Thursday, July 27, 2017

Former government officials probed for land grab

Investigations are under way into whether 140 acres of land owned by former government officials in Dekkhinathiri, Thayet zone, Nay Pyi Taw, are being cultivated and for how long.

According to U Kyaw Myint Oo, Amyotha Hluttaw representative, the Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands began their investigations on Monday.

A committee member U Kyaw Myint Oo, said that the probe is being made after more than 90 farmers lodged reports alleging the lands were not being cultivated.

He said, “We are looking into the reports by the farmers in Dekkhinathiri district to see whether the former government officials have cultivated the land or not.”

The farmers informed the general administration office in Dekkhinathiri that former government officials, U Win Tun, U Aye Myint Maung and U Kyaw Myint owned 30 acres each while U Khin Maung Aye and U Thein Aung owned 25 acres each.

The farmers say some received very poor compensation for their lands while others did not get any.

The farmers are demanding the lands back.

U Kyaw Myint Oo said, “We are using a GPS system to check on the rate planting during the last four years which must be 100 percent.

“We will record how much is being cultivated currently. Then, we will try to see if there has been an infringement of the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Law,” he said.

According to the Land Record Department, the lands were allowed to be cultivated only in 2015.

According to U Maung Maung Htwe, Amyotha Hluttaw representative, and another member of the Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands said that the lands were worked between 2010 and 2011.

“They really worked the land in 2011. That fact should be taken into account. You must consider that they (former government officials) tricked the current government when it took over,” U Maung Maung Htwe said.

“We do not accept that. We must count the years the land was worked, including this year and we will check if they are in line with the law to plant during all four years. We have to check again to see which years were permissible to plant,” he said.

Currently, mango, guava, jackfruit, grapefruit, rambutan and eucalyptus plants are being grown on some of the land where cultivation is prohibited.

Translation by Khine Thazin Han