Land slated for cas­tor oil by junta to be re­turned

The Myanmar Times - - News - SI THU LWIN sithul­win@mm­times.com

MAN­DALAY Re­gion’s Co­op­er­a­tive Depart­ment will re­turn 4300 out of more than 5500 acres of land, which were turned over to it by the then­junta govern­ment in 2006, to its orig­i­nal farm­ers.

The for­mer govern­ment had granted 5550 acres of land to the depart­ment to grow cas­tor oil – 4500 acres in Pyin Oo Lwin town­ship, 550 acres in Nyaung-U town­ship and 500 acres in Py­in­mana town­ship. The depart­ment will give back 4300 of the 4500 acres of land in Pyin Oo Lwin to its orig­i­nal farm­ers, ac­cord­ing to the co­op­er­a­tives union in Man­dalay Re­gion.

“We have re-ap­pro­pri­ated the re­main­ing 200 acres to grow cof­fee and teak. We have enough cap­i­tal to do those busi­nesses,” U Tun Hlaing, vice chair of the Man­dalay co­op­er­a­tives union, told The Myan­mar Times on Novem­ber 8.

“For the lands to be given back to the farm­ers, it will be man­aged by au­thor­i­ties from the Land Records Depart­ment and the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion Depart­ment.”

The re­gional Co­op­er­a­tive Depart­ment had been grow­ing cas­tor oil on 1054 acres of the land – about 720 acres in Shwe Chaung vil­lage in Pyin Oo Lwin’s Myay Bone vil­lage tract and around 334 acres in Leik Kya vil­lage – at a cost of K68.2 mil­lion (US$53,000). It will spend K230 mil­lion to grow cof­fee and teak on the 200 acres of land that it will re­tain, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures pro­vided by the co­op­er­a­tives union.

Au­thor­i­ties in­clud­ing the Man­dalay Re­gion head of the Co­op­er­a­tive Depart­ment, the Pyin Oo Lwin town­ship head of the depart­ment and the town­ship’s ad­min­is­tra­tor met with lo­cals from Myay Bone vil­lage tract and con­ducted a field in­spec­tion of the land to be re­lin­quished on Oc­to­ber 31.

“We are glad to hear that the farm­ers will get back their lands,” law­maker U Aung Min (NLD; Pyin Oo Lwin 1), a mem­ber of the re­gional leg­is­la­ture’s Farm­land Scru­ti­n­is­ing Com­mit­tee, told The Myan­mar Times on Novem­ber 7. “But the real sit­u­a­tion is that most lands are oc­cu­pied. So we will give back the lands to the orig­i­nally own­ing farm­ers who can show the re­quired doc­u­ments. Be­fore that we will ver­ify dili­gently.”

– Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

A sign­board asks peo­ple not to climb Pa Hto Taw Gyi after the 2012 Thabeikkyin earth­quake.

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