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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Govt urged to stop expansion of reserve forest in Dighinala

Govt urged to stop expansion of reserve forest in Dighinala

THE United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF) has urged the government
to cancel a plan to expand reserve forests in Dighinala under
Khagrachari district, saying it would displace thousands of Jumma
people in the area.

In a statement issued to the media today, Ujjwal Smriti Chakma, chief
organiser of UPDF Khagrachari district unit, said thousands of Jumma
people will be displaced and rendered homeless, if the proposed 12,849
acres of land in six Mouzas are added to the existing reserve forests
and put under the control of the Forest Department.

He labeled the plan a conspiracy to uproot the Jumma people from the
area, and added that, “It will cause a humanitarian tragedy and have
serious consequences on the economy and environment.”

Mr Chakma held the Forest Department responsible for depletion of
forests in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and said, “Experiences show
that the more reserve forests have been created, the more the Jumma
people have lost their traditional control over their land and forest
and the more forests have been destroyed.”

The UPDF leader called upon all irrespective of party affiliation and
ethnic identity to get united to fight against the government plot to
displace the Jumma people by expansion of reserve forests in

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