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Rubber plantations

Individual Documents

Title: Guns, Cronies and Crops - How military, political and business cronies have conspired to grab land in Myanmar (Burmese မန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 26 March 2015
Description/subject: "As Myanmar’s junta prepared to step down from government, the military set about seizing public assets and natural resources to ensure its economic control in a new era of democratic rule. Guns, Cronies and Crops details the collusion at the heart of operations carried out by Myanmar’s armed forces in northeastern Shan State. Large swathes of land were taken from farming communities in the mid-2000s and handed to companies and political associates to develop rubber plantations. Our investigation reveals those involved, including Myanmar’s current Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, U Myint Hlaing, the country’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, and Sein Wut Hmon, a rubber company which collaborated with the former military junta to gain control of land. These revelations come as Myanmar’s government finalises the drafting of a national land policy, the country’s first. The report documents the toxic legacy of these land grabs on an already marginalised ethnic-minority population, for whom little has changed since the country’s much-lauded transition to civil democracy in 2011. Villagers told Global Witness that they had received no compensation and are struggling to earn a living and feed their families without land to grow food..."
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (818K-reduced version; 1.2MB-original). Annex 50K
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/GW-2015-03-26-Guns_Cronies&Crops-bu.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/GW-2015-03-26-Guns_Cronies&Crops-annex-bu.pdf (annex)
https://www.globalwitness.org/campaigns/land-deals/guns-cronies-and-crops/
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2015


Title: Guns, Cronies and Crops - How military, political and business cronies have conspired to grab land in Myanmar (English, Burmese မန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 26 March 2015
Description/subject: "As Myanmar’s junta prepared to step down from government, the military set about seizing public assets and natural resources to ensure its economic control in a new era of democratic rule. Guns, Cronies and Crops details the collusion at the heart of operations carried out by Myanmar’s armed forces in northeastern Shan State. Large swathes of land were taken from farming communities in the mid-2000s and handed to companies and political associates to develop rubber plantations. Our investigation reveals those involved, including Myanmar’s current Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, U Myint Hlaing, the country’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, and Sein Wut Hmon, a rubber company which collaborated with the former military junta to gain control of land. These revelations come as Myanmar’s government finalises the drafting of a national land policy, the country’s first. The report documents the toxic legacy of these land grabs on an already marginalised ethnic-minority population, for whom little has changed since the country’s much-lauded transition to civil democracy in 2011. Villagers told Global Witness that they had received no compensation and are struggling to earn a living and feed their families without land to grow food..."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: html, pdf (5.4MB-reduced version; 7.4MB-original,
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/GW-2015-03-26-gunscroniescrops-en-red.pdf
http://www.globalwitness.org/gunscroniescrops/docs/exec_summary.pdf
http://www.globalwitness.org/gunscroniescrops/docs/burmese/exec_summary_and_recommendations.pdf
http://www.globalwitness.org/gunscroniescrops/#video
https://www.globalwitness.org/campaigns/land-deals/guns-cronies-and-crops/
Date of entry/update: 27 March 2015


Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, November to December 2012
Date of publication: 29 March 2013
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Hpa-an District, between November and December 2012. The report details the concerns of villagers in T'Nay Hsah Township, who have faced significant declines in their paddy harvest due to bug infestation. The community member also raises villagers' concerns regarding the cutting down of teak-like trees by developers, for the establishment of rubber plantations. The report describes how this activity seriously threatens villagers' livelihoods, and takes place via the cooperation of companies and wealthy individuals with the Burma government. The report goes on to detail demands placed upon villagers by the Border Guard Force (BGF) to contribute money to pay soldiers' salaries. Though the community member reports that these demands are not as forcibly implemented as in the past; villagers still face threats if they do not comply. Many villagers in the area, however, have chosen not to pay the money requested of them by the BGF.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (128K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b14.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/KHRG/KHRG%202013/KHRG-2013-03-29-Hpa-an_Situation_Update_T%27Nay_Hsah_T...
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


Title: The Political Ecology of Rubber Production in Myanmar: An Overview
Date of publication: December 2012
Description/subject: "Myanmar central government and military authorities have long supported rubber production as a strategic industrial agricultural crop for export to earn foreign exchange. The history of rubber cultivation is important to consider in order to better understand the newly emerging political economy of rubber in the country during the current transition period. Rubber has been cultivated in Myanmar since the British colonial period in the early 20th century, mostly in Mon State. These ‘traditional’ rubber growing areas in Mon State mostly comprise smallholder rubber plantations that have greatly contributed to the livelihoods of Mon households. Since the past decade, however, a new ‘untraditional’ frontier area has been targeted for rubber plantation development. In northern Myanmar in Kachin State, northern Shan State, and eastern Shan State, especially including the Wa Self - Administered Region, rubber concessions have swept across the hills in areas that were formerly swidden fields. While rubber in Mon State, Kayin State, and Tanintharyi Region follows more of a smallholder model approach but which is mostly embedded in Chinese rubber markets with Chinese middlemen, rubber development in northern Myanmar follows a private large-scale concessionary model mostly financed by Chinese investment from China’s national opium substitution programme. In the past few years new areas yet again in Myanmar are being targeted by large-scale rubber concessions, this time where smallholder rubber farms already exist, such as in Rakhine State, Mon State, Kayin State, and northern Tanintharyi Region. Local government officials, regional military commanders, and non-state armed groups have allocated rubber concessions through rubber-growing areas in Myanmar over the past decade. These concessions are located in what the government labels ‘wastelands’, often in the uplands, which in fact are farmed by local households as ‘taungya’ (shifting cultivation) plots. Therefore, rubber development in Myanmar that follows the agro-industrial model, are causing serious impacts on local farmers’ subsistence livelihoods, as is the case with other industrial agricultural | concessions. Rubber concessions in former customary swidden fields seriously impact local food security and resource access to forests and agro-fields, while rarely providing adequate alternative livelihoods through wage labour employment for local populations. New agricultural wage labour migration for large-sca le rubber concessions, especially in the new production areas in northern Myanmar, is introducing new socio-economic and political tensions to farming communities..."
Author/creator: Kevin Woods
Language: English
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (964K)
Alternate URLs: https://www.globalwitness.org/sites/default/files/The%20Political%20Ecology%20of%20Rubber%20Product...
Date of entry/update: 10 December 2014


Title: Situation Update | Moo, Ler Doh and Hsaw Htee townships, Nyaunglebin District (January to June 2012)
Date of publication: 17 October 2012
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in July 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District between January and June 2012. Specifically discussed are Tatmadaw demands, including new gold mining taxes imposed by Light Infantry Battalion #264 and their demands for sentries, and the construction of a bridge inside Na Tha Kway village, which has displaced many villagers without providing compensation. This report also includes information about 400 villagers who gathered together on March 12th to protest the construction of Kyauk N'Ga Dam on the Shwegyin River in Hsaw Htee and Ler Doh townships; the opening of a Karen Nation Union (KNU) liaison office in Ler Doh town on April 9th, during which over 10,000 villagers awaited government officials; the arrival of representatives from the Norwegian government to the internally displaced persons (IDP) area in Mu The; and a visit by a United States Senator on May 29th in Ler Doh town and subsequently in Nay Pyi Daw. The report also describes work and food security problems in Nyaunglebin, where some villagers have migrated to neighbouring Thailand and Malaysia for employment, or to work in Yangon's growing entertainment industry. The community member spoke with villagers in the area who expressed overall satisfaction with the peace and ceasefire process, and they hope that it will continue to be stable.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (438k)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/KHRG-2012-10-17_Situation_Update_Moo_Ler-Doh_and_Hsaw_Htee_towns...
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg12b80.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012


Title: White Gold Rush
Date of publication: June 2010
Description/subject: The junta is working closely with China to push rubber production in northern Burma, but small-scale farmers are getting bounced around so the rich can tap the market... "Shwe pyu—white gold—is the name for unprocessed rubber in Burma, and the regime is handing out land concessions for rubber production that are as valuable as gold to wealthy, well-connected businessmen. But for small-scale farmers in northern Burma, shwe pyu is as far beyond their reach as gold in the remote Hukawng Valley..."
Author/creator: Zao Noam
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2010


Title: "Undercurrents" - Monitoring Development on Burma's Mekong - Issue 3
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: this issue focuses on how the expanding influence of Chinese interests in the Golden Triangle region, from rubber plantations to wildlife trading, is bringing rapid destructive changes to local communities. There are also articles on opium cultivation, mining operations, the mainstream Mekong dams in China, and unprecedented flooding downstream..... Mekong Biodiversity Up for Sale: A new hub of wildlife trade and a network of direct buyers from China is hastening the pace of species loss... Rubber Mania: Scrambling to supply China, can ordinary farmers benefit?... Drug Country: Another opium season in eastern Shan State sees increased cultivation, mulitple cropping and a new form of an old drug... Construction Steams Ahead: A photo essay from the Nouzhadu Dam, one of the eight planned on the mainstream Mekong in China... Digging for Riches: An update on mining operations in eastern Shan State... Washed Out: Unprecedented flooding wreaks havoc in the Golden Triangle.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
Format/size: pdf (3.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/undercurrentsissue3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2009