Burma’s Defence Minister Brigadier General Wai Lwin has informed the parliament-backed Land Grab Investigation Commission that the military was planning to return land appropriated by their forces, with the exception of property that is set to house construction projects.
Upper house representative from Magwe division and member of the Land Grab Investigation Commission Hla Swe said the group’s chairperson Tin Htut recently informed members that the defence minister pledged to return the seized land; however, a timetable was not provided.
According to the upper house representative, more than 100,000 acres of land has been confiscated by the military to build ‘ordinance factories’ in Magwe division alone.
Moreover, Hla Swe called on farmers across the country to start collecting evidence that would prove their ownership instead of waging “ploughing protests”.
The demonstrations, where farmers till land that had been confiscated, is a popular form of protest in Burma in response to the rash of land disputes across the country.
Following more than two years of reforms, land rights have become one of the most tempestuous issues in Burma as farmers begin to challenge authorities over property that was appropriated by the military and crony-connected companies during nearly five decades of junta rule.