Farmers and monks angered at the planned Myo Thar Industrial Park, a 10,000-acre industrial park project in Mandalay, Myanmar



[GBP Note:  This appears to be an eminent domain issue but developers should also develop good relationships with their neighbors as this will impact the ability to attract quality tenants.  The Mandalay Myotha Industrial Development website does has a section on Corporate Social Responsibility as well as other information about the project.]

New Industrial Park in Burma Draws Ire of Farmers, Monks

By | Monday, October 7, 2013

MYO THAR TOWNSHIP, Mandalay Division — Farmers, residents and monks living around the site of the planned Myo Thar Industrial Park project in Mandalay division are complaining about encroachment on farmland, unfair compensation and the threat posed by the project to a religious site.

The industrial park is planned for 10,000 acres of land which has been taken from farmers living in at least 13 surrounding villages, and includes about 60 acres of a Buddhist monastery.

“Since we are going to lose almost all our land, what will we do for our living?” asked Aye Thin, a farmer from Paedaw village, Nga Zun Township, who said she has lost  70 acres of farmland, and that 20 acres more is at risk from the development.

“They said this project will give us job opportunities, but how can we earn enough for the living as we know only about planting crops.”

The project is being developed by Burmese company Royal Hi-Tech Group. The companies have begun demarcating the borders of the development using mechanical diggers. Some farmers say the diggers are encroaching on land that is not included in the announced project zone.

“They start digging on our land that is not being confiscated. We were told that this land is also in the project area, but actually we were not informed about that,” Aye Thin said.

“We pleaded to them not to dig, but they said we don’t have the power to order them. It seems we are going to lose every inch of our land.”

Farmers who are unable to show land ownership documents said they are forced to take 500,000 kyat, about US$520, as compensation for each acre of land. Others who have the document received 2 million kyat, about $2,080, per acre.

“Our land was owned and inherited from generation to generation, so how can we present the papers?” said Soe Nyunt from Nawarat village, who said he lost 20 acres of farmland, but was only compensated for 6 acres.

“However, no matter how much we get for compensation, we just want land to work on for we know nothing apart from farming.”
Click here for full article and photo in The Irrawaddy

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