Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA)

23 October 2003

Human Rights Foundation of Monland issues land confiscation report in Mon area: NO LAND TO FARM

A Comprehensive Report on Land, Real Estates and Properties Confiscation in Mon’s Area, Burma (1998-2002)

Human Rights Foundation of Monland (Burma) has released the latest report on human rights violation in Mon State and Southern Burma. The report mainly is focused on the issue of land confiscation, Burmese military deployment, suffering of landowners for over six years after the cease-fire agreement reached between Mon National Liberation Army and Burmese Army.

Over six years, the Burmese army confiscated over 7780 acres of land and estimated worth than Kyat 1311 millions from over 370 farmers in Mon State and in Southern Burma.

According to report, land confiscation by the Burmese Army have been widespread in Mon State. The most serve cases were found in Ye township, southern part of the State. The Burmese military regime has deployed thousand of Burmese troops in the area since 1995.

The report is compiled with total 21 case studies with illustration of the photography of the land, Burmese army’s camps and other related local displaced population on border areas.

With a color front page and quality of layout and design by the publication team, the report is based on fact and quality of research for over six months by volunteers and staff.

"We want to protect honesty farmers and local landowners" Kasauh Mon, Director of Human Rights Foundation of Monland siad. He added, "we urge the Burmese authority to respect the rights of farmers and local landowners".

Human Rights Foundation of Monland has published a monthly report, The Mon Forum for over nine years. This latest land report is brought to humanitarian organizations and other interested parties to review the plights of refugees, displaced persons and illegal migrants to neighboring countries.

"We would like to assure that many senior officials both in governments and non-government organizations would understand the main reasons why people fled their home country after they have read this paper" the director said.

After farmers lost their land to the Burmese troop, they have no choice but fled to refugees’ camps along Thai-Burma border. Their children were pull out from schools and mostly seek jobs to Thailand. After cease-fire agreement in 1995, the military government, State Peace and Development Council has built over ten new battalions in Mon State.

The army confiscated farms and plantations and forced the owners to work on those lands without any pays or benefits. This act is very inhumane and causes tremendous hardship to the villager, the report concluded.

For media contact:

Banya Hongsar, Managing Editor-IMNA, Tel +66.01 561 0860

Tine Htaw, Editor, Guiding Star Newspaper Tel+66.07 030 5763

For a hard printed copy of the report, contact to: hurfomcontact@yaoo.com