Civil Society Organizations’ Open Letter to LIFT for its call for proposal “REAL DEV”

Land in Our Hands (LIOH) and Myanmar Alliance for Transparency & Accountability (MATA) jointly send the open letter to LIFT regarding its recently launched call for proposal “REAL DEV Programme”; today in 24 December 2018.

24 December 2018

Land in Our Hands (LIOH) and Myanmar Alliance for Transparency & Accountability (MATA) jointly send the open letter to LIFT regarding its recently launched call for proposal “REAL DEV Programme”; today in 24 December 2018.

On 14 December 2018, LIFT (Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund) has launched a REAL DEV programme that invites partner agencies to work with the Government on land reclamation and reallocation in Magway, to develop a replicable approach and framework for reallocating State land reclaimed from concessionary holders to the rural poor, landless, and others; according to its website and facebook page.

Since the government adopted the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law (VFV law) in 2012, peoples from ethnic areas declared that they don’t have vacant, fallow & virgin land but the ancestral lands they have been living, using & managing for centuries. And many civil society organizations asked the government to abolish the VFV law. Although NLD government initiated to amend this law in 2017, it becomes worse – criminalizing the peoples defending their lands and setting the time for registering the lands. Land in Our Hands is continuously supporting for federal land government and customary practices; thus calling to abolish the VFV law. During May, LIOH released a statement at national level reckoning the voices from different states & regions. That workshop and statement is representing over 1,600 peoples and over 400 civil society organizations across the country.

Despite these continuous public oppositions, the Government adopted the amendments to VFV in September 2018. Thus, LIOH launched the campaign against VFV law and also released a joint statement. The statement is endorsed by 346 local organizations. The international community is also supporting the movement of LIOH and issued the concern letter recently.

At this fragile moment, LIFT called proposals for its programme above-mentioned. Although LIFT says “LIFT’s programme is relevant and responsible – perhaps even more so at this time than before”, it is lacking the political sensitivity around land rights and peace building process as wider impacts. In this regards, LIOH & MATA prepared and sent an open letter to LIFT calling to suspend the call for proposals and reassess its operations in Myanmar in accordance with its 12 conflict sensitivity principles.

Open letter to LIFT: (English) (Burmese)

International Community Issued Statement of Concern on VFV

In December 2018, international community issued the statement of concern to express solidarity with grassroots campaign against VFV in Myanmar and called for petition.

Please visit the official petition site or see the letter here.

Civil Societies’ statement on VFV law is now available in 6 languages

In response to the recently adopted the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management law  (VFV law) – despite the continuous public opposition, the civil society organizations in Myanmar released a joint statement as part of larger public campaign. The statement called to abolish the VFV law, to respect customary land management practices and to ensure the process of law making for federal land law with full & meaningful participation. The statement was endorsed by 346 local organizations (within 2 day).

The Statement is now available in 6 languages:

Soon after the statement was released on 16 November 2018, the United Nationalities Alliance (ethnic political party) & its sister organizations, the Karen National Union (Taungngu District), internally displaced persons from Kachin & Northern Shan State, Karenni Land Forum and Kayan Organizations have issued similar statements.


90 Days to go (Say “NO” to VFV)

. . . countless number of innocent citizens and ethnic nationals . . . could be prosecuted & humiliated with lawsuits . . .

11 December 2018

LIOH campaign for land, peace and democracy moves into high gear after government adoption of the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law that imposes countless number of farmers, ethnic peoples & IDPs to become landless and criminals.

On 11 November 2018, LIOH has launched a countdown campaign on social media; alerting that countless number of innocent citizens and ethnic nationals who are making a living on more than 45 million acres of land could be prosecuted & humiliated with lawsuits because of the unjust “Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law (VFV Law)”.  Today, the campaign is already one-month-duration and only 90 days remain to reach deadline.

LIOH launched this campaign together with its strategic alliance MATA (Myanmar Alliance for Transparency & Accountability). The call of this campaign is –

  • Abolishing the VFV Law
  • Respecting the customary land management practices those are practicing within ethnic communities
  • The process of making new federal land law with full and meaningful participation & inclusion of local ethnic peoples from different areas

Statement on VFV law and related announcement

Statement available in these languages: Burmese, English, Thai, Chinese, French & Spanish


Civil Society Organizations’ Statement on the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management 2018 and related announcement

16 November 2018

Despite continuing & serious public opposition to the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law and the amendments, it was passed on 11 September 2018. A short time later on 30 September 2018 the Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Central Committee issued a letter notifying the public that the persons and organizations currently using the vacant, fallow & virgin land without permission from the Central Committee must register the land.

Section 22(b) of the law requires users to register the land in accordance with specifications within 6 months after the enactment of the law. Moreover, according to section 27(a), anyone using the vacant, fallow & virgin land without permission of central committee shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or with fine not exceeding Kyat five lakhs or with both; as they violate the section 22(b-iii).

Our standpoint on the newly amended law and related announcement is the following:

Continue reading “Statement on VFV law and related announcement”

LIOH launched 120 days campaign against VFV law

On 11 November 2018, LIOH has launched a countdown campaign on social media; alerting only 120 days left for countless number of innocent citizens and ethnic nationals who are making a living on more than 45 million acres of land could be prosecuted & humiliated with lawsuits because of the unjust “Vacant, Fallow & Virgin Land Management Law (VFV Law)”.

LIOH launched this campaign together with its strategic alliance MATA (Myanmar Alliance for Transparency & Accountability). The call of this campaign is –

  • Abolishing the VFV Law
  • Respecting the customary land management practices those are practicing within ethnic communities
  • The process of making new federal land law with full and meaningful participation & inclusion of local ethnic peoples from different areas