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June 24, 2018

A PLACE TO CALL HOME — Government provides land for illegal Sittwe squatters

SOME residents residing in illegal squatter settlements in the capital of Rakhine State, Sittwe, are to be relocated to areas in the Mingan quarter.
It is known from the Minister of Rakhine State, U Mya Aung, that the population according to the official household register of those living in the squatter settlement was initially around 550 people.
“There is approximately 550 households on the register. Those households included on the register were issued with slips.” he said.
The Rakhine State government released a statement on Tuesday explaining that those illegal squatters, whose names were not included on the household register, would not be relocated and had to remove themselves within a week from the current location at which they are residing.
However, a squatter in the northern neighbourhood of Anaute San Pya has said that the State government relocation initiatives lack transparency because households of those not residing in the squatter settlement became included on the list.
“Some of those households got on the register because they were close with those who were overseeing the collection of the households for it. There were also those who bought their way onto the register. Since my name didn’t get on, I’m in a situation where I’m finding myself having to move out,” Said a woman living in the squatters area.
It is known that those currently residing in the squatter neighbourhood originally paid money to the local administrator of the neighbourhood to live there.
There are a number of various squatter settlements in Sittwe and according to a statement released by the Rakhine government, the first squatters facing eviction are those residing on an area of 16.8 acres of burnt land in the Anaute Myaute San Pya quarter. They have seven days to move out or will face legal action under the town and village land act.
Residents came and built houses on areas burnt down during religious conflict which erupted in the town of Sittwe in 2012. Warnings have been issued by State government to those squatters for them to relocate to areas that have been provided for them, but difficulties remain for those squatters not included on the register.


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