Farmers forced to relocate to villages

Mar 11, 2008 (DVB), Local authorities in Rangoon division's Hle Gu township have forced farmers who live in huts on their farmlands to relocate to villages, leaving them unable to continue tending their crops, locals said.

A Hle Gu local said about 300 farmers from Shan Tal Gyi and Ma-au villages have been ordered to move back to their villages by their village authorities, who claimed it was for security reasons.

"The authorities made the farmers to sign an acknowledgement of their relocation to the villages," the local said.

"It said that the farmers will be responsible for the consequences if they remain on their farmlands."

The authorities' order to relocate will cause major difficulties for the farmers, who need to stay on their farms during the cropping season to monitor their crops.

"They need to stay on their farms to do the necessary maintenance on their crops," the Hle Gu local said.

"The farmers were very sad after hearing the authorities' order to move back to the villages."

Hle Gu township authorities were unavailable for comment.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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