Villagers in Mudon Township are being forced to grow castor-oil plants

September 1, 2007


The Mon Forum

“In the area around Mudon Township, Lt. Colonel Than Swe, Division Commander, and leader of Light Military Battalion No. 62, has been forcing villagers to plant and grow castor-oil plants under the watch of his soldiers,” said a 35 year old who asked to remain anonymous.

The Village Peace and Development Councils (Ya Ya Ka in Burmese) ordered villages in Mudon Township to grow 3,000 castor-oil plants each. According to a Doe-Mar villager going by the pseudonym Nai Maung Yin, these villages are Naing-Hlone, Kyaik-Ywe, Taw-Gu, Dha-Gon-Daing, Doe-Mar, Set-Twe, Kwan-Ka-Bwe, Hnee-Pa-Daw, Yaung-Daung and Kwan-Hlar.

“Before, we bought the castor-oil plant seeds ourselves and planted them. Now, we are forced to buy seedlings from the military and plant them in front of our houses, in our gardens and along our fences. We’ve already lost 7000 Kyat from buying seedlings,” said a Young-Down villager. The villagers are usually forced to grow the castor-oil plants repeatedly because, after being planted, the plants are not cared for and are often eaten by cows and buffalos.

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