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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 
the protest.
        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 
and regulations.
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 
their detention.
           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 
the future.      
News and Information Unit
ABSDF (Western-Burma)