give the labour cost for permanent labourers and day labourers during growing paddy plants and reaping the crops, oxen rental costs, and other expenses for fertilizers and facilities that needed during cultivation. After they gave another 120 baskets of paddy to the center that farmer could have only 100 baskets of paddy for their own.

 

Whether crop production was reduced or not, the government officials never reduced the requested amount of paddy that they bought. The farmers who could not effort to give the demand amount of paddy, might buy paddy from another farmers and give the center. Or, they would face punishments or other mistreatments from authorities and soldiers.

 

 

Looting of Farmers' Belongings instead of Paddy

 

In many townships of Mon State, the paddy buying officials or township SPDC authorities always force the farmers to sell their paddy at low price to the center as quick as possible during January and February. They also set the deadline for farmers to complete their duties of selling the demanded amount of paddy to the centers. If they failed, the authorities also came and confiscated their paddy. If the authorities could not confiscate any paddy they also confiscated the belongings that owned by the farmers. In 1998-1999 paddy buying year, there were many evidences that the government authorities looted the farmers' belongings instead of paddy.

 

As instances,

 

Because of insect attack in his farm, a Mon farmer, Nai Noe (56 years old) from Kivan-hla village of Mudon township of Mon State, reported to his village headmen and the nearest paddy buying center about his crop situation at the beginning of January, 1999.    He owned about 8 acres of farmlands and nearly half of his farm's crops were attacked by insects after the plants mere drought.   He said to headmen and the officials from paddy buying center that he could give paddy tax for only 4 acres and appealed to not take tax for another 4 acres.    Thus, he already gave 48 baskets of paddy tax to center before January 15, 1999.   On February 12, when officials from the paddy buying center came to him to take the remaining paddy tax from his house, they did not meet any paddy.   So they confiscated his belongings that they met in his houses such as a steel food carrier, one tape cassette recorder, polished rice and sticking rice for his own foods, and one riding bi-cycles. After giving paddy tax in January, the farmer sold all of his remaining paddy to traders at market price because he had to pay labour, fertiliser and other costs. He also polished 25 baskets of paddy to get rice to feed his family for the whole rainy season and kept that amount of polished rice in his house.  The authorities confiscated that rice and so the farmer and his family has no more foods.

 

In comparing with the farmers in towns, the farmers in the rural area have been suffered more from the looting of their belongings instead of paddy. If the soldiers could get the paddy from the farmers' stores, they just broke and took away the paddy. If they looted the other belongings and brought them to their homes or sold them for their own profit. Generally, the government authorities have regularly entered into rural villages for looting.

 

Similarly, a widow farmer, Mi Thee (62 years old) from the same village, who owned about 5 acres of lands was also mistreated by officials.   She lost all crops from two acres of land because of insect attack and she also told about the crop reduction to village headmen.    She also appealed them to not take paddy tax for 2 acres.   Then he gave all paddy tax for 3 acres already before the end of January.   As she could not work in farm, after she paid for labour and other costs, he left nothing to eat. One February 8, 1999, when the government authorities including township secretary, U Soe Myint, came into village and took some paddy from over 10 farmers who failed to give the set amount paddy tax, they also arrived her house.   But she was hospitalising in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, and they did not meet her. However, they climbed on her house and looted every valuable things that they met.   They took two valuable mats and one bi-cycles from her.

 

The similar confiscation of belongings from the local farmers also regularly happened not only in Mudon township alone, but also in other Mon areas. Although Mudon township is recognized as "White Area" by government, such looting of farmers' belongings was conducted by government authorities. Thus, there are more looting abuses happening in the government recognized "Black Area", which comprises the whole rural area of Ye and Thanbyuzayat township.

 

 

Cruel Treatment against the Farmers

 

Similar to other townships area, the farmers in villages of Chaungzon township area have been constantly forced to sell their paddy since December 25, 1998. (Chaungzon township is situating in the whole island area). The set amount of paddy to be sold was 12 baskets per acre. Because of less crop production in the area, the local farmers could not give full amount of paddy instructed from township paddy buying authorities. The deadline for selling the demanded paddy was before the end of February and however, the authorities could not receive the required amount of paddy on time. In March, the Township authorities instructed the village tract leaders to quickly organize the farmers who were fail to give paddy tax to the concerned center. Sometimes, the township authorities themselves went to villages and forced the farmers to agree to give their paddy to the center.

 

As an evidence,

On March 13, 1999, about mid-day time, the Chaungyyn township PDC authorities including Secretary U Khin Maung Myint, the polices and some local militia troops went into Bonet village and arrested about 30 villagers who failed to give the full paddy tax to the concerned paddy buying center.   This village is about 30 kilometers from the town and after arrest, the authorities also brought them with a truck to a paddy buying center near the town and put them in detention. All of them including nearly half of women were put under the sun heat for 8 hours and were questioned why they have not sold their paddy to center.   They were forced repeatedly to sell their paddy to center.   Due to pressure to them, at the end, all farmers gave promise they will give full amount of required paddy tax.   They also signed or gave finger-prints for their promise.   After the Township authorities satisfied, they release these farmers to return homes.   Thus, all farmers arrived homes about 10:00 p.m. night time.

 

This is an example how the farmers were under pressure by authorities to give the full amount of tax.   The very similar arrest, detention and pressuring to farmers have regularly happened in other areas such as Mudon, Thanbyuzayat and Kyaikmayaw township areas.

 

Kamawet village is situating in Mudon township and is the biggest village in the township. Many Mon farmers are staying in this village. Like the previous year, the farmers in the village also faced a lot of pressure from authorities to give full amount of demanded paddy to government. During the operating of paddy buying center outside of the village, the center officials regularly pressured the farmers through village headmen to give their paddy. The center officials by bring some township authorities and the army from IB No. 29, which bases eastern part of the village, regularly went into village and arrested farmers who failed to give the requested amount of paddy tax. During February and March, 1999, the authorities went into village every week and arrested some farmers, brought them to Mudon town and detained them in township police station. At least about 5-6 farmers were arrested and detained in every round when the authorities went into village. In the township detention center, the authorities and police treated farmers as criminals and they were constantly under pressure to promise to give the full amount of paddy tax to government. After the farmers promised and signed the papers, the authorities did not release them and showed the signed papers to their remaining family members in village and pushed them to give paddy tax to the center as quick as possible. After the respective family members fully gave the requested amount of paddy, then the authorities released the detained farmers. The pressure giving to farmers to give full amount of paddy tax in Ye Township area was also different from other area. In this township, the local SPDC authorities also used the community leaders, government servants, USDA members, educational workers and students to pressure the farmers to give the full amount paddy tax in the whole township. In comparing with other township areas, since the government could not control much area in this township, the authorities always received uncompleted required amount of paddy in the previous years.

 

Thus, in this year, Mon State PDC chairman, Maj. Gen. Soe Myint, the commander of Southeast Region Military Command, himself changed a new Township chairman and the new chairman has used the different methods in forcing the farmers to give full amount of paddy tax. After his accusation about the weakness of the Ye township PDC chairman, U Soe Win, the commander brought one of his close friend, U Than Sein, who took responsibility as Township chairman in Ann Township, Arakanese State of western Burma and appointed him as Ye Township PDC Chairman before the end of 1998. U Soe Win was absolutely dismissed from his position before his age reached to get a government pension.

 

After the new chairman was appointed, he himself went to some Mon villages and appointed many village leaders without listening the villagers' desires. He picked up many village leaders who could follow his instruction and ordered them to pressure farmers to give the paddy tax. Through these picked up village headmen, he could have a lot of paddy tax in this 1998-1999 year paddy tax. He also called various rounds of meeting with USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Association) from both town ward and village level and instructed them to pressure their ward's or village's farmers to give full amount of tax. The USDA members also had authority to set up paddy buying center in each ward or village to closely pressure the farmers. On the other hand, he also called a meeting in early January and instructed the teachers to pressure the students' parents to give the tax.

 

In some wards of Ye town and villages, the teachers pressured the students to tell their parents to give full amount of paddy tax as requested by the centers. If not, they would not allow the students to enter the final exams which were held in March. Thus, many students' parents sold their paddy to the centers to not lose the opportunity for their children to enter in final exams.

 

Normally, in Ye township area, the authorities could not set up any paddy buying center in southern part of township area due to insurgency and so whenever the authorities took the paddy tax in many villages in the area and they had to accompany with troops from LIB No. 343 and IB No. 61 troops together with them. They also conscripted many trucks along with them and looted the farmers' paddy in the villages, loaded on trucks and brought back to Ye town.

 

There are two types village headmen who have to work for the authorities in forcing the farmers. Very few village headmen accepted the problems of the farmers and themselves, appealed the authorities and paddy buying officials to reduce the requested amount of paddy and they also helped the farmers. They will show the reasons, why the farmers could not effort to give the full amount of paddy tax, such as less crop production, worst weather conditions and etc.. The second types of village headmen are, themselves, involving and cooperating with authorities or paddy buying officials in forcing the farmers to give full amount of paddy tax to paddy buying center. These headmen are corrupt persons and they have make their own profit from the farmers by sharing the costs of extra paddy together with center officials. Therefore, they always earnestly and actively participates in forcing the farmers to give paddy tax.

 

Sometimes, when the first type of village headmen failed to organize the farmers to give the full amount of tax, those village headmen were also punished by commanders. Normally, the headmen who support or sympathize to farmers always faced the harassment from the commanders.

 

As an evidence,

On April 30, 1999, because of their failure to organise the meeting between a back-line commander, Col. Tin Win, of Strategic Command No. 2 of the Southeast Region Military Command, and the village farmers who failed to give the requested amount of paddy tax, Tarana village's Chairman and Secretary were severely beaten by the commander and his soldiers.    The commander slapped the village chairman, Nai Pho Sein six times and slapped two times to village secretary, Nai Hla Tun, and other soldiers also beat them.    On April 29, when the commander came into village, the chairman already met him and promised to organise a meeting with farmers.   But the headmen missed to treat him as a special guess by providing with liquors and good foods. On the next -day, April 30, while the commander suddenly arrived into village, the headmen failed to meet him immediately.   Then the commander asked them to meet him as quickly as possible.    When the headmen met him, the angry commander also slapped them as punishment.

 

Normally, the headmen in most small rural villages sympathize on their own villagers because they know about the poverty of the villagers. Most villagers are the close relatives of these headmen and they would not like to give favour to officials to force their villagers to give the paddy tax. Thus, these headmen in rural area always faced punishment by soldiers.

 

 

The Corruption in Paddy Buying Centers

 

During the officials from paddy buying center are operating in taking paddy tax from the farmers, they also steal the paddy from farmers by the way of weighting the paddy. In the official measurement of paddy, one basket of paddy will comprises about 46 pounds. Since most farmers are uneducated and do not know about the measurement, the officials put up to 52 pounds for the weight of one basket of paddy as unit. Thus, the farmers lose 6 pounds in every one basket of paddy and the officials in the center received extra 6 pounds paddy in every basket.

 

After the stealing from the weighting of the farmers' paddy, every paddy buying center received a lot of extra paddy. But they have still forced the farmers who failed to complete give paddy tax. Thus, the government authorities also re-sell these paddy to traders at a slightly lower price than the market price and they could receive a lot "outside" income. Thus, many government servants would like to be as officials in paddy buying center and so approached and bribed the higher authorities to gain this position. Thus, the appointed officials are close relatives or friends of the township PDC's high level authorities.

 

The officials in the paddy-buying center also shared the extra income from stealing paddy from farmers to their higher authorities. The township authorities knew how much extra income the officials could receive during this paddy-buying period and so they have to share these incomes for the profits of all authorities concerned.

 

Sometimes, the center officials sold these extra paddy to their relatives at low price and so their relatives have not had to give paddy tax like other farmers. Although the farmers dissatisfy to the authorities and paddy-buying officials, they have no rights to complain or report about this corruption to the higher authorities because they are under the rule of dictatorship.