Fresh Land Confiscation in Arakan

Narinjara News

The Burmese authority recently confiscated 5000 acres of land from several Arakanese farmers in Ponna Kyunt Township and will allocate the land to regional army battalions to implement government agricultural projects, said a farmer whose land was confiscated.

He said, "It was fresh round of confiscations for our area and over 1000 acres of land were confiscated by the authority before."

According to local sources, the authority confiscated a large number of lands at the foot of BeNgarar Hill, located between the northern part of Ponna Kyunt Township and the southern part of Kyauktaw Township, during last decade out of interest for the army.

Recently an army team led by Colonel Ne Win, Deputy Commander of the Army Regional Control Command based in Akyab, came to the area along with some officials from the land-surveying department and confiscated about 5000 acres of land.

The farmer said that Colonel Ne Win told a villager during his visit to the area that he had a plan to confiscate 10000 acres of land from Ponna Kyunt Township for government interests but he reduced the amount of land out of sympathy to the local Arakanese people.

Following the land confiscation, many farmers have become landless and are now reportedly thinking of leaving the area to look for jobs.

According to a reliable source, 25 per cent of Arakanese villagers from each village around the Arakan state have left their villages for Burma proper and the neighboring countries between 1988 and 2006 due to number of livelihood crises. Most people left the state as a result of army atrocities.

The villager sources said that villagers from the northern part of Ponna Kyunt, 16 miles north of Akyab, are most affected by the recent land confiscation. The villagers are from Panilar, Kyankin, Yotayoke, Mo hidaw, Kyauksit, Kyintalin, Aung Pru Byint, Yaw Ngu, Taung Na Wra.

It was learned that the Burmese army is going to allocate some land for new army battalions, which will be set up in the area soon. The remaining land will be allocated to some local army battalions to implement government agricultural projects.