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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Demo against garrison expansion in Ruma

Demo against garrison expansion in Ruma

THE people of Ruma have staged a demonstration to register their
protest against a proposal for land acquisition for expansion of Ruma
garrison in Bandarban.

The proposed plan, originally developed in 1977, seeks to acquire
9,560 acres of land, and if implemented, it will displace thousands of
Jumma people, especially members of ethnic Mro nationality.

However, no governments in the past approved of the project,
considering the potential damage that it might cause to the
environment as well as to ethnic societies.

During the state of emergency between 2007 and 2008, there was another
unsuccessful attempt on the part of the army to restart the process of
acquiring the land.

The process was been revived recently after Lt. Col. Wasim was
transferred to Ruma garrison from Baghaihat, where he oversaw the
persecution of ethnic minorities.

In the rally, held today at Upazila Auditorium under the banner of
People from All Walks of Life in Ruma, the inhabitants once again
voiced their opposition to the proposed plan for expansion of Ruma

Presided over by Numlai Mro, headman of Pantola Mouza, the rally was
also addressed by Mongcha Ching Marma, member of Galenga UP (Ward No.
8), Cham-a-u Marma, headman of Chanda Mouza and Kyoching Prue Marma,
Karbari or village head of Rumachar Para, Sengu Mouza.

The rally, which was preceded by a procession in Ruma bazaar, was
conducted by Loprue Marma and Proshaprue Marma.

The speakers urged the government to discard the plan altogether and
warned that they would launch tougher programmes including sit-in in
front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Bandarban, if the
process of acquiring their lands is not stopped immediately.

They also lodged their protest at the government plan to acquire
another 25 acres of land for the purpose of constructing a Bangladesh
Rifles headquarters in Ruma.

source: chtnews.com

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