Deadly Clash Between Police and Farmers in Myanmar

Pacerunning shared a short video recording of a woman being attacked by the police during a clash between farmer protesters and police in Maupin, Myanmar. In the video, one officer pushed a woman and it seems another officer was trying to attack her while others were trying to stop him.

The clash [my] between around 500 farmers and 200 police broke out on February 26, 2013 in Maupin of the Irrawaddy Division in Myanmar. One police was killed and a total of 45 people were injured. It started [my] when the police tried to disperse the group of militant farmers who refused to evacuate the land previously seized by the military government. One of the farmers says: [my]

We are so impoverished that if we do nothing, we will not be able to eat. So we can not back down.

The clash was subdued the following day. The government website reported that a state of emergency was issued in the area. Later, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that stability was restored in the district.

According to The Irrawaddy, land protests have been rising in the country in the past two years:

Land protests have taken place in many parts of Burma since the former military regime handed over power to a quasi-civilian government two years ago. Land ownership problems plague many farmers, because under current laws, they rarely have actual ownership of their farmlands, even if their families have used them for generations.

Aye Nai also notes the rising cases of land grabs and subsequent land protests in the countryside:

With Burma primed for massive investment as the country continues with ongoing political reforms, land grabs have been on the rise. According to experts, the country’s shaky legal infrastructure allows forced relocation and appropriations to continue.

However, local farmers are feeling increasingly empowered in the absence of military rule to protest against development projects that threaten to forcibly remove them off land they work.

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