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Thursday, May 20, 2010

PCP founding anniversary programme: Army obstructs preparations

The Hill Students’ Council president Aongay Marma has alleged that the army and police have obstructed his activists from making preparations for observing 21th founding anniversary of their organisation tomorrow.

“The police have prevented the PCP activists from making a makeshift stage for tomorrow’s programme in Dighinala.” Aongay said, adding that his men were also facing similar obstacles in Panchari and Guimara in Khgarachari district.

“In Guimara army soldiers have been already deployed and they are telling us that they would not allow us to hold any rally or procession there.” he continued.

He said they had notified the programme well in advance to the relevant authorities of the local civil administration and yet they were being denied the right to hold the rallies.

The Hill Students’ Council, popularly known by its Bengali acronym PCP, was founded on 20 May 1989 to fight oppression of the Jumma people in the CHT through democratic means.

news source: chtnews.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

*Army and Settler Bangali harasses relief team in Sajek*

May 14, 2010

*Members of the Rangamati Ananda Vihara Management Committee have been harassed as they went to Sajek to distribute relief materials to the victims of 19 – 20 February attacks by army and settlers on Jumma villages in Sajek under Rangamati district.*

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According to sources, members of the Rangamati Ananda Vihara Management Committee led by Saroj Kanti Khisha, ex-General Manager of Rupali Bank, Chittagong Branch, today went to Sajek to distribute relief to the victims. However, they were stopped by army at ECB camp in Baghaihat at 11:30am.

When they said they had permission from the Deputy Commissioner of Rangamati, the army told them that they must obtain prior permission from army Brigade, and not from the DC, for distribution of any relief.

“Deputy Commissioner’s permission is not enough,” an on-duty army officer was quoted as telling them.

As it was not possible to obtain permission from Rangamati Brigade office immediately, the relief team decided to return to Rantgamati.

When they reached Dighinala on their return journey, they were stopped at the cantonment again and asked by an army officer why they were coming back without distributing the relief.

When they told him what had happened at the ECB camp, he said that there would be no further problems and that they could go and hand out the relief to the victims.

After his assurance the relief team went to Sajek and distributed the relief to the victims.

However, on their way back to Rangamati they were stopped by Bengali settlers at Gangaram, near Baghaihat army zone.

The settlers misbehaved with the members of the relief team and snatched away the keys of their vehicles.

The settlers reportedly said to them, “We have *dao*s as well as hands. Don’t think that we will spare you because you have from a Buddhist temple.”

They were kept there for some time, and given the keys back only after they had complained to the army and the civil authority about the matter.

Also included in the relief team, among others, were Mrs. Nirupa Dewan, ex head master of Rangamati Government School, Mrs. Anjalika Khisha, DO, Promodendu Chakma, an LGED Engineer, and Deva Priya Khisha, an employee of Health Department.


news source: chtnews.com

*All in the name of afforestation!*

*All in the name of afforestation!*

May 13, 2010

*The Forest Department has destroyed fruit gardens on approximately 22 acres of land belonging to Marma and Mro communities in Alikadam in the southern Chittagong Hill Tracts – all in the name of afforestation.*

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A representative of the chtnews.com visited the spot at Shil Bonia Para under Choukyang Union (Ward No. 1) in Alikadam Upazila after the incident, and he has provided the following brief information.

The burning down of the fruit gardens and other trees was done on 1, 2 and 3 May by Abul Hashem, Range Officer of Toin Range of the Forest Department (He can be reached at 01825333663)

A total of 11 families have been affected. Ten of their names and the particulars of the damage to their gardens have been provided below:


*Name of the head of the households*

*Father’s name*

*Estimated damage*


Nusha Mong Marma

Mong Hla U Marma

2,000 banana, 5,000 papaya, 1,500 jackfruit and 1,000 mango trees have been


Mong Cha Thoai Marma

Chai Thoai Marma

350 banana and 500 papaya trees destroyed.


Aung Chinu Marma

Thoai Ching Marma

1,000 banana and 100 mango trees.


Ching Hla Marma

Keoching Marma

6,000 banana, 1,000 mango and 2,000 jackfruit trees.


Kro Thoaiching Marma

Kya Hla Khoi Marma

8,000 banana and 1,000 mango trees.


Mong Mra Marma

Kya Hla Prue Marma

3,000 banana and 500 mango trees.


Kilo Aung Marma

Thoi Mrau Marma

500 mango and 300 banana trees.


Chai Hlagyo Marma

Koaincho Marma

1,000 banana, 300 mango and 1,000 jackfruit trees.


Raroi Mro

Moi Ai Mro

5,000 banana, 3,000 papaya, 500 mango and 500 jackfruit trees.


Ching Hla Mong Marma

Kyo Uching Marma


The damage in terms of financial loss is colossal – running millions of Taka.

According to a Forest Department employee, who wished to remain anonymous, the destruction began on 1 May at 11:45am.

“The labourers employed by Forest Department went to the fruit gardens of the Pahari people, cut down the banana trees and came back at 12 noon.” he added.

Abul Hashem, Range Officer of Toin, said his predecessor Range Officer AKM Shamshul Islam Chaudhury had made a plan to plant agar trees (Aquilaria agallocha) on the said land.


news source: chtnews.com