Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Forestry officials confiscate cattle from farmers

(DVB)–Forestry authorities confiscated 24 bulls and 46 bullock carts from farmers in Kyauktaga village in Daik-U township, Bago division, accusing the farmers of stealing timber and bamboo.

The incident occurred on 22 February when the farmers were out collecting the materials they needed for their farms, one farmer said.

"We went to collect wood and bamboo for the rainy season and people from the forestry department came and confiscated our carts near Baina reservoir," a farmer said.

"They came with elephants, fired shots and confiscated [our cattle and carts]."

The officials confiscated the animals and carts from the farmers, reportedly on the orders of the district forestry office, and demanded a fine, the farmer said.

"We went to see them at the school building as we were told. We were then told to go to the district office for negotiations,” the farmer said.

“We don’t know where to go and don’t know how to proceed,” the farmer said.

“We will have to pay them the amount they demand by selling off what we have."

Daik-U township forestry department could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Ahunt Phone Myat

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