Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Villagers forced to take responsibility of security for imminent visit of region’s presedent

Villagers were forced to be sentries by the Ta’ang autonomous region’s president, U Maung Kyaw and his colleagues during trips to check reports of land confiscation by Fry Dragon tea-drying industry. They also plan to come and listen to a religious sermon in Lun Thout village on February 4, 2012, Namhsan Township, Northern Shan State, Burma.
“I have been forced to take security for the whole night from February 3 to 4 in the jungle. I was given no support, I could only eat when a family member came to feed me” said one of the sentries.
For U Maung Kyaw’s trip, the villagers, who come from Upper Manloi, Lower Manloi and Thaungkyaw Villages, were forced to provide security for him and his colleagues.
According to the local news, there was anonymous armed group activity around Namhsan and Mangton Townships, leaving Burmese soldiers and Militia groups afraid to take responsibility for the trip. They just forced villagers to take over. In the end, U Maung Kyaw’s trip was canceled as the villagers reported that they have seen armed groups crossing through the village.
As regards to the land confiscation, the alleged perpetrator is U Hla Shwe, who is a major of the Fly Dragon tea-drying industry. It was announced that in order to begin growing the new tea plantations they would have to impound 500 acres of local Ta’ang ancestral land in Manloi quarter, upper Manloi village, Namshan Township, Nothern Shan State. There are approximately thirty-nine families that will lose their ancestor’s lands but also four families that lost their tea farms of about 10 acres.
Although the land owners already complained and reported the issue to the Lashio authorities, they have not had any response. Therefore, they tried to report it to the Ta’ang National Party again.

Human Rights Documentation and Information Department
Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization



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