The Tatmadaw is not responsible for administering the return of seized land to its original owners, says a military appointee to the Pyithu Hluttaw.

Lieutenant-Colonel Saw Shwe, who is also a member of the governments’ Farmland Investigation Commission, said it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs to oversee the return of seized lands to private owners, especially in cases involving litigation against the government.

“When the land was first seized, it was done on the order of the home ministry,” Lt-Col Saw Shwe told Mizzima on February 20.

“[The Tatmadaw] has returned land to the Ministry of Home Affairs  according to the rules and regulations … so whether the land is returned to its original owner is now the responsibility of the ministry,” he said.

His comments follow a report submitted to parliament this week by the Farmland Investigation Commission which urged the government to quickly resolve land grab cases in which it faced legal action from the original owners.

“The performance of the home affairs ministry and all levels of administrative institutions is very weak,” Lt-Col Saw Shwe said.

“They should be able to say transparently where, when and to whom the seized land was returned,” he said.

Lt-Col Saw Shwe added that cases in which land had been seized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ministry of Construction or township municipal committees should be settled quickly “to resolve current tensions”.