Government Artillery Battalion 360 returned 105 acres of land confiscated in 2001 from a religious group and farmers in Daw-Sae Village, Demawso Township. Karenni State on 23rd January.
U Ko Ko Naing an officer from the Land Survey and Property department of Demawso Township said to Kantarawaddy Times: “The army confiscated 105 acres of land, now they have returned all the land to us”
Locals explained that the battalion had confiscated the land when they moved into the area in 2001. They then told the farmers that they could continue working on the land but that they would have to pay the army a ‘crop tax’ for the privilege of continuing to work the land.
According to villagers after recent appeals by the village abbot and prominent villagers from Daw-Sae to the government about their lost lands the army returned the land.
A Daw-Sae resident said: “We thank the people who did that [appealing] and the government officials too.”
The confiscated land had been owned by 10 farmers and a religious group.
Kantarawaddy has learnt that the Land Survey and Property Department is now surveying the area using a Global Positioning System (GPS). Following that they will issue the farmers with a Number 7 Land and Properties Form, which will give them the right to occupy the land for at least 50 years.
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI