Nyaunglebin Interview: Saw A---, May 2017


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Nyaunglebin Interview: Saw A---, May 2017

Published date:
Thursday, December 14, 2017

This Interview with Saw A--- describes events occurring in Phyu Township (Bago Division), Nyaunglebin District in 2017, including land confiscation and violent abuse.

  • Saw A--- stated that pasture land owned by villagers from six villages in K’nyin Tai Gyi village tract, Phyu Township, Nyaunglebin District has been confiscated on an ongoing basis by other villagers since 2011 in order to construct houses and sell the confiscated land for profit. The land confiscators have sold around 70 to 80 acres of the approximately 891 acres total of pasture land confiscated.
  • Local villagers have formed a farmer rights protection group and have reported the details of this land confiscation with photographic evidence to several different levels of the Burma/Myanmar government but have not received any responses.
  • Saw A--- reports that land confiscators attacked and intimidated villagers who entered the confiscated land to look after their cattle. No response was taken after villagers reported this incident to several different levels of the Burma/Myanmar government.
  • Villagers suspect that the authorities such as the Burma/Myanmar government and the Township general administrator collaborated with the land confiscators to confiscate the 891 acres of pasture land.


[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] Saw is a S’gaw Karen male honorific title used before a person’s name.

[4] Pasture land is land collectively shared between multiple villages and used primarily for grazing domesticated livestock.

[5] Thein Sein, a former general, served as the President of Myanmar from March 2011 until November 2015. His presidency was the first election in Myanmar in over 20 years. While he led many meaningful reforms, such as freeing political prisoners, relaxing media laws, and starting peace deals with ethnic minority groups, many analysts suggest his appointment was orchestrated by the former military junta, the SPDC.

[6] KHRG has received updated information that the official number of acres included in the pasture land is 891 acres, and not 291, as stated in this interview.

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

[8] A KHRG community member interviewed U K--- in a separate, currently unpublished interview.