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Action alert: Endangered indigenous people evicted in CHT

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  • Peace Campaign Group
    Endangered indigenous people evicted in CHT January 26, 2007 Bangladeshi military have evicted over 750 indigenous families from their ancestral land in remote
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 26, 2007
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      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
      two churches.

      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
      territory.

      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
      accord.

      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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