Land Disputes Made up 90% of Complaint Letters Sent to Karen State Parliament

Complaint letters received by Karen State parliament related to land issues dominated all other concerns over the 10-month period from January to October 2017.

A government official responsible for receiving the complaint letters said that 54 complaint letters were received by the related government committee.

U Saw Hla Myint, a Member of the Karen State Parliament and Chairperson of the committee responsible for receiving the complaint letters told Karen News that “among the 54 complaint letters, about 90% of them were on land issues. There were about 10% on electricity and other smaller issues.”

U Saw Hla Myint said that the “complaint letters on land issues included confiscation of land by government departments like livestock breeding zones or confiscation of land by the army.”

U Saw Hla Myint said that all cases related to government were forwarded to the State Government while other cases were still in the process of being investigated or verified. U Saw Hla Myint 28 cases involving government departments and the army have been referred to the government by his committee while 12 cases are being investigated and another 14 cases are still to be verified.

U Saw Hla Myint insisted that all the cases will be resolved to the satisfaction of the concerned citizens who made the complaints.

U Tun Myint, a land right activist and secretary of the Ethnic People Development Partnership, said that most of the land disputes in Karen State involved land confiscation by Government departments, the army and private companies have failed to be resolved.

Despite some land confiscated by the army been released, the original owners have not received their land. Original land owners have complained that after two years they are still waiting to get their land back. U Tun Myint said that there needs to be transparency throughout the process when solving land disputes.

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