Confiscated farmland returned following ILO pressure

Mar 23, 2009 (DVB), The International Labour Organisation has confirmed that over 2000 acres of farmland confiscated by the army in Magwe division has been returned following meetings between the ILO and local authorities.

The land had been taken from farmers in Aunglan township, Magwe, two years ago after they refused to bow to government pressure to grow sugarcane for army-run Aunglan township's sugar factory.

Following a meeting on 11 March between the ILO and the military, 2003 acres of land was returned.

"Satisfactory conclusions were reached in respect of the farmers having the right to access their land or in other areas to receive an equal quantity of land which they would then have to the right to use to grow whichever crops they wished to grow," said the ILO liaison officer in Rangoon, Steve Marshall.

"The principles and agreements, now are in the process of being put into practice," he added.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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