Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mon Party to introduce farm ownership bill

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 13:23 Kun Chan

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - The All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) will introduce a Parliamentary bill to allow farmers to own their farms.

Party leader Nai Ngwe Thein said: ‘We heard recently about the land confiscation cases in Kyaikmaraw to build a cement factory. We discussed that case in our party’s central committee meeting. We want farmers to own their own farms, and we will propose it’.

Last week, Mon MPs-elect traveled to Ye, Thanbyuzayat, Mudon, Chaungzon and Kyaikmaraw to conduct an informal survey of people’s opinions about private ownership of farms.

Many residents in Kyaikmaraw, Mudon and Ye said that their land had been confiscated including some farm land for dam projects, according to the party. Residents in Kyaikmaraw said that the Zaygabar Company Limited had seized more than 800 acres of farm land during the previous months, said party officials.

During 2002-03, the army confiscated land in Ye and Thanbyuzayat in Mon State and Yephyu in Taninsarim Division. More than 12,000 acres of farmland have been confiscated since 2010, according to a report compiled by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland, which is based in Thailand.

The proposal is likely to fail in Parliament, but Nai Ngwe Thein said it was important to introduce the issue for discussion.

The USDP party, which won a majority of seats in Parliament, supports the current law which gives ultimate ownership of farm land to the state.

During mid-January, five ethnic parties including the AMRDP held a meeting in Rangoon and issued a joint statement to urge the junta to release all political prisoners and to give them their full rights.

The statement also urged the international community to lift economic sanctions against Burma and urged the Parliament to select ethnic representatives to be appointed as vice president and ministers in relevant states.

Sixteen out of the 34 AMRDP candidates won parliamentary seats in the recent elections.

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