Friday, 22 August 2008

Myanmar Mayaka seizes 280 acres of land in Buthidaung

source from kaladan Press, 21  Aug 2008 ,

Buthidaung, Arakan State: The Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC), or Mayaka of Buthidaung Township confiscated about 280 acres of paddy fields from farmers of Ngaran Chaung village tract recently. The confiscation was made on the allegation that the farmers did not comply with the order to grow paddy again, said a schoolteacher on condition of anonymity.   

Earlier, the TPDC authorities had ordered farmers to grow paddy again as part of the summer cultivation. Some farmers complied where natural water was available but some did not because water was not available. The ruling junta did not make any arrangements to supply water to villagers.

Farmers of the Ngaran Chang village and Kyinutthi villages have to give 15 Tans (one Tan=40.9 kg) or Kyat 3,000 per acre to TPDC officials and another 15 Tans of paddy or Kyat 6,000 per acre to the land-surveying department by the end of January 2009.  The farmers have to give paddy following the summer paddy cultivation.  As a result, a farmer has to pay 30 Tans or Kyat 9,000 per acre to the authorities at a time. If any farmer fails to give paddy or money, their farm lands would be confiscated.

The authorities have also said that if farmers give the paddy or money in time, they will be allowed to grow paddy in their fields.

The Tactical Operation Commander (TOC) of Buthidaung Town has been apprised but the Commander has referred the matter back to the TPDC office in Buthidaung.  An officer of the TPDC told villagers that the problem will be solved in the near future. But, authorities are not allowing villagers to grow paddy in the seized land during the paddy season. The paddy season will end shortly.

It is a strategy to seize land belonging to Rohingyas indirectly by demanding at a time   huge money from villagers, said a village elder requesting not to be named.

Meanwhile, some Rakhine men came to the villages from Kyauktaw and Maruk U townships and demanded Kyat 200,000 to 250,000 per Khani (0.40 acre) claiming the lands were owned by their grandfathers. They are being encouraged by U Aung Mya, the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) Chairman of Ywar Thaya village of Ngaran Chang village tract, said a local trader. ##

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