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Published on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 19:56
The more than 600 farmers who last week protested alleged land grabs in Nyaungdon township of Maubin district in the Ayeyarwady Region are continuing their call for the government to prevent more land grabs and bring justice to those already displaced, representatives said.
Former farmer Aung Myint, from Ngetpyawkyun village, said the Yangon City Development Committee had taken his land without compensating him. “It took my land and put up a signpost saying it was a farming site. They never paid anything for it or even mentioned anything about compensation. I am now landless and work as a day labourer,” he said.
Last Thursday more than 600 farmers protested for three hours over alleged land grabs by the development committee, the township veteran association and private companies.
They said the township veteran association was the first to grab land, taking about 400 hectares, followed by the Yangon development committee, which took about 240 hectares. Land grabbing surged when private firms joined in, farmers said.
They said Zartimann Co. seized more than 1,200 hectares near Katokekama village and Wah Wah Win Co. snapped up about 80 hectares near Ngetpyawkyun village.
More than 1,900 hectares of land had been grabbed, most of which had been turned into fish farms after being used to grow crops for two years, the farmers said.
“The land belonged to our ancestors. We have receipts showing this,” said Nyunt Myaing, who alleges he lost about 12 hectares to Zartimann. He accused local officials of colluding with the company to take his land.
Hlaing Oo said that he received 64,000 kyats (about US$75) in compensation from Wah Wah Win for about eight hectares of farmland.
The farmers are continuing to call on the government to take action against those they accuse of grabbing their land, as well as the officials they allege assisted in the land grabs.