Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Farmers fight doctors for Nay Pyi Taw land

Farmers have responded furiously after Nay Pyi Taw’s municipal authorities began to parcel off plots of unused but disputed land and hand it over to doctors.

The ownership feud in Shwe Kyar Pin ward of Zabuthiri township dates back nearly a decade.

“This land was seized from us in 2008 but it was left unused. Now some doctors from Zabuthiri specialist clinic are fencing in the land,” said U Win Naing, a farmer from Pyan Ka Pyay village. “They didn’t listen when we asked them to stop.”

Before the doctors were granted the plots, a dispute between Nay Pyi Taw City Development Committee and the farmers was already raging by mid-February. When the land was handed over to the doctors, the farmers accused the city of trying to incite a row.

U Win Naing said there was no negotiation during the initial seizure. Those on the land at the time it was confiscated were paid K300,000 per acre and given an additional K300,000 to compensate for the loss of crops.

“After the confiscation, Major Tun Kyi told farmers he would arrange replacement land but it never happened,” said U Win Naing.

He added that despite the compensation, the farmers wanted their land back, as they had never agreed to sell it, and for years it had laid fallow.

“We weren’t told which organisation seized our land or which organisation paid us. At the time, people just came to our farmlands and then destroyed our crops with machines. They only told us they were given orders by superiors,” he said.

U Aye Ko Ko, head of the City Planning and Land Administration Department, confirmed that land plots measuring 60 feet by 80 feet were awarded to doctors on March 3.

When reporters from The Myanmar Times attempted to talk to the doctors, they declined to comment.

Translation by Zar Zar Soe