By Min Aung, Ponna Kyunt: The Burmese military authority in Arakan State has confiscated many acres of farmland from several villages recently in order to allocate the lands to army families, reports a teacher from the area.
He said, "200 acres of farmland from Ponna Kyunt Township was confiscated by Light Battalions 550 and 232 to allocate the land to army families who are living in the battalions. Some acres of army owned-lands have been lost to railway construction. Because of that, the army authority confiscated the land from farmers to make up for their lost land."
Light Infantry Battalion 550 is based in Ponna Kyunt, 20 miles north of Sittwe, and LB 232 is based in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State. The two battalions have also confiscated land from Arakanese farmers in the past.
According to a local source, LB 550 confiscated 36 acres from Mala Wra, 73 acres from Kua Son Village, 60 acres from Myin Daw Village, 30 acres from Thedek Village, 80 acres from Tauk Son Village, 50 acres from Bae Kho Village, 30 acres from Kywe Lan Chaung Village, and 10 acres from Wan Tean and Nga Pruk Si Villages.
LB 232 also confiscated farmland from Ponna Kyunt Township, including 9 acres from Kyi Daw Village, 11 acres from Bae Nga Rar Village, 45 acres from Yo Ta Yoke, and 5 acres from Aung Sit Village.
"Some land would be allocated to army families but some land would be used for cultivation by the army battalion. In Ponna Kyunt Township, many rubber and castor oil plantations are being cultivated by army authorities after the land was confiscated from the public," the teacher added.
According to a local source, almost half of agricultural lands in Arakan State have been confiscated by the Burmese army since 1988 for use by military without any compensation.
4 months ago