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Ethnic Community Development Forum (Burma)

Some 130 farmers in Shan State capital Taunggyi, who claimed their lands were seized by the Burmese armed forces, are now in turn being sued by the military, according to local sources.
The farmers are all from Yepu village in the Kunlong tract of Taunggyi Township. They were brought to trial on July 25 and charged with criminal trespassing under Article 447 of Burma’s Penal Code.{ Read more.......}


We are writing to express our great concern at your government’s announcement on August 12 that you will proceed with hydropower dams on the Salween river, as the best option to meet Burma’s energy needs.

The Salween is a vital artery for millions of ethnic people in eastern Burma, Thailand and China, who will be irreparably impacted by blockage of its mighty flow. There has been consistent opposition to the Salween dams by communities in Shan, Karenni, Karen and Mon States, as well as other parts of Burma and neighbouring countries.{Read more.........}


China-backed developments are expected to loom large during Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s upcoming visit to China, as many anticipate striking a deal on the suspended Myitsone dam project will be the order of the day.

Political analyst U Than Soe Naing believes Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be under pressure to reach a resolution on the controversial mega-dam.

“I think that the [National League for Democracy] government has no solution for the Myitsone dam, and they have no prospect for compensation.{ Read more....}


New Report: Devolved federal governance crucial to protect sustainable customary land tenure systems in Burma.

Our Customary Lands,’ a report launched today by the Ethnic Community Development Forum “ECDF”, is calling on the government to protect and recognize ethnic customary land management systems through a new federal constitution and decentralized legal framework.

The report provides unique insight into the intricate structuring of seven customary land management systems in six ethnic states, which have enabled communities to protect and sustain local livelihoods and resources for generations.

‘Local communities have their own detailed rules and regulations that promote self-reliant livelihoods and provide stronger environmental protection than the national laws,’ says Kamoon, the lead researcher from ECDF. ‘Decision-making on all major issues related to land is made by consensus in village meetings.’

Investment and premature integration into the centralized national system are threatening existing ethnic land tenure systems, especially following the signing of bilateral ceasefires between ethnic armed groups and the government over the past five years. The government has been promoting individual land titling, which is undermining traditional communal systems.  


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