Villager tortured by police refuses hush money; files lawsuit against police

June 7, 2018

HURFOM: On May 21st 2018, Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo and Police Private Shine Htet Aung, from Yin Nyein Police Station, tortured two villagers from Kyauk Ye Twin village, Paung Township, Mon State. On May 23rd the Chief of the Police Station and the Village Administrator came to the victims asking them to accept compensation and cover up the case, according to U Maung Gyi, one of the torture victims. Read more

Statement by HURFOM on World Environment Day

June 5, 2018

Today on World Environment Day 2018, HURFOM urges the Burma/Myanmar Government, ethnic armed organizations, corporations, and the international community to protect and preserve the environment and natural resources of Mon State and southern Burma. The livelihoods of local people depend on the conservation of this region’s various ecosystems. Read more

Military captain shot and killed civilian on Kalagoke Island

May 28, 2018

HURFOM: On May 16th 2018, Captain Aung Ko Ko Min from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 587 shot and killed a villager, U Tin Soe Myint, on Kalagoke Island, in Lamine Town, Ye Township, Mon State. The killing happened as a result of the villager being unable to produce his national registration card (NRC). Captain Aung Ko will be charged under military law.

According to police officer Myint Win, chief of the Mon State Police Force, the victim’s wife Daw Khin Swe Tin reported the murder to Lamine Police Station on May 18th. He added, “The captain was initially charged with murder under Article 302 of the Penal Code and detained in LIB No. 587. However since the perpetrator is in the military, we informed his battalion about this incident on May 19th. We are arranging to transfer the culprit to the Tatmadaw where he will be charged under military law.” Read more

Farmers suffer as electricity companies fight it out for power market

May 28, 2018

HURFOM: On May 22nd 2018, according to a local farmer, farmers from villages in northern Ye Township, Mon State, plan to petition the Mon State Parliament to remove utility poles from their farmland, which were installed by Bedok Construction & Engineering Co. Ltd. (BCE). Read more

Second case of child rape in a month in Ye township

May 24, 2018

On May 7th 2018, a 33-year-old man named Maung Naing Oo, from Duya village, Ye Township, in Mon State, was reported to have raped a 12-year-old girl from the same village in Ye Township. The perpetrator has fled from his home.

A police officer from Ye Police Station reported that the perpetrator, who had fled the scene, was charged on May 11th under Burma’s Penal Code Article #376 (punishment for rape). Read more

Man charged with rape of 12-year-old girl in Ye Township

May 24, 2018

On April 24th 2018, a 12-year-old girl from Patamyar Kyout Tan quarter, A Baw village tract, Ye Township, Mon State, was raped by a 19-year-old fisherman. The man was later arrested and charged under Myanmar Penal Code #376 (punishment for rape) and Penal Code #511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences) at the Ye Police Station.

Mi Tin Tin Win, Chairwoman of the Ye Township Mon Women’s Network explained, “The perpetrator is a friend of the girl’s brother. He often visits their house. On April 24th, the girl was home alone and sleeping while her mother was at work. The perpetrator came to her house and raped her.Read more

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.
Read more

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.

 

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