Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Army Seizes Villager’s Rice Paddy, Demands Money for Pipeline Security

by Kon Hadae

(Mon News) -Burmese Army soldiers seized a villager’s rice paddy field by force in Mudon Township, Mon State.

Three day ago, soldiers informed the Doe Mar villager that they would take 2.5 acres for themselves for rainy season rice cultivation. They offered no compensation, said a source close to the farmer.

When he arrived at his farm, the soldiers, who are guarding the nearby Myaing Kalay pipeline, informed him that they would be working in his field and that he should go home. The villager’s property is located close to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) base.

A land seizure of this type continues what has been called an “expansive set of human rights violations,“ along the 180-mile pipeline since its construction began in November 2000. A May 2009 report by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) found 298 acres of farmland seized and nearly 12,000 acres in total.

A villager told IMNA that the soldiers said “[they] will work in his field for the rainy [paddy season]. So that paddy field owner had to go back home.”

Another Doe Mar villager added that, if the soldiers asked last year it may not have been such an imposition; the farmer did not grow rice then, due to the high price of rubber. This year, however, rubber prices have dropped and the farmer needs the rice paddy to support his family.

Residents told IMNA that soldiers have abused their power and demanded money from the villagers for a long time: “they try to take everything from the villagers. Not just the paddy field, money as well. We have been giving them [SPDC soldiers] money for a long time for gas pipeline security.”

Since April 2006, when the gas pipeline exploded, villages in Mudon Township have had to give 2,500 Kyat per family every single month to local battalions for gas pipeline security.

A resident from Hnee Padaw village , Mudon township, added that “in our village, not only do we have to pay money for pipeline security, but also for the salary of the [SPDC organized] militia in the village.”

The May 2009 HURFOM report found that the most common of the numerous human rights abuses by the SPDC surrounding the Myaing Kalay gas pipeline were Land Confiscation, Forced Labor, Taxation, Extortion and Commandeering.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too