Transparency Under Scrutiny: Information Disclosure by the Parliamentary Land Investigation Commission in Myanmar

This case study presents a country-wide quantitative analysis of a Parliamentary Commission established in 2012 in Myanmar to examine ‘land grab’ cases considered and to propose solutions towards releasing the land to its original owners, in most cases smallholder farming families. The study analyses the information contained in four reports released to the public, but also aims to elicit information they do not reveal.

First of all, the paper suggests the commission has failed to provide detailed information about land grabs by the military. Second, the Commission seems to have targeted urban areas and urbanization projects and has underestimated land grab cases in rural areas. Third, by contrasting the locations of land confiscation cases with those of agro-industrial concessions as of 2011, the paper also shows how the Commission has evaded, rather than tackled, some very critical land confiscation issues driven by these concessions. Eventually, the authors argue for a mechanism that gathers, manages and releases relevant data on land confiscation and redistribution in a manner that allows for full disclosure.

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