Toungoo Interview: U A---, 2017

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Toungoo Interview: U A---, 2017

Published date:
Thursday, November 16, 2017

This Interview with U A--- describes events occurring in Htantabin Township, Toungoo District in 2017, including interactions with the Kaung Myanmar Aung Company.

  • U A--- reported that his employer, Kaung Myanmar Aung Company, ordered him to destroy a villager’s banana plantation in B--- village, Na Ga Mout village tract, Htantabin Township, Toungoo District on 26th October 2016. He had to carry out these orders despite not wanting to because the company threatened him that if he did not he would have to stop working for the company.
  • U A--- stated that the owner of the banana plantation tried to stop Kaung Myanmar Aung Company workers from clearing her banana plantation, citing a lack of consultation prior to the clearing of the plantation. This created a conflict between Kaung Myanmar Aung workers and the local villagers.
  • According to U A---, after Kaung Myanmar Aung Company confiscated the villager’s banana plantation they planted a teak plantation on the confiscated land. However, the banana plantation owner did not receive any compensation.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeastern Burma/Myanmar 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 southeastern Burma/Myanmar, 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] The majority ethnic group in Myanmar, also known as ethnic Burmese or Burman.

[4] Kaung Myanmar Aung Company (KMAC) or Kaung Myanmar Aung Group of Companies is a Myanmar-owned business group with investments in teak plantations in Toungoo District, and mining, agriculture, shipping, construction and real estate development across Myanmar. Their chairman is Khin Maung Aye. KMAC have been implicated in land confiscation cases in southeast Myanmar which have included threats to villagers who were customary owners of the lands, see “Toungoo Situation Update: Thandaunggyi and Htantabin townships, November 2014 to February 2015,” July 2015. Affected villagers held protests against the company in 2015 and early 2016 in order to demand the return of their lands, see “Toungoo Situation Update: Thandaunggyi and Htantabin townships, November 2015 to January 2016,” July 2016. For information on a similar case with KMAC in Pyin Oo Lwin Township, Mandalay Division, see “Presidential adviser sues 13 farmers for trespassing,” Myanmar Times, September 2nd, 2013.

[5] For more information on a similar case with KMAC  in Toungoo District, see “Toungoo Interview: Naw A---, November 2015,”

[6]U is a Burmese title used for elder men, used before their name.

[7] While the researcher stated that they sued the company it is believed they in fact submitted a complaint to the village head.

[8] These field notes are used by villagers to demarcate different plots of land.

[9] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the  August 18 2017 official market rate of 1,361  kyat to US $1.