New report shows 'cronyism at heart of Myanmar land seizures'

Thursday, 26 March, 2015

A global Witness press release, this one - Click here to read the report.. Rather than summarise, here's the (short) release in full:

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New exposé shows cronyism at heart of land seizures in Myanmar
We expose the military, political and business cronyism at the heart of ethnic minority land seizures in Myanmar

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 investigations reveal those involved, including Myanmar’s current Minister of Agriculture, the country’s ruling USDP party, and Sein Wut Hmon, a rubber company which collaborated with the former military junta to gain control of land.
The report also documents the toxic legacy of these land grabs on an already marginalised population for whom little has changed since the country’s much-lauded transition to civil democracy.
“What we’ve seen in Myanmar’s land sector is a transition from military rule to a form of gangster capitalism. In many cases the army has merely swapped its uniforms for suits, with military officials and their cronies retaining firm control of the country’s land sector.” Josie Cohen, Land Campaigner for Global Witness.

London: Alice Harrison, +44 (0) 784 133 8792
Yangon: Josie Cohen
Yangon: Ali Hines

Click here to read the report.