Khami nationals face charges for farming in confiscated farmlands

(Kyauk Taw, 30 June 2013) : Farming in the confiscated farmlands has put few Khami nationals in troubles. At least four persons of the minority community of Arakan province in western Burma are facing charges as they ploughed on the confiscated farms by the Burma Army.

--buffaloThe farmlands in the locality of Kyauk Taw township belonged to the farmers before confiscated by the Battalion 539 of Burma Army in 2010. Recently the farmers ploughed on the farmlands and thus they invited wraths from the security personnel.

The accused farmers have been identified as U Maung Shwe Hla, U Tun San Pru, U Kyaw Aye and U Saw Hla from Okktaung Byin village in Kyauk Taw township.

They were charged by a warrant officer from the Battalion 539 based in Kan Souk village, a few miles south of Kyauk Taw township.

On  June 28, there was a trial in Kyauk Taw township’s court to hear the case, but it was later postponed by the judge as all the accused farmers could not arrive in the  court due to poor health.

It is learnt that  U Maung Shwe Hla and U Tun San Pru arrived on time, but the other two namely U Kyaw Aye and U Saw Hla could not do so due to illness.

Though the security personnel confiscated around 132 acres of farmlands owned by them in 2010, the farmers have not received any compensation till date. It simply eroded the relationship between the security forces and the local  Khami farmers. The possession of the farmland has thus emerged as a major issue of confrontation between the two parties.

Another incident of confrontation between the security forces and the farmers took place on June 23 when nearly 30 farmers from Prink Chaung and Okktaung Byin villages under Kyauk Taw township gathered to plough on the confiscated farms. The Army officer Thaung Hla arrived on the location with a group of security personnel and prevented the farmers from doing their works.

Later the Arakan power minister U Tha Lu Cahy accompanied by an official team came to the village for resolving the issue. The minister advised the farmers to avoid confrontations with the security personnel.  He also emphasized on solving the problem with the legal process through the parliamentary land investigation commission.