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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Three Jummas wounded in settler attack in Panchari

Three Jummas wounded in settler attack in Panchari

Sunday, August 26, 2012

THREE Jumma people have been injured when a Bengali settler attacked them with a machete as they protested an attempt to grab their land in Panchari of Khagrachari district.

According to sources, Mashud Rana, 30, son of Sadeq Ali, a Bengali settler from Amarpur village in Ward No. 4 of Ultachari Union had been trying to capture five acres of land belonging to Kanti Bhushan Chakma of North Shantipur for a long time.

The land, registered in Mr Chakma’s name, is located in North Shantipur village.

Couple of months ago, an arbitration meeting was held at Ultachari Union Council to settle the dispute, but no conclusive decision was made.

Thereafter, Kanti Bhushan, 65, filed a suit in the Judges’ Court in Khagrachari.

But Mashud Rana entered the land with the police yesterday and began constructing a house there today.

Hearing this, Kanti Bhushan Chakma, his wife and son and another villager rushed there at around 3pm and made a strong protest, leading to an altercation between them.

At one stage, Mashud Rana attacked them with his dao (machete), injuring Kanti Bhushan Chakma, his wife Laxmi Sita Chakma, 60 and his son Triratan Chakma, 40.

Kanti Bhushan got cuts on his three fingers of the left hand while Laxmi Sita on her thumb. Triratan sustained cuts on his left shoulder and left hand.

All of them have been admitted to Panchari Upazila health complex.

The United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) and its front organizations condemned the attack and urged the local administration to arrest and prosecute Mashud Rana.

They also called on the government to stop land grabbing and rehabilitate the settlers outside of the CHT.

They staged a demonstration in Khagrachari in protest against the incident.

Courtesy: chtnews.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Minor Jumma girl raped in Dighinala

Minor Jumma girl raped in Dighinala 

August 21, 2012

A JUMMA girl was raped by a police constable in Dighinala under Khagrachari district while she was grazing cows near a police camp.
According to sources, the incident occurred at 2:30pm today. The 11-year old, a resident of Tapan Karbari Para, was grazing cows on the east side of Atol Tila police camp at Noy Mile (nine mile) in Dighinala Upazila.
Finding her alone, policeman Russel went up to her and struck her on the right hand and right leg with a stick before raping her.
Later when the girl informed her mother Nityo Bala Tripura about the incident, she went to the police camp taking the victim with her and demanded justice from Md. Shaha Alam, the on-duty police officer.
Instead of arresting the offender, Shaha Alam tried to cover up the incident by giving her Taka 1000 (one thousand).
However, she informed Tapan Tripura, the Karbari (head) of Noy Mile village, and Tripura Students’ Forum leaders about what happened to her daughter and sought their advice on the matter.
As the news went round in the whole area, people gathered at the police camp to demand the arrest of the offending policeman.
As the pressure continued to mount, Shaha Alam was forced to arrest him.
When informed, the Offier-in charge of Dighinala police station, Shahadat Hossain Tito, visited the place of occurrence in the afternoon.
The Hill Women’s Federation, Hill Students’ Council, Democratic Youth Forum and United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF) condemned the incident and demanded that the offending policeman be punished and the victim be compensated.
Courtesy: chtnews.com


Monday, August 13, 2012

Police foils Indigenous Day programme in two districts;Indigenous Day observed with demand for constitutional recognition as 'indigenous peoples'

Indigenous Day observed with demand for constitutional recognition as 'indigenous peoples'
Police foils Indigenous Day programme in two districts

On 9 August 2012, Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh observed the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples with the demand for constitutional recognition as 'indigenous peoples' and amid obstructions at a few places of the country and non-cooperation from the government. It is reported that the police foiled indigenous day programme in Joypurhat and Khagrachari districts. Police beat at least 9 persons in Joypuhat and among them, 2 injured persons got admitted at hospital in Joypurhat district.
It is mentionable that on 11 March 2012, the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry issued a official circular directing all district administrations not to cooperate and support to the celebrations of the indigenous day with a message to the effect that there were no ‘indigenous’ people in the country. Indigenous peoples and civic groups protested against this government letter and demanded to withdraw it immediately. More about the government's letter could be read here: http://chtnewsupdate.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/celebration-of-indigenous-day-in.html
In Joypurhat, the police obstructed indigenous peoples to organise discussion in Joypurhat district. Joypurhat branch of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad (JAP) booked Joypurhat District Council auditorium to organise discussion marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. But police opposed indigenous peoples to organise the discussion while they gathered at the auditorium at around 10.30 am on 9 August. Police also obstructed indigenous peoples to bring out procession. At a stage, while indigenous peoples started procession amid police obstruction, the police jumped over procession and beat indigenous people with stick and rifle butt indiscriminately. In this attack, the following persons were injured-
(1)   Harendranath Sing, president of Adivasi Juba Parishad (Indigenous Youth Council);
(2)   Lal Mohan Ekya, member of Adivasi Chhatra Parishad (ACP) (Indigenous Student Council);
(3)   Kartik Kerketa, convenor of ACP in Joypurhat;
(4)   Dulal Mahato, member of ACP in Joypurhat;
(5)   Bibhuti Bhushan Mahato, central vice president of ACP;
(6)   Paplu Topya, member of ACP in Joypurhat;
(7)   Sunda Hembram, member of ACP in Joypurhat;
(8)   Paresh Pahan, member of ACP in Joypurhat;
(9)   Sourav Kumar Sing, member of ACP in Joypurhat.

Police attack in Joypurhat. Photo credit:  Bivuti Bhuson Mahato

Police attack in Joypurhat. Photo credit:  Bivuti Bhuson Mahato

Lal Mohan Ekya and Harendranath Sing were admitted at Joypurhat hospital. Harendranath Sing was released after first aid treatment while Lal Mohan Ekya is under going treatment at the hospital. Lal Mohan Ekya sustained critical injuries on his hand with rifle butt. Harendranath Sing was caught by police first and picked up at police jeep. However, after an hour, he was released.
Failing to organise programme in Joypurhat town, JAP organised protest meeting at Khanjanpur mission ground. Presided over by president of Joypurhat JAP advocate Babul Rabidas, the meeting was addressed by general secretary of Joypurhat JAP Kamal Minzi, Shyama Charan Sing, Nipun Kurmi, Rabin Sing, Basanti Murmu, Hari Pahan, Md. Nurul Nabi et al. Speakers protested against attack on them and obstruction in organising programme.
In Khagrachari, at around 10.00 am CHT Chapter of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF) and Marma Oikya Parishad brought out rally from Khagrachari Women College towards Shapla Sattar in Khagrachari town. The police blocked the procession while it reached at Rajamoni Para area. Later they organised procession at old Ramgarh road near Rajyamoni Para in Khagrachari town. Sadhan Tripura, Prgyabir Chakma, Namita Chakma, Braja Kishore Roaza, Kongjuri Master and Chaithowai Marma spoke in this gathering.
On the other, procession of the Progressive Marma Students Society proceeding from Golabari towards Khagrachari Women College was also blocked by police. Protesting to the police obstruction, indigenous people formed human chain in front of main gate of Women College. Central convenor of the Progressive Marma Students Society Sathowai Marma, district convemor Aungshi Prue Marma, Ukya Ching Marma and Mong Sai Marma delivered speech in the human chain. They demanded to provide constitution recognition of indigenous peoples, to implement the CHT Accord fully and to withdraw provision by which indigenous peoples were mentioned as Bengali. They also protested against police obstruction.
It is also reported that police refused to allow indigenous people to join a programme in Mahalchari marking the International Day for the Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous activists put barricades on the Khagrachari-Mahalchari road after the police stopped their motorcade in the morning on 9 August.
Dhaka: Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF) organised public gathering and cultural programme marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka. Presided over by president of BIPF Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, the programme was inaugurated by chairman of parliamentary standing committee on education ministry and convenor of parliamentary caucus on indigenous peoples Rashed Khan Menon MP.
Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, in his speech, said the ruling quarters would not recognise the rights of the ‘indigenous’ peoples and urged indigenous peoples to prepare for a greater struggle to realise the demands. He added that nobody awards rights to anyone. It must be achieved through struggle and indigenous peoples must prepare for struggle, he said. He also said the government was not only depriving the indigenous peoples but also the working class of their rights. Without a progressive and democratic government, repression on indigenous peoples and the working class would not stop. He said the Awami League had accepted the ‘indigenous’ term in their election manifesto but forgot everything after assuming state power. He said the government seemed to be undecided about implementation of the CHT Accord of 1997.
The Workers’ Party of Bangladesh president Rashed Khan Menon MP said a chance had arrived while bringing about the 15th amendment to the constitution to correct the mistakes of 1972 by recognising indigenous peoples in the constitution, but the government missed out on the opportunity.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Huq Inu MP demanded amendment to the articles 6 and 23(A) of the constitution for recognising all indigenous peoples. He also asked the Election Commission to register the political parties of indigenous peoples.
Speakers accused the government of breaching promise and vowed to continue their movement until their demand for constitutional recognition as ‘indigenous communities’ was accepted.
Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT): In Rangamati, CHT chapter of BIPF organised discussion and rally with demand for their constitutional recognition as 'indigenous peoples' at Rangamati Town Hall in Rangamati district. Renowned educationist Dr Manik Lal Dewan inaugurated the rally. Ushatan Talukdar, vice president of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Smahati Samiti (PCJSS), attended as chief guest at the rally presided over by Prakriti Ranjan Chakma, president of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, CHT chapter.
The leaders of different indigenous communities urged the government to take steps for ensuring their political, economic and social rights of indigenous peoples. Criticising the foreign minister for her statement that there are no indigenous people in Bangladesh, the speakers said the indigenous peoples in Bangladesh fulfill all criteria, as per ILO convention, to be regarded as indigenous peoples. They criticised the present government for failure to fully implement CHT Accord and solution to land dispute in CHT region. Later a mammoth colourful procession joined by indigenous people from different far flung areas paraded main thoroughfares in the town.
In Bandarban, CHT chapter of BIPF organised discussion and rally at old Rajbari ground in Bardanban district. Head of Swadhin Bangla Beter Kamal Lohani was present as chief guest in this programme. The programme was presided over Chaw Hla Prue Chowdhury and addressed by K S Mong, Sadhuram Tripura, Zumlian Amali Bawm et al, among others.
In Chittagong: Chittagong chapter of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples organised public gathering and rally in Chittagong on the occasion of International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples.
The public gathering was started at 9.30 am with national anthem and colourful indigenous dances at DC Hills in Chittagong city. General Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad advocate Rana Dasgupta inaugurated the programme while prof. Hussain Kabir of Chittagong University was present as chief guest. Presided over by president of Chittagong chapter of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Mr. Sharat Jyoti Chakma, the public gathering was addressed by information and publicity secretary of PCJSS Mangal Kumar Chakma, Shah Alam of CPB, Abu Hanif of Workers’ Party, Anowarul Kabir of Gono Oikya Committee, women rights activist Beby Bhattacharya, human righst activist Baching Thowai Marma, general secretary of Rakhaing Buddhist Welfare Association Mong Hla Ching Rakhaing, Nizam Uddin et al.
North Bengal: Jatiya Adivasi Parishad (JAP) organised procession, rally and human chain in Rajshahi, Natore, Pabna, Noagaon, Joypurhat, Dinajpur and Thakurgaon, In Thakurgaon district unit of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad organised discussion programmes marking International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples with demand for their constitutional recognition as indigenous people at Thakurgaon Press Club auditorium in Thakurgaon district. District unit Pof Jatiya Adivasi Parishad Surjo Mormu presided over the meeting while advisor of district unit of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad advocate Imran Hossain Chowdhury attended there as chief guest. The speakers demanded establishing constitutional rights of indigenous people and formation of a separate land commission to protect land rights of the indigenous people living on plan lands. They urged the government to save the indigenous people from the land grabbers ! and withdraw all false cases against the indigenous people.
Coastal Region: In Patuakhali, Indigenous Rakhaine people and socio-cultural-human rights activists organised rally and discussion in Kalapara of Patuakhali. The community people and cultural and human rights activists joined the programmes. Language movement veteran Usuey Babu presided over a view exchange programme at Kalapara Press Club of Patuakhali which was addressed by Uchao Master, community leader, Myenthen Promila, executive member, Kapaeeng Foundation, and Nasiruddin Talukdar, Kalapara CPB president. Speakers at the programmes urged the government to establish a separate ministry to ensure the ownership and right to live on their ancestral land for the plain land indigenous people of the country.
In Barguna, Indigenous Rakhaine people organised rally and discussion in Taltali upazila of Barguna. Rakhain community leader Maung-Tahan presided over a discussion at Taltali Union Parishad office, which was, among others, addressed by community leaders Maung Thin Jo, Maung Chin Than, Advocate Maung Than, Chan Maung and Ma Chan Chin, Alamgir Mia, Borgi Union Parishad Chairman, and Mizanur Rahman and Sanjib Chandra Roy, officials of Caritas ICDP project. Speakers stressed immediate formation of separate proactive Land Reform Commission for the plain land indigenous peoples respecting their traditional land rights and by ensuring the indigenous people’s active participation and representation. In Cox’s Bazaar, Adivasi Chhatra Parishad and BIPF organised human chain in front of Cox’s Bazaar press club in Cox’s Bazaar district.
Greater Mymensingh: A colourful rally was brought out from Gymnasium near Circuit House ground in Mymensingh district. The rally was inaugurated by ex-government official Sudhash Jengcham. In Netrokona, a procession was organised by greater chapter of BIPF. Presided over by president of Greater Mymensingh chapter of BIPF Moti Lal Hajong, the event was addressed by indigenous researcher Rev. Manindranath Marak, Pintu Dio, Sanat Saha, Niresh Jambali, Nitai Saha, Bishakha Rangsha, Pankaj Marak, Swapan Hajong et al. In Sherpur, a discussion was organised by Tribal Welfare Association. Prof. Dr. Sudhamoy Das was present in the programme as chief guest. In Madhupur, public meeting was held at Adivasi Polli Jalchatra Footbal ground in Madhupur. Presided over by Jin Nokrek, the meeting was addressed by chairman of Madhupur upazila parishad Khandakar Abdul gafur Montu, vice chairman Dr. Mir Forhadul Alam Mo! ni, indigenous leader Jastina Nokrek, Sulekha Mrong et al, among others.
Satkhira: Sundarbon Adibasi Munda Sangastha (SAMS) organised discussion at Shyamnagar upazila auditorium under Shyamnagar in Satkhira district. UNO of Shyamnagar was present as a chief guest. Gopal Chandra Munda (President of SAMS) presided over the discussion while Mr. Shafiul Ajom Lenin (former chairman- 12 no Gabura Union), Mirza Aminur Islam (Social Welfare office- Shyamnagar), Abul Kalam Rafikuzzaman (Secondary School Officer, Shyamnaga), Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam (Health and Family Planning Officer- Shyamnagar) spoke at this event.
Greater Sylhet: Procession and Rally was organised in Sylhet town, Kulaura and Sreemongal.

source: Kapaeeng Foundation.

UPDF calls on govt to ratify UN declaration on rights of indigenous peoples

RABI SHANKAR CHAKMA, general secretary of the United Peoples’ Democratic Front (UPDF--A political organization of the indigenous Jummas seeking for full autonomy in CHT), in a statement on Saturday (11.08.2012) urged the government of Bangladesh to refrain from using the term ‘Adibashi’ (indigenous) as a political football and ratify the UN declaration on the rights of the Indigenous peoples.

He said an artificial and useless debate has been initiated over ‘Adibashi’ with the aim of depriving the ethnic nationalities forever of their due rights and creating confusion about their just struggle.

‘By whatever terms a nation identifies itself – be it tribal, Adibashi, ethnic minority, small nation or nationality, ethnic group or Janajati – they are all indigenous peoples in the eyes of the United Nations. Therefore, in the perspective of the international law it is useless to debate whether there are indigenous peoples in the country or not, or whether the peoples of ethnic nationalities are indigenous or not.’ he added.

The UPDF leader alleged that the non-Bengali ethnic peoples living in the country from time immemorial have been reduced to second class citizen status through the adoption of the fifteenth amendment to the constitution.

He further said: ‘The government, first of all, must acknowledge that there are ethnic peoples other than Bengali and then give them the right to self-determination, the right to land and the right to practice, preserve and promote their own culture.’

In granting these rights it is quite immaterial whether these ‘other peoples’ are indigenous or non-indigenous, he said.

Rabi Shankar Chakma took the government to task and said: ‘Although the Awami League raised a hullabaloo about ‘Adibashi’ before assuming power in 2009, it is now banishing the word from books and documents and installations much the way a magician vanish his eggs in a performance; it is as if by doing this the government will be able to wipe out the existence of the ethnic peoples and then rid itself of the responsibility of giving them their rights.’

Mr Chakma urged the government to do away with all deception, double standard and skullduggery and establish the just rights of the ethnic nationalities on the basis of national equality.

He also called for the government to ratify the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a move he said would greatly enhance the image of Bangladesh in the comity of nations.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Police attacked Indigenous people's rally in Joypurhat (picture)

Police attacked indigenous people's rally in Joypurhat (picture)

Thursday, 09 August 2012

Update 2 on indigenous peoples' day celebration: police baton charged on indigenous peoples in Joypurhat

Photo courtesy: Bivuti Bhuson Mahato

Pictures of celebration of indigenous day in Rangamati of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

Update 2 on indigenous peoples' day celebration: police baton charged on indigenous peoples in Joypurhat

We have been just informed that (BDT 10.30 am) polices carried out baton charges on indigenous peoples in Joypurhat district,when the indigenous peoples were carrying out a rally observing the "World Indigenous Peoples' Day". The polices foiled out the rally and injured several indigenous peoples. 

Also in the morning, polices barred  indigenous peoples in Mahalchari, Matiranga and Panchari upozilas (sub-districts) from attending the celebration programme in Khagrachari. In protest to that, a political organization of the indigenous peoples, PCJSS (MN Larma), has been observing road blockade in Mahalchari sub-district of Khagrachari

All these been happening after the indigenous peoples decided to celebrate the day despite government's restriction. You can find more about the restriction from one of our previous posts: http://chtnewsupdate.blogspot.com/2012/08/celebration-of-indigenous-day-in.html.

Update on indigenous peoples' day celebration: police barred indigenous peoples from attending

It has been just learnt that polices have barred the vehicles carrying indigenous peoples in Mahalchari, Matiranga and Panchari upozilas (sub-districts) of Khagrachari district in the morning today (09.08.2012). They were on their way to Khagrachari district to participate in the "World Indigenous Peoples' Day" celebration, organized by Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples' Forum (BIPF). This has happened after the indigenous peoples decided to celebrate the day despite government's restriction. You can find more about the restriction from one of our previous posts: http://chtnewsupdate.blogspot.com/2012/08/celebration-of-indigenous-day-in.html

Settler attempt to rape Jumma teen

Settler attempt to rape Jumma teen

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A TEENAGE Jumma girl was subjected to a rape attempt in Batnatali under Manikchari Upazila of Khagrachari district on 1 August, according to sources.

The 12-year old from Marma community was on her way to Batnatoli Bazaar along with two other children when a settler youth stood in their way and attempted to rape her.

When she screamed, the culprit let go of her and fled away.

The victim is a fourth grade student in Chempru Para Government Primary School.

‘She just came from school after attending an exam, had her meals and then set out for the Bazaar to sell something.’ one of her relatives said.

‘She has been mentally devastated after the incident and she was so frightened that we could not persuade her to go to school for the exam next day.’ he added.

Courtesy: chtnews.com 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Celebration of indigenous day in Bangladesh amidst government’s imposed restriction

The indigenous peoples of Bangladesh have vowed to celebrate international indigenous peoples’ day on 9th of August, despite the government's imposed restriction on celebrating the day in a circular released on 11th of March by the Bangladesh’s Ministry of Home Affairs. Following is the english version (original version also uploaded below) of the circular that was distributed to the government officials (courtesy for the english version: survival international) :
English Version Not to Celebrate Ip Day
Original copy of the government circular directing not to celebrate IP day:
Not to Celebrate Ip Day

To foil the observation of the day, it has been learnt that a suddenly appeared non-government organization named, "Coalition of Local NGO’s Bangladesh" (CLNB), has been posting posters all over Bangladesh, with pictures of indigenous peoples; poster reads: "The indigenous issue is a conspiracy: we want to live as ethnic-minority people"
Following is the picture of one of the posters:

The hypocrisy of this organization is not limited only within posting posters across Bangladesh. On last Tuesday (07.08.2012), they even organized a discussion meeting with the title, "No Indigenous – We want declaration as Ethnic" at the VIP Lounge of National Press Club-Dhaka, where all the national medias were invited to broadcast it.
Pictures of the conference could be seen here (uploaded on facebook): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.396768000390238.87997.100001711231574&type=1

They also posted a video of the conference on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-GxVaWsH74&feature=plcp
One does not really need to have Einstein's brain to understand who are behind all these!!!
It has been also learnt that the military secretly called different media personals and journalists and asked them to use media tools to propagate anti-indigenous activities. This was also clearly directed in the letter issued by Bangladesh’s Ministry of Home Affairs on 11th of March. The letter stated:

"Steps might be taken to publicize/broadcast (by providing related information) inthe print and electronic media that there are no Indigenous people in Bangladesh."

 Now we can see how they are implementing the steps!!! 

However, despite all these attempts from the government and military to foil the celebration, the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh are determined to celebrate the day with other 370 million indigenous peoples around the globe.  Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples' Forum (BIPF) have declared  week long programs to celebrate the day, which includes: friendly football match, CHT versus plain land indigenous peoples on 3 August 2012 at Dhaka University, discussion meeting by parliamentary caucus on indigenous peoples on 6 August 2012 at public library in Dhaka, discussion on land rights and human rights of indigenous peoples on 7 August 2012 at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, national seminar on compilation of land-related customs and practices of indigenous peoples of CHT to be organised by CHT Regional Council and Manusher Jonno Foundation on 8 August 2012 at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, and procession and rally to be organised by BIPF on 9 August 2012 at central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka. Following is the invitation letter of the 9th August progamme: 

And here are the links on national newspapers on celebration of the day:

Indigenous people 'face extinction': Says Santu Larma; slates curbs on rights

CHT Accord Implementation: Santu blames policymakers

AL-led govt unwilling to implement CHT accord: Santu Larma

Indigenous Day: 2 ministers slam govt attitude

Ruling MPs for state observance of Int’l Day for Indigenous Peoples 

Identify ethnic groups as ‘indigenous’

Demand MPs at World Indigenous Day discussion

Withdraw restrictions:CHT commission asks govt to allow observance of int'l indigenous day

Int’l Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples to be observed: CHT commission



Press release- convention of the International Council of the Indigenous Peoples of CHT (ICIP-CHT)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

URGENT APPEAL: URGENT APPEAL:Protect the Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh: Implement the Peace Accord now!

Please consider signing the following petition:

Few words from the organizers:

Dear Madam/Sir,

All of you are aware that the 9 August the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples is near and that day we are going to submit our petition demanding protection of indigenous peoples of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.

For this purpose, Global Human Rights Defence has made appointments with Members of Parliament in the Netherlands on 9 August to hand over the petition and discuss about the CHT.

Jumma People Network-UK is also going to organise the appointment at their Prime Minister’s office of United Kingdom in London, together with a small demonstration, to hand over the petition.

Kapaeng Foundation is also going to organise a civic group in Bangladesh who will submit the petition to the Prime Minister of Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Our Petition campaign now reached some 600 signatures. We will collect the final signatures until 8 August, and then send the final signatures in a PDF Document by 8 August.

Hence, we urge all of you (individuals and organisations) to sign petition. Your signature at final stage will strengthen the appeal of the petition. We seek you support.

In solidarity,

Global Human Rights Defence
Jumma People Network-UK
Kapaeng Foundation

CHTJRWA demands amendment to CHT Land Commission Act and appointment of a competent person to the chairman of Land Commission

Following is the news published on Bangladeshi daily 'the independent' about the demand of Chittagong Hill Tracts Jummo Refugees Welfare Association (CHTJRWA):

Leaders of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Jummo Refugees Welfare Association (CHTJRWA) have demanded passage of the amended version of the CHT Land Dispute Resolution Act, 2001 and removal of Land Commission Chairman Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury. “Appointment of an efficient and credible retired judge is required to resolve the land dispute in the CHT region along with the amendment of the CHT land commission act,” general secretary of CHTJRWA Santoshita Chakma Bakul said in a statement at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on Friday.
Vice-President of CHTJRWA Ajit Baran Chakma, Profullah Kumar Chakma, Mong Aprushi Marma, finance secretary Sukriti Jiban Chakma, education and cultural affairs secretary Anando Mohan Chakma, and Sneh Tripura were present at the press conference.
Bakul said illegal land grabbing is going on in entire CHT region as the government is yet to take any effective initiative to implement the CHT accord.
Despite the tenure of Khademul Islam Chowdhury has been over on July 19 he is remaining in the commission, he alleged.
He also demanded not to reappoint justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury as chairman of the CHT Land Commission as the hilly people declared him as a persona non grata.
CHTJRWA general secretary also alleged that during his tenure (Khademul) he had done a number of controversial activities violating the CHT Land Dispute Resolution Act, 2001.
Justice Khademul created unexpected situation in CHT region through taking unilateral and controversial decisions without discussion with other members of the commission, he alleged.
He further alleged that Justice Khademul Islam’s undemocratic activities were harmful to the peaceful solution to the land problem in the region. 
Criticising the role of present government he said the government is passing the time through bluffing the ethnic people. “The prime minister assured to implement the CHT accord and the 20 packages of expatriated Jummo Refugees under the accord. But there is no sign to implement her assurance.”
Anando Mohan Chakma said despite the government appointed Jatindra Lal Tripura MP as chairman of the Taskforce Committee but there is no progress to rehabilitate the expatriated Jummo refugee.


Following is the copy of original press release of CHTJRWA (in Bengali):

Please visit following link for more newspaper clippings:
Kapaeeng Foundation
(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)

PCP & HWF organise procession against conspiracy to re-appoint Khedemul Islam as chairman of CHT Land Commission

On 24 July 2012 at 11.00 am Dhaka city branch of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (Hill Students Council) and Hill Women’s Federation (HWF) organised a procession against conspiracy to re-appoint controversial Khademul Islam Chowdhury as chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission (CHTLDRC) at Aporajeo Padadesh of Dhaka University premises. PCP demanded to withdraw the letter by which Land Ministry proposed to re-appoint Khademul Islam Chowdhury as chairman of CHTLDRC and to appoint a competent person as chairman of CHTLDRC in consultation with CHT Regional Council; to amend contradictory provisions of the CHTLDRC Act 2001 without any further delay in order to proper and speedy resolve of land problem of CHT and to take effective urgent action for implementation of CHT Accord by declaring a roadmap with timeframe.

It is mentionable that three-year tenure of Khademul Islam Chowdhury as chairman of CHTLDRC was expired on 19 July 2012. However, no sooner of finishing of the tenure, Land Ministry sent a controversial proposal to re-appoint Khademul Islam Chowdhury as chairman of CHTLDRC for second time. PCP said that the proposal of Land Ministry is nothing but a conspiracy to hinder resolution of land disputes of CHT as per CHT Accord and to make impediments to the implementation of CHT Accord.
Presided over by president of Dhaka city branch of PCP Mr. Juwel Chakma, the protest meeting was conducted by general secretary of Dhaka city branch of PCP Mr. Jemshon Amlai Bawm. Among others, schooling and library secretary of Dhaka city branch of PCP Mr. Jiten Chakma, president of Dhaka city branch of HWF Ms. Monira Tripura, literature and publication secretary of Bangladesh Marma Students Council Mr. Babu Marma, general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Students Action Forum Mr. Ananta Dhamai, assistant general secretary of Dhaka city branch of PCP Mr. Supen Chakma et al spoke in the procession.
Speakers said that during the last tenure as chairman of CHTLDRC, Khademul Islam Chowdhury created huge controversy by declaring land survey in the CHT unilaterally and by starting hearing of land disputes undemocratically. He lost faith and confidence of those people for whom he was appointed to resolve the land dispute. For his controversial activities, the CHT people including civic groups of the country demanded to remove him from his chairmanship of CHTLDRC during his last tenure. So Land Ministry’s proposal to re-appoint such controversial, undemocratic and communal person as chairman of CHTLDRC is fully unacceptable. Speakers also warned that government would be liable for any unwanted situation if controversial Khademul Islam is appointed.
The protest meeting was followed by a procession which was ended marching around the university campus.

Land grabbing continues in Ramgarh

FRESH incident of land grabbing have been reported in Ramgarh, where the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) on 6 June grabbed 40 acres of land belonging to a Jumma villager.

According to sources from chtnews.com, the recent land grabbing took place in the village of Belchari in Navanga Mouza No. 237 under Patachara Union of Ramgarh Upazila in Khagrachari district.

Niru Kumar Tripura alleged that one Nur Alam alias Alam Commander son of Mojibul Haq from Korer Hat, Mirsarai, Chittagong occupied five acres of land belonging to him and was building a Muslim prayer house there.

He said the land is registered in his name and that he had been in possession of the land for many years.

‘Nur Alam had made a similar attempt in the past to grab this piece of land. I made a complaint with Ramgarh police station, but the police refused to take any action against him.’ Mr. Tripura said.

‘Suddenly, on 12 July he came again with bricks, sands and cement and began building a prayer house on my land.’ he added.

He said he had made a protest at the spot and after that on 22 July had gone to Ramgarh police station to file a case, but the police had refused to register his case.

source: chtnews.com