Myanmar Land Law

In Myanmar, decades of conflict and displacement have left lots of land abandoned and undocumented, especially in the ethnic border regions. In 2012, the Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Lands Management law was enacted, classifying about one third of Myanmar’s land as vacant (=unoccupied), fallow (=once used but now unused) or virgin (=never used).

The law instructed land dwellers (to dwell = to live on) to register the land they were occupying or using in order to obtain a 30 year permit. 

However, the deadline to obtain the permit passed last year and now thousands of land dwellers are at risk because they have not registered and do not have a legal permit.

What is happening to much of the land in Myanmar reflects the country's move from a more traditional 'we' culture to more of a 'me' culture. Whereas, traditionally land was managed by the group (the village or clan), now it is being transformed to individual documented ownership (as happens in 'me cultures). To learn more about 'me' and 'we' cultures, click on the link below.


Watch and listen to the short video below and complete the five sentences with no more than TWO WORDS from the listening.

  1. In some ethnic areas, many locals are confused about their land ownership __________

  2. Saw Alex, a local activist, believes the government is using the law to expand their _________

  3. Much of the unused land has been claimed by huge ___________

  4. People returning to the areas are having trouble finding legal ____________

  5. Ma Taw Eh, a Karen villager, says she does not understand ______________

When you're ready (you can use a dictionary to search for any new vocabulary) enter your answers in the test sheet below.


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