Ma Latt landslide continues to disrupt villagers lives -5 months later

January 15, 2020

HURFOM: The Ma Latt mountain landslide near Ye Pyar Kone village, Paung Township, Mon State on 9 August 2019, caused more than 70 deaths and many houses were destroyed. It was believed that each household was to have received 500,000 kyats following the Vice President’s site visit  on 12 August. However, only 18 households are reported to have received any financial support and in some cases that was not until 5 months after landslide.

Villagers thought that the 500,000 kyat figure was intended for any family affected by the landslide, but according to a statement of the Vice Chief of the General Administrative office of Paung Township, made on 10 January 2020, this financial support was intended only for households who lost family members. 

There was no precise list of casualties when the Vice President came. There were only 18 people [present when he came]. He [provided] 9 million kyats for 18 people. Only one villager (who lost family members) came at that time so only that one got the money. [The} leftover 8.5 million kyats was temporarily saved in a bank account created by 3 people including Village Administrator. (We) submitted this case to the Mon State government on the 7th of January with a plan to give the money to the rest of the survivors”, according to U Myo Ko Ko, Vice Administrator of Paung Township.

U Khin Mg Win who lost 14 family members, and was the only survivor received 500,000 kyats from the Vice President, said Vice Administrator on January 1, 2020. 

The sooner the better for us to receive the support. We don’t know what is their (government) plan. What will they give us for rehabilitation? We don’t know when the rehabilitation will be finished, said a victim of the landslide, U Tun Aung.

The villagers are also concerned about their original land rights, as there has been no specific statement released from government regarding rehabilitation of the community.

Most people who have Form No. 7 (Land Use Certificates) want to go back to their original place. The new places arranged by government are far from the main road. It is a field. It will get flooded in the rainy season. It is difficult to travel. That is why we don’t want it,”  continued U Tun Aung.

The Mon State government is currently working on a rehabilitation plan for survivors on other lands. However, villagers have submitted an appeal letter aimed to reclaim their original lands to the Mon State Parliament on 15 November 2019.

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