Com­mit­tee for solv­ing land dis­putes ac­cused of con­flict of in­ter­est

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com

FARM­ERS are claim­ing that a gov­ern­ment com­mit­tee tasked with in­ves­ti­gat­ing land grabs and re­solv­ing dis­putes has failed in its obli­ga­tions.

U Kyaw Swe Latt, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a Nay Pyi Taw farmer’s or­gan­i­sa­tion known as Da­gun, said that a se­ri­ous con­flict of in­ter­est ex­ists, as a num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als cur­rently work­ing for town­ship- and re­gion-level con­fis­cated farm­lands com­mit­tees were in­volved in forced land seizures un­der pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments.

The Cen­tral Com­mit­tee on Con­fis­cated Farm­lands and Other Lands was formed ear­lier this year and is tasked with mon­i­tor­ing state and re­gion gov­ern­ments’ han­dling of land dis­putes, and en­abling the re­turn of land to dis­pos­sessed farm­ers.

“Un­der pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments, the For­est Depart­ment, Land Record Depart­ment and City Devel­op­ment Com­mit­tees were in­volved in land con­fis­ca­tions. Peo­ple who worked for these or­gan­i­sa­tions at that time are now work­ing for re­gion and town­ship com­mit­tees cur­rently un­der the purview of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee on Con­fis­cated Farm­lands and Other Lands,” said U Kyaw Swe Latt.

“This means that the peo­ple the gov­ern­ment has made re­spon­si­ble for set­tling land seizure cases may have par­tic­i­pated in land grabs. That is why we are con­cerned,” he said.

Da­gun has sched­uled a meet­ing this week with the Amyotha Hlut­taw Farmer Af­fairs Com­mit­tee to dis­cuss the is­sue.

The Myan­mar Times has en­deav­oured to con­tact the Farmer Af­fairs Com­mit­tee for com­ment but has not been suc­cess­ful so far.

– Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

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