VL.png The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
[WWW VL database || WWW VL search]
donations.gif asia-wwwvl.gif

Online Burma/Myanmar Library

Full-Text Search | Database Search | What's New | Alphabetical List of Subjects | Main Library | Reading Room | Burma Press Summary

Home > Main Library > Land > Land in Burma
Hide Links
Order links by: Reverse Date Title

Land in Burma

  • Land-specialised groups in Burma/Myanmar

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Land Core Group
    Description/subject: Lots of useful, documents in English and Burmese on the site...."We have a common vision of pro-poor land reform, and to achieve this. The Land Core Group (LCG) one of the network groupings under the Food Security Working Group, consisting of LNGOs, INGOs, and concerned individuals was formed in 2011. LCG has a 3 year programme plan whose goal is 'Laws, policies and institutions for land and natural resource access are formulated and effectively implemented to support sustainable economic, social and environmental development that balances the contributions of smallholder farmers and large-scale investment to national growth'..."
    Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
    Source/publisher: Land Core Group (Food Security Working Group)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


  • Human activity on land in Burma/Myanmar

    • Land use in Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: Control of Land and Life in Burma.
      Date of publication: April 2001
      Description/subject: Abstract: The most significant land problems in Burma remain those associated with landlessness, rural poverty, inequality of access to resources, and a military regime that denies citizen rights and is determined to rule by force and not by law. A framework to ensure the sustainable development of land is needed to address social, legal, economic and technical dimensions of land management. This framework can only be created and implemented within and by a truly democratic nation. Keywords: Agriculture and state -- Burma; Land use, Rural -- Burma; Land use, Rural -- Government policy -- Burma; Agricultural policy -- Burma; Land administration -- Burma.
      Author/creator: Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Myo Nyunt
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison
      Format/size: PDF (431K)
      Alternate URLs: http://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/22009
      http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/12817/1/ltctb03.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 01 September 2010


    • Contract farming

      Individual Documents

      Title: Alternative Development or Business as Usual? China’s Opium Substitution Policy in Burma and Laos
      Date of publication: November 2010
      Description/subject: Conclusions & Recommendations: • The huge increase in Chinese agricultural concessions in Burma and Laos is driven by China’s opium crop substitution programme, offering subsidies and tax waivers for Chinese companies. • China’s focus is on integrating the local economy of the border regions of Burma and Laos into the regional market through bilateral relations with government and military authorities across the border. • In Burma large-scale rubber concessions is the only method operating. Initially informal smallholder arrangements were the dominant form of cultivation in Laos, but the topdown coercive model is gaining prevalence. • The poorest of the poor, including many (ex-) poppy farmers, benefit least from these investments. They are losing access to land and forest, being forcibly relocated to the lowlands, left with few viable options for survival. • New forms of conflict are arising from Chinese large-scale investments abroad. Related land dispossession has wide implications on drug production and trade, as well as border stability. • Investments related to opium substitution plans should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion with a community-based approach. They should respect traditional land rights and communities’ customs.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational InstituteDrug (Policy Briefing No. 33)
      Format/size: pdf (304K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/node/595/by-country/Burma
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


      Title: Contract Farming In Burma
      Date of publication: 12 January 2009
      Description/subject: Summary: Since 2005, the Burmese Government has encouraged investors from China, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Kuwait to invest in contract farms; to date, only the Thais have a formal agreement to farm 120,000 acres along the Thai-Burma border. Over the past six months, several Burmese companies -- Tay Za's Htoo Trading, Zaw Zaw's Max Myanmar, Steven Law's Asia World, and Aung Thet Mann's Aye Ya Shwe Wa -- were given more than 100,000 acres of farmland in the Irrawaddy Delta and Rangoon Division for contract farming. The Ministry of Agriculture denies any land seizures associated with contract farming, saying the government is the sole owner of farmland and takes it away only if farmers do not use it for farming purposes. According to agricultural contacts, the GOB encourages contract farming because private investors help shoulder the costs of improving Burma's dilapidated agricultural infrastructure. There is no information on how much the contract farming investments in Burma are worth. End Summary.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
      Format/size: pdf (108K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 April 2012


      Title: Thais See Economic Benefit From Contract Farming In Burma
      Date of publication: 20 November 2008
      Description/subject: Thai contract farming is a growing feature of the Thai-Burmese bilateral economic relationship. The activity remains concentrated in the border areas, however. Thai businesspeople who engage in contract farming in Burma are generally individuals who conduct their business informally with local Karen village leaders, not with the GOB or major Burmese companies. The Thai government views contract farming as an economic policy tool that lowers agricultural prices for Thai consumers, lessens the migrant pull in Thailand, and stimulates demand for Thai goods in Burma. However, the RTG at the national level is not currently engaged in activities to promote contract farming specifically, it is focused on agricultural development through vertical integration and greater control over quality standards, which contract farming helps to achieve.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Consulate Chiangmai via Wikileaks
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


      Title: Myanmar Steps up Contract Farming
      Date of publication: 06 October 2008
      Description/subject: "MYANMAR - The development of a contract farming zone in the suburban township of Yangon division is being stepped up, supported by private entrepreneurs. Almost one-third of farms there keep poultry. According to Chinese sources, a state-backed Myanmar newspaper describes the Yangon division special integrated farming zone, set up in Nyaunghnapin village, Hmawby township, as made up of some sub-zones where undertakings including the raising of poultry, growing of beans and pulses, and physic nuts as well as fish breeding, are carried out...."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Poultry Site
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 May 2012


      Title: Capitalizing the Thai-Myanmar border
      Date of publication: 21 June 2007
      Description/subject: MAE SOT, Thailand - "The conflict-ridden Thai-Myanmar border has long been associated with drug smuggling, arms-dealing and human trafficking and other illicit trades. Now a new investment initiative aims to bring bilateral border trade above ground through the establishment of export-oriented special economic zones (SEZs) in the two countries' hinterlands. The two sides agreed last month in Mandalay to finalize a long pending agreement, which in the first phases will open the way for Thai agribusinesses to cultivate millions of acres of land tax-free in Myanmar's border areas. The ambitious plan to turn battlefields into marketplaces has the tacit backing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), but at the same time has come under heavy criticism from rights organizations..."
      Author/creator: Clifford McCoy
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


    • Land confiscation for military, commercial and other purposes

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Search results for Burma on Landgrab.org
      Description/subject: More than 70 articles, back to 2007, on landgrabbing in Burma/Myanmar,
      Language: English, Français,
      Source/publisher: Landgrab.org
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://farmlandgrab.org/
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


      Individual Documents

      Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township, September 2014
      Date of publication: 20 November 2014
      Description/subject: This Situation Update describes events occurring in Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District in September 2014, including issues of land confiscation and explicit threats toward villagers. Starting in November 2010, the Tatmadaw began to confiscate A--- villagers land upon which they built houses for their soldiers’ families, as well as houses for members of the Border Guard Force (BGF) and the Karen Peace Force (KPF) and their families. Villagers complained to the A--- village head, who felt too afraid to raise the issue with the Military Operations Command (MOC) #19 General Tun Nay Lin. Villagers report having been threatened with arrest by KPF and BGF soldiers if they continue to complain.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (264.5K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-65-s1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 29 November 2014


      Title: Hpapun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, February and March 2014
      Date of publication: 19 November 2014
      Description/subject: This Situation Update describes events occurring in Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District during February and March 2014, including negative impacts of gold mining and concerns expressed by local villagers regarding education and healthcare.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (366K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-54-s1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 29 November 2014


      Title: Myanmar: Dawei Special Economic Zone should protect rights of area residents
      Date of publication: 10 October 2014
      Description/subject: "As Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-Ocha visits Myanmar to revive the stalled Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the governments of Thailand and Myanmar should cooperate to establish a legal framework protecting the human rights of the area’s residents, said the ICJ. The multi-billion dollar Dawei development, strategically located along the Thai-Myanmar peninsula, will be one of Southeast Asia’s largest industrial complexes, with a 250 sq km deep-sea port, petrochemical and heavy industry hub. After the project failed to attract sufficient investment, it was taken over directly by the Dawei SEZ Development Company, jointly owned by the governments of Thailand and Myanmar..."
      Author/creator: Daniel Aguirre, Sam Zarifi,
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 16 October 2014


      Title: Dooplaya Interview: Naw A---, July 2013
      Date of publication: 07 October 2014
      Description/subject: "This Interview with Naw A--- describes events related to land confiscation occurring in Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District in 2013. The Burma/Myanmar government built a school in B--- village on a plot of land belonging to Naw A---, who was neither consulted before her land was confiscated nor compensated afterwards, and as a consequence had been left homeless"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-28-s7_wb_2_0.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 October 2014


      Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kyainseikgyi, Kawkareik and Win Yay townships, December 2013 to February 2014
      Date of publication: 29 September 2014
      Description/subject: "This Situation Update describes events occurring in Kyainseikgyi, Kawkareik, and Win Yay townships, Dooplaya District between December 2013 and February 2014, including land confiscation, villagers’ livelihoods, abuses, explicit threats and updates on villagers’ education and healthcare"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (188K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-15-s1_0.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 October 2014


      Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: Hti Lon Township
      Date of publication: 10 September 2014
      Description/subject: "This Situation Update describes events occurring in Hti Lon Township, Hpa-an District in March 2014, including dam construction and the subsequent destruction of villagers land due to flooding, forced relocation, and land confiscation."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (99.63KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-28-s7_wb_2.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 23 October 2014


      Title: Land confiscation due to a road repair and expansion project in Bilin Township, Thaton District
      Date of publication: 04 September 2014
      Description/subject: "This News Bulletin describes land confiscation which occurred as a result of a road repair and expansion project in Bilin Township, Thaton District, from January 2nd – 4th, 2014. On January 2nd 2014, the Zwe Nyi Naung Company arrived in D--- village, Hta Paw village tract, Bilin Township, Thaton District to repair and expand a road. The project resulted in the confiscation of villagers’ plantation lands, paddy fields and the yard around a house."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (21.53KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-7-nb1_0.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 23 October 2014


      Title: Human rights violations by BGF Cantonment Area Commander Kya Aye in Paingkyon Township, Hpa-an District
      Date of publication: 03 September 2014
      Description/subject: "This News Bulletin describes human rights abuses occurring in Paingkyon Township, Hpa-an District between February 2013 and July 2014, including killing, forced labour, arbitrary taxation and land confiscation."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (3.67KB)
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


      Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik, Kyonedoe and Kyainseikgyi townships
      Date of publication: 29 August 2014
      Description/subject: "This Situation Update describes events occurring in Kawkareik, Kyonedoe and Kyainseikgyi townships, Dooplaya District between March and May 2014, including issues of land confiscation and updates on villagers’ livelihoods and health care."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (154.66KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-35-s1_0.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


      Title: Toungoo Field Report: January to December 2013
      Date of publication: 29 August 2014
      Description/subject: "This field report describes events occurring in Toungoo District between January and December 2013. It includes information submitted by KHRG researchers on a range of human rights abuses and other issues of importance to local communities, including violent abuse, landmine contamination, the loss of land and other negative impacts on livelihoods related to infrastructure and industrial projects, on-going militarization and a lack of access to education."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (10.31KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-1-f1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


      Title: Toungoo Incident Report: Stone mining in Thandaunggyi Township, June 2013
      Date of publication: 19 August 2014
      Description/subject: "This Incident Report describes the destruction of farmland belonging to an A--- villager as a result of stone mining in June 2013. The mining work in question was carried out without the consent of villagers living in the area. Villagers living in A--- village expressed concerns that should the mining project expand, their village and plantations would be destroyed, and stated their intention to seek further information about the project."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (8.98KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/13-113-i1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


      Title: Hpa-an Short Update: Hti Lon Township, March 2014
      Date of publication: 15 August 2014
      Description/subject: This Short Update describes events occurring in Hti Lon Township, Hpa-an District in March 2014, including land confiscation committed by the Burma/Myanmar government and wealthy individuals, destruction of villagers land due to flooding caused by a dam, as well as the strategies of villagers to claim back their land, and obtain compensation for the land that they have lost. In Naung Ka Myaing village, fields belonging to 39 villagers were confiscated and flooded by the Yay Boat Dam (also called the Hti Lon Dam), resulting in the destruction of over 3,000 acres of land. A further 44 villagers had their land confiscated and marked as ‘forest land': The villagers filed an official case with the Burma/Myanmar government, in an attempt to receive compensation, and have submitted a list of landowners and the amount of land they lost, as well as videos portraying the land... Burma News International (bnionline.net) conducted a video news report on the case. A link to the video, as well as a description of its contents, can be found below, following the tables.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (281K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-28-s1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2014


      Title: BURMA/MYANMAR: Farmers face prison sentences for trespassing and move to remote prisons
      Date of publication: 25 July 2014
      Description/subject: "President of Myanmar, U Thein Sein, announced that the government cannot give back over 30,000 acres of paddy land that the state has been using since it was confiscated by the army two decades ago. On the one hand the President ordered state and regional governments and land management committee to cooperate with members of the parliament to solve the problem of land grabbing cases. On the other hand he has announced the government cannot handover some land back. This is leading to prosecution and prison sentences for the farmers in conflict with the army regarding their land...On 27 and 28 May 2014, 190 farmers from Pharuso Township, Kayah State were prosecuted for ploughing in land confiscated by No.531 Light Infantry Battalion. Tanintharyi regional government seized farmland for Dawei New Town Plan Project in Dawai Township and the District Administrative Officer with his team began construction on the grabbed land. Twenty farmers who did not take compensation for their land tried to halt the team. As a result, all the farmers were prosecuted; 10 were sentenced to 3 to 9 months imprisonment and the others paid fines. There are 450 farmers from Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region who are protesting against the military and have had cases filed against them for cultivating in the confiscated land..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 25 July 2014


      Title: Hpa-an Short Update: Don Yin Township, March 2014
      Date of publication: 22 July 2014
      Description/subject: This Short Update describes the confiscation of land belonging to villagers in Don Yin Township, Hpa-an District. The land was confiscated under the threat of violence by members of the Karen National Liberation Army, the KNU/KNLA-Peace Council and other individuals.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (470K)
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2014


      Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: Hlaingbwe, Don Yin and Hti Lon townships, April 2014
      Date of publication: 22 July 2014
      Description/subject: This Situation Update describes land confiscation committed by local armed actors in Hlaingbwe, Don Yin and Hti Lon townships, Hpa-an District during 2014: Tatmadaw soldiers destroyed approximately 3,000 acres of villagers’ paddy fields during the construction of a dam in Hti Lon village... In the western part of Maw Ko village tract, a monk, coordinating with the Border Guard Force, confiscated villagers’ paddy fields and plantations. They also cut down trees which villagers use to make roofing for their houses and turned the area into a rubber plantation... Uncultivated land belonging to villagers who had emigrated to Thailand was confiscated even though the villagers held formal land titles.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (670K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-28-s2_pdf.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2014


      Title: NOT JUST DEFENDING; ADVOCATING FOR LAW IN MYANMAR
      Date of publication: June 2014
      Description/subject: "...Through research on Myanmar, we argue that in authoritarian settings where legality has drastically declined, the starting point for cause lawyering lies in advocacy for law itself, in advocating for the regular application of law’s rules. Because this characterization is liable to be misunderstood as formalistic, particularly by persons familiar with less authoritarian, more legally coherent settings than the one with which we are here concerned, it deserves some brief comments before we continue...By insisting upon legal formality as a condition of transformative justice, cause lawyers in Myanmar advocate for the inherent value of rules in the courtroom, but also incrementally build a constituency in the wider society. In advocating for faithful application of declared rules, in insisting on formal legality in the public domain, lawyers encourage people to mobilize around law as an idea, essential for making law meaningful in practice. They promote a notion of the legal system as once more an arena in which citizens can set up interests that are not congruent with those of the state; an arena in which cause lawyering is made viable and in which the cause lawyer has a distinctive role to play..." Includes description and discussion of the Kanma land-grab case.....The digitised version may contain errors so the original is included an an Alternate URL.
      Author/creator: Nick Cheesman, Kyaw Min San
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Wisconsin International Law Journal
      Format/size: pdf (226K-digitised version; 1.6MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/Cheesman_KMS__Not_just_defending-orig.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 August 2014


      Title: LAND CONFISCATION IN BURMA: A THREAT TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES & RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT
      Date of publication: 05 May 2014
      Description/subject: "Land confiscation is one of the leading causes of protest and unrest in Burma, having led to the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in recent years. It also undermines Burma’s fragile peace processes... •The 2008 constitution and subsequent laws are used to legitimize arbitrary land confiscation, deny access to justice, and perpetuate an environment of impunity... • Land confiscation for profitable large-scale development and commercial projects enrich the military, state- owned enterprises, and regime cronies, but result in the loss of livelihood and human rights abuses for local communities... • Land confiscation often involves violence, resulting in grievous injury, to force people off their land, or to suppress resistance to land confiscation... • Benefiting from land grabs, linked in some cases to ethnic cleansing or war atrocities, poses a risk to foreign investors and increases their exposure to judicial claims... • Prevailing censorship and other institutional obstr uctions hinder access to accurate information required for due diligence processes. • It is in the interests of the international corpora te community to ensure that legislative and institution reforms include equitable and transpare nt land acquisition procedures and measures to protect communities from impunity... Since President Thein Sein took office in 2011, the regime has allowed unbridled land confiscation for infrastructure, commercial and military development projects... The 2008 constitution identifies the state as being the ultimate owner of all land in Burma. Antiquated laws such as the 1894 Lan d Acquisition Act give the regime the right to take o ver any land, making local people extremely vulnerable to forced displacement without any recourse to remedy. Given that an estimated 70% of the population depend on small- and medium-scale agriculture for their livelihoods, land confiscation has had a devastating impact."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
      Format/size: pdf (337K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 June 2014


      Title: A political anatomy of land grabs
      Date of publication: 03 March 2014
      Description/subject: The phrase “land grab” has become common in Myanmar, often making front page news. This reflects the more open political space available to talk about injustices, as well as the escalating severity and degree of land dispossession under the new government. But this seemingly simple two-word phrase is in fact very complex and opaque. It thus deserves greater clarity in order to better understand the deep layers of meaning to farmers in the historical political context of Myanmar. Understanding the deeper significance and meaning that farmers attach to the words “land grab” entails frank discussions of formerly taboo subjects related to the country’s history of armed conflict, illicit drugs, cronyism and racism. Various state and non-state armed actors have been responsible for land grabs in Myanmar during the past several decades, mirroring recent historical periods.
      Author/creator: Kevin Woods
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Myanmar Times
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23224
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


      Title: Myanmar's minorities face multi-faced jeopardy
      Date of publication: 23 January 2014
      Description/subject: "Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. The international community, whose Western representatives so readily flock to Myanmar in both good will and selfish interest, is often an unwitting contributor to the country's persistent instability. This will likely lead not to intended peace but to more unwanted war until certain facts are fully faced..."
      Author/creator: Tim Heinemann
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 May 2014


      Title: BURMA: Land grabbing not "in accordance with law"
      Date of publication: 17 December 2013
      Description/subject: "Over the course of 2013 the Asian Human Rights Commission has followed reports of a larger number of conflicts over land grabs and attempted grabs in Burma, or Myanmar. Some of the conflicts are over recently taken land, and others are reinitiating struggles begun many years ago. These land grabs include the well-known expansion of the Letpadaung Hills copper mine in Salingyi Township, Sagaing Region, under a joint project of the armed forces' holding company and a Chinese partner; the conflict between farmers and police in Ma-Ubin, in the delta, over the taking of land by a private firm with backing of local officials; and, a land grab by the police force itself in Nattalin Township, Bago Region. Most recently, news reports and online sites have detailed how villagers in Migyaunggan, Mandalay Region, have begun protesting to reclaim land taken from them by an army detachment. The local administration and cantonment board have issued warnings to protestors to desist with their actions. Meantime, senior officials have come to investigate the complaints about the land and learned that the army has no documentation to show that it is entitled to occupy the contested area. Under noxious laws passed in 2010, prior to the transfer of power to the current semi-elected government in Burma, the army retains authority to designate and use land for a variety of purposes. In the case of the Cantonment Municipalities Law, No. 32/2010, the armed forces can establish bodies for the management of land designated as being part of cantonment towns. Under the Facilities and Operations for National Defence Law of the same year, the armed forces can issue designations concerning land under or adjacent to their facilities..."
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 18 December 2013


      Title: The politics of the emerging agro-industrial complex in Asia’s ‘final frontier’ - The war on food sovereignty in Burma
      Date of publication: 03 September 2013
      Description/subject: "Burma's dramatic turn-around from 'axis of evil' to western darling in the past year has been imagined as Asia's 'final frontier' for global finance institutions, markets and capital. Burma's agrarian landscape is home to three-fourths of the country's total population which is now being constructed as a potential prime investment sink for domestic and international agribusiness. The Global North's development aid industry and IFIs operating in Burma has consequently repositioned itself to proactively shape a pro-business legal environment to decrease political and economic risks to enable global finance capital to more securely enter Burma's markets, especially in agribusiness. But global capitalisms are made in localized places - places that make and are made from embedded social relations. This paper uncovers how regional political histories that are defined by very particular racial and geographical undertones give shape to Burma's emerging agro-industrial complex. The country's still smoldering ethnic civil war and fragile untested liberal democracy is additionally being overlain with an emerging war on food sovereignty. A discursive and material struggle over land is taking shape to convert subsistence agricultural landscapes and localized food production into modern, mechanized industrial agro-food regimes. This second agrarian transformation is being fought over between a growing alliance among the western development aid and IFI industries, global finance capital, and a solidifying Burmese military-private capitalist class against smallholder farmers who work and live on the country's now most valuable asset - land. Grassroots resistances increasingly confront the elite capitalist class' attempts to corporatize food production through the state's rule of law and police force. Farmers, meanwhile, are actively developing their own shared vision of food sovereignty and pro-poor land reform that desires greater attention.... Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.
      Author/creator: Kevin Woods
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (593K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, March 2012 to March 2013
      Date of publication: 16 July 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in May 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District mostly between March 2012 and March 2013, and also provides details on abuses since 2006. The report specifically describes incidents of forced labour, theft, logging, land confiscation and gold mining. The situation update describes military activity from August 2012 to January 2013, specifically Tatmadaw soldiers from Infantry Battalion (IB) #96 ordering villagers to make thatch shingles and cut bamboo. Moreover, soldiers stole villagers' thatch shingles, bamboo canes and livestock. It also describes logging undertaken by wealthy villagers with the permission of the Karen National Union (KNU) and contains updated information concerning land confiscation by Tatmadaw Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalions #1013 and #1014. The update also reports on gold mining initiatives led by the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) that started in 2010. At that time, civilians were ordered to work for the DKBA, and their lands, rivers and plantations were damaged as a result of mining operations. The report also notes economic changes that accompanied mining. In previous years villagers could pan gold from the river and sell it as a hedge against food insecurity. Now, however, options are limited because they must acquire written permission to pan in the river. This situation update also documents villager responses to abuses, and notes that an estimated 10 percent of area villagers favour corporate gold mining, while 90 percent oppose the efforts..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (292K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b45.html
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


      Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kyone Doh Township, July to November 2012
      Date of publication: 11 June 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Dooplaya District, between July and November 2012. The report describes problems relating to land confiscation and contains updated information regarding the sale of forest reserve for rubber plantations involving the BGF, with individuals who profited from the sale listed. Villagers in the area rely heavily upon the forest reserve for their livelihoods and are faced with a shortage of land for their animals to graze upon; further, villagers cows have been killed if they have continued to let them graze in the area. The community member explains that although fighting has ceased since the ceasefire agreement, otherwise the situation is the same; taxation demands and loss of livelihoods has resulted in villagers being forced to take odd jobs for daily wages, while some have left for foreign countries in search of work. Villagers have some access to healthcare and education supported by the Government, the KNU and local organizations..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (62K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b33.pdf

      http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b33.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013


      Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, June 2012 to February 2013
      Date of publication: 05 June 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in T'Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District between June 2012 and February 2013. The report describes monks demanding money and labour from villagers for the building of roads and pagodas. Also detailed in this report is the loss of money and possessions by many villagers through playing the two-digit lottery. Further, the report describes the cutting down of forest in Yaw Ku and in Kru Per village tracts by the DKBA and the BGF, including 30 t'la aw trees, which villagers rely upon for their housing; the Tatmadaw have also designated land for sale without consulting local villagers. This report also describes the prevalence of amphetamine use and sale in the area, involving both young people and armed groups including the BGF, KPF and DKBA. Finally, the report details the ongoing danger posed by landmines, which continue to stop villagers from going about their livelihoods and are reportedly still being planted by armed groups..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (242K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b30.html

      http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b30.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013


      Title: Rule of Law’ Will End Land Grabs in Ethnic Areas, Official Tells Activists
      Date of publication: 12 May 2013
      Description/subject: "An advisor to President Thein Sein met with a group of ethnic activists in Naypyidaw on Friday and tried to assuage their concerns over a recent rise in land conflicts in Burma’s ethnic areas. Tin Htut Oo, chairman of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council (NEASAC), told the activists that the government’s attempt at establishing “rule of law” would protect ethnic communities against land-grabbing. Last week, about 40 activist groups met in Rangoon and called on the government, ethnic rebel militias and the international community to ensure that the recent ceasefires in ethnic areas do not lead to a surge in land-grabbing, deforestation and the damming of rivers. NEASAC and several other presidential advisory bodies agreed to meet the groups, which were led by the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute and the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network, in order to listen to their concerns. The groups had also wanted to meet with the two most important government committees on land tenure, but their request for a meeting was declined, to the anger of the organizers..."
      Author/creator: Lawi Weng
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 17 May 2013


      Title: Ethnic Activists Warn of Surge in Land Grabs After Ceasefires
      Date of publication: 09 May 2013
      Description/subject: "About 40 ethnic activist groups are calling on the government, ethnic militias and the international community to address a surge in land-grabbing, as companies move into Burma’s ethnic regions following recent ceasefire agreements. But their campaign was off to a rocky start on Thursday when two government committees on land use declined to meet the activists. Kevin Woods, a researcher with the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute (TNI), said the Land Investment Committee, headed by Union Solidarity Development Party MP Tin Htut, and the Land Allotment and Utilization Scrutiny Committee, chaired by Win Tun Min of the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, had turned down requests to meet with the groups. “They are the two most important committees for us to meet,” Woods said on Thursday, as the activists prepared to leave for the Burmese capital Naypyidaw. “If these committees won’t meet civil society groups from ethnic areas, where most land disputes are happening, then how do they expect to address these issues?”..."
      Author/creator: Paul Vrieze
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 17 May 2013


      Title: Access Denied - Land Rights and Ethnic Conflict in Burma
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: The reform process in Burma/Myanmar by the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein has raised hopes that a long overdue solution can be found to more than 60 years of devastating civil war... Burma’s ethnic minority groups have long felt marginalized and discriminated against, resulting in a large number of ethnic armed opposition groups fighting the central government – dominated by the ethnic Burman majority – for ethnic rights and autonomy. The fighting has taken place mostly in Burma’s borderlands, where ethnic minorities are most concentrated. Burma is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries. Ethnic minorities make up an estimated 30-40 percent of the total population, and ethnic states occupy some 57 percent of the total land area and are home to poor and often persecuted ethnic minority groups. Most of the people living in these impoverished and war-torn areas are subsistence farmers practicing upland cultivation. Economic grievances have played a central part in fuelling the civil war. While the central government has been systematically exploiting the natural resources of these areas, the money earned has not been (re)invested to benefit the local population... Conclusions and Recommendations: The new land and investment laws benefit large corporate investors and not small- holder farmers, especially in ethnic minority regions, and do not take into account land rights of ethnic communities. The new ceasefires have further facilitated land grabbing in conflict-affected areas where large development projects in resource-rich ethnic regions have already taken place. Many ethnic organisations oppose large-scale economic projects in their territories until inclusive political agreements are reached. Others reject these projects outright. Recognition of existing customary and communal tenure systems in land, water, fisheries and forests is crucial to eradicate poverty and build real peace in ethnic areas; to ensure sustainable livelihoods for marginalized ethnic communities affected by decades of war; and to facilitate the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees. Land grabbing and unsustainable business practices must halt, and decisions on the allocation, use and management of natural resources and regional development must have the participation and consent of local communities. Local communities must be protected by the government against land grabbing. The new land and investment laws should be amended and serve the needs and rights of smallholder farmers, especially in ethnic regions.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (161K-OBL version; 3.22MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/accesdenied-briefing11.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2013


      Title: FPIC Fever: Ironies and Pitfalls
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)... Text box extracted from "Access Denied - Land Rights and Ethnic Conflict in Burma" by TNI/BCN, May 2013 at http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/TNI-accesdenied-briefing11-red.pdf
      Author/creator: Jennifer Franco,
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (44K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/TNI-accesdenied-briefing11-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 May 2013


      Title: BURMA: Criminalization of rights defenders and impunity for police
      Date of publication: 29 April 2013
      Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission condemns in the strongest terms the announcement of the commander of the Sagaing Region Police Force, Myanmar, that the police will arrest and charge eight human rights defenders whom it blames for inciting protests against the army-backed copper mine project at the Letpadaung Hills, in Monywa. The commission also condemns the latest round of needless police violence against demonstrators there..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2013


      Title: BURMA: Criminalization of rights defenders and impunity for police
      Date of publication: 29 April 2013
      Description/subject: The Asian Human Rights Commission condemns in the strongest terms the announcement of the commander of the Sagaing Region Police Force, Myanmar, that the police will arrest and charge eight human rights defenders whom it blames for inciting protests against the army-backed copper mine project at the Letpadaung Hills, in Monywa. The commission also condemns the latest round of needless police violence against demonstrators there.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
      Format/size: html (45K)
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2013


      Title: BURMA: Lawyers' report on Letpadaung released in English
      Date of publication: 10 April 2013
      Description/subject: "(Hong Kong, April 10, 2013) A Burma-based lawyers group has released its findings on the Letpadaung land struggle in English. The 39-page illustrated report was submitted by the Lawyers Network (Myanmar) and the Justice Trust in February to the government's investigation commission into events at Letpadaung, recounts the land struggle and subsequent crackdown on protestors. The Asian Human Rights Commission said that the report offered further evidence to support arguments that the mining operation ought to be halted, and criminal actions brought against police and other officials responsible for orders to disperse protestors through the use of incendiary weapons. "It is alarming that despite having such evidence available to it, not only did the investigation commission endorse the continuation of the mining project, but also said literally nothing about the criminal responsibility of the police and other authorities involved in the brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators," Bijo Francis, acting executive director of the Hong Kong-based regional rights group, said. .."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
      Format/size: html (49K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 April 2013


      Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Ler Doh Township, November 2012 to January 2013
      Date of publication: 09 April 2013
      Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District during the period between November 2012 and January 2013. Specifically, it describes the confiscation of more than 2375.14 acres of villagers' land by Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion #60. One villager was required by Light Infantry Battalion #264 soldiers to collect 250,000 kyat per month from the villagers who operate gold ore processing machines. The community member also describes how, despite the January 2012 ceasefire being in effect, the Tatmadaw continues to increase resupply missions in the area, which has created alarm amongst local civilians. As part of a CIDKP pilot project, 173 sacks of rice have been distributed to Muh Theh villagers. The community member reports that there was an increase in medical care in the area, where Tatmadaw medics travelled with armed soldiers to three towns in KNU-controlled areas in Kyauk Kyi Township, while FBR medics travelled with unarmed KNLA soldiers to Tatmadaw-controlled areas. In response to the land confiscation, villagers' reported their complaints by submitting a letter to the Burma government, however, no response had been received as of January.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (1.5MB
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b17.html
      http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg_13b17_-pdf.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2013


      Title: "There is no benefit, they destroyed our farmland" (English and Burmese)
      Date of publication: 08 April 2013
      Description/subject: WITH SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING A PHOTO ESSAY...Selected Land and Livelihood Impacts Along the Shwe Natural Gas and China-Myanmar Oil Transport Pipeline from Rakhine State to Mandalay Division..."Yesterday, we published a photo essay and companion report highlighting the severe impacts of the Shwe natural gas and Myanmar-China oil transport pipelines on the lives and livelihoods of local communities living around these mega-projects. Set for operation later this year, these Chinese and Korean led projects will transport Myanmar and foreign resources to China while providing little benefits to communities; lands have been taken, destroyed and damaged with inadequate compensation to make way for the dual pipelines and associated infrastructure. Based on over one year of on-the-ground fact-finding inside Myanmar by EarthRights International, the photos and essay amplify the voices of communities who are calling for the projects to be suspended or diverted to avoid ongoing harms..."
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI)
      Format/size: html (87K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/multimedia/essay/photo-essay-selected-impacts-shwe-natural-gas-myanmar-c...
      http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/Shwe-Essay-Selected-Impacts-Myanmar-Language.pdf
      http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/Shwe-Photo-Essay-Captions-Myanmar-Language.pdf
      http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/daewoo-land-acquisition-english.pdf
      http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/Daewoo-Land-Acquisition-Burmese.pdf
      http://www.earthrights.org/campaigns/press-coverage-shwe-gas-and-myanmar-china-oil-projects
      http://www.earthrights.org/campaigns/civil-society-reports-statements-shwe-and-myanmar-china-oil-an...
      Date of entry/update: 09 April 2013


      Title: BURMA: Two sharply contrasting reports on the struggle for land at Letpadaung
      Date of publication: 03 April 2013
      Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission has since mid-2012 closely followed, documented and reported on the struggle of farmers in the Letpadaung Hills of central Burma against the expansion of a copper mining operation under a military-owned holding company and a partner company from China. After repeatedly being refused permission to demonstrate against the operation under the terms of the country's new antidemocratic public demonstration law, the farmers began public protests, which were met with a range of repressive measures, culminating in the night time attack on encamped protestors last November. The attack received international media coverage because the police fired white phosphorous into the protest camps causing extensive burns to protestors, the majority of them monks who had joined villagers in resistance to the mine project. In recent months two reports have been issued, in Burmese, on the struggle against the mine. The reports make interesting reading because they represent very different perspectives and understandings of the issues for the affected villagers in Letpadaung. One is the official report of an investigative commission headed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, published in the 12 March 2013 edition of the state newspaper. The other is an unofficial report by the 88 Students Generation group and the Lawyers Network, Upper Burma, issued before the official report, on 21 January 2013. Whereas the latter report represents a genuine effort to identify the causes for the opposition to the mine and speak to the human rights questions concerned with events in Letpadaung of 2012, the former is little more than an exercise in playing at politics, and an attempt to sidestep and obfuscate the questions of human rights involved through the use of "information" that conceals more than it reveals..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
      Format/size: html (54K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 April 2013


      Title: Rampant Land Confiscation Requires Further Attention and Action from Parliamentary Committee
      Date of publication: 12 March 2013
      Description/subject: "This past week the parliamentary Farmland Investigation Commission submitted its report on land confiscation to the parliament. The report finds that the military have taken almost 250,000 acres of land from villagers. The commission stated that they had spoken to military leaders about the confiscation, “Vice Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing […] confirmed to me that the army will return seized farmlands that are away from its bases, and they are also thinking about providing farmers with compensation.”..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 March 2013


      Title: Land grabbing as big business in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 08 March 2013
      Description/subject: "Inadequate land laws have opened rural Myanmar to rampant land grabbing by unscrupulous, well-connected businessmen who anticipate a boom in agricultural and property investment. If unchecked, the gathering trend has the potential to undermine the country's broad reform process and impede long-term economic progress. Under the former military regime, land grabbing became a common and largely uncontested practice. Government bodies, particularly military units, were able to seize large tracts of farmland, usually without compensation. While some of the land Land grabbing as big business in Myanmar By Brian McCartan Inadequate land laws have opened rural Myanmar to rampant land grabbing by unscrupulous, well-connected businessmen who anticipate a boom in agricultural and property investment. If unchecked, the gathering trend has the potential to undermine the country's broad reform process and impede long-term economic progress. Under the former military regime, land grabbing became a common and largely uncontested practice. Government bodies, particularly military units, were able to seize large tracts of farmland, usually without compensation. While some of the land was used for the expansion of military bases, new government offices or infrastructure projects, much of it was used either by military units for their own commercial purposes or sold to private companies. The threat of military force meant there was little grass roots opposition to these land seizures and few avenues to secure adequate compensation. That's changed under the new democratic order as local communities band together to fight back against seizure of their lands. Many of the current land disputes date to the period before the 2010 general elections that ushered in President Thein Sein's reformist quasi-civilian government...Two new land laws passed on March 30, 2012 - the Farmland Law and the Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land Management Law - were intended to clarify ownership under the constitution and provide protections to land owners. While the laws guaranteed more individual ownership rights, to date big businesses have profited most from the legislation. The new laws created a dysfunctional and opaque system of land registration and administration that reinforced a top-down decision-making process without local participation. The absence of adequate legal and judicial recourse for the protection of land rights has further exacerbated the situation. Rather than deter land rights violations, the laws have effectively facilitated more land grabbing and manipulation of the system..."
      Author/creator: Brian McCartan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 June 2013


      Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Kyauk Kyi Township, May to July 2012
      Date of publication: 08 March 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in July 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District, in the period between May and July 2012, including information on the use of villagers for forced labour by Tatmadaw soldiers, a KNU campaign to inform villagers of the ceasefire process, the testing of stones for mining operations and land confiscation. The community member describes how Muh Theh villagers were forced by Tatmadaw LIB #704 Battalion Commander Nyan Win Aung to build a bridge across the Thay Nweh Loh River for the purpose of providing motorbike access from the village to Poh Khay Hkoh army camp, as well as providing information regarding taxes placed upon motorbike taxi drivers by soldiers from IB #60. The report goes on to provide details surrounding a campaign carried out by the KNU to inform villagers about the ceasefire process, during which villagers voiced their problems to the KNU, including land issues. Moreover, the report contains information about several pending, as well as current development projects in the area, including an incident in which Tatmadaw MOC #4 and LIB #704 facilitated the testing of stones in Maw Day Forest. The report also describes the purchase of 9,000 acres of land by U Nyan Shwe Win, following the Government designation of the land in question as uncultivated. The community member reports that the land in question includes local villagers' land; betel nut; durian; mangosteen; cashew; betel leaf; cardamom; and dog fruit plantations, as well as villagers' hill field farms. Villagers were not consulted about the sale of this land. The problems that this sale of land poses to those villagers relocated during the 'four cuts' is specifically detailed; previously able to return from relocation sites to work on their plantations, this sale of 'uncultivated' land puts their livelihoods at risk. Finally, the report describes flooding caused by the Kyauk N'Ga dam, resulting in damage to villagers' paddy farms.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (135K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b8.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


      Title: Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar
      Date of publication: 05 March 2013
      Description/subject: "Analysis of KHRG's field information gathered between January 2011 and November 2012 in seven geographic research areas in eastern Myanmar indicates that natural resource extraction and development projects undertaken or facilitated by civil and military State authorities, armed ethnic groups and private investors resulted in land confiscation and forced displacement, and were implemented without consulting, compensating or notifying project-affected communities. Exclusion from decision-making and displacement and barriers to land access present major obstacles to effective local-level response, while current legislation does not provide easily accessible mechanisms to allow their complaints to be heard. Despite this, villagers employ forms of collective action that provide viable avenues to gain representation, compensation and forestall expropriation. Key findings in this report were drawn based upon analysis of four trends, including: Lack of consultation; Land confiscation; Disputed compensation; and Development-induced displacement and resettlement, as well as four collective action strategies, including: Reporting to authorities; Organizing a committee or protest; Negotiation; and Non-compliance, and six consequences on communities, including: Negative impacts on livelihoods; Environmental impacts; Physical security threats; Forced labour and exploitative demands; Denial of access to humanitarian goods and services; and Migration."
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (2.35MB-report; 6.18-Appendix of raw data)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/losinggroundkhrg-march2013-fulltext.pdf
      http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/losinggroundkhrgmarch2013-appendix1-rawdatatestimony.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 March 2013


      Title: Military Involved in Massive Land Grabs: Parliamentary Report
      Date of publication: 05 March 2013
      Description/subject: "RANGOON—Less than eight months after a parliamentary commission began investigating land-grabbing in Burma, it has received complaints that the military has forcibly seized about 250,000 acres of farmland from villagers, according to the commission’s report. The Farmland Investigation Commission submitted its first report to Burma’s Union Parliament on Friday, which focused on land seizures by the military. According to the report, the commission received 565 complaints between late July and Jan. 24 that allege that the military had forcibly confiscated 247,077 acres (almost 100,000 hectares) of land. The cases occurred across central Burma and the country’s ethnic regions, although most happened in Irrawaddy Division..."
      Author/creator: Htet Naing Zaw, Aye Kyawt Khaing
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 March 2013


      Title: Mergui-Tavoy Interview: Saw E---, July 2012
      Date of publication: 01 March 2013
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview submitted to KHRG during July 2012, which was conducted in Mergui-Tavoy District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed 45-year-old G--- villager, Saw E---, who described the destruction of agricultural land, including betel nut and coconut plantations in G--- village resulting from construction of a vehicle road by the Italian-Thai Development Company (ITD). Saw E--- raises concerns regarding the lack of compensation for damaged agricultural land and crops. He also raises his concerns that relocation will be necessary, as the road will continue to be built and is set to cross his land. Further, Saw E--- describes villagers' strategies in response, including requesting ITD to provide compensation for the value of crops lost in road construction, this compensation was promised by the company, but is yet to be received. This report, and others, will be published in March 2013 as part of KHRG's thematic report: Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (104K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b4.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: Tantabin and Than Daung Townships, September to December 2012 [News Bulletin]
      Date of publication: 01 March 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Tantabin and Than Daung Townships in Toungoo District, during the period between September and December 2012. Specifically, it describes how over 40,000 acres of villagers plantations were flooded due to Toh Boh Dam operations in October 2012, and how the Shwe Swan Aye Company provided compensation to some, but not all, of the affected villagers. This report also describes how, on September 3rd 2012, Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalions #124, #546 and #084, based in Ba Yint Naung Camp, confiscated villagers’ lands, forcing villagers in the Than Daung Gyi area to sell their lands to the battalion. The community member reported that the Tatmadaw battalions also continue to send rations, rotate troops and conduct training every four months; in one incident, heavy and small weapons were fired during a military exercise, landing in and damaging villagers’ plantations. Villagers’ livelihood problems caused by flooding of land from the dam, as well as villagers concerns about the ceasefire process in the context of ongoing Tatmadaw military operations, are also described..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (370K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b5.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


      Title: SHRF Newsletter, March 2013 - Land Grabbing and Related Issues and Abuses Continue
      Date of publication: March 2013
      Description/subject: Commentary: Land Grabbing and Related Issues and Abuses Continue... Contents: Themes & Places of Violations reported in this issue... Acronyms: MAP... Land abandoned under force seized and original owners required to buy them back, in Lai-Kha... Burmese military let people’s militia groups grow crops on lands long cultivated by local people, in Nam-Zarng... Situation of land grabbing and related abuses in areas under the influence of a ceasefire group “UWSA”, in Murng-Ton... Original local people forced to sell land, restricted from cultivating remorte farms, in Murng-Ton... Threats of land confiscation, arrest and restrictions, in Murng-Ton... Wresting of water from original local farmers, in Murng-Ton... Land grabbed and resold by businessman under “UWSA” protection, in Murng-Ton.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 March 2013


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, July to October 2012
      Date of publication: 28 February 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights. It describes events occurring in Papun District during the period between July to October 2012. Specifically discussed are Tatmadaw and Border Guard abuses, including forced labour, portering, land confiscation, coercive land sale transactions, and damages to the villagers' livelihood. The community member mentioned that large amounts of the villagers' land were confiscated and damaged, as well as an increase in waterborne diseases, from gold mines that were initially operated by the DKBA, but now villagers are uncertain if the private parties who are negotiating permission to continue from the KNU will be allowed to continue the mines. This report also describes how Border Guard #1013 confiscated more than 75 acres of plantation land in order to build shelters for soldiers' families, which created direct problems for villagers livelihoods. Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion #96 has been forcing villagers to perform various work for the base and for soldiers on patrol, and demanded bamboo poles to repair their camp. Moe Win, a company second-in-command from Tatmadaw Light Infantry Division #44, sexually abused Naw C---, a married woman from T--- village, in her home while she, her baby, and her husband was sleeping. The Company Commander promised Naw C--- 200,000 kyat as compensation and to ensure she not report the crime, but only 100,000 kyat has been paid. This report, and others, will be published in March 2013 as part of KHRG's thematic report: Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (342K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b3_0.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


      Title: Submission of Evidence to Myanmar Government’s Letpadaung Investigation Commission (full text - English)
      Date of publication: 14 February 2013
      Description/subject: Submission of evidence by Lawyers Network and Justice Trust to the Letpadaung Investigation Commission...(Submitted 28 January, 2013, re-submitted with exhibits 5 February, 2013)...EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The evidence submitted in this report covers two main issues: 1) the circumstances and validity of contracts signed by local villagers in April 2011 to allow their farmlands to be used by a copper mining joint venture between Wanbao, a Chinese military-owned company, and U Paing, a Burmese military-owned company, and 2) the circumstances and validity of the police action used to disperse peaceful protesters at the copper mine site during the early morning hours of 29 November, 2013. This submission presents relevant laws and facts concerning the Letpadaung case; it does not draw legal conclusions or make specific policy recommendations. The evidence indicates that local government authorities, acting on behalf of the joint venture companies, used fraudulent means to coerce villagers to sign contracts against their will, and then refused to allow villagers and monks to exercise their constitutional right to peaceful assembly and protest. The evidence also indicates that police used military-issue white-phosphorus (WP) grenades (misleadingly termed smoke bombs) combined with water cannons to destroy the protest camps and injure well over 100 monks with severe, deep chemical burns. White phosphorus spontaneously ignites in air to produce burning phosphorous pentoxide particles and, when combined with water, super-heated phosphoric acid..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Lawyers Network and Justice Trust via AHRC
      Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/press-releases/AHRC-PRL-007-2013
      http://justice-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/Letpadaungreportforpublicrelease.pdf (slightly different text)
      Date of entry/update: 11 April 2013


      Title: Rohingya miss boat on development
      Date of publication: 09 November 2012
      Description/subject: "The ethnic conflict that ravaged much of Rakhine State in western Myanmar last month was an opportunity for more than settling old and new scores between Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhines and co-religionist new arrivals from elsewhere in the country. Those involved were also clearing land in a densely populated area that is set to be among the country's prime bits of real estate as energy-related projects start transforming the impoverished state. More than 100 people (some reports indicate many times that number) were killed last month, untold others were wounded, and an estimated 28,000 fled or were driven from their homes in clashes between the stateless Rohingya and Buddhist citizens in a recurrence of violence last June. They are the latest incidents involving evicted ethnic groups around the country weeks before US President Obama visits Myanmar later this month. "The government has taken the opportunity to create more violence allowing a destabilized and vulnerable state which they can then take the natural resources from. This is believed to be the main reason to why so many villages [in Rakhine State] were razed to the ground," the representative of one non-government organization (NGO) told Asia Times Online, citing the source as a Rakhine resident..."
      Author/creator: Syed Tashfin Chowdhury and Chris Stewart
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 November 2012


      Title: Pipeline Nightmare (English and Burmese)
      Date of publication: 07 November 2012
      Description/subject: "Shwe Pipeline Brings Land Confiscation, Militarization and Human Rights Violations to the Ta’ang People. The Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO) released a report today called “Pipeline Nightmare” that illustrates how the Shwe Gas and Oil Pipeline project, which will transport oil and gas across Burma to China, has resulted in the confiscation of people’s lands, forced labor, and increased military presence along the pipeline, affecting thousands of people. Moreover, the report documents cases in 6 target cities and 51 villages of human rights violations committed by the Burmese Army, police and people’s militia, who take responsibility for security of the pipeline. The government has deployed additional soldiers and extended 26 military camps in order to increase pressure on the ethnic armed groups and to provide security for the pipeline project and its Chinese workers. Along the pipeline, there is fighting on a daily basis between the Burmese Army and the Kachin Independence Army, Shan State Army – North and Ta’ang National Liberation Army in Namtu, Mantong and Namkham, where there are over one thousand Ta’ang (Palaung) refugees. “Even though the international community believes that the government has implemented political reforms, it doesn’t mean those reforms have reached ethnic areas, especially not where there is increased militarization along the Shwe Pipeline, increased fighting between the Burmese Army and ethnic armed groups, and negative consequences for the people living in these areas,” said Mai Amm Ngeal, a member of TSYO. The China National Petroleum Corporation and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise have signed agreements for the Shwe Pipeline, however the companies have not conducted any Environmental Impact Assessments or Social Impact Assessments. While the people living along the pipeline bear the brunt of the effects, the government will earn an estimated USD$29 billion over the next 30 years. “The government and companies involved must be held accountable for the project and its effects on the local people, such as increasing military presence and Chinese workers along the pipeline, both of which cause insecurity for the local communities and especially women. The project has no benefit for the public, so it must be postponed,” said Lway Phoo Reang, Joint Secretary (1) of TSYO. TSYO urges the government to postpone the Shwe Gas and Oil Pipeline project, to withdraw the military from Shan State, reach a ceasefire with all ethnic armed groups in the state, and address the root causes of the armed conflict by engaging in political dialogue."
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO)
      Format/size: pdf (English, 2MB-OBL version; 6.77-original; 1.45-Burmese-OBL version)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/Pipeline%20Nightmare%20report%20in%20English%20version%20(Final).pdf (original)
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/Pipeline_Nightmare-bu-op--red.pdf (full report in Burmese)
      http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/Immediate%20Release%207%20N... (Summary in Burmese)
      http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/For%20Immediate%20Release%2... (Summary in Thai)
      http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/2012-11%20Shwe%20Pipeline%2... (Summary in Chinese)
      Date of entry/update: 07 November 2012


      Title: The Burden of War - Women bear burden of displacement
      Date of publication: 03 November 2012
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Worsening conflict and abuses by Burmese government troops in northern Shan State have displaced over 2,000 Palaung villagers from fifteen villages in three townships since March 2011. About 1,000, mainly women and children, remain in three IDP settlements in Mantong and Namkham townships, facing serious shortages of food and medicine; most of the rest have dispersed to find work in China. Burmese troops have been launching offensives to crush the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), to secure control of strategic trading and investment areas on the Chinese border, particularly the route of China’s trans-Burma oil and gas pipelines. In rural Palaung areas, patrols from sixteen Burma Army battalions and local militia have been forcibly conscripting villagers as soldiers and porters, looting livestock and property, and torturing and killing villagers suspected of supporting the resistance. This has caused entire villages to become abandoned. Interviews conducted by PWO in September 2012 show that the burden of displacement is falling largely on women, as most men have fled or migrated to work elsewhere. The ratio of women to men of working age in the IDP camps is 4:1. Women, including pregnant mothers, had to walk for up to a week through the jungle to reach the camps, carrying their children and possessions, and avoiding Burmese army patrols and landmines. Elderly people were left behind. Little aid has reached the IDP settlements, particular the largest camp housing over 500 in a remote mountainous area north of Manton, where shortages of water, food and medicines are causing widespread disease. Mothers are struggling to feed their families on loans of rice from local villagers, and have taken their daughters out of school. Some women have left children with relatives and gone to find work in China. PWO is calling urgently for aid to these IDPs, and for political pressure on Burma’s government to end its military offensives and abuses, pull back troops from conflict areas, and begin meaningful political dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (1.7MB-OBL version; 7.29MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://eng.palaungwomen.com/Report/The%20Burden%20of%20War.pdf'>http://eng.palaungwomen.com/Report/The%20Burden%20of%20War.pdf
      http://eng.palaungwomen.com
      Date of entry/update: 06 November 2012


      Title: Report on the Human Rights Situation in Burma (April-September 2012)
      Date of publication: 01 November 2012
      Description/subject: Introduction: "Over the period of this report, the political landscape in Burma has undergone noticeable shifts. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, once a political prisoner under house arrest, recently returned from a whirlwind tour of the United States where she received the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian honour. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the U.S. Congress touted her cooperation with Burmese President Thein Sein, who visited the United Nations in New York City. The trip, at the urging of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, also resulted in the further easing of sanctions on the Burmese government, including an end to the crippling ban on imports. Simultaneously, human rights violations persist throughout the country. Deadly civil war in ethnic areas, forced labour, child soldiers, torture and ill treatment remain grave concerns. Additionally, this report will emphasize the rampant land confiscation and forced relocation by the Burmese government. Recent events, including the arrests and beatings of farmers protesting the forced relocation of landowners from 66 villages for the Latpadaung copper mine,1 underline the on-going human rights violations by the Burmese government. In its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Asian Human Rights Commission found that land grabbing is a direct result of “the convergence of the military, government agents and business”. The report cited the rising issue of former military personnel transitioning to new roles in industry. This marriage of military and industry has led to human rights violations such as the confiscation of 7,800 acres of land and untold environmental damage for the copper mine. The mining project is being completed by the military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, in conjunction with a Chinese corporation. The effects of land confiscation have real implications on the livelihoods of civilians. A report by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) noted that, “Almost daily, news media carry reports of people being forced out of their houses or losing agricultural land to statebacked projects, sometimes being offered paltry compensation, sometimes nothing". The 2012 Farmland Law presented an opportunity to address land grabbing but, according the ALRC, “far from reducing the prospects of land grabbing, the Farmland Law opens the door to confiscation of agricultural land on any pretext associated with a state project or the ‘national interest'"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: ND-Burma
      Format/size: pdf (210K-OBL version; 1.86MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.nd-burma.org/reports/item/103-report-on-the-human-rights-situation-in-burma.html
      Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012


      Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, October 2012 - land grabbing in Shan State
      Date of publication: October 2012
      Description/subject: Commentary: Rampant Land Grabbing Continues... Contents: Themes & Places of Violations reported in this issue... Acronyms... Map... Farmlands seized by police in Ta-Khi-Laek... Land grabbed and resold by military in Murng - Ton... Farmlands seized by Burmese Army-Sponsored people’s militia, in Murng-Sart... Villagers’ farmlands seized by ‘Wa’ ceasefire group, in Murng-Ton... Villagers’ lands seized by headman, with the help of land officials, in Loi-Lem... Farmlands seized without knowledge of owners in many townships in Central Shan State... Villagers fined for trying to work their farmlands taken by military in Nam-Zarng... Lands seized for building roads, displacing people, by ceasefire group in Parng-Yarng.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


      Title: Mine Protests Challenge Myanmar Reforms - Expansion Involving Farmland in 26 Villages Prompts Latest Eruption Over Chinese Investment (text and video)
      Date of publication: 24 September 2012
      Description/subject: WETHMAY, Myanmar—Anger over plans to expand a Chinese-backed mine near here is emerging as a test case of Myanmar's recent political reforms. Villagers have staged raucous protests in recent weeks over the giant copper mine near Monywa in northwestern Myanmar, owned jointly by Myanmar's military and a subsidiary of China North Industries Corp., an arms manufacturer. The subsidiary, Wanbao Mining Ltd., and its Myanmar partners are hoping to expand the mine, but that would require taking over huge tracts of land and moving as many as 26 villages, locals say..."
      Author/creator: Patrick Barta
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Wall Street Journal"
      Format/size: html. Adobe Flash (3 minutes 28 seconds)
      Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


      Title: BURMA: Farmers rise up at land grab by army-owned company
      Date of publication: 13 September 2012
      Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission has followed closely reports in recent weeks of an uprising by farmers against a takeover of a large area of agricultural land in upper Burma by an army-owned company and a private partner. The land grab, in the Letpadan Mountain Range of Sarlingyi Township, Sagaing Region, is of some 7800 acres of fertile land, to make way for copper mining. Currently farmers of around 26 villages cultivate the land. The residents of four villages--Siti, Wehmay, Zidaw and Kandaw--have already been forced out of their homes. The grabber is the usual suspect--Myanma Economic Holdings Ltd., a conglomerate of army interests, staffed by retired army officers, along with a joint partner company, Myanmar Wan Bao. In this case the director of the project is one Lt. Col. (Ret.) U Aung Myint. Farmers in the area began protests and interventions against the confiscation on 2 June 2012, and tensions and conflicts with local authorities have been growing since. According to reports coming daily from the region, the area of confiscated land has been placed under an administrative order declaring it off limits, and local authorities have threatened to prosecute anyone gathering to protest at the land confiscation. Their threats have so far failed to deter demonstrators: since August 24, thousands have been gathering outside company offices in the township to demand that the land be returned to them, and to object to the copper mine project. They have also raised their voices against the uncompensated destruction of crops through the movement of vehicles, dumping of rubbish and other actions by the companies that have adversely affected their lives and livelihoods..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


      Title: Thousands Protest Copper Mine
      Date of publication: 05 September 2012
      Description/subject: "Villagers say their farmland was unlawfully taken from them by a military-backed mining venture...More than 10,000 villagers in northwestern Burma demonstrated Wednesday, burning effigies and demanding the return of land they said was illegally confiscated by a mining company in a rare mass protest. They marched from the site of the Monywa copper mine, located in the Latpadaung mountain range in Saigang division’s Sarlingyi township, but were stopped by more than 200 government security personnel and company officials, said one female villager. "The police circled around us. They blocked the path to Pathein-Monywa highway so that we couldn't cross the road,” said the villager, who spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity, and who said that the protesters had marched for about one mile before they were blocked by authorities..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Radio Free Asia (RFA)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 06 September 2012


      Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw H---, April 2011
      Date of publication: 05 September 2012
      Description/subject: This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2011 in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 37 year-old township secretary, Saw H---, who described abuses committed by several Tatmadaw battalions, including forced relocation, land confiscation, forced labour, restrictions on freedom of movement, denial of humanitarian access, targeting civilians, and arbitrary taxes and demands. Saw H--- provided a detailed description of three development projects that the Tatmadaw has planned in the area. Most notable is Toh Boh[1] hydroelectric dam on the Day Loh River, which is expected to destroy 3,143 acres of surrounding farmland. Asia World Company began building the dam in Toh Boh, Day Loh village tract during 2005. The other two projects involved the confiscation of 2,400 acres, against which the villagers formed a committee to petition for compensation and were met with threats of imprisonment. Saw H--- also described how 30 people working on the dam die each year. Also mentioned is the Tatmadaw's burning of villagers' cardamom plantations, and the villagers' attempts to limit the fire damage using fire lines. It is also described by Saw H--- how some villagers have chosen to remain in KNLA/KNU-controlled areas and produce commodities for sale, despite the attendant increase in the price of goods purchased from Tatmadaw-controlled villages, while others have fled to refugee camps in other countries. For photos of the Toh Boh Dam taken by a different community member in March 2012, see "Photo Set: More than 100 households displaced from Toh Boh Dam construction site in Toungoo," published by KHRG on August 23rd
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (225K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b72.html
      Date of entry/update: 05 November 2012


      Title: Land Grabbing in Dawei (Myanmar/Burma): a (Inter) National Human Rights Concern
      Date of publication: September 2012
      Description/subject: "Land grabbing is an urgent concern for people in Tanintharyi Division, and ultimately one of national and international concern, as tens of thousands of people are being displaced for the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Dawei lies within Myanmar’s (Burma) southernmost region, the Tanintharyi Division, which borders Mon State to the North, and Thailand to the East, on territory that connects the Malay Peninsula with mainland Asia. This highly populated and prosperous region is significant because of its ecologically-diversity and strategic position along the Andaman coast. Since 2008 the area has been at risk of massive expulsion of people and unprecedented environmental costs, when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Thai and Myanmar governments, followed by a MoU between Thai investor Italian-Thai Development Corporation (ITD) (see Box 1) and Myanma Port Authority, granted ITD access to the Dawei region to build Asia’s newest regional hub. Thai interest in Dawei is strategic for two reasons. First, the small city happens to be Bangkok’s nearest gateway to the Andaman Sea, and ultimately to India and the Middle East. Second, the project links with a broader regional development plan, strategically plugging into the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) East-West Economic Corridor, a massive transport and trade network connecting Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam; the Southern Economic Corridor (connecting to Cambodia); and the North-South Economic Corridor, with rail links to Kunming, China. If all goes as planned, the Dawei SEZ project, with an estimated infrastructural investment of over USD $50 billion will be Southeast Asia’s largest industrial complex, complete with a deep seaport, industrial estate (including large petrochemical industrial complex, heavy industry zone, oil and gas industry, as well as medium and light industries), and a road/pipeline/rail link that will extend 350 kilometers to Bangkok (via Kanchanaburi). The project even has its own legal framework, the Dawei Special Economic Zone Law, drafted in 2011 to ensure the industrial estate is attractive to potential investors..."
      Author/creator: Elizabeth Loewen
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Paung Ku and Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (164K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org
      Date of entry/update: 15 October 2012


      Title: Yuzana to return confiscated farm land
      Date of publication: 31 August 2012
      Description/subject: Rangoon (Mizzima) – Htay Myint, the owner of the Yuzana Company, says the company will give back more than 1,000 acres of confiscated land in the Hukaung Valley in Kachin State to the original owners, said activist Bauk Ja.
      Author/creator: Kyaw Phone Kyaw and Aung Myat Tun
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Mizzima"
      Format/size: html, pdf (305K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/7896-yuzana-to-return-confiscated-farm-land.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 01 September 2012


      Title: Photo Set: More than 100 households displaced from Toh Boh Dam construction site in Toungoo
      Date of publication: 23 August 2012
      Description/subject: "This Photo Set presents 17 still photographs taken by a local community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The photos were all taken in March 2012 at the Toh Boh Dam construction site in Tantabin Township within locally-defined Toungoo District. According to the community member who took these photos, more than 100 households have been relocated from the area now occupied by the dam construction site, where construction is ongoing."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (400K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b71.html
      Date of entry/update: 24 August 2012


      Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, August 2012 - land grabbing in Shan State
      Date of publication: August 2012
      Description/subject: Commentary: Why people still flee Shan State and seek refuge in other countries... Contents: Themes & Places of Violations reported in this issue... MAP... Situation of people fleeing their native places in Kae-See... Land confiscation and mining project causing people to flee, in Murng-Su... Military operation, forced labour and extortion, causing people to flee, in Murng-Kerng... Continuing forced labour, forced recuruitment and extortion causing people to flee, in Lai-Kha... Forced recruitment causing people to flee, in Kung-Hing Military and police persecution causing people to flee, in Nam-Zarng... Forced relocation and land confiscation causing people to flee, in Murng-Nai... Beating and intimidation causing people to flee, in Larng-Khur.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


      Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, March 2012 - land grabbing in Shan State
      Date of publication: March 2012
      Description/subject: Commentary: Land Confiscation... Situation of land confiscation in Nam-Zarng and Kun-Hing... Land confiscated, villagers house destroyed, in Nam-Zarng... Cultivated land confiscated in Nam-Zarng... Farmlands and cemetery ground confiscated in Nam-Zarng... Lands confiscated, forced labour used, to build new military bases and an airstrip, in Kun-Hing... Confiscation of land with regard to mining projects... Land Confiscation due to coal mining concession in Murng-Sart... Land grabbing by businessmen in cooperation with military authorities and their cronies... Lands forcibly taken, village forced to move, in Kaeng-Tung... Lands forcibly taken and sold, in Kaeng-Tung... Land forcibly taken and sold in Murng-Ton... Designation of cultivated lands as military property and levy... Land designated miltary areas, taxes levied, in Kun-Hing .
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


      Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, July 2011 - land grabbing, forced relocation and extortion in Shan State
      Date of publication: July 2011
      Description/subject: Commentary: Confiscation and Extortion... Forcible rice procurement continues in Kaeng - Tung... Confiscation of rice fields in Kaeng-Tung... Farmland confiscated for building new military base in Kun-Hing... Confiscation of rice fields in Murng – Nai... Leased rice field threatened to be forcibly taken, rent not paid in full, in Murng - Ton... Houses forcibly taken in Murng-Ton... Extortion of money from travelers worsens in Kun-Hing... People forced to pay for election expenses long after poll, in Kaeng-Tung... Extortion of money intensifies, becomes more frequent, for constructing military bases, in Kun-Hing... High interest charged on a loan without advance knowledge, in Kun-Hing.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


      Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, May 2011 - extortion and land grabbing in Shan State
      Date of publication: May 2011
      Description/subject: Commentary: Confiscation and Extortion... Situation of land confiscation... Confiscation of cultivated land for state infrastructure in Murng-Nai and Kaeng- Tung... Land confiscated for reselling in Murng-Pan... Rice fields confiscated and cultivated by military using forced labour, in Murng - Pan... Situation of abuses related to civilian vehicles... Confiscation of civilian vehicles in Nam-Zarng,Ta-Khi-Laek and Kaeng-Tung... Confiscation of civilian motorcycles in Loi-Lem... Extortion of money from civilian vehicles at checkpoints in Southern and Eastern Shan State... Villagers’ pigs extorted, chickens stolen, in Kae-See... Situation of extortion and stealing of villagers livestock... Extortion of chickens, forced labour, in Kun-Hing... Situation of other types of extortion... Extortion in Kaeng-Tung.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


      Title: Overview of Land Confiscation in Arakan State
      Date of publication: June 2010
      Description/subject: Introduction: "The following analysis has been compiled to bring attention to a wider audience of many of the problems facing the people of Burma, especially in Arakan State. The analysis focuses particularly on the increase in land confiscation resulting from intensifying military deployment in order to magnify security around a number of governmental developments such as the Shwe Gas, Kaladan, and Hydropower projects in western Burma of Arakan State...Conclusion: "The SPDC's ongoing parallel policy of increasing militarisation while increased forced land confiscation to house and feed the increasing troop numbers causes widespread problems throughout Burma. By stripping people of the land upon which peopl's livelihoods are based, whilst providing only desultory compensation if any at all, many citizens face threats to their food security as well as water shortages, a decrease or abolition of their income, eradicating their ability to educate their children in order to create a sustainable income source in the future. Additionally, the policy of using forced labour in the Government's construction and development projects, coupled with the disastrous environmental effects of many of these projects, continues to create severe health problems throughout the country whilst simultaneously stifling the local economy so that varied or sustainable work is difficult to become engaged in. All of this often leads to people fleeing the country in search of a better life."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: All Arakan Students' and Youths' Congress (AASYC)
      Format/size: pdf (2.3MB)
      Date of entry/update: 16 June 2010


      Title: The Impact of the confiscation of Land, Labor, Capital Assets and forced relocation in Burma by the military regime
      Date of publication: May 2003
      Description/subject: 1. Introduction 1; 2. Historical Context and Current Implications of the State Taking Control of People, Land and Livelihood 2; 2.1. Under the Democratically Elected Government 2; 2.1.1. The Land Nationalization Act 1953 2; 2.1.2. The Agricultural Lands Act 1953 2; 3. Under the Revolutionary Council (1962-1974) 2; 3.1. The Tenancy Act 1963 3; 3.2. The Protection of the Right of Cultivation Act, 1963 3; 4. The State Gains Further Control over the Livelihoods of Households 3; 4.1. Under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) Rule (1974 - 1988) 3; 4.1.1 Land Policy and Institutional Reforms 3; 4.2 Under the Military Rule II - SLORC/SPDC (1988 - present) 4; 4.2.1. Keeping it Together: Agriculture, Economy, and Rural Livelihood 5; 5. Militarization of Rural Economy 8; 5.1. Land confiscation 8; 5. 2. Land reclamation 11; 5.3. Military Agricultural Projects 13; 5.4. The Fleecing of Burmese Farmers 15; 5.5. Procurement 17; 5.5.1. Other crops 20; 5.5.2. Farmers tortured in Mon State 23; 6. Forced Relocation and Disparity of Income and wealth 25; 7. Conclusion 29... APPENDICES NOT YET ACQUIRED Appendix 1. Summary Report on Human Rights Violations by SPDC and DKBA Troops in 7 Districts of KNU ( 2000 to 2002) 31; Appendix 2. Forced labor by SPDC troops on road construction from Pa-pun to Kamamaung in 2003 38; Appendix 3. Survey Questionnaires (Ward/village and Household - in Burmese) 45.
      Author/creator: Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Dr Myo Nyunt, Saw Thamain Tun, Sein Htay
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: NCUB, FTUB
      Format/size: html (19K) pdf (649K, 812K, 413K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs17/land_confiscation-NHR+al-en-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2003


    • Mine Clearance in Burma/Myanmar

      Individual Documents

      Title: Hpapun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, February and March 2014
      Date of publication: 19 November 2014
      Description/subject: This Situation Update describes events occurring in Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District during February and March 2014, including negative impacts of gold mining and concerns expressed by local villagers regarding education and healthcare.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (366K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-54-s1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 29 November 2014


      Title: Complaint Letter to the Mergui-Tavoy District administrator concerning land damage from mining
      Date of publication: 25 June 2014
      Description/subject: The Complaint Letter below was written by a villager from Kyauk Me Taung village tract and sent to the Myanmar Pongpipat Company Limited (MPC) and the Mergui-Tavoy District administrator, as well as other local offices. Ma A--- explains that, in 2004, the MPC’s mining project led to the flooding of her father’s agricultural land and destruction of crops, for which her family was compensated. The letter explains, however, that the flooding expanded beyond the original area, causing additional damage for which the family was not compensated. Consequently, Ma A--- has been unable to send her children to school due to the loss of income. This Complaint Letter was initially published in May 2014 in the Appendix of KHRG’s in-depth report, Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response in Southeast Myanmar since the 2012 ceasefire.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (488K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/12-79-cl4_pdf.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 08 December 2014


      Title: LAND RIGHTS AND MINE ACTION IN MYANMAR
      Date of publication: February 2014
      Description/subject: LAND RIGHTS AND MINE ACTION IN MYANMAR - DO NO HARM: PROPOSALS FOR A SET OF EIGHT CORE PRINCIPLES AND A 14-STEP SEQUENCING PROCESS FOR LAND RIGHTS-SENSITIVE MINE SURVEY AND CLEARANCE IN MYANMAR..... "Vast areas of land in Myanmar are currently contaminated by landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) as a legacy of decades of armed conflict between the national government and a wide range of ethnic armed groups. However, the political climate in Myanmar has been rapidly changing, peace talks have been progressing, and plans are being developed to commence demining of contaminated lands. Programme and policy formulation by mine action related organisations in Myanmar is currently underway, and landmine and ERW survey and clearance operations are expected to commence in the near future. In addition, the Myanmar Mine Action Center (MMAC) is about to be established under the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) and, once it has been activated, will be expected to play the key governmental role in mine action efforts. 2. Mine action is a vital component of broader strategies to secure sustainable peace in countries emerging from conflict and instability. At the same time, mine action is inextricably linked to broader land rights questions because demining frees land that was previously unusable and/or difficult and dangerous to access. If managed poorly or if carried out purely on a technical basis without taking land rights questions into account, de-mining can re-ignite or create new land conflicts, facilitate land grabbing for resource extraction or other large-scale business activities, lead to forced displacement, serve to reinforce or exacerbate economic inequalities, and trigger a range of other undesirable outcomes. It is thus vital that demining efforts in Myanmar be subject to policies and agreements that can prevent such outcomes. It is essential, in other words, that the landmine survey and clearance efforts Do No Harm..." .
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
      Format/size: pdf (1.29MB)
      Date of entry/update: 08 October 2014


  • Law/policy on land in Burma/Myanmar
    See also the section on Land in Law and Constitution

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Burma HLP Initiative
    Date of publication: November 2009
    Description/subject: "Since its establishment in 2006, Displacement Solutions has been active in exploring the housing, land and property rights situation in Burma. The Burma HLP Initiative aims to shed new light on the numerous HLP rights issues in Burma today by building capacity for enforcing these rights by citizens of the country. The Initiative works together with various groups within and outside Burma towards these ends. The Initiative explores key questions such as: * What are the characteristics and status of the legal regime in Burma as it relates to HLP rights issues? * How effective is the current legal regime in promoting human rights standards relevant to HLP rights? What are the key issues facing the HLP rights regime in Burma? * In what ways can the legal code more effectively address HLP rights in Burma, and how might it be reformed to avoid problems in the future transition process? This will draw on the many experiences of political transition since the end of the Cold War. * How can the capacity of the Burmese democratic opposition be enhanced to structurally address the HLP legal environment in Burma today? How can expert capacity be strengthened to better prepare the broader democratic opposition to address the HLP challenges that will arise during and after political transition?..." THIS LINK CONTAINS A HYPERLINKED SET OF BURMESE HLP-RELATED LAWS
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


    Title: HOUSING, LAND AND PROPERTY RIGHTS IN BURMA: THE CURRENT LEGAL FRAMEWORK
    Date of publication: November 2009
    Description/subject: A compilation of all of the existing housing, land and property laws in Burma, plus commentary... "The deplorable human rights record of Burma’s military junta has been a key focus of international attention for many years. The military has ruled the country for half a century, and has presided over a collapse of the economy and of social services. At the same time, successive military regimes have perpetuated an almost feudal governance system – where the population is seen as a resource at the disposal of the rulers – that is in many respects unchanged since pre-colonial times. A combination of deliberate abuse, a general climate of impunity, and out-dated and ineffective social policies all contribute to a fundamental absence of basic human rights in this country of 55 million people. To date, the bulk of attention has focused on important questions of political prisoners, denial of basic freedoms, forced labour, forced displacement, as well as the other abuses related to the army’s brutal counter-insurgency policies. However, there are additional types of rights abuses that are not as frequently mentioned, but that have a critical impact on the daily lives of millions of people across Burma. And it is these – housing, land and property (HLP) rights – that form the contents of this important new book. This volume contains all of the existing housing, land and property laws in Burma, and makes a vital contribution to understanding the impact that these legal structures have on communities across the country. Being able to view the HLP legal code in its entirety for the first time reveals more clearly than ever before that supporters of democratic and governance reform within Burma need to better understand – and place greater emphasis on – HLP issues than they have to date. Understanding how these issues are dealt with in both law and practice will enable more creative thinking about Burma’s HLP future, in order that the peoples of the country can most fully enjoy their legitimate housing, land and property rights."
    Author/creator: Scott Leckie and Ezekiel Simperingham (eds)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions & The HLP Institute
    Format/size: pdf (3.42MB) - 1255 pages
    Date of entry/update: 30 December 2009


    Title: Laws related to land, property and planning (link to OBL sub-section)
    Description/subject: Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to land, property and planning
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 12 November 2011


    Individual Documents

    Title: Plan to amend land use policy every five years to be added to bill
    Date of publication: 23 October 2014
    Description/subject: A provision allowing a change to the land use policy every five years has been put in the draft of the National Land Bill, according to U Shwe Thein, a consultant with the Land Use MANAGEMENTCommittee. U Shwe Thein said, “Unlike a ‘crony-law’, a policy cannot be used for many years [without amendment]. In the bill, we systematically put in a provision to change the policy every five years, and for the change to the policy to be based on research findings.” The clauses setting the standards and procedures to protect the land rights of the people, including the national ethnic people, will be contained in the land use policy, according to U Shwe Thein.
    Author/creator: Nan Myint
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Mizzima
    Format/size: html, pdf (181K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


    Title: PRO-BUSINESS OR PRO-POOR? - MAKING SENSE OF THE RECENTLY UNVEILED DRAFT NATIONAL LAND USE POLICY
    Date of publication: 23 October 2014
    Description/subject: A joint preliminary assessment by TNI Myanmar Project and TNI Agrarian Justice Programme.....Summary: "October 18, 2014 saw the official unveiling by the government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar of its much-awaited draft national land use policy. Once it is finalized, the new policy will guide the establishment of a new overarching framework for the governance of tenure of land and related natural resources like forests for years to come. As such, it is of vital importance. This preliminary assessment aims to shed light on the key aspects of the draft policy and its potential implications for the country’s majority rural working poor, especially its ethnic minority peoples, although they are not the only ones whose future prospects hinge on how this policy making process will unfold. The scope of the policy is national and clearly intends to determine for years to come how land will be used – especially by whom and for what purposes – in lowland rural and urban areas as well. Focused critical engagement by civil society groups will likely be needed to ensure that the policy process addresses the concerns and aspirations of all rural working people system wide. Initial scrutiny suggests that those who see the land problem today as a problem of business and investment – e.g., how to establish a more secure environment particularly for foreign direct investments – are likely to be pleased with the draft policy. Those who think that the land problem goes deeper – e.g., implicating the social-ecological foundations of the country’s unfolding politi - cal-economic transition – are likely to be seriously concerned. This suggests that focused efforts at trying to influence the content and character of the draft policy are needed. The government’s decision to open the policy process to public participation is therefore a welcome one. Yet whether and to what extent this public consultation process will be truly free and meaningful remains to be seen"
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Format/size: pdf (245K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


    Title: Land Use Allocation and Scrutinizing Committee Consultation Meeting on Draft National Land Use Policy 18th October, 2014
    Date of publication: 18 October 2014
    Description/subject: Opening Speech by Director General of the Forest Department – Secretary of the Land Use Allotment Scrutinizing Committee... Presentation on draft national land use policy, U Aye Maung Sein, Director (retired) SLRD (Refer to Powerpoint)...Presentation on public consultation action plan and CSO pre-consultation, U Shwe Thein, LCG (Refer to Powerpoint)...Presentation on the framework of that national land law, U Aung Naing, Director Union Attorney General Office (Refer to Powerpoint)...Question and answer discussion 11.20 – 12.05...Overview on national land resource management plan – pilot projects – Dr Myat Su Mon (refer to powerpoint)...Presentation on One Map Myanmar Concept, Dr Myat Su Mon, AD, Forest Department (refer to presentation)...Presentation on collaboration on national land resource management related monitoring and evaluation – Rob Obendorf...Question and Discussion 14.30-15.30...Closing Remarks by Director General of the Forest Department – Secretary of the Land Use Allotment Scrutinizing Committee
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Land Use Allocation and Scrutinizing Committee
    Format/size: pdf (552K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


    Title: National Land Use Policy (Draft)
    Date of publication: 18 October 2014
    Description/subject: "...[O]n 19th June, 2012, the President of the Union guided on the following land reform matters to draw and implement the national development long term and short term plans: (a) To manage, calculate, use and carry out systematically the Sustainable Development of natural resources such as land, water, forest, mines to enable to use them future generations; (b)To manage and carry out systematically the land use policy and land use management not to cause land problems such as land use, land fluctuation and land trespass; (c) To disburse, coordinate and carry out with the Union Government, the Land Use Allocation and Scrutinizing Committee, the Myanmar Investment Commission, the Privatization Commission, the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Committee and relevant departments for urban and rural development plans and investment plans; (d)To carry out to renegotiate, draw and enact the laws and matters relating to tax and custom duty administered by the various departments relating to land in accord with international standards or existing situations..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Land Use Allocation and Scrutinizing Committee
    Format/size: pdf (269K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


    Title: BURMA/MYANMAR: Farmers face prison sentences for trespassing and move to remote prisons
    Date of publication: 25 July 2014
    Description/subject: "President of Myanmar, U Thein Sein, announced that the government cannot give back over 30,000 acres of paddy land that the state has been using since it was confiscated by the army two decades ago. On the one hand the President ordered state and regional governments and land management committee to cooperate with members of the parliament to solve the problem of land grabbing cases. On the other hand he has announced the government cannot handover some land back. This is leading to prosecution and prison sentences for the farmers in conflict with the army regarding their land...On 27 and 28 May 2014, 190 farmers from Pharuso Township, Kayah State were prosecuted for ploughing in land confiscated by No.531 Light Infantry Battalion. Tanintharyi regional government seized farmland for Dawei New Town Plan Project in Dawai Township and the District Administrative Officer with his team began construction on the grabbed land. Twenty farmers who did not take compensation for their land tried to halt the team. As a result, all the farmers were prosecuted; 10 were sentenced to 3 to 9 months imprisonment and the others paid fines. There are 450 farmers from Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region who are protesting against the military and have had cases filed against them for cultivating in the confiscated land..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 25 July 2014


    Title: NOT JUST DEFENDING; ADVOCATING FOR LAW IN MYANMAR
    Date of publication: June 2014
    Description/subject: "...Through research on Myanmar, we argue that in authoritarian settings where legality has drastically declined, the starting point for cause lawyering lies in advocacy for law itself, in advocating for the regular application of law’s rules. Because this characterization is liable to be misunderstood as formalistic, particularly by persons familiar with less authoritarian, more legally coherent settings than the one with which we are here concerned, it deserves some brief comments before we continue...By insisting upon legal formality as a condition of transformative justice, cause lawyers in Myanmar advocate for the inherent value of rules in the courtroom, but also incrementally build a constituency in the wider society. In advocating for faithful application of declared rules, in insisting on formal legality in the public domain, lawyers encourage people to mobilize around law as an idea, essential for making law meaningful in practice. They promote a notion of the legal system as once more an arena in which citizens can set up interests that are not congruent with those of the state; an arena in which cause lawyering is made viable and in which the cause lawyer has a distinctive role to play..." Includes description and discussion of the Kanma land-grab case.....The digitised version may contain errors so the original is included an an Alternate URL.
    Author/creator: Nick Cheesman, Kyaw Min San
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Wisconsin International Law Journal
    Format/size: pdf (226K-digitised version; 1.6MB-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/Cheesman_KMS__Not_just_defending-orig.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 17 August 2014


    Title: CASE STUDY ON LAND IN BURMA
    Date of publication: 14 March 2014
    Description/subject: Report Summary: "This case study has been produced in response to a request made to the Evidence on Demand Helpdesk. The objective of the request was to write a detailed case study on land tenure reform in a fragile and post-conflict state, Burma, and provide the reader with an understanding of how land tenure reform can work under the country’s particular social, political and economic conditions. Burma is a fragile state undergoing a period of profound economic and political reform following a period of conflict and isolation. As the poorest country in South Asia, land is the main asset for many people, especially in rural areas where most of Burma’s population lives. However, most farmers have weak tenure security, and in the recent past have been exposed to land expropriation by the Burmese army and the other state institutions of a military dictatorship. Additionally, in conflict-affected border states, the strategy of government forces and non-state armed groups to finance military operations by leasing land to investors has led to land grabbing on both sides. The recent political changes that have put the country back on the road to civilian rule have profound implications for security of land tenure. Land legislation passed in 2012 is meant to strengthen the formal land administration and provide more rights for landholders, including the right to lease and sell land. It also introduces a system for issuing land use certificates, which the government plans to roll out swiftly over the next few years. At the same time, the government’s policy to open up to foreign investment for large-scale agriculture, mining and industrial zones threatens to place further pressure on access to land. How recent legal reforms translate into land tenure reform, i.e. into changes in the terms and conditions of how land is held and transacted, remains to be seen and depends on whether state institutions desist from, and prevent, further expropriation, and whether the new Farmland Management Boards that administer land at the local level function effectively. Commentators warn that weaknesses in the legal framework potentially disadvantage farmer’s tenure security in the face of powerful state-backed interests; however, evidence suggesting if these fears are confirmed is unavailable. This case study discusses the content of these legal reforms in the context of Burmese politics, noting how some of the changes intended in the laws may have an impact on the tenure security of landholders. Donors can support improved land administration by increasing dialogue on land issues with political leaders, by funding technical expertise to assist land administration functions and land governance processes, and by highlighting learning experiences from other countries with similar characteristics. They can help rural landholders to improve their security of tenure by funding civil society groups to carry out research and awareness-raising campaigns among landholders, by providing direct training to farmers to better negotiate land sales or leases, and by funding activities that raise the awareness of private sector entities on how to avoid poor practices associated with leasing land."
    Author/creator: Giles Henley
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: ODI, DFID, CEIL PEAKS via Evidence on Demand
    Format/size: pdf (387K)
    Date of entry/update: 14 November 2014


    Title: A political anatomy of land grabs
    Date of publication: 03 March 2014
    Description/subject: The phrase “land grab” has become common in Myanmar, often making front page news. This reflects the more open political space available to talk about injustices, as well as the escalating severity and degree of land dispossession under the new government. But this seemingly simple two-word phrase is in fact very complex and opaque. It thus deserves greater clarity in order to better understand the deep layers of meaning to farmers in the historical political context of Myanmar. Understanding the deeper significance and meaning that farmers attach to the words “land grab” entails frank discussions of formerly taboo subjects related to the country’s history of armed conflict, illicit drugs, cronyism and racism. Various state and non-state armed actors have been responsible for land grabs in Myanmar during the past several decades, mirroring recent historical periods.
    Author/creator: Kevin Woods
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Myanmar Times
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23224
    Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014


    Title: A NEW DAWN FOR EQUITABLE GROWTH IN MYANMAR? Making the private sector work for small - scale agriculture
    Date of publication: 04 June 2013
    Description/subject: "The new wave of political reforms have set Myanmar on a road to unprecedented economic expansion, but, without targeted policy efforts and regulation to even the playing field, the benefits of new investment will filter down to only a few, leaving small - scale farmers – the backbone of the Myanmar economy – unable to benefit from this growth...KEY RECOMMENDATIONS: If Myanmar is to meet its ambitions on equitable growth, political leaders must put new policies and regulation to generate equitable growth at the heart of their democratic reform agenda. Along with democratic reforms, and action to end human-rights abuses, these policies must: * Address power inequalities in the markets; * Put small-scale farmers at the center of new agricultural investments; * Close loopholes in law and practice that leave the poorest open to land-rights abuses..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: OXFAM
    Format/size: pdf (266K-OBL version; 314K-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/ib-equitable-growth-myanmar-040613-en.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 01 July 2013


    Title: Bridging the HLP Gap - The Need to Effectively Address Housing, Land and Property Rights During Peace Negotiations and in the Context of Refugee/IDP Return
    Date of publication: 02 June 2013
    Description/subject: Bridging the HLP Gap - The Need to Effectively Address Housing, Land and Property Rights During Peace Negotiations and in the Context of Refugee/IDP Return: Preliminary Recommendations to the Government of Myanmar, Ethnic Actors and the International Community.....Executive Summary: "Of the many challenging issues that will require resolution within the peace processes currently underway between the government of Myanmar and various ethnic groups in the country, few will be as complex, sensitive and yet vital than the issues comprising housing, land and property (HLP) rights. Viewed in terms of the rights of the sizable internally displaced person (IDP) and refugee populations who will be affected by the eventual peace agreements, and within the broader political reform process, HLP rights will need to form a key part of all of the ongoing moves to secure a sustainable peace, and be a key ingredient within all activities dedicated to ending displacement in Myanmar today. The Government Myanmar (including the military) and its various ethnic negotiating partners – just as with all countries that have undergone deep political transition in recent decades, including those emerging from lengthy conflicts – need to fully appreciate and comprehend the nature and scale of the HLP issues that have emerged in past decades, how these have affected and continue to affect the rights and perspectives of justice of those concerned, and the measures that will be required to remedy HLP concerns in a fair and equitable manner that strengthens the foundations for permanent peace. Resolving forced displacement and the arbitrary acquisition and occupation of land, addressing the HLP and other human rights of returning refugees and IDPs in areas of return, ensuring livelihood and other economic opportunities and a range of other measures will be required if return is be sustainable and imbued with a sense of justice. There is an acute awareness among all of those involved in the ongoing peace processes of the centrality of HLP issues within the context of sustainable peace, however, all too little progress has thus far been made to address these issues in any detail, nor have practical plans commenced to resolve ongoing displacement of either refugees or IDPs. Indeed, the negotiating positions of both sides on key HLP issues differ sharply and will need to be bridged; many difficult decisions remain to be made..."
    Author/creator: Scott Leckie
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
    Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://displacementsolutions.org
    http://displacementsolutions.org/landmark-report-launch-bridging-the-housing-land-and-property-gap-in-myanmar/
    Date of entry/update: 17 June 2013


    Title: Scott Leckie: ‘Burma could very easily become the displacement capital of Asia’
    Date of publication: 05 November 2012
    Description/subject: "...In the last six to eight months there’s been a lot of commotion made about land disputes in Burma. Legally speaking, what’s setting the precedent for this to happen now? Well the whole phenomenon needs to be looked at in terms of the history of the country when it comes to land ever since independence, whereby a system of law, which essentially gave all power to the state when it came to the control, use and allocation of land, was used and very often abused by those who were members of the state or closely associated with the state to acquire land for personal benefit. That process may take a slightly different form today and may manifest itself in slightly different ways than it did in the past, but the environment now – with greater openness and greater commercial possibilities, business possibilities and investment possibilities – has put ever greater and increasing pressure on land with the net result being that values go up, expectations go up, and therefore the incentives to acquire land and benefit from it personally have also consequentially expanded. That of course leaves those who reside on the land in an extremely difficult position, particularly in a country which traditionally has not taken housing, land and property (HLP) rights of the citizenry very seriously..."
    Author/creator: David Stout
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 20 November 2012


    Title: Legal Review of Recently Enacted Farmland Law and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law - Improving the Legal & Policy Frameworks Relating to Land Management in Myanmar
    Date of publication: November 2012
    Description/subject: "The Farmland Law and the VFV Law were approved by Parliament on March 30th, 2012. There have been a few improvements compared to previous laws such as recognition of non-rotational taungya as a legitimate land-use and recognition that farmers are using VFV lands without formal recognition by the Government. However overall the Laws lack clarity and provide weak protection of the rights of smallholder farmers in upland areas and do not explicitly state the equal rights of women to register and inherit land or be granted land-use rights for VFV land. The Laws remain designed primarily to foster promotion of large-scale agricultural investment and fail to provide adequate safeguards for the majority of farmers who are smallholders. In particular tenure security for farmland remains weak due to the Government retaining power to rescind farm land use rights leaving smallholders vulnerable to dispossession of their land-use rights. In addition there remains some unnecessary de-facto government control over the crop choices of farmers. In particular it is recommended that recognition of land-use rights under customary law and the creation of mechanisms for communal registration of land-use rights, be included in the Farmland and VFV Laws. There needs to be a comprehensive process of re-classifying land in the country to reflect land-use changes resulting from conversion of forests and VFV land into agricultural land, loss of agricultural land due to development projects, urban expansion and population growth. This will serve to reduce land conflict in the countryside and provide genuine tenure security for smallholders. Furthermore the specific and independent rights of women must be explicitly stated in the Laws. Added to this the fundamental principle of free, prior and informed consent should be enshrined, especially in regard to removal of land-use rights in the national interest. It is also necessary that the Government works in partnership with civil society and farmers associations to revise the Farmland and VFV Laws..."
    Author/creator: Robert B. Oberndorf, J. D.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Forest Trends, Food Security Working Group’s Land Core Group
    Format/size: pdf (236K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Legal_Review_of_Farmland_Law&VFV_Land_Law.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 01 July 2013


    Title: Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads (final version)
    Date of publication: 25 October 2012
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Few issues are as frequently discussed and politically charged in transitional Myanmar as the state of housing, land and property (HLP) rights. The effectiveness of the laws and policies that address the fundamental and universal human need for a place to live, to raise a family, and to earn a living, is one of the primary criterion by which most people determine the quality of their lives and judge the effectiveness and legitimacy of their Governments. Housing, land and property issues undergird economic relations, and have critical implications for the ability to vote and otherwise exercise political power, for food security and for the ability to access education and health care. As the nation struggles to build greater democracy and seeks growing engagement with the outside world, Myanmar finds itself at an extraordinary juncture; in fact, it finds itself at the HLP Crossroads. The decisions the Government makes about HLP matters during the remainder of 2012 and beyond, in particular the highly controversial issue of potentially transforming State land into privately held assets, will set in place a policy direction that will have a marked impact on the future development of the country and the day-to-day circumstances in which people live. Getting it right will fundamentally and positively transform the nation from the bottom-up and help to create a nation that consciously protects the rights of all and shows the true potential of what was until very recently one of the world's most isolated nations. Getting it wrong, conversely, will delay progress, and more likely than not drag the nation's economy and levels of human rights protections downwards for decades to come. Myanmar faces an unprecedented scale of structural landlessness in rural areas, increasing displacement threats to farmers as a result of growing investment interest by both national and international firms, expanding speculation in land and real estate, and grossly inadequate housing conditions facing significant sections of both the urban and rural population. Legal and other protections afforded by the current legal framework, the new Farmland Law and other newly enacted legislation are wholly inadequate. These conditions are further compounded by a range of additional HLP challenges linked both to the various peace negotiations and armed insurgencies in the east of the country, in particular Kachin State, and the unrest in Rakhine State in the western region. The Government and people of Myanmar are thus struggling with a series of HLP challenges that require immediate, high-level and creative attention in a rights-based and consistent manner. As the country begins what will be a long and arduous journey toward democratization, the rule of law and stable new institutions, laws and procedures, the time is ripe for the Government to work together with all stakeholders active within the HLP sector to develop a unique Myanmar- centric approach to addressing HLP challenges that shows the country's true potential. And it is also time for the Government to begin to take comprehensive measures - some quick and short-term, others more gradual and long-term - to equitably and intelligently address the considerable HLP challenges the country faces, and grounding these firmly within the reform process.Having thoroughly examined the de facto and de jure HLP situation in the country based on numerous interviews, reports and visits, combined with an exhaustive review of the entire HLP legislative framework in place in the country, this report recommends that the following four general measures be commenced by the Government of Myanmar before the end of 2012 to improve the HLP prospects of Myanmar:..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
    Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 2.55MB-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://displacementsolutions.org/files/documents/MyanmarReport.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 26 October 2012


    Title: Farmland Rules - Notification No 62/2012 (English)
    Date of publication: 31 August 2012
    Description/subject: Notification No 62/2012 - 14 Waxing Wagaung 1374 ME (31, August, 2012) - Designating the Date of Coming into Force of Farm Land Law...The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation promulgated the following rules by using the power vested by the section-42, sub-section (a) of farm land law with the approval of Pyidaungsu Government.... 1. These rules shall be called farm land rules. 2. The words and expressions contained in these rules shall mean as contained in Farm Land Law. And the following words shall mean as described..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar President Office
    Format/size: pdf (159K)
    Date of entry/update: 14 January 2013


    Title: Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Rules - Notification No. 1/2012 (English)
    Date of publication: 31 August 2012
    Description/subject: The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, exercising its given rights, and with the approval of the Union Government, has issued the following rules in accordance with Section 34, Subsection (a) of the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law - 1. These rules shall be called the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Rules. 2. The terms and expressions used in these rules shall have the same meaning as used in the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law. In addition, the following expressions shall have the meanings as stated below:
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Unofficial Translation by UN-Habitat)
    Format/size: pdf (295K)
    Date of entry/update: 14 January 2013


    Title: Farmland Act - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 11/2012 (English)
    Date of publication: 30 March 2012
    Description/subject: Farmland Act (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No.ll of 2012) Day of 8th Waxing of Tagu 1373 ME (30th March, 2012).....The translation has some notable shortcomings...
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (GRUM) via UN Habitat
    Format/size: pdf (62K)
    Date of entry/update: 14 May 2013


    Title: Farmland Act - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 11/2012 / ၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္၊ ျပည္ေထာင္စု လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဥပေဒ အမွတ္ ၁၁လယ္ယာေျမ ဥပေဒ (၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္ မ
    Date of publication: 30 March 2012
    Description/subject: agrarian
    Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
    Source/publisher: "The Mirror" ("Kyemon") ေၾကးမံု 3 April 2012
    Format/size: pdf (44K, 143K-"Mirror" version; 125K, Alternate URL))
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Farmland_Act%28bu%29.pdf
    http://www.burmalibrary.org/KN/30.3.12_Farmland_law-red.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 05 April 2012


    Title: Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Act - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 10/2012 (၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္ ျပည္ေထာင္စုလႊတ္ေတာ္ ဥပေဒအမွတ္ (၁၀) မလြတ္၊ ေျမလပ္ႏွ
    Date of publication: 30 March 2012
    Description/subject: Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management
    Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
    Source/publisher: "The Mirror" ("Kyemon") ေၾကးမံု 2 April 2012
    Format/size: pdf (86K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Vacant_Fallow_and_Virgin_Land_Management_Act%28bu%29.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2012


    Title: Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Act - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 10/2012 (English)
    Date of publication: 30 March 2012
    Description/subject: Unofficial translation by UN-Habitat
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
    Format/size: pdf (292K)
    Date of entry/update: 17 June 2012


    Title: More warnings over land bills
    Date of publication: 26 February 2012
    Description/subject: Experts say two pieces of draft legislation have 'major gaps' that could be exploited for land grab..."Harvard academics, farmers, activists, politicians, United Nations agencies and a Nobel Prize-winning economist have joined the debate on land rights reform, warning that two proposed land laws could lead to increased poverty and inequality if approved in their current form. The Farmland Bill and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Bill were submitted to parliament during the second session but had not been passed when the session ended in late November. Activists and land rights experts say the bills are inadequate and require further consultation, and in late 2011 quietly began campaigning to have both of the draft laws amended. With as much as two-thirds of the population relying on agriculture for their livelihoods, the issue is considered critical to efforts to alleviate poverty and promote inclusive and sustainable development..."
    Author/creator: Thomas Kean
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" Volume 31, No. 615
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 22 June 2012


    Title: Guidance Note on Land Issues (Myanmar)
    Date of publication: June 2010
    Description/subject: "This note is meant to serve as a quick reference for local authorities and NGOs to acquire an understanding of relevant land laws and the context of land-use in Myanmar. All land and all natural resources in Myanmar, above and below the ground, above and beneath the water, and in the atmosphere is ultimately owned by the Union of Myanmar. Although the socialist economic system was abolished in 1988, the existing Land Law and Directions were not changed in parallel, and thus these are still in use today in accordance with the ‘Adaptation of Expression of Law’ of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No 8/88..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN Habitat, UNHCR
    Format/size: pdf (1.7MB)
    Date of entry/update: 12 November 2011


  • Agriculture in Burma

    • Contract farming

      Individual Documents

      Title: Alternative Development or Business as Usual? China’s Opium Substitution Policy in Burma and Laos
      Date of publication: November 2010
      Description/subject: Conclusions & Recommendations: • The huge increase in Chinese agricultural concessions in Burma and Laos is driven by China’s opium crop substitution programme, offering subsidies and tax waivers for Chinese companies. • China’s focus is on integrating the local economy of the border regions of Burma and Laos into the regional market through bilateral relations with government and military authorities across the border. • In Burma large-scale rubber concessions is the only method operating. Initially informal smallholder arrangements were the dominant form of cultivation in Laos, but the topdown coercive model is gaining prevalence. • The poorest of the poor, including many (ex-) poppy farmers, benefit least from these investments. They are losing access to land and forest, being forcibly relocated to the lowlands, left with few viable options for survival. • New forms of conflict are arising from Chinese large-scale investments abroad. Related land dispossession has wide implications on drug production and trade, as well as border stability. • Investments related to opium substitution plans should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion with a community-based approach. They should respect traditional land rights and communities’ customs.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational InstituteDrug (Policy Briefing No. 33)
      Format/size: pdf (304K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/node/595/by-country/Burma
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


      Title: Contract Farming In Burma
      Date of publication: 12 January 2009
      Description/subject: Summary: Since 2005, the Burmese Government has encouraged investors from China, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Kuwait to invest in contract farms; to date, only the Thais have a formal agreement to farm 120,000 acres along the Thai-Burma border. Over the past six months, several Burmese companies -- Tay Za's Htoo Trading, Zaw Zaw's Max Myanmar, Steven Law's Asia World, and Aung Thet Mann's Aye Ya Shwe Wa -- were given more than 100,000 acres of farmland in the Irrawaddy Delta and Rangoon Division for contract farming. The Ministry of Agriculture denies any land seizures associated with contract farming, saying the government is the sole owner of farmland and takes it away only if farmers do not use it for farming purposes. According to agricultural contacts, the GOB encourages contract farming because private investors help shoulder the costs of improving Burma's dilapidated agricultural infrastructure. There is no information on how much the contract farming investments in Burma are worth. End Summary.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
      Format/size: pdf (108K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 April 2012


      Title: Thais See Economic Benefit From Contract Farming In Burma
      Date of publication: 20 November 2008
      Description/subject: Thai contract farming is a growing feature of the Thai-Burmese bilateral economic relationship. The activity remains concentrated in the border areas, however. Thai businesspeople who engage in contract farming in Burma are generally individuals who conduct their business informally with local Karen village leaders, not with the GOB or major Burmese companies. The Thai government views contract farming as an economic policy tool that lowers agricultural prices for Thai consumers, lessens the migrant pull in Thailand, and stimulates demand for Thai goods in Burma. However, the RTG at the national level is not currently engaged in activities to promote contract farming specifically, it is focused on agricultural development through vertical integration and greater control over quality standards, which contract farming helps to achieve.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Consulate Chiangmai via Wikileaks
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


      Title: Myanmar Steps up Contract Farming
      Date of publication: 06 October 2008
      Description/subject: "MYANMAR - The development of a contract farming zone in the suburban township of Yangon division is being stepped up, supported by private entrepreneurs. Almost one-third of farms there keep poultry. According to Chinese sources, a state-backed Myanmar newspaper describes the Yangon division special integrated farming zone, set up in Nyaunghnapin village, Hmawby township, as made up of some sub-zones where undertakings including the raising of poultry, growing of beans and pulses, and physic nuts as well as fish breeding, are carried out...."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Poultry Site
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 May 2012


      Title: Capitalizing the Thai-Myanmar border
      Date of publication: 21 June 2007
      Description/subject: MAE SOT, Thailand - "The conflict-ridden Thai-Myanmar border has long been associated with drug smuggling, arms-dealing and human trafficking and other illicit trades. Now a new investment initiative aims to bring bilateral border trade above ground through the establishment of export-oriented special economic zones (SEZs) in the two countries' hinterlands. The two sides agreed last month in Mandalay to finalize a long pending agreement, which in the first phases will open the way for Thai agribusinesses to cultivate millions of acres of land tax-free in Myanmar's border areas. The ambitious plan to turn battlefields into marketplaces has the tacit backing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), but at the same time has come under heavy criticism from rights organizations..."
      Author/creator: Clifford McCoy
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


  • Tenure

    • Tenure (national legislation and policies)

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Land Core Group
      Description/subject: We have a common vision of pro-poor land reform, and to achieve this. The Land Core Group (LCG) one of the network groupings under the Food Security Working Group, consisting of LNGOs, INGOs, and concerned individuals was formed in 2011. LCG has a 3 year programme plan whose goal is 'Laws, policies and institutions for land and natural resource access are formulated and effectively implemented to support sustainable economic, social and environmental development that balances the contributions of smallholder farmers and large-scale investment to national growth'.
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group (FSWG)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 November 2014


      Title: Law and Constitution section of the Online Burma/Myanmar Library - Land
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


      Title: USAID - Land Tenure: Burma
      Description/subject: "Burma is situated in Southeast Asia, bordering Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. The majority of its population lives in rural areas and depends on land as a primary means of livelihood. Because all land in Burma ultimately belongs to the state, citizens and organizations depend upon use-rights, but do not own land. Burma’s laws grant women equal rights in some respects and also recognize certain customary laws that provide women equal rights in relation to land. In practice, however, the rights of many women are governed by customs that do not afford them equal access to or control over land. Forcible and uncompensated land confiscation is a source of conflict and abuse in Burma, and protests and fear of “land grabs” have escalated as the state opens its markets to foreign investors and pursues policies to dramatically increase industrial agricultural production. Burma has rich water, forest and mineral resources. However, a rapid expansion of resource extraction efforts in the past three decades has led to widespread land and water pollution, deforestation and forced relocation..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: USAID LAND TENURE and PROPERTY RIGHTS PORTAL
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 November 2014


      Individual Documents

      Title: Land to the Tillers of Myanmar
      Date of publication: 13 June 2012
      Description/subject: "...with increasing frequency, land is taken from farmers, often with little or no compensation. Large swathes of farmland have already been made available to foreign-based companies in a process that appears to be accelerating. Government data show that the amount of land transferred to private companies increased by as much as 900 percent from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s and now totals roughly 5 percent of Myanmar’s agricultural land... Myanmar law requires farmers to grow what the government or the local military commander wants them to grow, and subjects farmers to production quotas. Policies like these also displace farmers and lead to food insecurity, as farm productivity suffers. This can push farmers into debt by forcing them to take out loans from money lenders or sell their land in an effort to meet an unrealistic planting directive. And now two new land laws — the Farmland Bill and the Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land Management Bill, recently passed by the legislature and awaiting action by President Thein Sein — are poised to give the government even more power to seize land without consultation or compensation..."
      Author/creator: Roy Prosterman and Darryl Vhugen
      Source/publisher: "New York Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 June 2012


      Title: Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Act - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 10/2012 (၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္ ျပည္ေထာင္စုလႊတ္ေတာ္ ဥပေဒအမွတ္ (၁၀) မလြတ္၊ ေျမလပ္ႏွ
      Date of publication: 30 March 2012
      Description/subject: Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: "The Mirror" ("Kyemon") ေၾကးမံု 2 April 2012
      Format/size: pdf (86K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Vacant_Fallow_and_Virgin_Land_Management_Act%28bu%29.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 02 April 2012


      Title: BURMA: Draft land law denies basic rights to farmers
      Date of publication: 01 November 2011
      Description/subject: A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission... During the second sitting of the new semi-elected parliament in Burma this year, the government submitted a draft land law. The government gazette published the draft on September 16, and it is currently still before the parliament. Burma needs a new land law. The current legislation on land, either for reasons of content or because of institutional factors, lacks coherence. It is ineffectual in protecting the rights of cultivators. With the rise and rise of private businesses linked to serving and former army officers and bureaucrats, the incidence of land grabbing also is fast increasing, and is bound to increase even more dramatically in the next few years. Although a new law would not stop or perhaps even slow land grabbing of its own accord, one protecting cultivators' rights and situating powers of review over land regulations and cases in the hands of the judiciary and independent agencies could at least set some clear benchmarks against which to measure actual practices, and establish some groundwork for minimum institutional protections. Unfortunately, the draft bill before parliament is not the law that Burma needs. In fact, it is precisely the opposite of what the country needs. Rather than protecting cultivators' rights, it undercuts them at practically every point, through a variety of provisions aimed at enabling rather than inhibiting land grabbing. It invites takeover of land with government authorization for the purpose of practically any activity, not merely for other forms of cultivation. Under the draft, farmers could be evicted to make way for the construction of polluting factories, power lines, roads and railways, pipelines, fun parks, condominiums and whatever else government officials claim to be in "the national interest"..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
      Format/size: pdf (105K)
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2011


      Title: 2011 Farmland Bill
      Date of publication: 20 September 2011
      Description/subject: The Draft land law
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Hluttaws
      Format/size: pdf (34K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2012


      Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar - an Overview (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
      Date of publication: February 2011
      Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
      Format/size: pdf (4.3MB; 11MB)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


      Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar, an Overview (English)
      Date of publication: February 2011
      Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
      Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


      Title: The 1963 Tenancy Law & the 1965 Amendment (English and Burmese)
      Date of publication: 1965
      Description/subject: Renting Land for Cultivation Law The Union of Burma Revolutionary Council Law 8, 1963 [Reprint 1963]....THE TENANCY LAW AMENDING LAW, 1965. (THE UNION OF BURMA REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL LAW NO. 2 OF 1965)
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Union of Burma Revolutionary Council
      Format/size: pdf (1MB)
      Date of entry/update: 25 May 2011


      Title: THE LAW SAFEGUARDING PEASANT RIGHTS, 1963.
      Date of publication: 1963
      Description/subject: (THE UNION OF BURMA REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL LAW NO. 9 OF 1963).....Repealed by the Farmland Act - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 11/2012
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Union of Burma Revolutionary Council
      Format/size: pdf (50K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 May 2011


      Title: Land as a Free Gift of Nature
      Date of publication: 1920
      Description/subject: Use Google Chrome to read online - otherwise download and read offline
      Author/creator: J. S. Furnivall
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Cambridge University Press
      Format/size: pdf (193K)
      Date of entry/update: 17 February 2014


    • Tenure (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mineral deposits etc.)

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Community Forestry in Myanmar (Burma)
      Description/subject: Under support from the DFID PyoePin programme, Dr Kyaw Tint, the head of ECCDI, a leading Yangon based NGO led a research project to understand the current status of Community Forestry in the country, with technical support from Dr. Oliver Springate-Baginski. Field study was conducted in October – December 2010, and we presented our findings at a national workshop. The three main outputs of the project are available to download here:
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: University of East Anglia
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.uea.ac.uk/dev/springate-baginski
      Date of entry/update: 06 May 2012


      Individual Documents

      Title: Why peace and land security is key to Burma's democratic future - Interview with Tom Kramer
      Date of publication: May 2012
      Description/subject: Analysis of the social costs of large-scale Chinese-supported rubber farms in northern Burma suggests that the future for ordinary citizens will be affected as much by the country's chosen economic path as the political reforms underway.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 September 2012


      Title: Food Security, Tenure Security and Community Forestry in Burma (text and audio)
      Date of publication: 17 February 2012
      Description/subject: ABSTRACT: Burma (Myanmar) is currently emerging from almost half a century of severe military dictatorship. In a country comprising over 50% forested landscapes, the status of forest governance and forest rights are central to the democratisation process. Oliver will present findings from a recent study on community forestry in Burma, and seek to clarify some of the issues, opportunities and challenges in the country. A key challenge remains the reconciliation of environmental protection with local food security for the uplands, where their attempted territorialisation under colonial and post colonial forestry administrations continues to threaten the prevalent taungya forest fallows cultivation systems.....THE PROBLEMS: *One of Southeast Asia’s and the World’s poorest countries (UNDP 2007/2010). *poverty headcount: 32% across the ~59 m population *10% below the UNDP’s food poverty line. *Rural poverty is significantly higher than urban poverty (36% / 22%) *In Chin State, (upland North), 73% are poor, and 40% fall below the food poverty line. *moderately underweight children 34% nationally, 60% in Rakhine State *BUT data v. poor... Causes: *Faltering agricultural production & lack of alternate livelihood opp.s from industry *Conflict *State command economy – forced procurement – disastrous *Lack of service provision, market support, credit etc. *Tenure insecurity – state controlled land *Common Property Resource decline *Environmental degradation *Increasing land appropriation for crony agribusinesses & Chinese opportunists... 1. Does Community forestry work? 2. Is Tenure security at the Forest Agriculture Interface as Community forestry part of the solution? Or a further problem?
      Author/creator: Oliver Springate-Baginski, UEA
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests
      Format/size: pdf (2.6MB - OBL version; 7.22MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tropicalforests.ox.ac.uk/sites/tropicalforests.ox.ac.uk/files/The%20Forest%20Agriculture...
      http://www.tropicalforests.ox.ac.uk/podcasts/188 (podcast of lecture)
      Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


      Title: Community Forestry in Myanmar: Progress & Potentials
      Date of publication: August 2011
      Description/subject: SUMMARY: "This paper is the main output of a research project initiated by Pyoe Pin, and led by ECCDI with support from the University of East Anglia, whose aim has been to fill the gap in knowledge over the progress of Community Forestry in Myanmar through a systematic study. This paper presents the key data and findings, and offers policy recommendations based on these. Of Myanmar‟s 67.6 m ha land area, forests currently cover around 48%, although there has been a declining trend for the last century (they covered over 65% early in the 20th Century). The declining trend is particularly dramatic for dense forests, which have more than halved in the last twenty years, from covering 45.6% of land in 1990, the single largest land use, to now just 19.9%. The long -term decline in forests, is due to a combination of factors; change of land use (especially land hunger from the growing population), commercial timber harvesting (and the indirect effect of increasing accessibility through road construction), and also intensifying pressure on remaining forests for livelihood needs especially fuelwood. Forest reservation was initiated by the British from 1856, creating a national forest estate but taking over control of many villages‟ forests in the process. Community Forestry has been a successful policy around the world for communities to protect and sustainably manage their forests and derive livelihood benefits. It was encompassed in Myanmar‟s colonial era policies to some extent through the creation of Local Supply Working Circles. However, these were under Forest Department management and have not been a success, with most becoming encroached or degraded. Returning control of the management rights and responsibilities for village forests to the villages became seen by policy makers as critically important in the 1990s both to mobilise communities to protect and regenerate adjacent forests, and also to ensure that they fulfil their forest product needs locally. Hence, the Community Forestry Instruction (CFI) was issued in 1995, and initiated the promotion of Community Forestry in Myanmar. Implementation of the Community Forestry Instruction began immediately, and was promoted by international donor projects (e.g. UNDP / JICA / DFID) as well as through Forest Department promotion, and in some cases self-organization by communities. Implementation received a major boost through the Forestry Master Plan (2001) which mandated that 2.27 mil. acres (1.36% of the country) be handed over to FUGs by 2030-31. Annual progress of Community Forest establishment since 1995 had averaged 6,943 acres (2,810 ha), and there are now 572 Forest Users‟ Groups with certificates, managing 104,146 acres of forest, (with more awaiting their certificate). Implementation progress has been highest in Shan, Rakhine, Magway and Mandalay, most of which have been under UNDP project support. However, the rate of CF handover has been far lower than that needed to meet the Master Plan‟s 30-year target (i.e. 2.27 million acres by 2030). For this we would need to hand over 50,000 acres (approx. 20,000 ha) per year, a rate almost ten times higher. (The FD also aims to obtain 4.13 million m3 of wood fuel from community forests, amounting to 25% of the country‟s total wood fuel requirement of 16.53 million m3 by 2030, another target unlikely to be achieved at the current rate). After 15 years of Community Forestry in Myanmar, there are a wide range of experiences which have significant implications for sustainable forest management and community and livelihood development. To understand how community forestry is working we developed a detailed inter-disciplinary research design with a range of stakeholders in late 2010. Having finalised our method we then selected two States and two Regions (Kachin, Mandalay, Shan, Ayeyawady) for study, and objectively selected 16 FUGs within these, using a statistically sound sampling method to reflect the diverse environments where CF is happening. We then conducted field work in 16 Community Forests and associated villages. This started in the second week of October and was completed by the end of December 2010. The community forests were assessed, the local Forest Users‟ Group institution researched, and a total of 272 households interviewed..."
      Author/creator: Kyaw Tint, Oliver Springate-Baginski and Mehm Ko Ko Gyi
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI)
      Format/size: pdf (2.3 - OBL version; 4.74 - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.uea.ac.uk/dev/People/staffresearch/ospringate-baginskiresearch/Community+Forestry+in+Mya...
      Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


      Title: Community Forestry in Myanmar: Some field realities
      Date of publication: August 2011
      Description/subject: INTRODUCTION: "Myanmar’s Community Forestry programme began in with the Community Forestry Instruction of 1995. Since then over two hundred and fifty Forest User Groups have been formed across the country, and have taken responsibility for controlling, managing and sustainably using a wide range of forest. How have they faired? In an effort to answer that question this paper presents the experiences from 16 randomly selected Forest User Groups across the country. They were visited by a research team in late 2010 during a Community Forestry study conducted by ECCDI, with technical support from the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, under funding support from the Pyoe Pin programme. Full findings from the study are presented in a separate report (Tint et al. 2011 ‘Community Forestry in Myanmar: Progress and Potentials’). This companion paper presents the local realities of community forestry experiences on a case by case basis. The diverse range of stories here show that Forest User groups are struggling against a wide range of challenges, with very limited support in most cases, and only some are able to overcome them effectively. Regional conditions are a key factor, with the dry zone and Shan FUGs struggling much more than the more supportive environmental conditions in Kachin and the Delta..."
      Author/creator: Oliver Springate-Baginski and Maung Maung Than with Naw Hser Wah, Ni Ni Win, Khin Hnin Myint, Kyaw Tint and Mehm Ko Ko Gyi
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI)
      Format/size: pdf (1.9MB - OBL version; 6.88MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.uea.ac.uk/dev/People/staffresearch/ospringate-baginskiresearch/myanmar/CF+Myanmar+report...
      Date of entry/update: 06 May 2012


      Title: IS COMMUNITY FORESTRY IN MYANMAR FULFILLING ITS POTENTIAL?
      Date of publication: August 2011
      Description/subject: Policy Briefing Paper..."Since Myanmar’s 1995 Community Forestry Instruction, forests have gradually been handed over to community management across the country. How are Forest User Groups performing? Are the Community Forests improving in condition? And are there improved livelihood benefits? This paper summarises findings of an assessment of 16 randomly selected Forest User Groups across 4 key regions."
      Author/creator: Oliver Springate-Baginski, Kyaw Tint and Mehm Ko Ko Gyi
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI)
      Format/size: pdf (2.3MB - OBL version; 3.05MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.uea.ac.uk/dev/People/staffresearch/ospringate-baginskiresearch/Policy+Briefing+Paper
      Date of entry/update: 06 May 2012


    • Tenure insecurity in Burma (including land grabbing)

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Farmlandgrab.org
      Description/subject: This website contains mainly news reports about the global rush to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies or simply for profit. Its purpose is to serve as a resource for those monitoring or researching the issue, particularly social activists, non-government organisations and journalists. The site, known as farmlandgrab.org, is updated daily, with all posts entered according to their original publication date. If you want to track updates in real time, please subscribe to the RSS feed. If you prefer a weekly email, with the titles of all materials posted in the last week, subscribe to the email service. This site was originally set up by GRAIN as a collection of online materials used in the research behind "Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security, a report we issued in October 2008". GRAIN is small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for food sovereignty. We see the current land grab trend as a serious threat to local communities, for reasons outlined in our initial report. farmlandgrab.org is an open project. Although currently maintained by GRAIN, anyone can join in posting materials or developing the site further. Please feel free to upload your own contributions. (Only the lightest editorial oversight will apply. Postings considered off-topic or other are available here.) Or use the ‘comments’ box under any post to speak up. Just be aware that this site is strictly educational and non-commercial. And if you would like to get more directly involved, please send an email to info@farmlandgrab.org. If you find this website useful, please consider helping us cover the costs of the work that goes into it. You can do this by going to GRAIN's website and making a donation, no matter how small. We really appreciate the support, and are glad if people who get something out of it can also help participate in what it takes to produce and improve outputs like farmlandgrab.org. If you would like to help out, please click here. Thanks in advance!
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Farmlandgrab.org
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


      Title: Food crisis and the global land grab (Burma)
      Description/subject: Several articles on land grabbing in Burma/Myanmar
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: farmlandgrab.org
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


      Title: Land Confiscation
      Description/subject: Link to an OBL sub-section
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 November 2011


      Title: Resources on land grabbing
      Description/subject: Link to an OBL sub-section
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 June 2012


      Individual Documents

      Title: Rampant Land Confiscation Requires Further Attention and Action from Parliamentary Committee
      Date of publication: 12 March 2013
      Description/subject: "This past week the parliamentary Farmland Investigation Commission submitted its report on land confiscation to the parliament. The report finds that the military have taken almost 250,000 acres of land from villagers. The commission stated that they had spoken to military leaders about the confiscation, “Vice Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing […] confirmed to me that the army will return seized farmlands that are away from its bases, and they are also thinking about providing farmers with compensation.”..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 March 2013


      Title: Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar
      Date of publication: 05 March 2013
      Description/subject: "Analysis of KHRG's field information gathered between January 2011 and November 2012 in seven geographic research areas in eastern Myanmar indicates that natural resource extraction and development projects undertaken or facilitated by civil and military State authorities, armed ethnic groups and private investors resulted in land confiscation and forced displacement, and were implemented without consulting, compensating or notifying project-affected communities. Exclusion from decision-making and displacement and barriers to land access present major obstacles to effective local-level response, while current legislation does not provide easily accessible mechanisms to allow their complaints to be heard. Despite this, villagers employ forms of collective action that provide viable avenues to gain representation, compensation and forestall expropriation. Key findings in this report were drawn based upon analysis of four trends, including: Lack of consultation; Land confiscation; Disputed compensation; and Development-induced displacement and resettlement, as well as four collective action strategies, including: Reporting to authorities; Organizing a committee or protest; Negotiation; and Non-compliance, and six consequences on communities, including: Negative impacts on livelihoods; Environmental impacts; Physical security threats; Forced labour and exploitative demands; Denial of access to humanitarian goods and services; and Migration."
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (2.35MB-report; 6.18-Appendix of raw data)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/losinggroundkhrg-march2013-fulltext.pdf
      http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/losinggroundkhrgmarch2013-appendix1-rawdatatestimony.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 March 2013


      Title: Military Involved in Massive Land Grabs: Parliamentary Report
      Date of publication: 05 March 2013
      Description/subject: "RANGOON—Less than eight months after a parliamentary commission began investigating land-grabbing in Burma, it has received complaints that the military has forcibly seized about 250,000 acres of farmland from villagers, according to the commission’s report. The Farmland Investigation Commission submitted its first report to Burma’s Union Parliament on Friday, which focused on land seizures by the military. According to the report, the commission received 565 complaints between late July and Jan. 24 that allege that the military had forcibly confiscated 247,077 acres (almost 100,000 hectares) of land. The cases occurred across central Burma and the country’s ethnic regions, although most happened in Irrawaddy Division..."
      Author/creator: Htet Naing Zaw, Aye Kyawt Khaing
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 March 2013


      Title: Ayeyarwady Region farmers establish ‘development’ group
      Date of publication: 27 November 2012
      Description/subject: "Farmers from Ayeyarwady Region have established an association to strengthen their land use rights and improve technical knowledge. The Farmer Development Association is based on more than 50 village-level groups, ranging in size from five to more than 30 members, formed recently in Bogale, Kyaiklat and Mawlamyinegyun townships..."
      Author/creator: Ei Ei Toe Lwin
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 November 2012


      Title: More protests over Yangon industrial zone
      Date of publication: 24 November 2012
      Description/subject: "More than 30 farmers from four villages in Hlaing Tharyar township protested outside the Department for Human Settlement and Housing Development (DHSHD) on Bogyoke Aung San Road this week. The farmers had been demonstrating for more than three weeks outside the office of Wah Wah Win Company, on the corner of Anawrahta and Sintohtan streets in downtown Yangon, before shifting their attention to the DHSHD office after getting no response. They are unhappy that the company has allegedly backtracked on a compensation promise made following protests in the middle of the year. “We demonstrated for 23 days [since Wednesday, October 31] in front of the [Wah Wah Win] office. We called on them to negotiate the complicated land issues in Hlaing Tharyar township but they took no notice so we moved to DHSHD in the hope that they could solve the problem. We decided to stay here until they solve the problem for us,” said Ko Kyi Shwin from Kyun Ka Lay village in Hlaing Tharyar township. The land in Kyun Ka Lay, Kyun Gyee, Kan Phyu and Atwin Padan was confiscated by DHSHD more than two decades ago without compensation..."
      Author/creator: Ei Ei Toe Lwin
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 November 2012


      Title: BURMA: Continued use of military-issued instructions denies rights
      Date of publication: 05 November 2012
      Description/subject: "Much has been made in recent times of the continued use in Burma of antiquated and anti-human rights laws from the country's decades of military rule, as well as from the colonial era. While legislators discuss the amendment or revocation of some laws, and the issue is debated in the public domain, much less is said of the superstructure of military-introduced administrative orders that officials around the country continue to employ in their day-to-day activities, invariably in order to circumscribe or deny human rights. Among these orders are some being used to restrict or prevent access to land of people who rightfully occupy or cultivate the land, as in the case of villagers from some 26 villages affected by the copper mining project in the Letpadaung Mountain range in Sagaing Region, on which the Asian Human Rights Commission has previously spoken (AHRC-PRL-044-2012). The AHRC has obtained copies of a series of orders issued by Zaw Moe Aung, chief administrator of Sarlingyi Township, where villagers have been fighting since mid-2012 against the expansion of copper mining in the region onto their farmlands. The orders, issued under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibit villagers from access to their farmlands or any form of use of the farmlands, such as for the grazing of cattle. The latest orders expired at the end of October; however, people in the region expect that they will be renewed, or that in any event they will simply be denied access to their land, which is being taken over by an army-owned company and its partner..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 November 2012


      Title: Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads (final version)
      Date of publication: 25 October 2012
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Few issues are as frequently discussed and politically charged in transitional Myanmar as the state of housing, land and property (HLP) rights. The effectiveness of the laws and policies that address the fundamental and universal human need for a place to live, to raise a family, and to earn a living, is one of the primary criterion by which most people determine the quality of their lives and judge the effectiveness and legitimacy of their Governments. Housing, land and property issues undergird economic relations, and have critical implications for the ability to vote and otherwise exercise political power, for food security and for the ability to access education and health care. As the nation struggles to build greater democracy and seeks growing engagement with the outside world, Myanmar finds itself at an extraordinary juncture; in fact, it finds itself at the HLP Crossroads. The decisions the Government makes about HLP matters during the remainder of 2012 and beyond, in particular the highly controversial issue of potentially transforming State land into privately held assets, will set in place a policy direction that will have a marked impact on the future development of the country and the day-to-day circumstances in which people live. Getting it right will fundamentally and positively transform the nation from the bottom-up and help to create a nation that consciously protects the rights of all and shows the true potential of what was until very recently one of the world's most isolated nations. Getting it wrong, conversely, will delay progress, and more likely than not drag the nation's economy and levels of human rights protections downwards for decades to come. Myanmar faces an unprecedented scale of structural landlessness in rural areas, increasing displacement threats to farmers as a result of growing investment interest by both national and international firms, expanding speculation in land and real estate, and grossly inadequate housing conditions facing significant sections of both the urban and rural population. Legal and other protections afforded by the current legal framework, the new Farmland Law and other newly enacted legislation are wholly inadequate. These conditions are further compounded by a range of additional HLP challenges linked both to the various peace negotiations and armed insurgencies in the east of the country, in particular Kachin State, and the unrest in Rakhine State in the western region. The Government and people of Myanmar are thus struggling with a series of HLP challenges that require immediate, high-level and creative attention in a rights-based and consistent manner. As the country begins what will be a long and arduous journey toward democratization, the rule of law and stable new institutions, laws and procedures, the time is ripe for the Government to work together with all stakeholders active within the HLP sector to develop a unique Myanmar- centric approach to addressing HLP challenges that shows the country's true potential. And it is also time for the Government to begin to take comprehensive measures - some quick and short-term, others more gradual and long-term - to equitably and intelligently address the considerable HLP challenges the country faces, and grounding these firmly within the reform process.Having thoroughly examined the de facto and de jure HLP situation in the country based on numerous interviews, reports and visits, combined with an exhaustive review of the entire HLP legislative framework in place in the country, this report recommends that the following four general measures be commenced by the Government of Myanmar before the end of 2012 to improve the HLP prospects of Myanmar:..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
      Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 2.55MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://displacementsolutions.org/files/documents/MyanmarReport.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 26 October 2012


      Title: BURMA: AHRC expresses solidarity with protesting farmers
      Date of publication: 18 October 2012
      Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission on Wednesday sent a message of support to farmers and their allies gathering for a "people's conference" to oppose land confiscation and degradation for a copper mining project. In the message to farmers and others gathering for the inaugural Letpadaung Mountain region people's conference, the AHRC said that the farmers' struggle set "an important example and signals the determination of people [in Burma]… to resist dispossession, repression and the use of violence and illegal tactics by powerful interests". AHRC-PRL-044-2012.jpgThe farmers around the Letpadaung Mountain, which is in Sagaing Region, have since June conducted an increasingly high profile and determined campaign against attempts by an army-owned company and a Chinese partner firm to push them off their farmland. They have posted signs warning "no trespassing" onto agricultural lands, and in October conducted a funeral march to a local cemetery where while praying, they insisted that the spirits of deceased ancestors are also rising up against the new copper mining project -- one of a string of such projects conducted in the region over decades..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 November 2012


      Title: Land not for sale! Letter of global solidarity against land grabs in Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: 09 October 2012
      Description/subject: "The current reforms in Burma/Myanmar are worsening land grabs in the country. Since the mid-2000s there has been a spike in land grabs, especially leading up to the 2010 national elections. Military and government authorities have been granting large-scale land concessions to well-connected Burmese companies. Farmers’ protests against land grabs have drawn recent public attention to many high profile cases, such as Yuzana’s Hukawng Valley cassava concession, the Dawei SEZ in Tanintharyi Region near the Thai border, Zaygaba’s industrial development zone outside Yangon, and the current Monywa copper mine expansion in Sagaing Division, among many others. By 2011, over 200 Burmese companies had officially been allocated approximately 2 million acres (nearly 810,000 hectares) for privately held agricultural concessions, mainly for agro-industrial crops such as rubber, palm oil, jatropha (physic nut), cassava and sugarcane. Land grabs are now set to accelerate due to new government laws that are specifically designed to encourage foreign investments in land. The two new land laws (the Farmlands Law and the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Law) establish a legal framework to reallocate so-called ‘wastelands’ to domestic and foreign private investors. Moreover, the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Law and Foreign Investment Law that are being finalized, along with ASEAN-ADB regional infrastructure development plans, will provide new incentives and drivers for land grabbing and further compound the dispossession of local communities from their lands and resources. Land conflicts that are now emerging throughout the country will worsen as foreign companies, supported by foreign governments and International Financial Institutions (IFIs), rush in to profit from Burma/Myanmar’s political and economic transition period..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: farmlandgrab.org,. Focus on the Global South et al
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


      Title: Rampant Land Grabbing Continues [in Shan State]
      Date of publication: October 2012
      Description/subject: * Themes: All the reports in this month’s issue are about various types of Land Grabbing and Confiscation, and a few incidents of other violations, committed by members of the Burmese army and their cronies during mid and late 2012... * Places: Ta-Khi-Laek, Murng-Ton, Murng-Sart, Loi-Lem, Murng-Nai, Lai-Kha, Mawk-Mai, Larng-Khur, Kae-See, Nam-Zarng and Parng-Yarng.....Rampant Land Grabbing Continues: Themes & Places of Violations reported in this issue... Acronyms... Map... Farmlands seized by police in Ta-Khi-Laek... Land grabbed and resold by military in Murng-Ton... Farmlands seized by Burmese Army-Sponsored people’s militia, in Murng-Sart... Villagers’ farmlands seized by ‘Wa’ ceasefire group, in Murng-Ton... Villagers’ lands seized by headman, with the help of land officials, in Loi-Lem... Farmlands seized without knowledge of owners in many townships in Central Shan State... Villagers fined for trying to work their farmlands taken by military in Nam-Zarng... Lands seized for building roads, displacing people, by ceasefire group in Parng-Yarng.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 October 2012


      Title: Land Grabbing in Dawei (Myanmar/Burma): a (Inter) National Human Rights Concern
      Date of publication: September 2012
      Description/subject: "Land grabbing is an urgent concern for people in Tanintharyi Division, and ultimately one of national and international concern, as tens of thousands of people are being displaced for the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Dawei lies within Myanmar’s (Burma) southernmost region, the Tanintharyi Division, which borders Mon State to the North, and Thailand to the East, on territory that connects the Malay Peninsula with mainland Asia. This highly populated and prosperous region is significant because of its ecologically-diversity and strategic position along the Andaman coast. Since 2008 the area has been at risk of massive expulsion of people and unprecedented environmental costs, when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Thai and Myanmar governments, followed by a MoU between Thai investor Italian-Thai Development Corporation (ITD) (see Box 1) and Myanma Port Authority, granted ITD access to the Dawei region to build Asia’s newest regional hub. Thai interest in Dawei is strategic for two reasons. First, the small city happens to be Bangkok’s nearest gateway to the Andaman Sea, and ultimately to India and the Middle East. Second, the project links with a broader regional development plan, strategically plugging into the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) East-West Economic Corridor, a massive transport and trade network connecting Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam; the Southern Economic Corridor (connecting to Cambodia); and the North-South Economic Corridor, with rail links to Kunming, China. If all goes as planned, the Dawei SEZ project, with an estimated infrastructural investment of over USD $50 billion will be Southeast Asia’s largest industrial complex, complete with a deep seaport, industrial estate (including large petrochemical industrial complex, heavy industry zone, oil and gas industry, as well as medium and light industries), and a road/pipeline/rail link that will extend 350 kilometers to Bangkok (via Kanchanaburi). The project even has its own legal framework, the Dawei Special Economic Zone Law, drafted in 2011 to ensure the industrial estate is attractive to potential investors..."
      Author/creator: Elizabeth Loewen
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Paung Ku and Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (164K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org
      Date of entry/update: 15 October 2012


      Title: Tackling Land Grabbing and Speculation in the New Myanmar
      Date of publication: 08 August 2012
      Description/subject: "Although Myanmar/Burma has undergone unprecedented political change in recent months, the country is currently grappling with a severe land grabbing and speculation crisis. The DS Director, Scott Leckie, was requested to provide guidance to the Government about how to address these pressing issues, the views of which are contained in a guidance note on land grabbing and speculation which can be viewed here. DS’ landmark study Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads will be released in the coming weeks"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


      Title: Complaint letter to Burma government about value of agricultural land destroyed by Tavoy highway
      Date of publication: 24 July 2012
      Description/subject: "The complaint letter below, signed by 25 local community members, was written in July 2011 and raises villagers' concerns related to the construction of the Kanchanaburi – Tavoy [Dawei] highway linking Thailand and the Tavoy deep sea port. Villagers described concerns that the highway would bisect agricultural land and destroy crops under cultivation worth 3,280,500 kyat (US $3,657). In response to these concerns, local community members formed a group called the 'Village and Public Sustainable Development' to represent villagers' concerns and request compensation."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (96K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b69.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


      Title: Mergui/Tavoy Interview: Saw K---, April 2012
      Date of publication: 18 July 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2012 in Ler Mu Lah Township, Mergui/Tavoy District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed 40-year-old G--- village head, Saw K---, who described abusive practices perpetrated by the Tatmadaw in his village throughout the previous four year period, including forced labour, arbitrary taxation in the form of both goods and money, and obstructions to humanitarian relief, specifically medical care availability and education support. Saw K--- also discussed development projects and land confiscation that has occurred in the area, including one oil palm company that came to deforest 700 acres of land next to G--- village in order to plant oil palm trees, as well as the arrival of a Malaysian logging company, neither of which provided any compensation to villagers for the land that was confiscated. However, the Malaysian logging company did provide enough wood, iron nails and roofing material for one school in the village, and promised the villagers that it would provide additional support later. Saw K--- raised other concerns regarding the food security, health care and difficulties with providing education for children in the village. In order to address these issues, Saw K--- explained that villagers have met with the Ler Mu Lah Township leaders to solve land confiscation problems, but some G--- villagers have had to give up their land, including a full nursery of betel nut plantations, based on the company’s claim that the plantations were illegally maintained."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (136K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b64.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


      Title: GUIDANCE NOTE ON DEVELOPING POLICY OPTIONS FOR ADDRESSING LAND GRABBING AND SPECULATION IN MYANMAR JULY 2012
      Date of publication: July 2012
      Description/subject: "Land grabbing and speculation, which can both manifest in a multitude of forms, are unfortunate, often-inter-twined, yet common practices in countries undergoing structural political transition. If unchecked, unregulated, or unintentionally encouraged by the very governments that replace formerly authoritarian regimes, these two land realities can serve to undermine democratic reforms, entrench economic and political privilege and seriously harm the human rights prospects of those affected, in particular internationally recognised housing, land and property (HLP) rights. Land grabbing and speculation can increase inequality, harm economic prospects and create conditions where social tensions and even violence may become inevitable. Unless law and policy explicitly address the negative consequences of these practices, land grabbing and speculation can erode citizen confidence in government, reduce incomes and livelihoods and increase poverty and broad declines in a range of vital social indicators. And yet, there is nothing inevitable or inherent about the inequitable acquisition and control of ever-larger quantities of land in fewer and fewer hands. Indeed, governments wishing to protect the HLP rights of rural and urban dwellers and properly regulate the land acquisition and transfer process can succeed in reducing the prevalence of both land grabbing and speculation, improve the human rights prospects of current landholders and ultimately strengthen both democratic processes and macro-economic perspectives. It is clear that these issues are affecting Myanmar at the moment, and that it is up to the Government to take steps to address these problems in a fair, effective and equitable manner Twelve possible steps that the Government may wish to consider, include:..."
      Author/creator: Displacement Solutions
      Source/publisher: Scott Leckie
      Format/size: pdf (270K)
      Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


      Title: Farmers seek right to use land
      Date of publication: 17 June 2012
      Description/subject: "FARMERS from Alwan Sut village in Yangon Region’s Thanlyin township are seeking the right to continue to farm land they were forced to sell 15 years ago for a dormant building project..."
      Author/creator: Ei Ei Toe Lwin
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 June 2012


      Title: Farmland confiscated for Kyaukpyu Airport project
      Date of publication: 10 June 2012
      Description/subject: "MORE than 100 households and 20 acres of farmland in Kyaukpyu township, Rakhine State, have been forced to make way for an airport expansion project with only partial compensation, a Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) official said last week..."
      Author/creator: Aye Sapay Phyu
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 June 2012


      Title: Films to probe media law, land grabs
      Date of publication: 10 June 2012
      Description/subject: MOVIE director Wine is working on two short documentary films about current events in Myanmar, which he says he will screen at cinemas free of charge once they are completed. Wine told The Myanmar Times that he has been working on the documentaries — which explore media law and land confiscations, respectively — since January.
      Author/creator: Nyein Ei Ei Htwe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 June 2012


      Title: Minister urges Kayin farmers to secure land from agribusinesses Share
      Date of publication: 10 June 2012
      Description/subject: "THE Kayin State Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation has urged farmers to prepare land ownership documentation in order to avoid land disputes with agribusinesses, a growing issue in Myanmar. “The parliaments approved the farmland law and vacant land law so now you can sell or mortgage … the lands you have been living on. So you should start preparing to secure legal ownership through the proper channels. We have already informed the head of the Survey Department. There needs to be a survey of properties in each township and village. If not, there could possibly be land disputes in the future,” the minister, U Christopher, said at a May 22-24 meeting in Thandaunggyi township, Kayin State, to explain the outcome of peace talks between the government and Karen National Union..."
      Author/creator: Soe Than Lynn
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 June 2012


      Title: MYANMAR: Myanmar at risk of land-grabbing epidemic
      Date of publication: 06 June 2012
      Description/subject: "In a written statement during its September 2011 session, the Asian Legal Resource Centre alerted the Human Rights Council to the dangers posed to the rights of people in Myanmar by the convergence of military, business and administrative interests in new projects aimed at displacing cultivators and residents from their farms and homes. At that time, the Centre wrote that whereas seizure of land has long been practiced in Myanmar, in recent years its dynamics have changed, from direct seizure by army units and government departments, to seizure by army-owned companies, joint ventures and other economically and politically powerful operations with connections to the military..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
      Format/size: pdf (101K)
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2012


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Dweh Loh Township, January to March 2012
      Date of publication: 24 May 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in April 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, in the period between January and March 2012. It provides information on land confiscation by Border Guard Battalion #1013, which has appropriated villagers’ communal grazing land between D--- and M--- villages for the construction of barracks for housing soldiers' families. Related to this project is the planned construction of a dam on the Noh Paw Htee River south of D--- village, which is expected to result in the subsequent flooding of 150 acres of D--- villagers’ farmland, valued at US $91,687. Villagers from K’Ter Tee, Htee Th’Bluh Hta, and Th’Buh Hta village tracts have also reported facing demands for materials used for making thatch shingles, for which villagers receive either minimal or no payment. Updated information concerning other military activity is also provided, specifically on troop augmentation, with LID #22, and IB #8 and #96 reported to have joined Border Guard Battalion #1013 by establishing bases at K’Ter Tee, as well as reports of increased transportation of rations, weapons and troops to camps in the border regions. Details are also provided on new restrictions introduced since the January 2012 ceasefire agreement on the movement of Tatmadaw units; similar restrictions have been documented in Toungoo District in a report published by KHRG in May 2012, "Toungoo Situation Update: Tantabin Township, January to March 2012." Information is also given on a recent Tatmadaw directive, which stipulates that soldiers and villagers living near to military camps must inform any KNU officials they encounter that they are welcome to meet with Tatmadaw commanders or officers."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (295K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b45.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 June 2012


      Title: Land Grabs Intensify as Burma ‘Reform’ Races Ahead of Law
      Date of publication: 15 May 2012
      Description/subject: "While foreign governments heap praise on the Burmese government’s liberal tilt, land theft appears to be increasing as state agencies and powerfully placed domestic firms position themselves to welcome foreign investment. Farmers across the country are being muscled out of their fields with little hope of appeal to the law. This is because despite all the trumpeting in the West about President Thein Sein’s “reforms,” the rule of law in Burma is closer to 12th Century Europe than the 21st Century. In medieval Europe, land ownership was determined by sharp swords and private armies. In present-day Burma, powerful businesses linked to the army do much the same. Land confiscation is being reported near the south coast, in the Rangoon region, around Mandalay and in northern areas close to the border with China. Farmers and their families are being forcibly moved for major projects, such as the oil and gas pipelines being built through the country from the Bay of Bengal to the Chinese border, and for smaller industrial projects by firms with long crony links to the military. Even where the local authorities have sided with expelled farmers, big businesses feel confident enough to ignore them. Just last week, The Irrawaddy reported how industrial firm Zay Kabar has continued to bulldoze snatched land despite a stop order issued by the administrative office of the Rangoon area’s Mingaladon Township..."
      Author/creator: William Boot
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 16 May 2012


      Title: Company Destroys Land Despite Order to Stop
      Date of publication: 11 May 2012
      Description/subject: "Zay Kabar, a Burmese company that has been accused of illegally confiscating more than 800 acres of land from farmers in Shwenanthar, a village in Rangoon’s Mingaladon Township, has continued clearing the land despite being told to stop by local authorities. After embankments on the farmland were leveled last week, around 50 farmers began rebuilding them in preparation for the start of the planting season, prompting officials from the Housing Department and the local administrative office to order both sides to desist. However, the company has ignored the order and resumed its work on the land, according to the farmers..."
      Author/creator: Nyein Nyein
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 13 May 2012


      Title: Burma’s Frontier Appeal Lures Shadowy Oil Firms
      Date of publication: 09 May 2012
      Description/subject: While the major non-American Western oil companies adopt and wait-and-see policy and US firms remain barred by Washington’s sanctions, shadowy oil enterprises are gaining footholds in Burma. Among firms which have recently won licenses to explore for oil and gas are little-known businesses based in Panama, Nigeria and Azerbaijan—countries where corporate accountability can be murky. Not only does the bidding process remain opaque, the pedigree of some of the participants is too..."
      Author/creator: William Boot
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 May 2012


      Title: Grab for white gold - platinum mining in Eastern Shan State (Burmese)
      Date of publication: 08 May 2012
      Description/subject: အစီရင္ခံစာအက်ဥ္းခ်ဳပ္ ရွမ္းျပည္နယ္ အေရွ႔ပိုင္း တာခ်ီလိတ္ၿမိဳ ၏႔ ေျမာက္ဖက္ ေတာင္တန္းေဒမ်ားတြင္ ေဒသခံမ်ားကို ထိခိုကေ္ စသည့္ ေရႊျဖဴတူးေဖာ္ျခင္းလုပ္ငန္းကို ၂၀၀၇ခုႏွစ္မွ စတင္ခဲ့ကာ ယင္းေၾကာင့္ လားဟူ၊ အာခါႏွင့္ ရွမ္းရြာ ၈ရြာမွာ လူေပါင္း ၂၀၀၀ေက်ာ္ကို ထိခိုက္ေစခဲ့သည္။ ေရႊျဖဴတူးေဖာ္မႈကို ျမန္မာကုမၸဏီမ်ားက ေဆာင္ရြက္ေနၿပီး တရုတ္ႏွင့္ ထုိင္းႏိုင္ငံသို႔ တင္ပို႔လွ်က္ရိွသည္။ တာခ်လီ တိ ၿ္မဳိ ႔ ေျမာကဖ္ က ္ ၁၃ကလီ မို တီ ာအကြာရ ွိအားရဲေခၚ အာခါရြာအနီးတငြ ္ကမု ဏၸ ၅ီ ခကု လပု င္ န္း လပု က္ ငို လ္ ်ွကရ္ သွိ ည။္ ထကို မု ဏၸ မီ ်ားက ရြာသားမ်ားပငို ဆ္ ငို သ္ ည ့္ပစညၥ ္းမ်ားႏငွ ့္ ေျမယာမ်ားက ိုအတင္းအက်ပဖ္ အိ ားေပး၍ ေစ်းႏမိွ ္ေရာင္းခ်ေစသကသဲ့ ႔ ို ေျမယာအခ်ိဳ က႔ ို ေလွ်ာ္ေၾကးမေပးဘဲ အဓမၼသိမး္ ယူ ခဲ့ၾကသည္။ ေထာင္ေပါင္းမ်ားစြာေသာ စိုက္ပိ်ဳးေျမဧကမ်ားႏွင့္ သစ္ေတာမ်ားကို ကုမၸဏီက သိမ္းယူေနၿပီး အခ်ိဳ႔ေသာေျမယာမ်ားသည္ သတၱဳတြင္းမွ အညစ္အေၾကးမ်ားစြန္႔ပစ္ေသာေၾကာင့္ ပ်ကဆ္ ီးလ်ွကရ္ သွိ ည။္ ရြာသရူ ြာသားမ်ား အသုံးျပဳသည ့္အေ၀းေျပးလမ္းသ ႔ိုသြားေရာကရ္ ာလမ္းမွာလည္း သတဳၱတူးေဖာသ္ ည ့္ ကုန္တင္ကားမ်ား၊ စက္ယႏၱယားႀကီးမ်ား ျဖတ္သန္းသြားျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ပ်က္ဆီးၾကရသည္။ သတဳၱတူးေဖာျ္ခင္းေၾကာင ့္ ရြာသားမ်ား အဓကိ အသုံးျပဳေနေသာ ေရအရင္းအျမစ ္ညစည္ မ္းလ်ွကရ္ ၿွိပီး ေရစီးေၾကာင္းမ်ားလည္း ေျပာင္းလဲကုန္သည္။ ယင္းအေျခအေနမ်ားက ေဒသခံအမ်ိဳးသမီးမ်ားကို ႀကီးမားေသာ အခက္အခဲမ်ားျဖစ္ေပၚေစသည္။ အေၾကာင္းမွာ ေရရရိွရန္အတြက္ အလြန္ေ၀းကြာေသာခရီးကို ေျခလ်င္ လမ္းေလွ်ာက္သြားရေသာေၾကာင့္ ျဖစ္သည္။ ထို႔အတူ သတၱဳတူးေဖာ္ရာလုပ္ငန္းသို႔ အမ်ိဳးသားေရႊ႔ေျပာင္းအလုပ္သမားမ်ား အစုလုိက္အၿပံဳလုိက္ ေရာက္ရိွ လာျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ထိုေနရာတ၀ိုက္တြင္ေနထိုင္သည့္ အမ်ိဳးသမီးမ်ား၏ လံုၿခံဳေရးမွာ အႏၱရာယ္ က်ေရာက္ လွ်က္ရိွသည္။ စိုက္ခင္းသို႔ သြားသည့္အမ်ိဳးသမီးမ်ားမွာ လိင္ပိုင္းဆုိင္ရာ ထိပါးေႏွာင့္ယွက္မႈမ်ားကို ႀကံဳေတြ႔ ေနရသည္။ အမ်ိဳးသမီးငယ္မ်ားမွာ သတၱဳတြင္းအလုပ္သမားမ်ား၏ မယားငယ္မ်ားအျဖစ္ သိမ္းယူခံရသကဲ့သို႔ အခ်ိဳ႔ အမ်ိဳးသမီးငယ္မ်ားမွာ ျပည္႔တန္ဆာမ်ား ျဖစ္ၾကရသည္။ သတၱဳတြင္း၀န္ထမ္းမ်ားက ေဒသခံ အမ်ိဳးသမီးငယ္မ်ားကို လူကုန္ကူးရာတြင္ ပါ၀င္ပတ္သက္ေနၾကသည္။ ရြာသ၊ူ ရြာသားမ်ား၏ အခငြ အ့္ ေရးက ိုကာကြယ္ေပးသည ့္ ဥပေဒစိုးမိုးမလႈ ည္း ကင္းမဲ့ေနသည။္ ျမနမ္ ာစစတ္ ပမ္ ွအရာရမွိ ်ားအား လာဘ္ထုိးျခင္းအားျဖင့္ သတၱဳတူးေဖာ္သည့္ ကုမၸဏီမ်ားသည္ လူမႈေရးႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ပတ္၀န္းက်င္ဆုိင္ရာ စံသတ္မွတ္ခ်က္မ်ားကို လိုက္နာရန္မလိုဘဲ လုပ္ငန္းလုပ္ကိုင္ႏိုင္ၾကသည္။ ထုိ႔ေၾကာင့္ သတၱဳတူးေဖာ္သည့္ကုမၸဏီမ်ားႏွင့္ အိမ္နီးခ်င္းႏိုင္ငံမွ ေရႊျဖဴ၀ယ္ယူသူတုိ႔သည္ လူမႈေရးႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ပတ္၀န္းက်င္ ထိန္းသိမ္းေရးဆုိင္ရာ တာ၀န္မ်ားကို ေရွာင္ရွားျခင္းျဖင့္ သတၱဳတူးေဖာ္ျခင္း လုပ္ငန္းမွ အျမတ္ေငြ မ်ားႏိုင္သမွ် မ်ားမ်ားရေအာင္ ေဆာင္ရြက္ေနၾကသည္။ ထုိ႔ေၾကာင့္ လားဟူ အမ်ိဳးသမီးအဖဲြ႔က ေဒသတြင္းဖံြ႔ၿဖိဳးတုိးတက္မႈကို မျဖစ္ေစဘဲ ဆင္းရဲမဲြေတမႈႏွင့္ သဘာ၀ပတ္၀န္းက်င္ ပ်က္ဆီးမႈကိုသာျဖစ္ေစသည့္ သတၱဳတူးေဖာ္ျခင္းလုပ္ငန္းကို ခ်က္ခ်င္း ရပ္တန္႔ရန္ ျမန္မာအစိုးရအား ေတာင္းဆုိသည္။
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Lahu Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (2.3MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Grab_for_White_Gold-PR(bu).pdf (Press Release, Burmese)
      http://www.lahuwomen.org
      http://lahuwomen.org/press-release/lahu-women-demand-end-to-destructive-platinum-mining-in-burmas-s...
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


      Title: Grab for white gold - platinum mining in Eastern Shan State (English)
      Date of publication: 08 May 2012
      Description/subject: Burmese and Chinese companies are pushing aside Akha, Lahu and Shan villagers in eastern Shan State in a grab for platinum (“white gold” in Burmese). Women are facing particular hardship due to the loss of livelihood and the contamination of water sources. The Lahu Women Organization is calling for an immediate halt to these damaging mining operations....Summary Since 2007, destructive platinum mining has been taking place in the hills north of Tachilek, eastern Shan State, impacting about 2,000 people from eight Lahu, Akha and Shan villages. The platinum is being extracted by Burmese mining companies and exported to China and Thailand. Five companies are currently operating around the Akha village of Ah Yeh, 13 kilometers north of Tachilek. They have forced villagers to sell property and land at cheap prices, and confiscated other lands without compensation. Hundreds of acres of farms and forestland have been seized, or destroyed by dumping of mining waste. The villagers’ access road to the main highway has been ruined by the passage of heavy mining trucks and machinery. The main water source for local villagers has been diverted and contaminated by the mining, causing tremendous hardship for local women, who must now walk long distances to do their washing. Women are also facing increased security risks from the influx of migrant male miners into the area. There is regular sexual harassment of women going to their fields. Young women are being taken as minor wives by the miners; some are also becoming sex workers. Mining staff have also been involved in trafficking of local women. There is no rule of law protecting the rights of the local villagers. By paying off the local Burmese military, mining companies are able to carry out operations without adhering to any social or environmental standards. The companies and platinum buyers in neighbouring countries are therefore maximizing profits by avoiding responsibility for the social and environmental costs of the mines. The Lahu Women’s Organisation therefore calls on the Burmese government to put an immediate stop to these destructive mining operations, which are not contributing to local development, but are causing poverty and environmental degradation..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Lahu Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://lahuwomen.org/press-release/lahu-women-demand-end-to-destructive-platinum-mining-in-burmas-s...
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Grab_for_White_Gold-PR(th).pdf (Pres Release, Thai)
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Grab_for_White_Gold-PR(ch).pdf (Press Release, Chinese)
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Grab_for_White_Gold-PR(bu).pdf (Press Release, Burmese)
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Grab_for_White_Gold(lahu).pdf (full text, Lahu)
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Grab_for_White_Gold(bu)-op75mr-red.pdf (full text, Burmese)
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


      Title: Grab for white gold - platinum mining in Eastern Shan State (Lahu)
      Date of publication: 08 May 2012
      Description/subject: Summary: Since 2007, destructive platinum mining has been taking place in the hills north of Tachilek, eastern Shan State, impacting about 2,000 people from eight Lahu, Akha and Shan villages. The platinum is being extracted by Burmese mining companies and exported to China and Thailand. Five companies are currently operating around the Akha village of Ah Yeh, 13 kilometers north of Tachilek. They have forced villagers to sell property and land at cheap prices, and confiscated other lands without compensation. Hundreds of acres of farms and forestland have been seized, or destroyed by dumping of mining waste. The villagers’ access road to the main highway has been ruined by the passage of heavy mining trucks and machinery. The main water source for local villagers has been diverted and contaminated by the mining, causing tremendous hardship for local women, who must now walk long distances to do their washing. Women are also facing increased security risks from the influx of migrant male miners into the area. There is regular sexual harassment of women going to their fields. Young women are being taken as minor wives by the miners; some are also becoming sex workers. Mining staff have also been involved in trafficking of local women. There is no rule of law protecting the rights of the local villagers. By paying off the local Burmese military, mining companies are able to carry out operations without adhering to any social or environmental standards. The companies and platinum buyers in neighbouring countries are therefore maximizing profits by avoiding responsibility for the social and environmental costs of the mines. The Lahu Women’s Organisation therefore calls on the Burmese government to put an immediate stop to these destructive mining operations, which are not contributing to local development, but are causing poverty and environmental degradation.
      Language: Lahu
      Source/publisher: Lahu Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://lahuwomen.org/press-release/lahu-women-demand-end-to-destructive-platinum-mining-in-burmas-shan-state'>http://lahuwomen.org/press-release/lahu-women-demand-end-to-destructive-platinum-mining-in-burmas-s...
      http://lahuwomen.org
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


      Title: Platinum Mines Seize 200 Acres of Farmland
      Date of publication: 08 May 2012
      Description/subject: "Around 200 acres of land has been confiscated by platinum mining companies in Tachilek Township, eastern Shan State, despite nascent democratic reforms by the Burmese government, according to report released by the Lahu Women’s Organization (LWO). "Grab For White Gold" has been produced by the Thailand-based LWO and two other local land activists and was presented at a press conference in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, on Tuesday. The two activists told reporters that eight villages—comprising a total of 393 households and 2,000 people—have been impacted by the platinum mining companies. There are also reports of sexual harassment, abductions and girls being cheated into marriage as a consequence. Ore produced in the region is sold to China at around US $3,000 per ton with the LWO accusing Burmese companies such Sai Laung Hein, U Myint Aung, Hein Lin San and Wunna Thein Than of running the mining operations. The disputed farmland has belonged to ethnic people—including Shan, Akha and Lahu communities—for generations. The companies force them to sell their land at around half the true value, or simply confiscate it without compensation despite protests from the rightful owners..."
      Author/creator: Lawi Weng
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 13 May 2012


      Title: Massive Land Confiscation for Copper Mine
      Date of publication: 04 May 2012
      Description/subject: "Over 7,800 acres of farmland in Salingyi Township, Sagaing Division, has been confiscated for a copper mine project with landowners forced out of their villages, according to local sources. A number of concerned residents told The Irrawaddy that grabbed lands belong to people in Salingyi’s Hse Te, Zee Daw, Wet Hmay and Kan Taw villages and authorities ordered residents to leave the area earlier this year. Most of the villagers do not want to relocate but some have already left, they claim. Farmers also said that they were only given a small amount of compensation for their property as, according to company officials and local authorities, their lands are actually owned by the state and the confiscation was carried out by presidential order..."
      Author/creator: Khin Oo Thar
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


      Title: Why peace and land security is key to Burma's democratic future - Interview with Tom Kramer
      Date of publication: May 2012
      Description/subject: Analysis of the social costs of large-scale Chinese-supported rubber farms in northern Burma suggests that the future for ordinary citizens will be affected as much by the country's chosen economic path as the political reforms underway.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 September 2012


      Title: Development drive sees ethnic groups displaced by land grabs
      Date of publication: 22 April 2012
      Description/subject: As Myanmar’s opening economy is celebrated, rights activists warn it will see people who have lived in areas for generations forced out under ‘legal’ means that merely cover mercenary greed.
      Author/creator: Phil Thornton
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Bangkok Post" from "The Lancet" 5 April and "Science" 6 April
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


      Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: August to October 2011
      Date of publication: 16 March 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Dooplaya District, during the period between August and October, 2011. The villager who wrote this report provides information concerning increasing military activity in Kyone Doh Township, including the confiscation of 600 acres of farmland for building a camp in Da Lee Kyo Waing town by Border Guard Battalion #1021, and the construction of new military camps, one by LIB #208 in Htee Poo Than village and another by the KPF near to Htee Poo Than village. The villager who wrote this report also noted demands from the Burmese Army that local villagers cover half of the cost of the construction of two bridges in Kyone Doh Township, as well as ongoing taxation demands from various armed groups, including the KNU, SPDC, Border Guard, DKBA, KPF, KPC and a distinct branch of the KPC known as Kaung Baung Hpyoo, and expressed serious concerns about the intended use of villagers to provide unpaid labour on infrastructure projects that will be implemented by civilian and military officials, as well as the severe degradation of forest and agricultural land due to an expansion of commercial rubber plantations..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (133K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b28.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


      Title: Expert cautions on ‘land grab’ model
      Date of publication: 04 March 2012
      Description/subject: "A VISITING land expert has warned against falling for the “dominant model” of land grabbing, which sees small-scale farmers replaced by agri-businesses that are in many cases less productive. Mr Robin Palmer, who has worked on land issues for more than 35 years as both an academic and for British NGO Oxfam, said last week that population pressures and the increasing consumption of meat and dairy products in developing countries were often used to justify plantation farming, with peasant farmers and traditional pastoralists dismissed as “romantic nonsense”. “In the context of global land grabbing … this is the dominant model,” he told The Myanmar Times in Yangon on February 21. “It’s curious because land has been a source of conflict in many places yet despite that governments are giving it away.” Aside from the social consequences, Mr Palmer, who has worked in Africa, Asia and Latin America, said there was also little evidence that plantation farms were more efficient or productive than smallholdings. This was reinforced at the International Conference on Global Land Grabbing at the University of Sussex’s Institute of Development Studies in April 2011, which featured more than 100 papers on land issues..."
      Author/creator: Expert cautions on ‘land grab’ model
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


      Title: Land Confiscation in Shan State -- Special issue of the Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Report
      Date of publication: March 2012
      Description/subject: Commentary: Land Confiscation; Situation of land confiscation in Nam-Zarng and Kun-Hing; Land confiscated, villagers house destroyed, in Nam-Zarng; Cultivated land confiscated in Nam-Zarng; Farmlands and cemetery ground confiscated in Nam-Zarng; Lands confiscated, forced labour used, to build new military bases and an airstrip, in Kun-Hing; Confiscation of land with regard to mining projects; Land Confiscation due to coal mining concession in Murng-Sart; Land grabbing by businessmen in cooperation with military authorities and their cronies Lands forcibly taken, village forced to move, in Kaeng-Tung; Lands forcibly taken and sold, in Kaeng-Tung; Land forcibly taken and sold in Murng-Ton; Designation of cultivated lands as military property and levy; Land designated miltary areas, taxes levied, in Kun-Hing
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (March 2012)
      Format/size: English
      Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


      Title: ‘Zay Kabar’ Khin Shwe Faces Lawsuit
      Date of publication: 27 February 2012
      Description/subject: "Khin Shwe, the chairman of Zay Kabar Company and a member of Burma’s Lower House, will face a lawsuit filed by farmers from Rangoon’s Mingaladon Township whose farmland he allegedly confiscated. The farmers were previously allowed to continue growing paddy and other crops even after their lands were seized, but they are no longer permitted to do so. Many have been threatened and told to vacate the land, that’s why they are preparing to sue him, said Kyaw Sein, a farmer who lost 50 acres of land..."
      Author/creator: Khin Oo Thar
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


      Title: Burma Farmers Fear Land Act
      Date of publication: 03 February 2012
      Description/subject: "...Pho Phyu estimates that since the new government took office in March last year some 10,000 acres of farmland have been seized in Rangoon and Irrawaddy divisions alone. “Under the new law, millions of acres that have been seized by big companies will legally belong to them, and not the farmers,” says Pho Phyu. Amid a tide of optimism, this is a dark area which some, such as Pho Phyu, believe is not only not progressing but could get worse. It covers the 70 percent of Burma's work force and their families who are small-scale farmers. A majority who will not be affected by the easing of Internet restrictions, or will probably never know that the BBC are now allowed to visit their country. This as part of the government's reforms to change the economy to a market-orientated system, including the agriculture sector. Former government adviser and economist Khin Maung Nyo corroborates: “We need to change agriculture into a business.” ..."
      Author/creator: Josehp Allchin
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 31 March 2012


      Title: Dooplaya Interview: Saw Ca---, September 2011
      Date of publication: 03 February 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in September 2011. The villager interviewed Saw Ca---, a 45-year-old rubber, betelnut and durian plantation owner from Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District, who described the survey of at least 167 acres of productive and established agricultural land belonging to 26 villagers for the expansion of a Tatmadaw camp, transport infrastructure, and the construction of houses for Tatmadaw soldiers' families. This incident was detailed in the previously-published report, "Land confiscation threatens villagers' livelihoods in Dooplaya District;" as of the beginning of February 2012, a KHRG researcher familiar with the local situation confirmed that the land had not yet been confiscated and that surveys of that land were no longer ongoing. In this interview, Saw Ca--- described the planting of landmines in civilian areas by government and non-state armed groups, and described one incident in which a villager was injured by a landmine during the month before this interview, resulting in the subsequent amputation of part of his leg; Saw Ca--- said that KNLA soldiers had previously informed villagers they had planted landmines in the place where the villager was injured. Saw Ca--- also described an incident in which villagers were forced to wear Tatmadaw uniforms while accompanying troops on active duty, as well as the forced recruitment of villagers by non-state armed groups. Saw Ca--- noted that villagers respond to such abuses and threats to their livelihoods in a variety of ways, including deliberately avoiding attending meetings with Tatmadaw commanders at which they suspect they will be forced to sign over their land."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (360K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b11.html
      Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


      Title: Financing Dispossession - China’s Opium Substitution Programme in Northern Burma
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: "Northern Burma’s borderlands have undergone dramatic changes in the last two decades. Three main and interconnected developments are simultaneously taking place in Shan State and Kachin State: (1) the increase in opium cultivation in Burma since 2006 after a decade of steady decline; (2) the increase at about the same time in Chinese agricultural investments in northern Burma under China’s opium substitution programme, especially in rubber; and (3) the related increase in dispossession of local communities’ land and livelihoods in Burma’s northern borderlands. The vast majority of the opium and heroin on the Chinese market originates from northern Burma. Apart from attempting to address domestic consumption problems, the Chinese government also has created a poppy substitution development programme, and has been actively promoting Chinese companies to take part, offering subsidies, tax waivers, and import quotas for Chinese companies. The main benefits of these programmes do not go to (ex-)poppy growing communities, but to Chinese businessmen and local authorities, and have further marginalised these communities. Serious concerns arise regarding the long-term economic benefits and costs of agricultural development— mostly rubber—for poor upland villagers. Economic benefits derived from rubber development are very limited. Without access to capital and land to invest in rubber concessions, upland farmers practicing swidden cultivation (many of whom are (ex-) poppy growers) are left with few alternatives but to try to get work as wage labourers on the agricultural concessions. Land tenure and other related resource management issues are vital ingredients for local communities to build licit and sustainable livelihoods. Investment-induced land dispossession has wide implications for drug production and trade, as well as border stability. Investments related to opium substitution should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion. Customary land rights and institutions should be respected. Chinese investors should use a smallholder plantation model instead of confiscating farmers land as a concession. Labourers from the local population should be hired rather than outside migrants in order to funnel economic benefits into nearby communities. China’s opium crop substitution programme has very little to do with providing mechanisms to decrease reliance on poppy cultivation or provide alternative livelihoods for ex-poppy growers. Chinese authorities need to reconsider their regional development strategies of implementation in order to avoid further border conflict and growing antagonism from Burmese society. Financing dispossession is not development."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer & Kevin Woods
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-financingdispossesion-web.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


      Title: Forced expropriations of farmlands and partial victories (Burmese)/ လယ္ယာေျမ အဓမၼသိမ္းယူမႈမ်ားႏွင့္ ေအာင္ပြဲ အပိုင္းအစမ်ား
      Date of publication: 10 January 2012
      Description/subject: BURMA: Farmers' land fight celebrated in new booklet... (Hong Kong, January 10, 2012) A Burma-based rights group has released a new publication documenting and recounting the courageous fight against land expropriation, intimidation and false prosecution of a group of rural villagers. The 38-page Burmese language booklet, "Forced expropriations of farmlands and partial victories", written and published by the Farmers' Rights Defenders Network, retells the story of the villagers of Sissayan, in Magway, part of the country's dry central zone, who have been struggling against the attempts of army-backed companies to take over their land for use by factories that will produce toxic substances. The Asian Human Rights Commission issued an urgent appeal in April about an attack and false prosecution of a group of the farmers leading the fight against the army-backed companies in Sissayan: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-073-2011 Although a court convicted the farmers, the village community rallied around them, as told and illustrated through photographs in the new booklet, and on appeal their sentences were reduced to the time already served. အမွာစာ... လယ္ယာေျမအဓမၼသိမ္းယူမႈမ်ားႏွင့္ေအာင္ပြဲအပုိင္းအစမ်ား(မေကြးတိုင္းေဒသႀကီး၊ သရက္ခ႐ိုင္၊ ကံမၿမိဳ႕နယ္၊ စစၥရံေက်းရြာ)... သိမ္းပိုက္ခံလယ္ေျမမ်ားႏွင့္ စက္႐ုံျပင္ဆင္တည္ေဆာက္မႈမ်ား (ဓာတ္ပုံ)... အာဏာပုိင္မ်ားအား တရားစြဲဆုိခဲ့သည့္ လယ္သမားမ်ား (ဓာတ္ပုံ)... လယ္သမားအခြင့္အေရးဆုိင္ရာ ေဟာေျပာမႈအား နားေထာင္ၾကစဥ္ (ဓာတ္ပုံ)... ရြာသူရြာသားမ်ား တရားခြင္သုိ႔ စုစည္းညီၫြတ္စြာ လုိက္ပါအားေပး နားေထာင္ၾက (ဓာတ္ပုံ)... လယ္သမားမ်ား ျပန္လည္လြတ္ေျမာက္လာမႈကုိ ေဒသခံျပည္သူမ်ား ႀကဳိဆုိခဲ့ (ဓာတ္ပုံ)... (ယခုတင္ျပလိုက္ေသာ စာအုပ္ပါအေၾကာင္းအရာမ်ားမွာ လယ္သမားတို႔သည္ ႐ိုးသားစြာ လုပ္ကိုင္စားေသာက္ေနသူမ်ားျဖစ္ၿပီး မတရားမႈမ်ားကို မိမိတို႔၏ စုစည္းမႈအားျဖင့္ တြန္းလွန္၍ တရားမွ်တမႈကို ရွာေဖြတိုက္ပြဲဝင္ခဲ့ၾကသည့္ ျဖစ္ရပ္တခုအား စံနမူနာျပဳႏိုင္ေရးကို ရည္ရြယ္၍ ထုတ္ေဝျဖန္႔ခ်ိလိုက္ျခင္း ျဖစ္ပါသည္။)
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Farmers' Rights Defenders Network/ လယ္သမားအခြင့္အေရးကာကြယ္ေစာင့္ေရွာက္သူမ်ားကြန္ယက္
      Format/size: pdf (479K - OBL version; 1.2MB - original) 38 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://www.humanrights.asia/resources/BurmeseSysayamFarmerBook.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2012


      Title: Tenasserim Situation Update: Te Naw Th’Ri Township, May to September 2011
      Date of publication: 12 December 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in October 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Tenasserim Division between May and October 2011. The villager describes incidents of human rights abuse, including: arbitrary taxation by civilian and military government officials to fund state-organised pyi thu sit local militia groups and schools; conscription of villagers into a pyi thu sit; and the execution of Saw L---, a villager who had been forced to serve as a guide accompanying an active patrol column of LIB #558. The villager who wrote this report believed Saw L--- was killed in retaliation for an attack against that Tatmadaw column by KNLA soldiers, in which one Tatmadaw soldier was killed and several others injured. This report also documents some of the ways in which villagers respond to human rights abuse, specifically through attempts to engage and negotiate with local powerful actors to reduce or avoid demands for arbitrary payments levied against villagers."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (229K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b54.html
      Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


      Title: Burma: From blinkered to market-oriented despotism?
      Date of publication: 10 December 2011
      Description/subject: "Since a new quasi-parliamentary government led by former army officers began work in Burma (Myanmar) earlier this year, some observers have argued that the government is showing a commitment to bring about, albeit cautiously, reforms that will result in an overall improvement in human rights conditions. The question remains, though, as to whether the new government constitutes the beginning of a real shift from the blinkered despotism of its predecessors to a new form of government, or simply to a type of semi-enlightened and market-oriented despotism, the sort of which has been more common in Asia than the type of outright military domination experienced by Burma for most of the last half-century. "
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
      Format/size: pdf (457K - OBL version; 516K - original )
      Alternate URLs: http://www.humanrights.asia/resources/hrreport/2011/AHRC-SPR-004-2011.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 09 December 2011


      Title: Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011
      Date of publication: 03 November 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in T'Nay Hsah Township, Pa'an District during September 2011. It details an incident in which a soldier from Tatmadaw Border Guard #1017 deliberately shot at villagers in a farm hut, resulting in the death of one civilian and injury to a six-year-old child. The report further details the subsequent concealment of this incident by Border Guard soldiers who placed an M16 rifle and ammunition next to the dead civilian and photographed his body, and ordered the local village head to corroborate their story that the dead man was a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) soldier. The report also relates villagers' concerns regarding the use of landmines by both KNLA and Border Guard troops, which prevent villagers from freely accessing agricultural land and kill villagers' livestock and pets, and also relates an incident in September 2011 in which a villager was severely maimed when he stepped on a landmine that had been placed outside his farm."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (219K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b43.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


      Title: Grabbing Land: Destructive Development in Ta'ang Region (Burmese)
      Date of publication: November 2011
      Description/subject: "This report validates the fact that multi-national and transnational companies are violating the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' fundamental human rights. The confiscation of Ta'ang peoples' land and the exploitation of their natural resources in which they depend for their subsistence and livelihood are outlined in this report. The Myanmar government continues to permit the persistence of business practices which are illegal under national and international laws. Massive displacements take place without the provisions of adequate compensation or relocation, let alone meaningful community consultations that left the affected people with no legal remedy to rebuild their lives and resume their collective activity. The situation of Ta'ang people in the Shan State is a classic example of land confiscation under the pretext of economic development while totally excluding the affected communities on the benefits of 'development' from foreign investment in the country. As a consequence of these activities the Ta'ang people have to bear the brunt of not only losing their land and source of livelihood, but as well as the practice of forced labor by the SPDC against the Ta'ang people. This forced labor facilitates private companies' projects at the expense of the already displaced community. In this situation, the women, children and the elderly are also disproportionately affected. This report lays testament to the sufferings of the Ta'ang people. This wanton violation of Ta'ang ethnic nationals' rights is representative of the emblematic and widespread disregard for the fundamental rights in Myanmar. It is an outright violation of a number of international laws which include the United Nations Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the violation of the International Labor Organisation (1930, No. 29, Article 2.1). It is also a breach on their commitment as UN member state to the UN Declaration on the Right to Development adopted in 1986 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011). Yet, international and regional intergovernmental body such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is playing deaf and blind in addressing the situation to put an end to these illegal practices. It is hoped that this report could facilitate the necessary steps and concrete action in behalf of the Ta'ang ethnic nationals which are required from the relevant UN agencies, international and regional bodies, international financial institutions, and the bilateral and multi-lateral donor agencies. The stories collected in this report speak for the longstanding issues that beset the Ta'ang S ethnic nationals and the efforts of the Ta'ang Students and Youth Organisation in publishing this report is a very important step in trying to make a significant contribution to change that situation, now and for the generations to come. As this report shows, this situation could not continue as if it is business as usual. There is no way forward but for a multi-level dialogue to take place and agree on an amicable settlement which is in line with the national and international laws. Let this report which underlines concrete recommendations, encourages all concerned international and national stakeholders and the Ta'ang community to come together and agree to implement resolutions in ways that preserve the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' human rights while meeting the challenges of a sustainable economic development in Myanmar."
      Source/publisher: Ta’ang (Palaung) Working Group - TSYO, PWO, PSLF
      Format/size: pdf (7.7MB)
      Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


      Title: Grabbing Land: Destructive Development in Ta'ang Region (English)
      Date of publication: November 2011
      Description/subject: "This report validates the fact that multi-national and transnational companies are violating the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' fundamental human rights. The confiscation of Ta'ang peoples' land and the exploitation of their natural resources in which they depend for their subsistence and livelihood are outlined in this report. The Myanmar government continues to permit the persistence of business practices which are illegal under national and international laws. Massive displacements take place without the provisions of adequate compensation or relocation, let alone meaningful community consultations that left the affected people with no legal remedy to rebuild their lives and resume their collective activity. The situation of Ta'ang people in the Shan State is a classic example of land confiscation under the pretext of economic development while totally excluding the affected communities on the benefits of 'development' from foreign investment in the country. As a consequence of these activities the Ta'ang people have to bear the brunt of not only losing their land and source of livelihood, but as well as the practice of forced labor by the SPDC against the Ta'ang people. This forced labor facilitates private companies' projects at the expense of the already displaced community. In this situation, the women, children and the elderly are also disproportionately affected. This report lays testament to the sufferings of the Ta'ang people. This wanton violation of Ta'ang ethnic nationals' rights is representative of the emblematic and widespread disregard for the fundamental rights in Myanmar. It is an outright violation of a number of international laws which include the United Nations Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the violation of the International Labor Organisation (1930, No. 29, Article 2.1). It is also a breach on their commitment as UN member state to the UN Declaration on the Right to Development adopted in 1986 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011). Yet, international and regional intergovernmental body such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is playing deaf and blind in addressing the situation to put an end to these illegal practices. It is hoped that this report could facilitate the necessary steps and concrete action in behalf of the Ta'ang ethnic nationals which are required from the relevant UN agencies, international and regional bodies, international financial institutions, and the bilateral and multi-lateral donor agencies. The stories collected in this report speak for the longstanding issues that beset the Ta'ang S ethnic nationals and the efforts of the Ta'ang Students and Youth Organisation in publishing this report is a very important step in trying to make a significant contribution to change that situation, now and for the generations to come. As this report shows, this situation could not continue as if it is business as usual. There is no way forward but for a multi-level dialogue to take place and agree on an amicable settlement which is in line with the national and international laws. Let this report which underlines concrete recommendations, encourages all concerned international and national stakeholders and the Ta'ang community to come together and agree to implement resolutions in ways that preserve the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' human rights while meeting the challenges of a sustainable economic development in Myanmar."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Ta'ang Student and Youth Organization-TSYO
      Format/size: pdf (803K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungland.org
      Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


      Title: Land confiscation threatens villagers' livelihoods in Dooplaya District
      Date of publication: 31 October 2011
      Description/subject: "In September 2011, residents of Je--- village, Kawkareik Township told KHRG that they feared soldiers under Tatmadaw Border Guard Battalion #1022 and LIBs #355 and #546 would soon complete the confiscation of approximately 500 acres of land in their community in order to develop a large camp for Battalion #1022 and homes for soldiers' families. According to the villagers, the area has already been surveyed and the Je--- village head has informed local plantation and paddy farm owners whose lands are to be confiscated. The villagers reported that approximately 167 acres of agricultural land, including seven rubber plantations, nine paddy farms, and seventeen betelnut and durian plantations belonging to 26 residents of Je--- have already been surveyed, although they expressed concern that more land would be expropriated in the future. The Je--- residents said that the village head had told them rubber plantation owners would be compensated according to the number of trees they owned, but that the villagers were collectively refusing compensation and avoiding attending a meeting at which they worried they would be ordered to sign over their land. The villagers that spoke with KHRG said they believed the Tatmadaw intended to take over their land in October after the end of the annual monsoon, and that this would seriously undermine livelihoods in a community in which many villagers depended on subsistence agriculture on established land. This bulletin is based on information collected by KHRG researchers in September and October 2011, including five interviews with residents of Je--- village, 91 photographs of the area, and a written record of lands earmarked for confiscation."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (453K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b41.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Dweh Loh Township, May 2011
      Date of publication: 02 September 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in May 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Dweh Loh Township, Papun District between January and April 2011. It contains information concerning military activities in 2011, specifically resupply operations by Border Guard and Tatmadaw troops and the reinforcement of Border Guard troops at Manerplaw. It documents twelve incidents of forced portering of military rations in Wa Muh and K'Hter Htee village tracts, including one incident during which villagers used to porter rations were ordered to sweep for landmines, as well as the forced production and delivery of a total of 44,500 thatch shingles by civilians. In response to these abuses, male villagers remove themselves from areas in which troops are conducting resupply operations, in order to avoid arrest and forced portering. This report additionally registers villagers' serious concerns regarding the planting of landmines by non-state armed groups in agricultural workplaces and the proposed development of a new dam on the Bilin River at Hsar Htaw. It includes an overview of gold-mining operations by private companies and non-state armed groups along three rivers in Dweh Loh Township, and documents abuses related to extractive industry, specifically forced relocation and land confiscation."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (628K - OBL version; 1.1MB - original), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b26.html
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b26.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 01 February 2012


      Title: BURMA: Farmers ambushed, attacked and prosecuted for case against army-owned company
      Date of publication: 07 April 2011
      Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is concerned by the case of a group of farmers who lodged a complaint about attempts of an army-owned company and the powerful Htoo Company to acquire their land at a greatly undervalued amount. The farmers' complaint was rejected in court on grounds that the land was being acquired for a government project, even though the company is private. After, the company and army officers involved organized for a gang to ambush and attack a group of the farmers and to have a false criminal case lodged against them. The case has gone to court very quickly and it looks as if the court is getting orders to punish the farmers severely as a way to frighten the other farmers to stop opposing the army-backed construction project..."....Land rights; judicial system; fabrication of charges; corruption...
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
      Format/size: pdf (86K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2012


      Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar - an Overview (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
      Date of publication: February 2011
      Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
      Format/size: pdf (4.3MB; 11MB)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


      Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar, an Overview (English)
      Date of publication: February 2011
      Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
      Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


      Title: Land Tenure: A foundation for food security in Myanmar’s uplands (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
      Date of publication: December 2010
      Description/subject: "Access to land for smallholder farmers is a critical foundation for food security in Myanmar's uplands. Land tenure guarantees seem to be eroding and access to land becoming more difficult in some upland areas. If this trend continues it may have negative impacts for food security and undermine environmental and economic sustainability. This briefing paper explores the relationship between land tenure and food security, as well as key institutional and other factors that influence land access and tenure for smallholder farmers in the uplands today..."
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
      Format/size: pdf (489K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


      Title: Land Tenure: A foundation for food security in Myanmar’s uplands (English)
      Date of publication: December 2010
      Description/subject: "Access to land for smallholder farmers is a critical foundation for food security in Myanmar's uplands. Land tenure guarantees seem to be eroding and access to land becoming more difficult in some upland areas. If this trend continues it may have negative impacts for food security and undermine environmental and economic sustainability. This briefing paper explores the relationship between land tenure and food security, as well as key institutional and other factors that influence land access and tenure for smallholder farmers in the uplands today."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
      Format/size: pdf (458K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


      Title: Tyrants, Tycoons and Tigers
      Date of publication: 25 August 2010
      Description/subject: Summary: "A bitter land struggle is unfolding in northern Burma’s remote Hugawng Valley. Farmers that have been living for generations in the valley are defying one of the country’s most powerful tycoons as his company establishes massive mono-crop plantations in what happens to be the world’s largest tiger reserve. The Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve in Kachin State was declared by the Myanmar* Government in 2001 with the support of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society. In 2004 the reserve’s designation was expanded to include the entire valley of 21,890 square kilometers (8,452 square miles), making it the largest tiger reserve in the world. Today a 200,000 acre mono-crop plantation project is making a mockery of the reserve’s protected status. Fleets of tractors, backhoes, and bulldozers rip up forests, raze bamboo groves and fl atten existing small farms. Signboards that mark animal corridors and “no hunting zones” stand out starkly against a now barren landscape; they are all that is left of conservation efforts. Application of chemical fertilizers and herbicides together with the daily toil of over two thousand imported workers are transforming the area into huge tapioca, sugar cane, and jatropha plantations. In 2006 Senior General Than Shwe, Burma’s ruling despot, granted the Rangoon-based Yuzana Company license to develop this “agricultural development zone” in the tiger reserve. Yuzana Company is one of Burma’s largest businesses and is chaired by U Htay Myint, a prominent real estate tycoon who has close connections with the junta. Local villagers tending small scale farms in the valley since before it was declared a reserve have seen their crops destroyed and their lands confi scated. Confl icts between Yuzana Company employees, local authorities, and local residents have fl ared up and turned violent several times over the past few years, culminating with an attack on residents of Ban Kawk village in 2010. As of February 2010, 163 families had been forced into a relocation site where there is little water and few fi nished homes. Since then, through further threats and intimidation, * The current military regime changed the country’s name to Myanmar in 1989 1 others families have been forced to take “compensation funds” which are insuffi cient to begin a new life and leave them destitute. Despite the powerful interests behind the Yuzana project, villagers have been bravely standing up to protect their farmlands and livelihoods. They have sent numerous formal appeals to the authorities, conducted prayer ceremonies, tried to reclaim their fi elds, refused to move, and defended their homes. The failure of various government offi cials to reply to or resolve the problem fi nally led the villagers to reach out to the United Nations and the National League for Democracy in Burma. In March 2010 representatives of three villages fi led written requests to the International Labor Organization to investigate the actions of Yuzana. In July 2010, over 100 farmers opened a joint court case in Kachin State. Although the villagers in Yuzana’s project area have been ignored at every turn, they remain determined to seek a just solution to the problems in Hugawng. As Burma’s military rulers prepare for their 2010 “election,” local residents hold no hope for change from a new constitution that only legalizes the status quo and the military’s placement above the law. Companies such as Yuzana that have close military connections are set to play an increasing role in the economy and will also remain above the law. The residents of Hugawng Valley are thus at the frontline of protecting not only their own lands and environment but also the rights of all of Burma’s farmers. The Kachin Development Networking Group stands fi rmly with these communities and therefore calls on Yuzana to stop their project implementation to avoid any further citizens’ rights abuses and calls on all Kachin communities and leaders to work together with Hugawng villagers in their brave struggle."
      Language: English and the other EU languages
      Source/publisher: Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG)
      Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.aksyu.com/images/stories/tyrants_tycoons_n_tigers.jpg
      Date of entry/update: 25 August 2010


      Title: Under The Boot - A Village's Story of Burmese Army Occupation to Build a Dam on the Shweli River
      Date of publication: 03 December 2007
      Description/subject: "At night the Shweli has always sung sweet songs for us. But now the nights are silent and the singing has stopped. We are lonely and wondering what has happened to our Shweli?" ... "Exclusive photos and testimonies from a remote village near the China-Burma border uncover how Chinese dam builders are using Burma Army troops to secure Chinese investments. Under the Boot, a new report by Palaung researchers, details the implementation of the Shweli Dam project, China's first Build-Operate-Transfer hydropower deal with Burma's junta. Since 2000, the Palaung village of Man Tat, the site of the 600 megawatt dam project, has been overrun by hundreds of Burmese troops and Chinese construction workers. Villagers have been suffering land confiscation, forced labour, and restriction on movement ever since, and a five kilometer diversion tunnel has been blasted through the hill on which the village is situated. Photos in the report show soldiers carrying out parade drills, weapons assembly, and target practice in the village. "This Chinese project has been like a sudden military invasion. The villagers had no idea the dam would be built until the soldiers arrived," said Mai Aung Ko from the Palaung Youth Network Group (Ta'ang), which produced the report. Burma's Ministry of Electric Power formed a joint venture with Yunnan Joint Power Development Company, a consortium of Chinese companies, to build and operate the project. Electricity generated will be sent to China and several military-run mining operations in Burma. As the project nears completion, plans are underway for two more dams on the Shweli River, a tributary of the Irrawaddy..."
      Language: English, Burmese, Chinese
      Source/publisher: Palaung Youth Network Group
      Format/size: pdf (4.76MB - English; 1.35MB - Chinese; 4.41MB - Burmese)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.salweenwatch.org/images/stories/downloads/brn/underthebootchinesewithcover_2.pdf (Chinese)
      http://www.salweenwatch.org/images/stories/downloads/brn/underthebootburmese.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 04 December 2007


      Title: Massive Abuse on Land, Enviroment and Property Rights
      Date of publication: August 2006
      Description/subject: 1.Introduction: 1.1 Purpose of Discussion Paper... 2.Background History: 2.1 Ethnic Politics and Military Interference... 3.land tenure legislation (1948-62): 3.1 Earlier a brief period of Democracy (1948-1962) 3.2 Under BSBP rule (1962-1988) 3.3 Under Military uling (1988-Up to now)... 4. Socio-Economicpoverty and lnd Ownership... 5. Summary of Findings... 6.Analysis of Findings... 7. Militarization and land Confiscation... 8. No rights to a fair Market price and food sovereignty... 9. Abusing the Environment and natural resources... 10. new poverty due to illegal Tax Payment
      Author/creator: Khaing Dhu Wan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Network for Enviroment and Economic Development (NEED)
      Format/size: pdf (198.97 KB)
      Date of entry/update: 21 September 2010