LandNet is growing!

  • LandNet coordinators are more confident and stronger  in organizing different meetings among villagers led by village elders and village leader (LandNet coordinator) to face with and negociation with forestry companies on their own behalf at ground level for their issues. A story told by Mr. A Diu, Ja Rai people, LandNet coordinator in Ka Bay Village, Ho Moong Commune, Sa Thay district of Kon Tum province. The story is about a strong confrontation of Ro Ngao villagers with Quang Trung Forestry Company.
    Ka Bay village is a resettlement village (displacement by Plei Krong hydropower in 2005) with 205 Ja Rai households in which 71 households do not have enough land for cultivation. In 2006, the 71 households found a bare land area with  the bushes in Po Ko commune of Dak To district which is 10 km far from their homes. They started to grow cassava and dried rice to fulfil their hunger. Over the times, nearly 10 years, no one stops them. Until 2014, Quang Trung Company appeared and they came to meet the Village Elder, Mr. A’Liuh, said to him that your villagers have enroached our land. Mr. A’Liuh did not say anything.
    Second time, the Company sent another people to see Mr. A’Liuh. Immediately, he informed  A’Diu, Villager leader. A’Diu quickly  called all 71 households together to come to the Village Elder’s house to meet the Company’s people. At the meeting, the Company said: “We will take the land back for pine plantation. The villagers have enroached our land”. The villagers said “We have cultivated there for over 10 years. During that period no one comes and no one says anything and now why do you ask us to return to you? The Company said: “Get it back to us and we will talk to you later”. The villagers did not agree!

    Mr. A'Diu, LandNet coordinator in Ka Bay Village, Ho Moong Commune, Sa Thay district of Kon Tum province
    Third time, the Company came to the Village Elder again. The same, A’Diu called all villagers together to meet the Company. The Company said: “We do not take land back for us, we will have jobs for you to work on that land. We  will provide seedlings to you and you have to plant them on that land. In the first year, we will pay 10 Million Dong per ha to you for planting and tending. Second year, five Million Dong per ha and the third year, three Million Dong per ha. From fourth year there is no payment anymore. After harvesting (after 30-50 years later) the benefit will be shared with 30/70 rate (the villagers 30% and the Company 70% of total income). All villagers did not agree. The Company said: If you do not follow, we will report to above leaders. And after this meeting, the Company asked the villagers signed in the meeting minute but they did not sign. The Company said: if you do not sign we will take the land back and prepare necessary formalities to send to Provincial People Committee for action. And if you still grow cassava we will take them back without any compensation. The villagers said: if you take our cassava, we will take your pine trees.
    The latest time, the Company continued to have meeting at the Traditional Rong House (community house). This time, the Company invited local authorities (district and communal levels). A’Diu decided to ask all villagers, wives and husbands attended. At the meeting, firstly only voice of women raised together and said that: whatever you do, we will not leave our land. If you use our land, first cut our head or give us a pesticide to drink! The Company said: The Government allocated this land to us already! The villagers said: we are also the Government’s People. The Company said: if you do not listen, we will ask policemen to threat and will destroy all cassava. The villagers said: you can bring the policemen to come here and we dare meet the policemen on our farm. Suddenly, there was a women, stood up and said: This is not our mistake. The Party and the Government allow us to live here with one ha of land for living. This small amout of land is not enough for our daily life. We have to go out of our village to find land for living. Our land is at the resourvoir and it is used for hydropower!
    The story is continued!