The Myanmar government will take legal action against Chinese farmers who cross the border and work illegally on farms in the Man Waing Gyi area of Mansi township in Kachin state, a home affairs ministry official said on Wednesday.
Major General Aung Soe, Myanmar’s deputy minister for home affairs, made the remark in response to a question posed by lawmaker Chin Pe Lin, who represents the Mansi constituency in Myanmar’s lower house of parliament, about plans to take action against Chinese farmers working illegally near border post 53/2.
“There has been a practice where Chinese traders from the other side issue advance money to Burmese farmers in the Man Waing Gyi area, and the loans are repaid in agricultural produce at the prevailing prices,” Aung Soe said.
“If any illegal Chinese farmers are found in that area near border post 53/2, appropriate action will be taken against them in accordance with the 1947 Immigration Act and [related] regulations,” he said, in a reference to the legal document that sets out rules for foreigners to enter the country legally.
Because the Man Waing Gyi area is close to the border, there has been frequent land disputes between Burmese and Chinese farmers, Chin Pe Lin said.
He also asked if damaged border posts would be repaired soon.
Aung Soe said that border post 53/4, which has been damaged by erosion, would be repaired and that the Kachin State Water Resources Department has submitted a proposal to the state government to build a retaining wall there at an estimated cost of 20.6 million kyats (about U.S. $15,000).
The border runs through the middle of a small stream that separates villages on each side of the border.
Reported by Win Naung Toe for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.