During his trip to Karen State, Parliament speaker, Thura Shwe Mann, promised farmers to look into land confiscation cases in the region once they are submitted to the House.
Thura Shwe Mann, chairman of the Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives) was on a visit to Karen State and took the time to meet with local farmers in Hpa-An on April 26 to discuss their lands confiscation issues.
Local farmers told Karen News that they reported their lands confiscation claims to Thura Shwe Mann. However, due to a five minutes time limited imposed on the farmers to present their case many were denied the opportunity to report their claims.
Saw Yan Naing, a local farmer from Naung Ka Myaine village told Karen News that, “At first we were not allowed to enter the meeting room. Only later when Daw Nan Say Awa [Karen State Member of Parliament] arrived were we allowed to go in. Although many farmer groups joined the meeting, some of them did not have time to report their cases.”
The hour long meeting was attended by 60 people this included officials from Hpa-An Township and farmer groups from Naung Ka Myaine, Natt Gone, Mi Kayin, Hpa Ka villages.
Thura Shwe Mann told the farmers to submit the remaining cases to Daw Nan Say Awa, a Member of Parliament from Karen State, as the time had run out for farmers to report all cases.
Speaking to the farmers, Thura Shwe Mann said, “The farmers won’t be able to report the cases completely as the time is insufficient. Therefore, farmers should submit their land cases with documents to Nan Say Awa and MP Nan Say Awar would submit these cases to the parliament. I will also report the cases to the relevant ministries.”
Referring to the Speakers statement, Daw Nan Say Awa said, “Hluttaw Chairman [Thura Shwe Mann] asked the farmers to send their cases to me, as he was aware that the time was not enough. I will submit it and make sure the cases reach parliament.”
Local farmers who attended the event said the security was tight and that farmer groups led by Nan Say Awa were prevented from entering the meeting room.
Ko Pwint San, a Hpa-An based reporter for The Hot New Journal said that most of the country’s free media were not allowed to join the meeting session except the government controlled Sky Net, Myanmar Television and the Ethnic Broadcasting Service.
This is the first time that Thura Shwe Mann, the Chairman of Parliament met with farmer groups in the Karen State’s capital of Hpa-an.