Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Government of Japan.
Subject: A memorandum to the Foreign Minister, the Government of Japan on the present situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh
Source: The World Jummo Voice of Japan, the Jumma People Network of Japan and Jumma Net of Japan
We, the representatives and under signed persons of above mentioned organizations, would like to congratulate you as the Foreign Minister of Japan and inform about the ongoing situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh. We are convinced that the Government of Japan is playing a key role to the developmental affairs of Bangladesh. Japan is the highest donator in different developmental projects of Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh can’t run these developmental projects without the help of Japan. In a word, the Japanese economic help is the most important factor in the economic affairs of Bangladesh. We appreciate the Japanese Government for this generosity to Bangladesh as a whole.
It is very regrettable matter that the Indigenous Jummo Peoples of CHT have been facing severe problems for long time. The Indigenous Jummo Peoples of CHT are ethnically, linguistically, religiously and culturally different from the Majority Bengali Muslim
Very recently, there was a bloody clash between Indigenous Jummo Peoples and Bengali Muslim Settlers where at least two Muslim Settlers died and more than 50 Jummo households burned to ashes. Many Jummos have been seriously injured and missing. It was taken place on 17 April 2011 in Ramgarh and Manikchari Upazillas of Khagrachari Hill District when the Muslim Settlers went to occupy the land of Jummos. On 17 February 2011 the Muslim Settlers have attacked the Jummo villages of Gulshakhali Union of Longudu Upazilla of Rangamati Hill Disrict. They have burned down Jummo houses and injured many Jummo villagers. Besides, last year on 19 February 2010 in Baghaihat of Rangamati Hill District and on 21 February 2010 in Khagrachari Town were taken place same incidents where at least two Jummos were killed by military brushfire and several hundreds of Jummo households burned to ashes. The reasons of the incidents were also the occupation of land of Jummos by Muslim Settlers under direct patronization of military. This kind of incident has been taking place in CHT continuously since the independent of Bangladesh in 1971. There were more than a dozen of massacres have been taken place, thousands of Jummos have been evicted from their ancestral homesteads, hundreds of thousands of acres of lands have been grabbed by the Muslim Settlers, Numerous Jummo women have been raped by military and Muslim Settlers during this time in CHT. It is mentionable that the military or para-military or armed police or ansars or vdp(Village Defence Party) are directly involved in every incident. Their duty is to protect the Muslim Settlers and encourage to occupying the land of Jummos by creating riot in CHT.
What is the very reason of all these happenings against the Indigenous Jummo Peoples of CHT? The main reason of all incidents against the Jummos is the 'Bengali Muslim Settlement Policy' of Bengali Rulers. In other word, the 'Ethnic Cleansing Policy' of Bengali Rulers against the Indigenous Jummo People of CHT. The policy was planned immediately after the independent of Bangladesh and the Master of Bangladesh independent Mr. Sheikh Muzibur Rahman was the main planner of the policy. After his dead by a military coup, military rulers General Ziaur Rahman and Hussain Muhammad Ershad to settle down more than one hundred thousand Bengali Muslim Families in CHT between the years of 1979-1982 executed the plan. And to protect the Muslim Settlers the military rulers have deployed hundreds of thousands of military, para-military, armed police, ansars and vdp etc in the region. After that, Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina Governments have also save-guarded the previous policy, which has still been continuing.
It is important to mention that there was an agreement signed between the Bangladesh Government and the representative of Indigenous Jummo People in 2nd December 1997 to establish peace and stability in the region. The agreement was clearly stated that all temporary Military, Para-military, Armed Police, Ansar camps should be withdrawn and the occupied lands of Jummos by Muslim Settlers should be given back to the original owners. But the agreement did not implement any Government of Bangladesh. Rather the military command and control over the CHT has still been continuing in the name of 'Operation Uttoron' and the Bengali Muslim Settlement Policy still remains. Though the present Government of Sheikh Hasina has re-assured to fully implement the agreement in the 'Election Manifesto' of 2008; but there is no sign to implement it yet. Almost half of its tenure has already passed in the meantime. We are worried that the present Government will never implement the agreement at all.
1.To create pressure on Bangladesh Government to stop ethnic cleansing policy against the Indigenous Jummo Peoples of CHT immediately
2.To create pressure on Bangladesh Government to withdraw all Military, Para-military, Armed Police and Ansar camps and Bengali Muslim Settlers from CHT immediately
3.To create pressure on Bangladesh Government to stop all kinds of further establishment of Military, Para-military, Armed police, Ansar camps and Bengali Muslim Settlement in CHT
4.To create pressure on Bangladesh Government to stop all kinds of human rights violations against the Indigenous Jummo Peoples and to punish those responsible persons of previous killings and arson attacks in CHT immediately
5.To create pressure on Bangladesh Government to implement the agreement which was signed in 2nd December 1997 without any delay
6. Oppose the recruitment of military personnel from Bangladesh in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force
7.Change the Japanese aid policy to Bangladesh and donate only under the condition of not using for the purpose of militarization and Bengali Muslim Settlement in CHT.