Statement on the Opening of the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Central Committee for Applying VFV Lands

November 6th, 2018  •  Author:   Land in Our Hands  •  3 minute read

We, LIOH, have observed the notification letter issued by the name of the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Central Committee on 30 October 2018 with the subject “Notification to individual & organization who are using vacant, fallow & virgin lands without the permission from Central Committee” [with letter no. 12/MaLaRa-1(138/2018)] and the announcement titled “Opening for applying vacant, fallow & virgin lands” on the Mirror newspaper for 2 November 2018.

LIOH has already objected the enactment of “the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law”, which would create more complexities to existing land conflicts and the law making process was lacking the proper consultation.

The effort of enforcing to implement this law extensively could make the farmers, ethnic communities and the people who depends their livelihoods on the land across Myanmar as criminals which it means land problems turn out into political, economic and social problems; LIOH has concerns on it.

According to the Department of Agricultural & Land Management Statistics, Myanmar has 45 million acres of untitled land and 82% of this volume lies in States.

The abovementioned notification stated to register all the land within 6 months; where there is countless number of ethnic people who are practicing customary land management and internal displaced persons (IDPs) from armed conflicts primarily occupied for their lives & livelihoods.

The notification also highlighted that any person who is convicted of violating sub-section (b) clause (3) of section 22 by utilize the vacant, fallow and virgin lands without permission of the central committee shall be punished with a jail term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand kyats or both.

Application, verification and approving the land within 6 months is practically less possible for the land with complicated tenure histories and in the presence of land grabbed conflicts in ethnic areas. The enforcement of less possible registration within short period of time is concluded as perilous as the effort for ethnic peoples to become landless & criminals; to encourage corruption & oppression; and to create new political & socio-economic conflicts.

The law amending the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law 2018 does not recognize the land rights, natural resources rights, land/water/forests rights of ethnic people and customary management systems however stipulates registration system that is difficult to follow practically with intention to prioritize investments. This law is seen as punitive law that specifies most of farmers and ethnic peoples from hilly region as “trespassers” or “criminals”. Moreover, the current situation is not considering on social justices of IDPs by armed-conflicts however grabbing the land by using the laws.

The law amending the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law 2018 is not merely a burdensome for existing peace building but would be cultivating more conflicts in ethnic regions. The Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law 2018 would make more complication on existing land conflicts and be affecting directly on peace building in Myanmar, thus abolishing of the law is solemnly proposed.

1. Ko Si Thu​09790739488
2. Mi Khamoon​09401601822
3. Saw Alex​09785175874

သေဘာထားထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္ ျမန္မာဘာသာကို ဤေနရာ၌ ဖတ္ရႈရန္