Sunday, 5 April 2015
The problem of the Chakmas and Hajongs really began to the late seventies and early eighties when educational facilities such as stipend and employment rights to Chakmas and Hajongs were banned officially by the state Government and AAPSU also became vocal on the foreigners issue which was at its peak in Assam at that point of time. In this sense the Anti-foreigners movement in A.P is a spill over from Assam and not finding its Bengali muslim counterparts, the Chakmas and Hajongs became the soft target in Arunachal Pradesh. Wall posters and banners decrying the Chakmas as 'foreigners' or 'refugees' came up
and Chakma students became the target of AAPSU violence.
Myths, rumours and propaganda of all sorts began to be floated around and were all directed to project a criminal like image of the Chakma community. The exact figure of population was
blown out of proportion and the 38,000 Chakmas and Hajongs (official estimate in 1991) were
projected at more than 1 lakh. Even incidents of death by accident or natural calamities began to be interpreted in terms of murder.
Once the foreigners issue showed its ugly head it caught the imagination of the local politicians who in turn, politicised the not-so-important issue into a more prominent one. Real issues
such as development and the boundary dispute with Assam went into the background and
Chakma/Foreigners issue became the number 1 point in the agenda of things. Provocative statements against the Chakmas were now freely traded. The Chakma issue became a every-man's tool for securing political mileage so much so that even those who were sympathetic to the cause of the Chakmas and Hajongs were not in a position to show their support openly. The foreigners issue in the North-east like any other issue such as the Ramjanambhumi-Babri Masjid
issue whether real or not, does have a symbolic meaning in this particular historical context.
Source:NEHRU DISCUSSION FORUM (a unit of NSUI) and WORLD CHAKMA ORGANISATION
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
As a consequence, village after village in Bandarban, Ruma, Lama, Kaptai, Rangamati, Barkal, Langadu, Mahalchari, Matiranga, Ramgarh, Manikchari, Rajasthali, Laxmi Chari, Nania Char, Panchari areas were destroyed. On 25th March, 1980, Kaukhali Kalampati genocide was committed, many Buddhist temples were destroyed, thousands of Jumma people were rendered homeless, thousands of houses were burnt to ashes, hundreds of Jumma women were raped, hundreds of Jumma people were killed. On 26th June, 1981, Matiranga genocide was committed and about 25,000 Jumma people were compelled to take shelter in India. It is mentionable that I, as avsitting Member of Bangladesh Parliament, protested against the large scale infiltration of Bangladesh Muslims into CHT and also against the brutal genocides committed at Kalampati and Matiranga by Bangladesh forces and Muslim infiltrators.
The then leaders held press conference at Sangsad (Parliament) Bhavan against these genocides demanding impartial judicial inquiry and exemplary punishment to the culprits but no justice was meted out. They tried to raise the matter before the Parliament but it was not allowed. It is also notable that They met President Ziaur Rahman several times and placed their requests for a permanent peaceful political solution of CHT problem but there was no response from him. Rather, he pressurised them to make the Shanti Bahini surrendered.
There was no end to the sufferings of the Jumma people. When General HM Ershad came into power in 1982, he immediately set to implement the incomplete programme of his predecessors to change the demographic character of CHT.
General Ershad and his government accelerated the infiltration programme which was initiated by the government of Ziaur Rahman, to give it a final shape. Moreover, the military junta intensified the repressive and suppressive measures and military terrorism. Besides, in order to misguide and to divide the Jumma people, it has revived the Tribal Convention and Headman Association, formed the Jana Kalyan Samiti, Marma Unnayan Sangsad, Tripura Unnayan Sangsad. The government forcibly shifted the Jumma people to concentration camps such as - Jukta gram, Adarsha gram and Jautha Khamar to detach the Jumma people from the JSS and to thwart the movement of self determination. The Bangladesh army in collaboration with the Muslim infiltrators committed a genocide at Bhusan Chara in1984. As a result, about 200 Jumma people were killed and wounded, hundreds of houses were looted and burnt to ashes. Thousands of Jumma people were rendered homeless and about 6,000 Jumma people had to take refuge in Mizoram, India. When all kinds of repressive measures such as - genocide, killing, communal riots,
arrests, rape, looting, arsoning, economic blockade, combing operations, restriction on movement, religious persecution,
land grabbing, eviction etc. using the puppet organisations failed to suppress the movement of self-determination led by the JSS, when the activities of the JSS got momentum and international pressure on Bangladesh Government increased then the Ershad government contrived another conspiracy by proposing for dialogue with the JSS. With this object a three member Liaison Committee was formed in 1984 of which Mr. Upendra Lal Chakma was made the convenor. The first dialogue between the Bangladesh Government and the JSS was held on 21st October, 1985, where the Bangladesh Government agreed that the problem of CHT is national and political problem and should be solved politically. The 2nd dialogue which was scheduled to be held on 25th December, 1985, and accordingly the JSS delegation attended the place of dialogue but the Bangladesh delegation remained absent which later communicated the Liaison Committee to postpone the dialogue for the reasons not specified.
While a process for peaceful solution of CHT problem was going on at that moment Bangladesh Government again intensified its repressive activities and on 1st May, 1986, Bangladesh army in collaboration with Muslim infiltrators perpetrated Panchari-Khagrachari-Dighinala-Matiranga
genocide. As a result, about 500 Jumma people were killed and more than 100 were missing and 50 were wounded. Many Buddhist and Hindu temples were destroyed including one Buddhist monk killed. 50,000 Jumma people were compelled to take refuge in Tripura state, India for security of life.
Thursday, 19 March 2015
Plots of lands varying from 5-10 acres of the family depending upon the size of the family was allotted to Chakma and Hajong families under Centrally sponsored rehabilitation scheme. The areas where Chakmas and Hajongs were settled during 1964-69 were impenetrable jungles. However, by dint of hard work the Chakmas and Hajongs made the wilderness fit for cultivation and established a settled life. Many of the educated Chakma and Hajongs youths were absorbed in various Government departments. The Chakma and Hajong children received free education, stipends, book grants, free dresses e.t.c. The Government issued trading licenses. But in the 80s all this facilities were taken away from the Chakmas.
At present a large no. of Chakma and Hajong families are landless due to floods by the Noa Dihing River and Buri Dihing River in Changlang district and Bereng River in Lohit district. Huge tracts of agricultural lands has been either eroded away or rendered uncultivable through siltation.
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
Yesterday joint forces of
Bangladesh conducting operations in various areas in the Dighinala Sub-district arrested 11
indigenous protesters, including a college going woman student, involved in the 15 March Dighanala peaceful protest against BGB’s (Border Guard Bangladesh) land grabbing. The indigenous protesters arrested were sent to jail.
CHTHRW condemns the illegal and unjustified arrest and punishment of the indigenous
protesters and demands their immediate release from jail without any conditions.
CHTHRW urges the Bangladesh Government to implement the CHT Accord, including withdrawal
500+ “temporary” military and paramilitary camps from CHT, in letter and spirit without any further delay for restoration of democracy and peace in
the region, rather than suppressing the justified and democratic voice of the indigenous protesters
demanding removal of the 51st BGB HQs from Dighinala and return of the lands of the 21 indigenous families grabbed by BGB for establishment of its HQs.
Bangladesh has been sustaining the ethnic conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts with force for settlement of millions of settlers in the region. But how long and what about peace in the region?
Courtesy: CHT Human rights watch
Monday, 9 March 2015
A protest rally is being organised at Kamalanagar (HQ of Chakma Council) by Bharatiya Janata Party today to highlight and oppose the alleged illegal misuse of power by CADC govt. "The CADC govt lead by Congress party has illegally appointed nominated Village Council Members just to snatch power & form Village Council in some of the Village Councils where BJP secured majority in the recently concluded election. They have been indulging in all sort illegal activities and misuse of power with impunity so far but not anymore, if necessary we will raise the issue in Aizawl as well
as in Delhi. Public are angry and infuriated but cautious and we shall carry the voice of the people" says a local BJP leader. Hundreds
gathered at the District BJP office at Kamlanagar, many of them came from far away villages.
Source: Chakma Voice (Facebook)
Friday, 6 March 2015
2.They are the descendants of the Sakyas,
3.Their original capital was Kalapnagar,
4.Their second capital was Champaknagar,
5.They conquered newland to the south-west of Champaknagar by crossing the river Lohita and named it KALABAGHA after the able General. The capital of this new land was also named Champaknagar after the previous Capital. From this Champaknagar the prince and the Governor of Kalabagha, Bijoygiri led expedition against the MOGAL or MOGGLE (Mongol?) with the help of the Hosui Troops, provided by the King of Tripura.
6.During this expedition, Radha Mohan and Kunjha Dhan were his commanders and they conquered many countries which include the Magh, Kukis, Axas, Khyengs, Kanchana Desha, and other kingdoms making Chadigang as their base. These expeditions said to have lasted for twelve years for Radha Mohan and Khunja Dhan.
On receipt of the news of conquering new land by Radha Mohan and Khunja Dhan, Bijoygiri went forward up to Safrai Valley to receive the commanders and returned back to Chadigang with them. Here, he learnt the news of his father’s death and of his younger brother ascending of throne. After seven days of mourning for his father, he decided not to return to the Kingdom but establish a new Kingdom at Safrai Valley. He also gave option to his men to return to the old Kingdom or live with him. Radha Mohan is said to have returned and Khunja Dhan remained with him. He also permitted his men to marry girls from the defeated kingdom. He himself married an ARI girl and thus established a new Kingdom named RAMPUDI (Ramavati?) at the Safrai Valley. Afterwards, Kalabagha Kingdom was annexed by the Tripura King and communication with the old Champaknagar was totally cut off. The capital of the Chakma kingdom was later named Manijgir. In 1333, Burmese king Mengdi or Minthi with the help of the Portuguese attacked Manijgir or Moisagiri through deceitful means and brought its downfall. He made King Arunjug his captive along with the subjects and settled them in different places. After a hard attempt a group of the Chakmas could somehow make a habitation at MONGZAMBROO. After sometime they had to flee again to CHOKKAIDAO of Kaladan due to unbearable atrocities of the Magh. From Chokkaidao, they sought permission for settlement in Bengal and Nawab Jalaluddin, the son of Raja Ganesh granted them settlement in twelve villages at Chadigang. It was only in 1418 they could flee to Bengal and settle in twelve places leaving behind the group of Doinaks and the followers of the second prince, in Burma. From these twelve villages, after many ups and downs, the Chakma Kingdom was established at Chittagong Hills Tract, which lasted there until the British transformed it into a mere Circle. The said Chittagong Hill Tracts was awarded to Pakistan in 1947 during India’s independence.
Thursday, 5 March 2015
(Minutes of a meeting held at Government House, New Delhi, 16 August 1947, to receive the awards of the Boundary Commissions which demarcated the boundaries between India and Pakistan in Bengal and the Punjab.)
The Indian leaders present at this meeting to consider the awards of the Boundary Commissions were severely critical of the awards. The Chittagong Hill Tracts in particular were hotly disputed. These had a large Hindu majority and Nehru consequently argued for them to become part of India. However, the Tracts were regarded as having an intimate physical and economic association with East Bengal and no proper communication links with Assam, thus Sir Radcliffe awarded them to Pakistan (see Map 2).
The Punjab was another area of dispute. Sikhs made up a large proportion of the population in this area and had important historical and religious associations with it. Tara Singh, a leader of the Sikhs, demanded a separate Sikh state if partition was to go ahead. This came to nothing and the Punjab was divided on the basis of majority areas of Muslims and non-Muslims as well as other factors like administrative viability, natural boundaries, and communication, water and irrigation systems (see Map 3).
The Awards of the Boundary Commissions Minutes of a meeting held at Government House,
New Delhi at 5 p.m. on Saturday, 16th August. Present Viscount Mountbatten of Burma - Governor- General, India. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru – Prime Minister, India. Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan – Prime Minister, Pakistan. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - Home Minister, India. Mr. Fazlur Rahman -Minister of the Interior, Pakistan. Sardar Baldev Singh - Defence Minister, India. Mr. Mohammed Ali - Cabinet Secretary, Pakistan. Rao Bahadur V.P. Menon -Secretary of the States Department, India. Lt. Col. V.F. Erakine-Crum - Conference
Secretary to the Governor-General of India.
1. The meeting considered the awards of the Boundary Commissions, copies of which had been given to the Ministers after the Joint Defence Council meeting that morning.
2. Pandit Nehru said that he had never considered that the allocation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts to East Bengal was possible under the terms of reference of the Boundary Commission. Eminent lawyers had confirmed this point of view. These Tracts were an excluded area, and were not represented in the Bengal Council. He and his colleagues had given assurances to petty chiefs from the Chittagong Hill Tracts who had come to see them, that there was no question of the territory being included in Pakistan. The population of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, though small (approximately ¼ million) was 97% Buddhist and Hindu. There was not the least doubt that the people themselves would prefer to form part
of India. On religious and cultural grounds, the Chittagong Hill Tracts should form part of India. Sir Cyril Radcliffe had had no business to touch them.
3. The Governor-General explained the reasons why Sir Cyril Radcliffe had included the
Chittagong Hill Tracts in East Bengal. He emphasised particularly the economic ties which
bound Chittagong District and the Hill Tracts together. He stressed the importance to
Chittagong Port of the proper supervision of the Kannaphuli River, which ran through the Hill Tracts.
had been so unfavourable to Pakistan, that he could not consider any minor modification only, such as had been suggested.
Note:- This article fully belongs to the above stated source. And One Chakma is not responsible for any of its content.
adeshi military is responsible for gross human rights violations, including 13 major genocides and crimes against humanity, against the indigenous people of the region.
Stop militarization of CHT Lift the de facto military rule from the region Restore democracy and respect the human rights and fundamental rights and freedoms of the indigenous people
It is noteworthy to mention that the Chakmas ruled the CHTs which at that time also consisted of a part of the Lushai hills, present day Mizoram.
II. Partition of India: Injustice done to the Chakmas during Partition (14 August 1947), India was divided on the religious line. Muslim-majority areas went to form Pakistan. Surprisingly, Chakma- dominated Chittagong Hill Tracts of present day Bangladesh formed part of Pakistan even though Muslims were only meagre 2 %. The Chakmas are Buddhists and wanted to remain as part of India, where they thought their future would be more secure and independent. The Partition axed the Chakma’s destiny. The Chakmas have been patriots. They fought against the British, and did not allow the conquerors to conquer them.
Following the Partition, they were celebrating the Independence Day on 15 August 1947 by unfurling the Indian tricolour in Rangamati, the main town of CHT. It was pity that they did not even know they were already Pakistanis, much against their own will. No wonder, the Pakistani troops immediately pull down the Indian flag and made a few Chakmas captive. The Chakmas could not give a united stand against the injustice done. Indian government remained mum. It did not recognize the Chakmas’ contributions and sacrifices during the freedom movement. It did not respect their aspirations and dreams either.
Those displaced were neither rehabilitated nor compensated nor treated well. Thousands became IDPs and refugees. In 1971, Bangladesh was liberated with India's help. But that did not bring any change in the policy of the Muslim government towards the Chakmas. With active participation of the Bangladesh military, the Chakmas were attacked, massacred, kidnapped, and raped and their houses burned. There was no reprieve, no mercy. The precarious situation of the Chakmas of Bangladesh could be summarized in a line - “Life is not ours”, they say. The Chakmas have turned from rulers to refugees. In 1964, around 30,000 indigenous Chakmas displaced by the Kaptai Hydro-Electric dam in CHT of then East Pakistan migrated to India. They were given settlement by the government of Indian the North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), the present Arunachal Pradesh, after consultation with the local tribal chiefs. While being shifted to the NEFA, Government of India issued valid migration certificates to the migrants and assured them of citizenship rights in due course.“They came in a hopeless, pathetic condition, just with the clothes that they wore” recalls one senior Mizoram official, who was part of the Assam government team that received the Chakma in the Cachar and Lushai hills.
between 1964 and 1969, about 30,000 Chakma and Hajong tribals had migrated to India from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and were rehabilitated by the
Government of India in the then North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), now Arunachal Pradesh. Their present population is stated to be around 65,000. The Chakma tribals did not face any trouble when Arunachal Pradesh was a Union territory and they were getting every facility that was available for an Indian citizen. Only after 1979, when Arunachal Pradesh was given State status, Chakmas were harassed and treated as refugees. Since 1980, no Chakma has been given employment in the state. Government of Arunachal Pradesh vide their circular CS/PR-154/89/99, had banned the issue of ration cards to Chakmas and
Hajongs of Changlang district. Again in 1994, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh asked them to surrender all the ration cards. The AAPSU activists regularly harassed the Chakmas and burned schools, houses, and denied them medical facilities.
Even some of them died out of hunger. Since 1991, the Chakmas and Hajongs have been fighting for citizenship rights under the leadership of the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRCAP). On 9 January 1996, the Supreme Court of India in its historic judgement in the case of National Human Rights Commission Vs State of Arunachal Pradesh and An (Civil Writ Petition 720 of 1995) directed the State government of Arunachal Pradesh to process the citizenship applications of those who migrated between 1964 and 1969 and directed to protect the life and personal liberty of each and every Chakma residing within the State of Arunachal Pradesh. (Access SC’s judgment herehttp://www.aitpn.org/StatelessIPs/SCjudgement.pdf ) National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India had moved the Supreme Court. The Delhi High Court in its
judgment of 28 September 2000 (CPR no. 886 of 2000) directed the authorities to enroll all eligible Chakma and Hajong voters into the electoral rolls.
(Read the judgment here: http://www.aitpn.org/StatelessIPs/DelhiHCjudgement.pdf )But the State Government and its agencies including the State Election Commission have been bias and discriminatory towards the Chakmas. The question is “how long”?Further reports on human rights violations of Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh: Asian Centre for Human Rights, New Delhi: http://www.achrweb.org/reports/india/AR07/arunachal.htm#_Toc166925350b .
Mizoram, India the Census of India 2001 put the Chakmas’ total population at 71,283 in Mizoram, and constituted the second largest tribal community in the state with 8.5% - only next to the Mizos who constituted 77%.The Chakmas have distinct culture, dress, language and follow Buddhism while Mizoram is a Christian majority state (90.5% are Christians). The Chakmas face discrimination in all spheres of life for being “different”. They live in a contiguous belt along Indo-Bangladesh border, covering the three districts of Mizoram, namely Mamit, Lunglei and Lawngthlai. Though the Chakma population has been inhabiting this contiguous area of Mizoram, they have been under four separate Administrative units, namely, Mamit district, Lunglei district, Chakma Autonomous District Council and the Lai
Autonomous District Council. As a result, the cultural, social and political unity of the Chakmas has been disrupted leading, to gross under-development of Chakmas inhabited areas. The Chakmas gained the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in 1972 to protect and promote their distinct culture and identity and freely choose their own political, social and economic goals. But the District Council covers only one-third of the Chakma population in the state. The Chakmas living outside the District Council (including Sajek
Valley area) are subject to regular harassment and discrimination by the State government in various forms. Moreover, the state government has been conspiring to dissolve the CADC by hook or by crook. Life is no less painful in Sajek area of Mizoram. The Chakmas have been living in acute poverty and without access to basic healthcare, education and infrastructure such as roads, electricity connectivity. Most Chakma household is engaged in traditional Jhum cultivation. As forest cover is diminished and production scanty, another name for life has become “struggle for survival”. Hundreds have already been deleted from voters list arbitrarily. Although Mizoram’s overall literacy is 88.49%, the rate of illiteracy of the Chakmas is very high. According to Census of India 2001, the Chakmas are the most illiterate community in Mizoram.
A large Number of Chakma can be found in Tripura and some in 3 district of Assam mainly Karbi Anglong, Nagaon and Kamrup. The economical condition of Chakmas in Karbi Anglong must worst then the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh. Thought Assam government gave them the citizen status of its state.