Myanmar police break up land protest
Police in Myanmar on Thursday broke up a demonstration of around 100 farmers protesting against the confiscation of their land, detaining three people, officials said.
Led by a human rights lawyer, the demonstrators staged an early morning sit-in outside the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development in downtown Yangon, a government official who did not want to be named.
“The leader, lawyer Phoe Phyu, and two farmers were detained for questioning,” another official said.
A security official said the farmers were from the outskirts of Yangon.
“They came here to protest because their farm land has been confiscated and they want their land back,” he said.
“Police asked them to disperse as it’s not in accordance with the law.”
Police officers also confiscated the protesters’ banners and continued patrolling the area after dispersing the demonstrators.
Protests are rare in authoritarian Myanmar, where pro-democracy rallies in 1988 and 2007 were brutally crushed by the junta. Demonstrators must have permission from the authorities.
Last month, police detained a man for holding a protest against a Chinese-backed dam and blocked another rally against the project, which was later suspended by the authorities in a rare response to public opinion.