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8 Nov 2016

Saw Tun Linn, Burma News International

Myanmar: Asia World and Shwe Padonmar Companies sue returning internally displaced persons for trespass

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning to their former villages are being sued for trespass by the Asia World and Shwe Padonmar companies who claim the land was given to them for palm oil plantations…

Saw Myo Min [said]…“I am one of the four residents of Kyay Zuu Taw Village who have been sued by the company…My work has been disturbed as I have to attend the trial. I don’t have a motorcycle so I have to rent it [to attend the trial]. I am facing more difficulties since this [lawsuit] started as it is already hard for me to make a living. We came back because we were told that we could live on our ancestral lands..."

Residents…had to move…due to fighting between the Burma Army and the Karen National Union (KNU). In 1999 the Shwe Padonmar Company was given 611 acres of land in the area of the village to turn into a palm oil plantation.

After the Burmese government and the KNU signed a ceasefire in 2012 the villagers returned to their former villages…

But, on 23 September 2016 the Shwe Padonmar Company filed charges against four villagers for trespass…

The Asia World Company, which in 2000 was given over 9,012 acres on which to plant palm oil plantations, began suing the villagers for trespass in 2016