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INSIDE BURMA (r)
Further information relating to farmers' protest.
Date 22nd January 1997.
Regarding the farmers' protest in Dipeyin township of Shwe
Bo district Saggaing division had been already broadcasted briefly
on Democratic Voice of Burma radio (Norway) evening program
on 19th Jan. 1997.
It was happened due to dissatisfaction of the farmers who
were forced to sell their paddy to State Law and Order Restoration
Council at the rate of 14,000.00 Kyats per 100 baskets where the
market price is 35,000.00 Kyats.
The protest started by the farmers from Inpin village of
Dipeyin township and they went on street and marched to Dipeyin
town. More than 3,000 farmers from Ohndabin, Pauktaw, Khada
and Methae villages located along the car road to Dipeyin joined
While the farmers were marching on the way to Dipeyin the
University students joined hand in hand with them and guide them
to be systematic and peaceful demonstration. They shouted their
demands while on the way to Dipeyin.
Their demands are as follow;
1. Stop unjust repression upon peasants.
2. Reduce the heavy taxation upon farmers.
3. Stop force-buying of crops by inappropriate price.
4. Allow to form independent peasants union.
Despite the threat of gunpoint by the arm forces led by the
Township Law and Order Restoration Council, chairman U Tin
Htoo and police (O.C) U Than Oo, the peasants rally advanced to
After half an hour of the arrival of the rally at Dipeyin, the
Divisional LORC chairman and commander of North West
Command Maj. Gen. Hla Myint Swe asked the peasants for a
negotiation. When the peasants rally enter the Saya San Hall at
Dipeyin, the SLORC people used video cameras to film each and
every one, who participated in the rally.
When the farmers discussed with Maj. Gen. Hla Myint Swe,
they demanded to stop forced buying of paddy and crops by
unsuitable price and demanded to sell fertilizer to those farmers
who sell paddy to the S.L.O.R.C. Beside that they complained
regarding the false statistic and data forwarded to higher concers by
the Township L.O.R.C.in which they have shown less acreage of
paddy growing fields. They also complained against the corruption
of irrigation department where has been an usual practice of talking
money from the farmers while irrigating their fields.
Maj. Gen. Hla Myint Swe responded as follows;
1. Farmers demands will be forwarded to the higher SLORC
2. If there is any problem for peasants they can represent those
things step by and systematically.
3. This act of demonstration of farmers is an act which provoke
instability of the state law order and also against the present rules
4. Those we can forgive the recent peasants' protest but we can't
bear any such repeated activities in future.
5. Such actions will be drastically responded.
Soon after the above mentioned discussion, the farmers
were sent back to their respective villages by buses arranged by
On that very night military forces entered the concerned
villages and arrested those who actively participated in the rally.
Among the persons arrested upto now, Ma Moe Moe a Mandalay
university student in also included. Family members of anyone is
not allowed to meet those arrested and nobody knows the venue of
The chairman of the Dipeyin Township Law and Order
Restoration Council summoned one person from each house hold
to attend the independence day meeting at Min Swe village without
fail.There he told that the chairman of Divisional Law and Order
Restoration Council and the Divisional Commanding Officer is very
much angry with the recent demonstration of farmers and he
warned that this kind of farmers' action will be strictly responded in
News and Information Unit