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Panel to Consider Changing Laws to Aid Kachin Farmers

A committee will be set up comprising farmers and civil society organisations to resolve farmland problems in Kachin State, U M Kawn La of the Kachin National Congress said.

The committee, to initially include political party officials, law experts, civil society groups and literature associations, will discuss important farmland issues in the state.

“Some of the committee’s suggestions will be followed up by MPs, and for others, we will cooperate with government agencies,” he said.

Resolving land issues in Kachin will require amending the law or applying for the land to be designated as natural land under the biodiversity law, he said.

The law states that land issues are governed by the 2012 Farm Law, 2012 Virgin and Vacant Land Law, 2018 Forestry Law and 2019 Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Law.

“In the past, the government cooperated with the Rawan people on the gemstone law and biodiversity law. It took many years, but it helped other states and regions in the country. Although the biodiversity law was introduced for Kachin, it also helped Tanintharyi Region,” he said.

 

People in Kachin have difficulty registering their ancestral and other kinds of land because they lack knowledge about the registration process, which makes them vulnerable to losing their land.

 

“As they are ethnic people, they have a language problem. They don’t even know how to get a national registration card, perhaps because they practice shifting cultivation,” U Gunnes said.

 

Kachin State has the second most land conflicts, according to a statement issued by Doh Myay Network on December 2015. Besides land confiscation for government projects, there are also land conflicts with agricultural businesses from China, it said.

“When talking about land laws, people know only the vacant land law. Actually, the vacant land law, forest law, foreign investment law and citizen investment law are related,” U Gunnes said.

Source: The Myanmar Times

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