Narinjara News

What is the law for shrimp cultivation?

Pauktaw, 19th June 03:
  The shrimp farmers of Pauktaw Township in the western part of Burma are facing difficulties arising from the constantly changing policies on shrimp farming.

A businessman said that Shrimp farming has brought millions of dollar into Burma since it was introduced in the 1990s.

Quoting a source in the shrimp export sector our correspondent said that beginning 2001 the ruling military regime of Burma issued warnings about the hazards of shrimp cultivation, including the depleting flora and fauna in and around the shrimp farms causing environmental disaster, including loss of farming lands.

Last year the State Department of Embankment and Irrigation took action against twenty-one shrimp farmers of Rwa-chhaung-gri Village under Pauktaw Township charging them of destruction of agricultural land resulting from shrimp cultivation.  The charges were brought against twenty-one persons including the village chairman Maung Than Tin, Shwe Phaw Thu, and U Than.  All of them are spending one year’s prison sentence in the Sittwe Prison.

It was learnt from a close associate of them that they bribed Brigadier Kyaw Thein, the Chairman of Sittwe District, a very large sum of money to get a permit for shrimp farming.  After Kyaw Thein was transferred the new District Chairman overruled the permit and brought charges of the destruction of environment against them last year. 

Large shrimp farms around the village including those in Thawangchhaung, Taungphu, Nagwe, Punnagri, Nan-dak-kyun, etc. have been left behind.  It is alleged that all the shrimp farm owners of these areas have been forced to pay millions of kyat as bribe to the military intelligence and the Embankment and Irrigation Department officials just to keep the business going.

Two prominent shrimp farmers in the area said that they are facing the threat of big financial loss if they destroy the farms and if they continue shrimp farming they have to bribe the military intelligence and other law enforcing agencies. #