Based on direct testimony of 40 villager interviews from four villages in Karenni State, this report documents the confiscation of ancestral farming land by the Burmese military. The main focus is on the villages of MarkrawShe, HsolyarKu, Daw HsoShay and Daw MuKlah. By villagers’ accounts, a total of approximately 10,300 acres have been confiscated. The report describes the process of land confiscation and documents the related problems that the Karenni villagers are facing. Villagers are struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families following the confiscation of their ancestral farmland, as their dependence on their farms for food and livelihood has been disrupted. This report hopes to bring awareness to the international community, hold the government accountable, and provide action-based recommendations to political leaders. It is a starting point for a discussion to improve the human rights situation in Karenni State, and to provide hope to the Karenni people who have lost their ancestral land.
“The vision of Karenni Social Development Center is to promote the cause of Karenni people who have suffered human rights abuses by the Burmese military. KSDC educates Karenni people about human rights and the environment, and gathers information regarding human rights violations in Karenni State.
We believe that the land confiscation experienced by villagers in Karenni State is an example of a grave abuse. We hope that this report will raise awareness of the current situation amongst the Burmese people and the international community, and that by working together we can encourage the government to change their attitudes and policies towards ethnic groups in Burma, and establish a democracy in which indigenous rights are protected.”
-Aung Sun Myint Steven, Coordinator of Karenni Social Development Center