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Mon farmers to bring lawsuit against Zaykabar Company

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Juri-Chai – After the Zaykabar Company was recently awarded a Cultivation Permit for 815 acres of Mon farmland, the affected farmers reported to relevant authorities that they plan to bring a lawsuit against the company.

Since February 2010, the Zaygabar Company owned by U Khin Shwe, (an MP of the Union Solidarity and Development Party), has been seizing Mon farmland located in Shwe Nant Thar Village-track, Mingalardon Township, Northern Rangoon District, in order to construct an industrial zone.

The Mon farm owners applied for a Cultivation Permit for the farmland on April 4, 2012, while the Zaykabar Company applied for the Permit on April 25, 2012, and won the competition. The farmers have been frustrated by the decision and will try to bring a lawsuit against the company, according to Mon farmer U Kyaw Sein.

“We have been working on this farmland for twenty straight years. The Zaykabar Company emerged last year and occupied [the land]. Now, they’ve been granted a Cultivation Permit. It is unacceptable and we will bring a lawsuit [against them].”

The confiscated farmland belongs to more than 80 Mon farmers who moved from Mudon and Thanphyuzayart Townships of Mon State over twenty years ago. Paddy cultivation is their primary means of livelihood.

U Kyaw Sein reported that the Zaykabar Company officially sent their Cultivation Permit yesterday to the village administrator of Northern Rangoon District.

As the farmland was being confiscated, it was not announced that the Zaykabar Company seized the land for the construction of industrial zone, but rather that the confiscation was in response to the needs of the country, and that the compensation was three hundred thousand Kyat per acre.

In 2010, the Yar-Ein-Hmuu (administrator of a group of houses) of the village assembled the farmers and repeatedly asked them to sign the papers and accept compensation.

In order to construct industrial zones 1, 2, and 3, the Zaykabar Company leveled the farmland by destroying its embankments, constructing a motorway and lampposts, and carving some parts of the land into housing plots for sale.

On the 10th of this month, Mon farmers celebrated a plowing ceremony on the farmland while contractors from the Zaykabar Company simultaneously undertook construction. At that point, the Township Governor in Shwe Nant Thar Village, Mingalardon Township, Northern Rangoon District, forbade any construction or cultivation without a Cultivation Permit, continued U Kyaw Sein.

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