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Mahalchari Burnt Houses

On 26 August 2003, Bangladesh army in league with Muslim settlers attacked the indigenous Buddhist people in Mahalchari. Bangladesh army and Muslim settlers set fire on more than 370 indigenous Buddhist houses. An indigenous Chakma man and an indigenous Chakma infant (8 months) were killed. More than 1000 indigenous Buddhist people were rendered homeless. Lemucharipara Buddhist Temple and Babupara Buddhist Temple were burnt down. Lord Buddha's images were demolished. Bangladesh army and Muslim settlers raped 10 indigenous Chakma women.


Bangladesh government and NGOs help Bengali settlers with micro credit in violation of CHT Accord

In 2003 the government has reduced ADP (Annual Development Plan) budget for development in CHT. Both governmental and non‑governmental organizations are conducting development activities in violation of the CHT Accord and against the interest of the indigenous people. For example the activities of one national NGO named Integrated Development Foundation (IDF) is mainly micro credit program and the beneficiaries are mostly Muslim settlers. This programme helps the Muslim settlers to become self‑reliant and settle in CHT. Muslim settlers are also included in WFP (World Food Program) program as beneficiaries. Recently UNDP has started project in the CHT. The indigenous people criticized this projects, as the projects are not participatory.

As part of the government policy there are no development activities in CHT by the three Hill District Councils (HDC) as the chairmen and members are nominated by the ruling BNP party. Consequently, the indigenous people are deprived of benefit from HDCs' development interventions. On the other, the CHT Development Board has been turned into Muslim settler development board as the Chairman of the CHTDB Mr. Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, a settler leader, undertakes all development programme only for settler‑inhabited areas. Furthermore UNICEF project which was helping the indigenous people have been transferred to the settler‑inhabited areas.


Sources:

PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
E-mail: pcjss.org@gmail.com, pcjss@hotmail.com
Website: pcjss-cht.org

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