Two hundred people left to rebuild their homes and livelihoods from scratch after fire in Chaungzone Township

May 18, 2018

Thirty-six houses burnt to the ground in April as a fire ripped through A Pyine village, Kalaw village tract, in Chaungzone Township, resulting in 60,000,000 kyat (US $44,362.99) of damage and the displacement of families.
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Family learns of daughter’s rape by monk over social media

May 18, 2018

In August 2017, a 46-year-old monk who was teaching at a Mon Literature summer school in Lawka Thukha Monastery in Kwan Hlar village, Mudon Township in Mon State, repeatedly raped a nine-year-old student who was studying at the school. The monk’s nephew saw his uncle, the monk, rape the girl and he made a video recording which he shared with his friends. Read more

Parents struggling to pay for extra classes needed to graduate

May 17, 2018

WCRP: Even before the start of the new school year, middle school and high school students in Mon State start their “tutoring” classes—fee-based extra study sessions before and after their regular classes. Such “cram schools” are common throughout Burma, where school teachers or people from outside the school system charge a fee to teach the same lessons taught during class time. Read more

Victims of land confiscation continue to be ignored under new government

May 17, 2018

In 1989, the Burma Army’s South East Command confiscated nearly 200 acres of farmland in Hmaw Sin (1) Ward, Zay Yar Thiri Region, Mawlamyine Township, Mon State. It was widely known locally that the confiscated land was then leased to the owner of a livestock business.

The farmland, totaling 184.59 acres, had belonged to 25 farmers. In May 2013, South East Command gave some of the confiscated land back to five of the farmers. However, through being leased to this livestock business, the profits from the rest of the farmland continue to go into the military’s welfare fund, according to the farmers.

“The military confiscated our land and leased it to a livestock business [for the military welfare fund]. They’ve also leased some of our land to a business trading in bricks, sand, and stones,” said Daw Thidar Khin, a victim of the land confiscation.

The farmers told us that on February 9th 2017, the victims filed reports detailing the military’s private business leases to the State Counselor’s Office, to the Patron of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Union Parliament), to Members of Parliament, and to the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Army and other high-ranking military officials.

“After reporting to the Commander-in-Chief, we went to South East Command on March 15th 2017, but we weren’t allowed to meet with [the military officials]. South East Command told us that the Commander-in-Chief wanted us to come back on April 25th. We went on that day but again they said they didn’t have time to meet us. So we came back empty-handed,” said Daw Mary Cho, another victim of the land confiscation.

As the victims of land confiscation were not allowed to meet with the officials from South East Command, they went to the Mon State Chief Minister, Dr. Aye Zan, to present their problems but again were not able to meet with him.

As the ownership status of their farmland is under “Customary Land Tenure”, the farmers wanted to discuss the confiscation with Dr. Aye Zan and find a way to solve their problems.

We went to meet with the Mon State Chief Minister to file a report. But his staff didn’t allow us to meet with him and told us just to leave our report. They just threw our report on the table but did nothing. We have attempted three times to meet with the Chief Minister, but each time we’re not allowed to meet with him, even though we know he’s in [his office],” said Daw Thidar Khin.

We also went to meet with the Mon State Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Transportation, and Communications, U Tun Htay, regarding the confiscated land. He demanded three requirements [official documents proving ownership] from us and said return of the land could only be possible after an investigation [by the Farmland Investigation Commission]. We’d already waited for the Farmland Investigation Commission for six years. We know they never do anything,” said Daw Mary Cho.

The farmers had previously attempted to regain their land in 2012 but were met with silence. They had tried meeting with the Land Records Department, the General Administration Department, and the Mon State Government but no department wanted to help them.

South East Command has not paid any compensation to the farmers and also has not allowed them to work on their farmland after the confiscation, according to the victims. Without compensation, the farmers cannot even pay for their children’s education.

We went for help to the government who were elected by our votes. But they did nothing [for us]. We’re realizing that we can’t rely on this government. Every time we go to see them, we aren’t allowed to meet with the Chief Minister, even though we know he’s in his office. Each time we come back empty-handed. It’s embarrassing,” a the victim of land confiscation.

Next, the farmers are planning to file a report to the President, U Win Myint. If there is still no redress, they plan to organize a protest.


Mon Political Dialogue urges the military and the ethnic armed groups to cooperate in eliminating drugs

May 15, 2018

Representatives from the Mon State National-level Political Dialogue which was held in Ye Township from May 5 to 7, 2018 have urged the military and the ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) to cooperate to eliminate drugs. Read more

Defense Security Agency continues to surveil civilians

May 15, 2018

The Defense Security Agency, a special intelligence service formed by the Myanmar military, continues to collect information related to civic activities, according to the organizing committee of the 22nd Honorable Ceremony for the late President of the Mon People’s Front (MPF). Read more

Locals call for the shutdown of antimony factories in Mon State if the government fails to control the factories’ air pollution

May 15, 2018

HURFOM: On May 4, 2018, local people from Mawlamyine, Mon State called for the government to shut down Myanmar Shin Shin Antimony Purifying Factory and Myanmar San Zaw Antimony Purifying Factory in the Industrial Zone of Nyaung Pin Seik Ward, Mawlamyine, citing the factories’ air pollution.

At a consultation meeting with members of Mon State government, officials from government departments and the above-mentioned companies on May 4, local representatives said that the government should shut down the factories if they could not control the bad smell the factories emitted . Read more

Local farmers upset with lack of compensation for land use in electricity project

May 4, 2018

Farmers in three townships in Mon State are upset with Khin Maung Nyunt Co. Ltd. after the company failed to pay compensation for using their land. Approximately 21 local farmers in eight villages in Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat, and Kyaikmayaw townships are owed compensation from the electricity-providing company, who has been planning to provide 24-hour electricity in nearby villages. Read more

Controversially erupts after GAD dismisses two elected village administrators in Kyaikmayaw Township

May 3, 2018

WCRP: Two elected village administrators have been dismissed from their positions, according to a press conference on April 26th 2018 at the Southern Myanmar Journalists Network in Mawlamyine, Mon State. Mi Than Htey of Taranar village track and U Kyin Thein of Kyaik Paran village track, Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State were accused of misbehavior in two separate events and subsequently fired. Read more

Andin locals practice mangrove forest conservation

May 2, 2018

Local residents from Parlain village, Andin village track, Ye Township, Mon State, are developing a mangrove forest conservation project in order to protect their natural resources against megaprojects that are harmful to their environment and ecosystem. The majority of Parlain residents rely on the surrounding environment for their daily livelihood needs. Read more

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