Farmers are claiming that a government committee tasked with investigating land grabs and resolving disputes has failed in its obligations.

U Kyaw Swe Latt, a representative of a Nay Pyi Taw farmer’s organisation known as Dagun, said that a serious conflict of interest exists, as a number of individuals currently working for township- and region-level confiscated farmlands committees were involved in forced land seizures under previous governments.

The Central Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands was formed earlier this year and is tasked with monitoring state and region governments’ handling of land disputes, and enabling the return of land to dispossessed farmers.

“Under previous governments, the Forest Department, Land Record Department and City Development Committees were involved in land confiscations. People who worked for these organisations at that time are now working for region and township committees currently under the purview of the Central Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands,” said U Kyaw Swe Latt.

“This means that the people the government has made responsible for settling land seizure cases may have participated in land grabs. That is why we are concerned,” he said.

Dagun has scheduled a meeting this week with the Amyotha Hluttaw Farmer Affairs Committee to discuss the issue.

The Myanmar Times has endeavoured to contact the Farmer Affairs Committee for comment but has not been successful so far.