Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Myaungmya farmers call for land compensation
The Myaungmya Farmers’ Union made calls on Tuesday for authorities to compensate landowners whose land was confiscated to make way for the Myaungmya Industrial Zone in the Ayeyarwady [Irrawaddy] Region at a rate of two million kyat (US$2,300) per acre.

Than Zaw Oo, general secretary of the union, said, “More than 50 acres of land owned by 14 farmers were confiscated, and five out of the 14 peasants accepted 1,500,000 kyat ($1,725) per acre. The remaining nine farmers earlier said that they wanted 2,500,000 kyat ($2,783) per acre. The farmers and the chairperson of the Industrial Zone Project Committee then negotiated by dropping their demand to two million kyat ($2,300) per acre."

Hla Soe, a farmer living in Myahaymar Quarter in Myaungmya Township, whose five acres of land was confiscated, said that he does not know what to do if they are not given adequate compensation for their lands.

“To make way for the industrial zone, the authorities first confiscated lands in 1994 and in 2003 for the second time,” said Hla Soe. “During Cyclone Nargis, we lost some of our ownership documents for the lands, so although five acres of my land were confiscated, I’ll only get compensation for one and half acres.”

Ko Ko Naing, the chairperson of Myaungmya Industrial Zone Project Committee, was not available for comment on the issue when contacted by Mizzima. 

Myaungmya Industrial Zone authorities told the farmers that they would reply to their request within three days.

According to residents living in Myaungmya, the area of the industrial zone project is more than 70 acres. Rice mills and other factories were built on the lands confiscated in 1994. No mill has been built to date on the lands confiscated in 2003.

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