The “Farmers and Land Users” seminar concerning land rights in the Mon area of eastern Salween [Thanlwin River] convened over two days in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State.
The core topics discussed at the seminar included the 6th draft of the land use policy, farmland law, laws regarding fallowed land and wild land as well as the weaknesses and strengths of the protection of farmer’s rights.The 2-day seminar was held at Paing Khit Hall, Moulmein Capital’s Myaingtharyar Quarter on February 14-15.
“After 1995, Mon farmers, rubber plantation owners and land users have lost their lands. Land that was passed on from their ancestors. Until now, they have not had anyone to help re-mediate the loss of their lands ,” said Nai Sawor Mon, primary organizer the seminar.
Nai Sawor Mon added that although the current government have enacted laws protecting the rights of farmers and their farmland, the laws still have many weaknesses. Concurrently, the laws are threatening land rights.
The objectives of holding this seminar are to form a land policy for ethnic groups in the Mon region as well as establish both a stable network of ethnic farmer organizations and strengthen existing farmer organization networks in the region.
“Whether it is an individual or an organization, we cannot solve land issues that we are facing at the moment. We have many difficulties. So, it is necessary for us to work for land rights with techniques in accordance with justice and unity,” said Nai Aung Htaw Mon, a representative from Ye Township.
The 2-day seminar was sponsored by Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) and organized by people involved in Mon farmer affairs and land rights.
The seminar attracted about 80 participants including farming representatives from Mon and Karen states and Tenasserim Division