Local farmers prepares to plough on disputed farmlands

EMG 23-MAY 2013

Local farmers are preparing to plough the farmlands of 500 acres that have been grabbled by the army in Lewe Township in Nay Pyi Taw on May 22.

The army grabbed the farmlands in Nyaungmoatseik, Ywathitgyi, Gutaung and Thayaraye villages from Lewe Township, Nay Pyi Taw in 2004 and 2005.

More than one hundred farmers have already planned to plough fields for the cultivation of paddy on the grabbed land of the army with the use of 28 pairs of draught cattle until they can grow the paddy.

“The army grabbed the lands that can produce over 100 basket of paddy under the pretext of the pasture, forcing the farmers to sell them through unfair price . The farmers are not satisfied with the forced grab of the farmlands. Only now, the army gave us compensation, but the farmers are facing hard situations. Businessmen close to the army’s families are exploiting the grabbed farmlands. We have to give 12 basket of paddy to the army. If we grow green gram in the summertime, we have to give K 10000 for one acre. The State’s poverty reduction program brings nothing benefits to the farmers,” a local peasant from Tharyaraye village said.

“Our five acres of farmland was grabbed by the army and our family has been in a poor condition. We cannot send our children to school. As the army has not given our farmlands back to us, we are preparing to resume our farming in our fields. We will be satisfied if we get back our farmlands”, a local farmer said.

For the grabbed lands in 2005 and 2009, the army gave compensation of K 200,000 for one acre of farmland and K 100,000 for one acre of hillside cultivation land in 2010.

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