Monday, January 17, 2011

Houses forcibly relocated for building State Assembly in Monywa

Monday, 17 January 2011 23:11 Ko Pauk

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Local authorities have forcibly relocated the houses of 26 families in Monywa to build the Sagaing Region State Assembly here, according to local residents.

It was learned that 26 families (about 70 persons) were forcibly relocated from their 42-acre plot in Obo South, a satellite town in western Monywa on November 13 by oral orders given by local authorities.

‘There are many such cases in Monywa despite residents having a leasehold grant. For instance, the plots near Chindwin Bridge have been sold to the people but they were seized by authorities later. The owners of these plots lost everything except the lease grants in their hands’, lawyer Saw Tun of Monywa told Mizzima.

‘They sent two trucks from the Irrigation Department and two army trucks when these families were relocated but the electricity is not yet available’, another Monywa resident told Mizzima.

The plots were first allotted to servicemen and the civilians bought from them. The authorities gave them a 40’x80’ plot each in compensation for the lands seized from them.

The relocated houses are built of bamboo and thatch. Residents were given only one plot in compensation and authorities did not provide cash compensation in rebuilding their houses, the local residents said.

Among those plots seized by authorities, some are farmlands growing wheat, beans and pulses. Seven land owners of the farmlands were given 80’x80’ plots each in compensation, but they are for residential use only and not agricultural use.

Similarly, 18 families were evicted from their land for road construction, but they have not yet been moved from their houses.
‘This is the age of arbitrary seizure of land by claiming that all lands are owned by State. We have not yet heard any complaints against these seizures’, lawyer Saw Tun said.

The government offices in the Sagaing Region were shifted to the new capital city of Monywa 10 years ago, the home of the new State Assembly building.

The building of the State Assembly is just starting. The upcoming Assembly will be convened on January 31 in a temporary building such as Town Hall, Saw Tun said.

There will be a total of 100 representatives in the Sagaing Region Assembly of which 74 will be elected representatives, 25 army personnel as appointed representatives and one representative of an ethnic group.

Sixty-two representatives are from the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), 11 representatives are from the National Unity Party (NUP) and another representative from the Chin Progressive Party (CPP).

Among the 14 Region and State local assemblies, the Sagaing Region Assembly is the third largest in number of representatives.

The first ever local assemblies in Burmese history will be convened on January 31 simultaneously with the two national legislative bodies, the House of the People and the House of Nationalities.

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