Shan: Mong Nai Township Deserted
Forced relocation and restrictions on going to work by the Burmese military regime has compelled 10,000 people to flee to Thailand and laid barren 10,000 acres of land in Mong Nai township in Shan State .
Mong Nai Township in Shan State looks deserted. It has lost about 56% of its paddy production due to the forced relocation and ban on going to work, according to a Shan Relief and Development Committee (SRDC) report.
As part of a systematic plan to cut food supplies to the opposition ethnic army and force them to disintegrate, the regime took steps that saw to about 10,000 acres of land being deserted because about 10000 people fled the area. To make matters worse the military junta did not allow people to go to work. If they tried to, they were beaten up, said Yan Murng, the spokesperson of the Shan Human Rights Foundation.
Sai Leng of the SRDC said, “The military forcibly relocated the people, because they wanted to cut food supply to the ethnic opposition army. It was part of the army's tactical operation. The idea was to destroy the ethnic army. They have confiscated Shan land for constructing a railway, battalion bases, to go into pisiculture for funding, plant summer paddy and set up battalions."
Land confiscation has been taking place everywhere in Shan State since 1996 and it is going up every year, according to Yan Murng.
While setting up army battalions, the junta first confiscates land for constructing buildings. Then they take over land around their battalion's base for soldiers' families. “The villagers had no job, no food, so they fled to Thailand . Some are working as labourers (coolie). Some children have resorted to begging, and are facing starvation,” said Yan Murng.
All this happened because there are no humanitarian organizations. We hope the International community takes action against such barbarity, Yan Murng said.
“More aid is not the answer to farmers' problems. They need freedom to farm, and the Burma Army off their backs,” said Sai Leng, in the press release.
The report “Deserted Fields: The destruction of agriculture
in Mong Nai Township , Shan State ” was prepared by SRDC this year. They
have given this example because Mong Nai is located in central State on fertile