Myanmar total Land areaBurma total land area
Permission denied: Land-rights and ethnical conflicts in Burma
New land and investments legislation benefits large and not smallholders, especially in areas with minorities, and does not take into consideration the land sovereignty of ancestors. Burma's indigenous minorities have long felt marginalised and discrimination, resulting in a large number of militarised indigenous groups fought the Burmese federal administration, ruled by the Burmese ethnical majorities, for ethical right and independence.
Fights took place mainly in the border areas of Burma, where ethnical groups are most strongly represented. Aboriginal groups are thought to make up 30-40% of the total populace, and ethnical states take up about 57% of the total land area and are home to impoverished and often harassed people.
The majority of the inhabitants of these poor and war-torn areas are highland sub-sistence farming families. Whilst the federal administration has been systematic in its exploitation of the area' s physical resource, the funds made have not been (re)invested for the good of the city. New land and investments legislation benefits large and not smallholders, especially in areas with minorities, and does not take into consideration the land sovereignty of ancestors.
This new ceasefire has further eased land seizure in areas of conflicts where large rural areas have already been developed. A large number of ethnical organizations are opposed to large economical ventures in their territory until comprehensive policy arrangements are made. Recognising the normal and local ownership of land, sea, fishing and forest is essential for the eradication of extreme levels of livelihoods, for the establishment of genuine harmony in ethnically diverse areas, for ensuring a lasting livelihood for marginalised ethnical groups affected by decade-long wars and for facilitating the volunteer returns of internally displaced persons and migrants.
Land-take and non-sustainable commercial practice must be stopped and decision-making on the allotment, use and exploitation of physical ressources and territorial developments must be made with the involvement and agreement of surrounding community. Municipalities must be safeguarded against land seizure by the authorities. New land and investments legislation should be changed to meet the needs and entitlements of smallholders, especially in agronomy.