Lands confiscation still going on in Arakan

(Maungdaw, 3 June 2013) : The authority of Maungdaw in western Burma, bordering Bangladesh faces criticism for its failure to compensate the farmers, from whom farmlands were confiscated.



The farm lands were seized by the authority for setting up a government model village there and it promised some amount of money for the confiscated lands. But in reality the Arakan authority has not paid any amount to the land owners, claimed a sufferer family member.

On 9 April 2013, some high officials led by Maungdaw township administrator U Kyi Than confiscated 6 acres of land from three Arakanese farmers namely U Maung Thein Nyunt, U Sein Poin & Daw Yin Tha Poin from Zay Di Byint village. The land, under Long Don village tract located at northern part of Maungdaw township, was seized with a promise of compensations.

The present market price of land in that area is estimated to be Kyat 1.5 million per acre and hence the cumulative value of the total confiscated lands is estimated to be kyat 9 million.

As the authority has not paid the amount, all the affected farmer families have to suffer now, added the affected family member.

After the land confiscation, a construction company named Kyan Sit Min, erected 40 buildings (houses) on the land. Though the houses are understood to be included in the government model village, the local residents are still in dark about the complete plan.

In earlier too, the authority confiscated several acres of land in 2006 for 60 buildings to be constructed in the model village. Unfortunately the authority had not offered any compensation to the affected villagers.

“We, the Rakhine community people in Maungdaw township are minority, but the authority seems to be uncaring for our woes.  It is a big challenge for our community on the western border of the country. We are surviving here with various risk factors. But even then we can not leave this area as it is our birth place,” asserted the affected family member.

Some relatives of the three affected farmers even went to Maungdaw recently to know about the compensations from the government, but it is learnt that the township administration officials posed a questioned to them in return saying if, at all, the authority needs to pay for the confiscated lands in Burma!