Nyaunglebin Interview: Daw U---, December 2012

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Nyaunglebin Interview: Daw U---, December 2012

Published date:
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This Interview with Daw U--- was conducted in Kyaukkyi Township, Nyaunglebin District in December 2012 and includes issues of land confiscation and arbitrary taxation by the Tatmadaw.

  • Daw U--- describes the confiscation of land by the Tatmadaw in 1989 and subsequent taxation applied to farmers working on their own lands. Starting in 1994, farmers were forced to provide 15 baskets of paddy per acre of farmland each year to the Tatmadaw.
  • Since 2011, villagers have no longer been required to pay leasing fees in order to farm on their own land, however, villagers still have not had their lands returned to them.
  • Daw U--- also records how villagers submitted a complaint letter to the Burma government in order to reclaim their land. Subsequently, the Burma government’s Land Registration Office divided the farm land into that which was confiscated for the military by law (La Na 39) and would not be returned and land that was confiscated arbitrarily, but would be returned. However, no action to return any confiscated land has been taken yet.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in eastern Burma to document individual human rights abuses using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When conducting interviews, community members are trained to use loose question guidelines, but also to encourage interviewees to speak freely about recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important and share their opinions or perspectives on abuse and other local dynamics.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s Website.

[3] A basket is a unit of volume used to measure paddy, milled rice and seeds. One basket is equivalent to 20.9 kg. or 46.08 lb. of paddy.

[4] Paddy is rice grain that is still in the husk.

[5] Here the interviewee is referring to La Na Law, in particular La Na 39. Under this law, land was confiscated for use by the Tatmadaw and will not be returned to farmers. However, land that was not confiscated using this law, but rather arbitrarily by Tatmadaw soldiers in the past, may be returned.

[6] On January 12th 2012, a preliminary ceasefire agreement was signed between the KNU and Burma government in Hpa-an, the capital of Kayin State. The exact terms for a long-term peace plan are still under negotiation. For updates on the peace process, see the KNU Stakeholder webpage on the Myanmar Peace Monitor website. For KHRG's analysis of changes in human rights conditions since the ceasefire, see Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response since the 2012 ceasefire, KHRG, May 2014.