Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Company seeking to build hotel for football fans sues residents

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 14:01 Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Shwe Nagar Min Company has sued four Monywa South Ward residents in Sagaing Division for trespassing on land it says was given to the company by the state for building a luxury hotel and housing project.

The company is owned by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman and USDP MP-elect Win Myint, who claims to have a contract for a Monywa South Ward luxury apartment building project. The manager of his company, Bo Bo Nge, filed suit in the township court on January 6 under section 8 of the Specific Relief Act.

The defendants are Hlaing Myint, Daw San, Soe Naing and Aung Moe Tun, defendant Soe Naing told Mizzima.

The defendants said that they refuse to vacate the premises because the company refused to give them appropriate and reasonable compensation.

‘They summoned us to the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) office and threatened us. We have visited the office five or six times since October. After failing to solve the problem, they filed suit. We are poor people, and we have not got enough compensation’, said Soe Naing.

“We have lived there since the times of our forefathers. We built a platform in front of our houses. The owners of houses along the main road had to build boundary walls and fences to beautify our town. We bore all these expenses willingly as we live on the main thoroughfare’, he told Mizzima.

The Shwe Nagar Min Company has issued eviction notices on the defendants since September 2010, but it has not yet set a deadline for vacating the premises.

The complaint filed in the court says the Sagaing Division PDC urban development committee gave a 13.44 acre plot to the company using official letters with reference numbers dated December 20, 2009, for building a luxury hotel, which the company said will attract football fans.

Earlier, the military regime seized land on the southern outskirts of Monywa to build a football stadium and awarded the contract to the Shwe Nagar Min Co., said Saw Tun, a lawyer in Monywa. The Zeya Shwe Myay football club which represents Sagaing Division inaugurated the Monywa Stadium in October 2010.

He said that under the exemption given by section 3(b) of the 1953 Nationalisation of Farmlands Act, a farmland cannot be used for building houses or any other purposes in the name of any other person.

Also, the order for confiscating the land has not been issued so the suit filed by the company is unlawful, said Saw Tun.

“The company has no right to file suit under the law. The plaintiff shall be the State. Even if the land has been transferred to them by sale or deed, an official order has not yet been issued. To transfer the land property, this land must be confiscated first by the land confiscation law and then the owner of the land will have the right to sue.

‘The company filed suit before such an order under the land confiscation law was issued. If the suit has to be filed, the plaintiff shall be the State, the company has no such right’, Saw Tun told Mizzima.

Another legal consultant, Aung Thein, agreed, adding that compensation to residents living on the land has not been applied fairly. He said defendant Soe Naing is the owner of a 60’x40’ plot he has lived on for more than 52 years, and the market price of his plot and building is at least 30 million kyat.

He said there are 55 houses in the ward and the company paid 16 house owners, including owners of 30’x40’ plots, 6 million kyat each as compensation. However, wealthier residents were paid up to 20-30 million kyat, he said. The company filed suit against the four defendants while more than 30 other residents have not been sued.

Daw San, the owner of a 150’x40’ plot, told Mizzima that she could not buy another plot with the 12 million kyat compensation offered by the company so she refused to sell her plot and building to the company. Also, she said that she has not yet received compensation for the destruction of her two acres of farmland.

“They first gave us 2.5 million kyat as compensation, and then the amount has been raised gradually to 12 million kyat. We had to build boundary walls and fences under orders given by the state. The compensation covered only demolishing the boundary walls and our houses. We have no money to buy another plot and build a new house. So we refused their offer’, she said.

The current market price of housing projects in the Monywa area is 50-60 million kyat for a 60’x80’ plot and building.

The Monywa Township court sent summons to the defendants to appear before the court on January 20. The defendants said they will retain legal counsel to represent them.

When contacted, officials of the Shwe Nagar Min Company were not available for comment regarding the case.

Leave a Reply