Action alert: Endangered indigenous people evicted in CHT
- Endangered indigenous people evicted in CHT
January 26, 2007
Bangladeshi military have evicted over 750 indigenous
families from their ancestral land in remote villages under
Bandarban Hill district of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT)
in December, says a report of Parbatya Chattagram Jana
Samhati (PCJSS) released in January this year.
The military authorities reportedly said that they took the
measure as indigenous people failed to leave the land
acquired for an artillery training centre in 1991-92
despite several notices.
The land acquired covers an area of 11,445 acres. It houses
at least seven indigenous villages, one primary school and
Evicted indigenous people opposed the acquisition of their
homes and villages by the military. In a memorandum, they
urged the President and Chief Advisor to then Caretaker
Government of Bangladesh to stop acquiring their land and
habitat. However, the latest action of the military crushed
their hope of getting justice from the Constitutional Head
of the State.
Victims of the land alienation were rendered homeless and
had been suffering from severe cold weather and starvation
for three weeks, said the PCJSS report.
Indigenous people affected by the military drive belong to
the Mro community, one of the most disadvantaged groups
with a total 10,000 population in the CHT. They live on
jumming (slash-and-burn cultivation), hunting and gathering
in the Hill district.
The eviction is a serious violation of human rights. It has
deprived the already endangered indigenous people of their
livelihood and housing and threatened their identity.
The CHT has continued to be ruled by a de facto Bangladeshi
military regime though the 1997 CHT peace accord signed
between the Bangladeshi authorities and the indigenous
leaders addresses the withdrawal of temporary military
camps from the CHT and de-militarization of the indigenous
Bangladeshi military are allegedly involved in widespread
human rights abuses such as rape, torture and
extra-judicial execution in the CHT despite the CHT peace
Peace Campaign Group urges the Bangladeshi authorities and
international human rights groups to take immediate and
appropriate action for return of the land acquired to the
Mro indigenous people and to ensure their survival and
protection in their natural habitat.
Peace Campaign Group (PCG)
RZ-I-91/211, West Sagarpur, New Delhi-110046, India
Tel: + 91-11-2 539 8383
Telefax: + 91-11-2 539 4277
E-mail: pcgoffice@..., pcgonline@...
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