Myanmar is in the midst of rapid economic and social change, with dramatic consequences for land tenure. Under the military regimes that ruled Myanmar since 1962, the state was the main landowner, either directly or (after 1988) via proxy companies.
A Myanmar land rights activist who challenged illegal land grabs in northern Shan State was beaten to death this week by a mob of some 20 people, a fellow unionist told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Thursday.
Htay Aung, a member of the National Farmer’s Union was attacked by a mob on Wednesday in Iwine Parhe Village of Naungcho Township, northeast of the city of Mandalay and later died at Mandalay Hospital.
Naw Ohn Hla, chairwoman of the National Farmers Union, described to RFA the events leading up to the attack, for which three people have been arrested.
In countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, tens of thousands face eviction with few tools to fight back
Residents of a village in Hanoi's outskirts took 38 officials and policemen hostage recently in protest against what they claimed was the illegal seizure of their land by a telecommunications firm owned by the military.
The stand-off riveted the nation, and also highlighted the persistence of land disputes in a region where rapid development is pitting large commercial interests against longstanding communities.