(Narinjara News, 7 August 2014)
Over 50 villagers from Jade Taw village under Thandwe township staged a demonstration demanding their lands, confiscated by various government agencies, to get back.
U Kyaw Zaw, who led the demonstration, informed that nearly 1000 acres of firm-lands in Jade Taw and Kyauk Ket villages have been confiscated by an ex-Army General’s family and also officials from the Navy and the Fishery department.
“Daw Marlar Tin, wife of former Army General U Khin Maung Than, confiscated 8.89 acres of mountain lands near Jade Taw village in
2007 for constructing a hotel there. But no project has emerged on the plot till today. So we want the lands for using in various livelihood activities for the benefit of the villagers,” said U Kyaw Zaw.
In addition to the Army family, different units of Burma Navy also confiscated 96.64 acres of lands in Kyauk Ket village under the military government. Similarly the fishery department confiscated 6.53 acres of lands in 2005.
“Only 20 acres of the confiscated lands have been used by the government agencies till today. So we come together demanding the lands with the demonstration,” added U Kyaw Zaw.
The demonstration started at 12 noon on the roads of Jade Taw and later marched into the Mya Byint village.
Ko Nay Zaw, a freelance journalist, said that the agitating villagers marched on the road showing many banners and placards against the land confiscation. They also shouted slogans in favor of their demands.
Initially the villagers decided to stage the demonstration in the district town of Thandwe but the authority did not permit them. Later the villagers demonstrated in their village with the permission from local authorities.