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Farmers will sue over denial of protest rights

Famers in Burma still use oxen for most work in the fields.  Photo: Mizzima
Rangoon (Mizzima) – A group of farmers said they will prepare a lawsuit after Labutta Township officials denied them a permit to stage a demonstration over the confiscation of their land.

Phoe Phyu, an advocate for the farmers, said the farmers applied for a demonstration permit three times, but the township police chief denied their request each time.
To sue government employees, they must obtain permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs, said Phoe Phyu.

The farmers said the confiscation occurred when a now defunct township Law and Order Restoration Council of Labutta Township seized 560 acres of farmlands in Thaephyu village in 1993.
Than Kyi, who said he had 45 acres confiscated, told Mizzima that many of the farmers lost their livelihood because of the confiscations.

He’s now forced to work for others, he said, and he lives from hand-to-mouth. The land confiscation also forced his daughter to drop out of school, he said.

In July, Lower House MP Tin Htut of Zalun Township put forward a proposal “to establish a committee to investigate land disputes in cases of confiscated farmlands and other confiscated land. Forty-five MPs – the largest number for a single proposal in the Lower House’s short history – discussed and supported the proposal.
The proposal was approved by 495 yes votes, 176 no votes and 24 abstentions.
In the discussion, MPs said the army and the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development often confiscated land. Land is also confiscated for development of roads, irrigation projects and other development projects, as well as business-oriented projects by private developers.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 August 2012 14:42 )  

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