Myitmakha News Agency
Pyin U Lwin, August 26 – over 200 hundred farmers marched on downtown Pyin U Lwin on the morning of August 26 protesting against the unlawful prosecution of their counterparts from Htonebo, Moechopyitsanpya and Minteh villages by local authorities, and calling on central government to take legal action against local judicial organizations for hiding behind the law.
“Over a hundred acres of land which our families had worked for generations was taken from us. The confiscated our lands and then took legal action against us. I don’t know with all the which articles of the law, but we’ve been prosecuted in under article 3 of the law. These protests are to express our dissatisfaction with that,” said U Nyunt Sein, a farmer from Htonebo village.
Farmers from Htonebo village have voiced that they secured permission to conduct their protest which was staged to highlight their frustration at the hardships they’ve been forced to encounter in scraping together a living after ancestral lands from their village were confiscated from them.
“They worked with the authorities to fence off our land. Legal charges were first made against us in January 2015. They told us they came to implement a coffee plantation program. But, they weren’t successful,” said Daw Than Than Myint, a resident of Htonebo village.
The protesters began their march at the entrance of the ring-road which leads into downtown Pyin U Lwin, walking along the Mandalay – Lashio road, before circling the Zay Lay roundabout and continuing on around parts of the town center.
“The authorities and government departments put impartially to justice at the forefront of their dealings. Aren’t the upper echelons of government privy to this? If they are aware, then why has there been a complete absence of legal action being taken against such individuals? The general public are staging this protest to march against an absence of truth in the judicial system. The government must resolve this current bullying of the people,” said U Zaw Win, a farmers’ advocate and lawyer.
The protesters held banners and shouted slogans during their protests calling for the reinstatement of farmland to residents of Htonebo village; the ousting of the Pyin U Lwin authorities and judges who hide behind the law; and the immediate released of unlawfully imprisoned farmers.