Controversial problems over the lands grabbed by the army for sugarcane project are now facing about 10,000 local farmers in Kanbalu town, Shwebo district.
The local farmers are going to stage a protest on August 13 with the intention that the concerned authorities should fairly deal with the confiscated lands, a source from Kanbalu town said.
“We already received an official permission for the protest. We publicly denounced lawless confiscation of lands and dishonest judicial decisions,” land grab victim farmers said.
“We submitted a letter to let us stage a protest on August 4. We will gather at Kanbalu sports ground and go round the town,” farmer Zaw Win Maung from Hnetpyawtine village.
The protest will be organised by FNI (Facilitator Network with ILO) and the protesters will demand to give their confiscated lands back, to release jailed farmers, to close the lawsuits against farmers, to deal with the plantations grown by the original farmers being destroyed by the army.
“The number of jailed farmers is 54. The number of farmers facing trial is 173. Now, the army is destroying at least 500 acres in the plantations. Recently, a soldier from the army assaulted farmer Win Thein from Hnetpyawtine village and threatened him to kill,” farmer Than Htaik from Khaownta village whose lands were grabbed said.
“The protest will be staged from at 7 am to 2 pm. We want to witness the responsibility and accountability of the government in the name of democracy,” protest leaders said.
“President Thein Sein is always mentioning the responsibility and accountability. We hope the concerned departments will live up to the speeches of the President,” a resident from Kanbalu.
The land grab problem has started since early last year and the officials of Tatmadaw (armed forces) broke promises several times. The families of farmers facing trials and imprisonment have been in difficult situation for their basic needs.