Thanbyuzayat land victims appeal to the vice president
November 28, 2016
In October, 2016, 56 rubber plantation owners from various villages near Wae Gali, southern Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State have launched an appeal to the Burma Second Vice President Henry Van Thio who is the chairman of the Central Review Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands claiming that Burma Artillery Regiment (AR) No. 315 had confiscated their rubber plantations and that they want their land back.
It was reported that the commander of AR No. 315 Lieutenant Colonel Tint Nine had seized the rubber plantations in 2001 for the sake of military expansion.
“We’ve already submitted a letter of appeal before. But it didn’t work because the letter was incomplete. So again, I have to help the plantation owners with submitting a letter of appeal. Each plantation owner has to submit a letter of appeal. If they have a Land Use Certificate, they must attach it to their letters of appeal. After signing the letters, they have to make 10 copies. Before, we all together had submitted only one letter of appeal. Now the procedure has been changed. Every single plantation owner has to submit a letter of appeal. We will directly submit the letters of appeal to the vice president in Naypyidaw,” said Nai Nyan Tun, a Thanbyuzayat resident who has been helping the local plantation owners with submitting a letter of appeal.
In 1995, the Burma Army had confiscated thousands of acres of land to expand its military bases in Thanbyuzayat and Ye Townships. The local plantation owners had appealed for a solution; however, there was no reply from the authorities.
Regarding the land confiscated by AR No. 315 in 2001, the local plantation owners had submitted a letter of appeal to the Central Review Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands three times during the previous government era. However, their attempts had no result.
“The plantation owners have been disappointed. They submitted letters of appeal several times but there was no outcome. They thought they would never get their lands back. But we have to make one more attempt with the new government. If okay, we’ll get our land back. Now, I have been discussing with the plantation owners to submit letters of appeal. I told them to attach all their witnesses to the letters of appeal. We have to submit the letters of appeal to 10 government departments,” continued Nai Nyan Tun.
Each letter of appeal states that AR No. 315 had seized the rubber plantations in 2001; the owners had been allowed to work on the plantations after agreeing to give an annual fee to the military base. However, the plantations had been sold to other villagers after completely being confiscated in 2004. The plantation owners have been facing many challenges in securing their livelihoods after their land loss and thus, they have been launching their appeal to get their land back.
“I have my network. I’ve already had a talk with them. It’s possible to get their land back. That’s why I help them,” said Nai Nyan Tun.