News / Asia

Land Rights Activist Murdered in Burma

— An opposition land rights activist in Burma, also known as Myanmar, has been shot and killed in a remote village in northern Shan State.

Neighbors said Sai San Tun was taken away from his house late Wednesday by two men and gun shots were heard minutes later.  His body was found Thursday.

Tin Maung Toe, another local member of the National League for Democracy, said the victim had been leading villagers in a campaign against land confiscation.
 
Shan state, BurmaShan state, Burma
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Shan state, Burma
Shan state, Burma
"At the beginning of this month, he was helping to solve the issues of land confiscation and money extortion by the village chief.
Villagers' lands have been grabbed by a military unit (LID 249).  The unit said the lands would be returned, but not yet, so far.  Actually he had good relations with the military," he said.

Officials have not commented on the corruption allegations.

A similar incident occurred last month when another member of the NLD was killed in a nearby township in Shan State. No one claimed responsibility for the killings.

A police officer who did not want VOA to use his name said both cases were under investigation.

The issue of land confiscation is a sensitive issue in many parts of Burma, where officials are frequently accused of colluding with companies to take land for profit.

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.)

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