Narinjara News

7/9/2005

 

 

Burmese Army Turns to Rice Growing on Land Confiscated from the People

 

Burmese troops are going to grow rice by themselves on land confiscated from the people in Kyauk Taw Township. Instead of leasing out to the local farmers to cultivate rice during the monsoon season as before, the military personnel have decided to farm the land themselves.

Military sources said the higher authority ordered them not to lease out the land, but to work on it by themselves.

Last year the troops leased out the army-owned land to the local farmers for 50 baskets of rice per acre per cultivating season.

The military in Arakan state has been “cashing in” with leases and sharecrop arrangements with the farmers, from land that had been confiscated without any compensation.

In Buthee Daung, Maung Daw and Kyauk Taw Townships, the forcefully confiscated land under various battalions is more than 4500 acres according to sources close to the Land Survey Department in Arakan.

Most of the confiscated land had been hereditarily owned by a generation of Arakanese farmers. These farms were seized because they were said to be in the vicinity of the encampment areas, according to the local sources. These farms were later leased out to the former owners as sharecroppers with their own equipment and cattle.

The local people, who had already lost their inherited land, while they are worried about the loss of income from the new arrangement, are more concerned about the forced labour they will have to perform under the new directive of farming the army-owned land. #

 

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