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Bangladesh army

On 19-20 February 2010, Bangladesh army backed Muslim settlers attacked the indigenous Buddhist people at Baghaichari. Many indigenous houses were burnt down including Buddhist temples. The aim of the attack was to drive out the indigenous Chakma Buddhists and grab their land. Members of the Bangladesh army in CHT.

Bangladesh government wages disinformation campaign against the indigenous people of the CHT

On 19 June 2006, PCJSS demanded ban of a booklet titled ‘Khagrachari 2001-2005’ published by Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Khagarchari. Half a day strike was observed by the Khgrachari District Citizen’s Forum and some others organizations in Khagrachari on 16 July 2006. They demanded seizing of all copies of this books and eliminating him from the post of Deputy Commissioner. They have alleged that this book is reinforcing communal conflict between Bengalis and indigenous peoples and threatening communal harmony of the region. This booklet was published by the DC of Khagrachari district in April 2006 and distributed to the Ministers, Secretaries and donor agencies through a forwarding letter. Both the booklet and forwarding letter have treated the indigenous peoples of CHT as intruders, terrorist, anti-Bengalis and anti-state culprits. He mentioned in the forwarding letter, “In Khgagrachari there are mainly three tribes. They are Chakma (28%), Tripura (13%) and Marma (11%). There are some insignificant numbers of Monipuri and Shawtal here. History says that they all are outsiders. The tribes Kookies found at that time went against British and were driven away with the help of new intruder tribes. In fact, we are nourishing these intruders with a lot of facilities by depriving the mainstream people.”

Moreover he quoted in his booklet, “Chakma tribe speaks ill of establishment, dislikes the mainstream people or the Bengalee, even takes arms against them. Last of all in 1997 they surrendered arms after signing a controversial pact with Government of Bangladesh (GoB).”

The above statements and information of the DC are misleading, self-imaginary and communally motivated. The history shows that before the British colonization, the indigenous Jumma people of CHT were independent. During the whole period of the Mughal rule in this Indian sub-continent, the Chakma Kings of this region were internally supreme and externally free. In 1550 a Portuguese cartographer named Joa De Barros shown the Chakma kingdom on his map as the Feni river to the North, the Namre or Naf river to the south, the Lushai hills to the east and the sea to the west. Even after 1860 and until 1900 the British government administered CHT through a set of rules promulgated from time to time. In 1900 the British government enacted the CHT Regulation 1 of 1900 and declared it as an Excluded Area, in order to protect the Jumma people from economic exploitation by non-indigenous people and to preserve their traditional socio-cultural and political institutions based on customary laws, community ownership of land and so on. However, from the very outset, the Pakistani government looked upon the Jummas with an eye of suspicion as anti-Pakistani as well as anti-Islamic. Therefore, the Pakistan governments’ ultimate aim was to exterminate the people of CHT through its socio-political-economic policy. In 1950s, in implementing her brazen designs violating the principles and spirit of the CHT Regulation of 1900 the government of Pakistan started Bengali Muslim settlement at Longadu and Naniarchar in CHT and it continued up to 1966. On the other, immediately following the independence of Bangladesh in early 1972, the government of Bangladesh did not respect their fundamental rights and did not write even a single word in the constitution regarding the entity and safeguard of the Jumma people. Rather the CHT underwent militarization. The government began state-sponsored migration of Bengali Muslim settlers into the CHT.


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