Wed 29 Apr 2009
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Rubber plantation owners in Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State have lost parts of their land and had other parts destroyed to make way for an ongoing road upgrading project along the coastal route between Kyaikami and Set Sae village undertaken by the military. None have so far received any compensation for loss or damage.
According to local sources, the military government project includes straightening of some road sections, which means driving construction through several acres of rubber plantation. Trees that obscure coast views have also been cleared.
One villager whose plantation was destroyed said, “The new road passes many rubber plantations. The authorities haven’t paid anything to the owners for their land or for the damage and we are too afraid to request compensation. Some plantations have been completely destroyed and some are half ruined. There are many of them but we don’t know how many acres exactly.
” As well as this, when the soldiers came with bulldozers to clear the land, the plantation owners had to act as security for the military drivers.”
Villagers have also been forced to provide for the military workforce.
” It’s not only that our plantations were destroyed – we also had to provide food for the soldiers. The headman collected money from us to pay for it,” said another plantation owner.
The road passes through the villages of Ka Yin Dawn and A Nan San according to a resident. The road is long 14 mile according to government newspaper, the New light of Myanmar, which was published on January 30th.
Local residents rely on their plantations to make a living and were already experiencing difficulties due to the recent low price of rubber. Now many face severe problems earning enough to support their families due to the destruction of their land.