Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Villagers Complain to President of Shrimp Farm Confiscation by Army

Kyauk Pru: Shrimp farm owners from Kyaukpru Township in western Burma's Arakan State have sent a written complaint to the president after army forces based in the area recently confiscated 80 acres of their shrimp farms.

One of the villagers said they sent the signed letter of complaint to the president on 18 September, 2011.

"Our farms were confiscated by Military Police (10) of the Western Command based in Ann on 27 August. During the confiscation, the forces drove us away from our farms by intimidating us with their guns. Now those forces are catching and selling the fish and shrimp from our farms. That is totally unfair and an act of force by the armed forces, so we have written a complaint to the president," said the villager.

He added that copies of the letter were also sent to the union minister, the agriculture and forestry minister, the chief of defense services, the state general administrator, the chief minister of Arakan State, the agricultural and forestry minister of Arakan State, and the minister of security and border affairs in Arakan State.

The shrimp farms are located at Warlon Embankment in Kyauk Mraung Village Tract in Ann Township, but the farms are owned by local farmers in Kyaukpru Township.

The villagers also reported that a section of Military Police (10) led by Corporal Win Ko Oo has been working on the confiscated shrimp farms.

"Ten villagers have lost their shrimp farms and over 100 villagers who were working on the farms have become jobless. They are all troubled now because of the confiscation of the farms by the army," he said.

According to the source, the shrimp farms are owned by ten farmers from Alan Chaing Village in Kyaukpru Township, and they had been operating the farms for over 30 years.

The army battalions deployed in Arakan State have been continuing their absolute rule over people in the region, continuing the behavior and practices they had perpetrated over the past 22 years, despite their claims that state power has transitioned to the civilian government.

Light Infantry Battalion 34 based in Kyaukpru has also confiscated Chaungrhay Creek, a common creek on Masarai Island in Kyauk Pru township that local villagers depended on for their fishing livelihoods.

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