Kachin Villagers Demonstrate Against Buddhist Monastery Planned on School Property

Residents of Loi Len Yang village, located in Kachin State, demonstrated against the construction of a Buddhist monastery on the grounds of a school.

More than 30 took part in the protest on the morning of October 7, over the land dispute between the village headman and residents in Mogaung Township.

Hkangda Tu Ring told KNG the school grounds are public property yet the headman is trying to take some of it for the monastery. “They built a fence around half the property and the locals don’t agree with that. No-one can take this land because it’s part of the school grounds.”

A primary school is already on the property. But it’s been hard to open it for a variety of reasons, including that there are few students in the village.

Gum Ja Naw, the headman of the village-tract, said they want the construction stopped. “The land is owned by the school. If they build a clinic or a government office, we will agree. But we won’t agree to a religious building on the school property. They built a fence around 5 acres.”

He said, “they’ve ignored our demands and continued to build the fence, resulting in this land dispute.”

After villagers notified the General Administration Officer (GAD), Gum Ja Naw said the GAD office will take action against the headman if construction does not cease. Villagers want the fence removed from the property immediately.

The majority of Kachin are Baptist or Catholic.

Loi Len Yang is located about 4 miles from Mogaung town.

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