Cartoons on the Dawei SEZ
BDM CSO started to work in Naung Phar village (Ong Ma Hkar Village Tract) in Nawnghkio Township in Northern Shan State in 2014. At this time, there was only one volunteer group providing social and funeral services for the village. The villagers were facing social, economic and environmental issues. There were limited educational and job opportunities in the community. One of the biggest problems they were encountering was land confiscation and many lands were confiscated. Even lands they had inherited and had been owned for generations were grabbed. To make it worse, land confiscation issues made the villages misunderstand each other.
“When we were facing land issues in our village, all of our fellow villagers misunderstood each other. We had no idea how to handle this situation” said one of the women leaders of the Shwe Naung Phar Community-based Group.
We, BDM CSO, began the project intervention in the community in these circumstances. We delivered different kinds of trainings to help address the needs of the community. We strengthened women and youth to play a leading role in their community. We financially and technically helped women and youth to form the “Shwe Naung Phar” community-based group in the village through this project. This Shwe Naung Phar group was an independent group and it started functioning with 19 group members.
Now, Shwe Naung Phar Group can play a leading role in the community and implement its tasks of community development, environmental protection, capacity building for its members, fund-raising and income generation.
Across Myanmar local people lack the space to engage with stakeholders to resolve cases of land misappropriation. BadeiDha Moe is working to change this by using land Briefings as a force for peace in Myanmar . Our land briefings bring together local communities and key stakeholders from their areas.
BadeiDha Moe has now held three land briefings in Northern Shan State, Southern Shan State and Mon State. At each of the land briefings, communities shared about their experiences to the relevant authorities in their areas and asked for cooperation and assistance to resolve the land conflicts in their areas.
The discussions at the land briefings centered around a series of land confiscations. For Northern Shan State, the following issues were discussed:
For Mon State the following issues were discussed:
With the collaboration of the community and stakeholders, all parties were able to draw up action plans for the resolution of the above land disputes in Mon and Northern Shan State. After drawing up action plans, stakeholders made promises to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. Additionally, the Government Administration Department began to contact and follow-up with some of the participants in order to resolve their cases.
BadeiDha Moe believes that the only way to resolve land issues within Myanmar and moreover the wider armed conflict is through peaceful dialogue and the results of these land briefings is proof that in Myanmar’s context conflict resolution is achievable through dialogue. We hope that these land briefings act as more than just a symbol of multi-stakeholder cooperation but a first step towards resolution of wider conflicts within Myanmar.