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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

UPDF marks 12th founding anniversary as army tries to foil it

UPDF marks 12th founding anniversary as army tries to foil it

THE United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) marked its 12th founding
anniversary across the Chittagong Hill Tracts on 26.12.2010 as the government
and military tried to foil its programmes.

The UPDF has vowed to strengthen its struggle for full autonomy.

The anniversary programmes included hoisting party flag, discussion
meeting, view-exchange meeting with elders, boat rally and children

Order to abstain from programmes
The Rangamati district administration imposed restrictions on holding
of any public meetings in the district.

In a letter addressed to Sona Moni Chakma, a local UPDF leader of
Rangamati, the district administration said it had “learnt through a
report submitted to it by law enforcement agencies that there was a
possibility of a bloody conflict among the rival parties” if the
proposed programmes of the UPDF were allowed to be held.

It ordered the UPDF to abstain from all the programmes undertaken by
the party. The letter was signed by Md. Moniruzzaman, Assistant
Commissioner, on behalf of Rangamati district magistrate. (Memo No. Dated 25 December 2010).

Although the letter was signed on 25 December, it was delivered to the
UPDF office at Kudukchari in the morning today.

Army disrupts programme
Huge contingents of soldiers were deployed at various points in
Manikchari, Kudukchari, Naniachar, Jurachari in Rangamati district to
disrupt the UPDF programmes.

In Manikchari and Kudukchari, the army stopped participants at
different spots and searched their bodies. They refused to allow the
UPDF activists and their supporters to assemble at Manikchari and
Kudukchari bazaar.

In Jurachari, the army prevented people from attending a discussion
meeting in Subholing and arrested Maha Ranjan Chakma, president of
Democratic Youth Forum Jurachari unit.

In Burighat of Naniachar, the soldiers stopped a boat procession at
Komtoli and prevented it from proceeding towards Naniachar. They also
refused to allow the party flags to be hoisted.

In Rajstali, the army personnel brought down the UPDF flags hoisted
atop its party office and snatched away a banner, while they
threatened people not to hold any programme to mark the 12th founding
anniversary of the party in Baghaihat.

Such disruptive activities of the army have also been reported from
many other places including Matiranga in Khagrachari.

To mark the day the UPDF Khagrachari district unit took up various
programmes which included hoisting party flag, playing revolutionary
music, placing wreaths at a makeshift monument and a children rally.

About 300 children took part in a jeep rally, which paraded through
Khabangpujjya, Shapla Chatwar, Chengi Squar and Mahajonpara before
ending at Perachari High School.

The jubilant children waved UPDF flags and chanted slogans.

UPDF organized a boat procession in Naniachar. Over 2,000 people in
about 300 boats participated in it.

A floating boat rally was held at Maachbil, south of Naniachar bazaar,
at the end of the procession.

A new office building of the UPDF was launched at Subholong today as a
part of programmes marking the 12th founding anniversary of the party.
UPDF held a discussion meeting at its new office building on the

Chaired by Nihar Bindu Chakma, the discussion was also attended by
ex-college principal Md. Hossain Khan, joint convenor, Chittagong
chapter of the Anti-imperialist and Anti-fascist Democratic Committee.

It was also addressed, among others, by UPDF leader Animesh Chakma,
Jatio Mukti Council leader Amir Abbas, novelist Ahmed Jasim, HWF
leader Konika Dewan, Subolong UP chairman Bihari Ranjan Chakma,
Jurachari Sadar UP chairman Shyamol Kanti Chakma and Dumdumya UP
chairman Razia Chakma.

Hossain Khan said Santu Larma had failed to achieve the demands of the
Jumma people. “Now it is time for all the Jumma people to rally behind
the UPDF.” he added.

UPDF Rangamati unit was scheduled to inaugurate a new office at
Manikchari and hold a discussion meeting there.

However, the programme had to be cancelled as the local administration
imposed restrictions on holding any such programmes.

Large number of army soldiers had been deployed at various points in
Manikchari and Kuduchari since early in the morning.

UPDF tried to hold a rally at Kudukchari bazaar but the army prevented them.

After a long and heated exchange of words with the army, UPDF was able
to hold a brief rally at Half-bazaar near Kudukchari bazaar after

The rally was addressed by Jatio Mukti Council leader Bhulon Bhowmik,
Biki Majumder and Riko Chakma.

A discussion meeting, marking the 12th founding anniversary of the
UPDF, was held at Gangaram Doar. Chaired by Gyanendu Chakma, convenor
of Sajek Land Protection Committee, it was addressed, among others, by
UPDF leader Natun Kumar Chakma, Kanchan Chakma, Akash Chakma, Nimesh
Chakma, Ompika Chakma and Binoy Chakma.

The Bandarban unit of the UPDF held a discussion meeting and a
procession at Balaghata to mark the day.

Chaired by Choton Tanchangya, organiser of UPDF Bandarban unit, the
meeting was addressed by Jatio Mukti Council leader Biddut Bhowmic,
Bangladesh Chattra Federation leader Mohammad Zunaied, DYF leader Eshi
Mong Marma, PCP leader Pruching Thoai Marma, Antor Marma and Rupon

The meeting was followed by a colourful procession which paraded
Balaghata bazaar.

Discussion meetings were also held in Longudu, Rajstali, Belaichari,
Kaokhali, Ghagra, Betbunia, Ullo Primary School, Matiranga,
Laxmichari, Panchari, Dighinala, Marishya, Mahalchari, Dhaka and

Poster and festoon
On the night of 25 December, the UPDF put up posters, hoisted its
flags and hung festoons at different places in the Chittagong Hill

The festoons contained various slogans of the party.

UPDF condemns government action
The UPDF president Prasit Khisha in a statement condemned the
government for its disruptive activities.

Terming the government action as “undemocratic and fascist” he said
the just struggle of the Jumma people led by UPDF could never be
subdued by taking away the right to freedom of speech and right to
peaceful assembly as guaranteed in the constitution.

Mr Prasit said, “The government, like a snake charmer, is playing a
game with the Land Commission and CHT Accord Implementation

Denouncing the CHT Land Commission Act and its so-called hearing, he
said the people would be compelled to build up a greater movement if
the government failed to provide recognition to the customary land
rights and revoke the illegal land settlements given to the settlers.

UPDF leaflet on the eve of its 12th founding anniversary
The UPDF published a four-page leaflet on the occasion of its 12th
founding anniversary. It said: “The present constitution of Bangladesh
is flawed. It does not recognize the national minorities of
Bangladesh, has accepted ultra Bengali nationalism as a principle and
recognized Islam as state religion. Therefore, this constitution is
not acceptable to the CHT people.”

The UPDF raised a 12-point demand in the leaflet. These include:
recognition of the national minorities in the constitution and
declaring the CHT as an autonomous area, putting an end to military
operation and withdrawal of the army, restitution of customary land
rights, putting a stop to land grabbing and restoration of grabbed
lands  to their rightful owners, keeping the CHT administration free
from military influence, rehabilitation of the settlers outside the
CHT, putting an end to sexual assault on Jumma women, withdrawal of
illegal restrictions imposed on public meetings and rallies, putting
an end to repression of UPDF members, release of UPDF members and
supporters, putting an end to the torture and arrest of innocent
people, to raids into villages, to military searches and to
intimidation, putting a stop to harassment of monks and withdrawal of
undeclared restrictions imposed on the practice of religion etc.

source: chtnews.com

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