Ponnna Kyunt: The Arakan Land Commission, formed by the Burmese parliament to investigate confiscated arable lands in Arakan state started its mission on the 19th of September, said an official source.
Eight members of the land commission arrived at the town of Ponna Kyunt, 16 miles north of the Arakan state capital Sittwe, where the commission started its investigations at noon.
“We came to Ponna Kyunt firstly to investigate after a meeting with Arakan state government. Some farmers along with former chairman U Nga Lon Chay from Aung Sit village had been investigated in relation to the lands confiscated by the army in the township administration office yesterday. We planned to visit the village to survey the lands,” said a lawmaker from the People’s Parliament U Pe Than.
The land commission will question one villager then another in Ponna Kyunt Township. After completing investigations in the township, the commission will move through several townships in Arakan state including Sitwe, Rathidaung, Buthidaung, Kyauk Taw, Min Bya, Kyauk Pru, Taungup and Ann.
“First priority are the 13 cases of land confiscation which were complained of at the parliament. However other cases arguing at the regional level will be investigated upon the agreement of Arakan state government,“ he said.
The Parliament in Nay Pyidaw has formed nine sub commissions recently to investigate land confiscations throughout Burma ( 7 divisions and 7 states). This eight member land commission is also included among the 9 sub commissions but is responsible for only two states- Arakan and Chin.
In the commission for Arakan and Chin complaints the military representative Brigadier General Wai Lwin is the in-charge and other members are Dr. Aye Maung, the legislator of the Union’s Parliament from Sittwe Township, U Ba Shin, a legislator of the People’s Parliament from Kyaukpru Township, U Phe Than, a legislator of the People’s Parliament from Mraybone Towship, U Shwe Maung, the legislator of the People’s Parliament from Buthidaung Township.
In Arakan state the Burmese Army is the main organization who has forcibly confiscated farmlands and orchards and in some cases high ranking military officers who served in the region misused the army explicitly for this purpose and personal profit.