Toungoo Interview: Saw Cn--- and Naw Dq---, November 2017

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Toungoo Interview: Saw Cn--- and Naw Dq---, November 2017

Published date:
Friday, August 31, 2018

This Interview with Saw Cn--- describes different village agency strategies used by villagers to regain their confiscated lands in Htantabin Township, Toungoo District in November 2017.

  • Since 2000, authorities of the Ba Yint Naung military training school have confiscated 1,521 acres of villagers’ plantations in Htantabin Township. The Tatmadaw used these lands as firing fields for soldiers, which caused major damages to villager’s farmlands [plantations]. The Tatmadaw has not provided compensation for any of the damaged plantations.
  • Local communities in Htantabin Township have been facing land confiscations for 20 years because of the Industry 1 rubber tree plantation projects. Consequently, they experienced perpetual livelihood challenges and difficulties accessing health and education. In 2017, villagers tried to reclaim their ancestral lands by reporting their case to the Myanmar government. The company did not provide compensation for damaged lands, nor did they release the lands to villagers. Instead, the manager Aung Kyaw Oo sued 5 villagers in Co---, including three women who confronted the company and attempted to reclaim their lands.

 

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] On January 12th 2012, a preliminary ceasefire agreement was signed between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. Negotiations for a longer-term peace plan are still under way. 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. In March 2015, the seventh round of the negotiations for a national ceasefire between the Burma/Myanmar government and various ethnic armed actors began in Yangon, see “Seventh Round of Nationwide Ceasefire Negotiations,” Karen National Union Headquarters, March 18th 2015. Following the negotiations, the KNU held a central standing committee emergency, see “KNU: Emergency Meeting Called To Discuss Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement And Ethnic Leaders’ Summit,” Karen News, April 22nd 2015.

[4] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the 19 June 2018 official market rate of 1,356_kyats to US $1

[5] Land form #7 is the land grant required to work on a particular area of land. In Burma/Myanmar, all land is ultimately owned by the government. 

 

[6] Naypyidaw (also spelled Nay Pyi Taw) is the capital city of Burma/Myanmar. This is commonly by villages to refer to the Burma/Myanmar government. In 2005 the military regime moved the capital from Rangoon to a greenfield at its present location, 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of the city. See “Nay Pyi Taw now less of a ghost town,” Bangkok Post, December 11th 2013.

[7] Tatmadaw refers to the Myanmar military throughout KHRG's 25 year reporting period. The Myanmar military were commonly referred to by villagers in KHRG research areas as SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) from 1988 to 1997 and SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) from 1998 to 2011, which were the Tatmadaw-proclaimed names of the military government of Burma. Villagers also refer to Tatmadaw in some cases as simply "Burmese" or "Burmese soldiers".