Genocide In Chittagong Hill Tracts. Will The World Sit Up And Take Notice?

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Bangladeshi security forces have committed grave human rights abuses in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), murdering, crippling, raping, and torturing indigenous ethnic communities which are culturally, racially, ethnically and linguistically distinct from the majority Bengali population of Bangladesh. The elected representatives of CHT demand regional autonomy to protect their language, culture and religion; their demand perceived as secessionist by Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government has deployed armed forces, whose actions have been described as genocide and ethnic cleansing, in the area of conflict.

The CHT conflict is an age-old political and armed struggle between the government of Bangladesh and the United People’s Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and its armed wing, the Shanti Bahini, over the issue of autonomy and the rights of the indigenous people known as Jummas. During the conflict, the Bangladesh used rape, torture, arbitrary arrests, mass imprisonment and kidnapping against the Jumma people to combat the insurgency.

“One group of soldiers asked all the young males in the village to gather in a corner. Many of them ran away but I and my nephew were caught. The army first beat us very badly with rifle butts. They stamped our feet under their boots. We were screaming but the army people kept on beating us, asking for the Shanti Bahini’s whereabouts. When we still did not tell them anything, they brought a bucket of chili-water and poured it into our eyes and noses,” Dighinala Upazilla, resident of Pablakhali village, described an incident occurred on December 29, 1986.

Chittagong Hill Tracts2

“It was so humiliating that it is difficult to describe. They told all of us women to take off our clothes and to lie down on our elbows and knees. I was crying bitterly but not for myself. I am an old woman. My daughter, who is just 18, and my daughter-in-law were also made to lie like that next to me. Then, amid a lot of shouts and screams, the soldiers took off their trousers and started raping us from behind. All the time the other soldiers were asking our men to watch the punishment for helping the Shanti Bahini,” Panchari Upazilla, resident of Gilatuli village, described an incident occurred on January 6, 1987.

A Chakma woman from Khagrachari District was arrested, tortured and sexually harassed by the security forces for buying clothes in 1989. “I went to the market and bought some clothes. All of a sudden a policeman came from behind and caught me. The police asked: ‘Why did you buy the clothes?’ I said: ‘To wear.’ Then he took me to jail and started beating me and giving me electric shocks. They kept me one and a half days, tying my hands. Then they transferred me to Khagrachari army camp. They tortured me at the army camp. The army soldiers assaulted me by touching my breasts. After five days I was released on the condition that I report there every month. The charge was that I bought clothes for the Shanti Bahini”.

Bangladesh armed forces and settlers armed by the Bangladesh government massacred CHT’s indigenous people for 15 years of military rule in the country. In 1980 Kaukjali village was attacked leaving 300 dead. In 1981, security forces killed between 3000 and 4000 people. Between 1971 and 1994 it is estimated that 2500 Jumma women were raped. 94% of rapes between 1991 and 1993 were committed by the armed forces, 40% of them were minor girls. Between 2003 and 2007, 27% of rapes were committed by the armed forces and remaining by Bengali settlers.

Chittagong Hill Tracts3

Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed in 1997 between the government and UPPCHT which recognized CHT as a tribal inhabited region, acknowledged its traditional governance system and the role of its chiefs and provided building blocks for regional autonomy. The accord has largely remained unimplemented. The Jumma people have not been given constitutional recognition and are known as “backward segments of the population”. The army was required to dismantle its camps in the region; as of 2014, only 29 of 500 military camps in the CHT have been withdrawn. The peace accord guaranteed the rights of indigenous people to their ancestral lands; in reality they continue to be forcibly evicted from the region. The government has failed to address the long-standing issue of the displacement of native people, numbering an estimated 100,000, caused by the construction of the Kaptai Dam in 1962. The displaced did not receive compensation from the government and around 40,000 fled to India.

The Bangladesh government has granted impunity to the military for blatant human rights abuses committed in the name of security and stability. According to a report by the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission, when indigenous women report rape by Bengali settlers, doctors are pressured to report no evidence of rape arguing that a finding of rape would contribute to tensions between indigenous people and Bengalis.

According to a report published by Amnesty International in 2013: “From 1977, the Bangladesh army flowed into the Chittagong Hill Tracts and there were regular armed clashes with the Shanti Bahini. There followed a long period of violence and repression of Pahari. Members of the army were involved in frequent human rights violations, including massacres, which have been well documented and internationally publicized by human rights organizations, including Amnesty International. These reports contained detailed accounts of torture and killings of Pahari villagers”.

Violence in CHT has not got the international attention it deserves. No one is brought to justice for human rights atrocities committed against the people of Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Sources:

http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/bangladesh/attacks-continue-indigenous-people-chittagong-hi

http://www.angelfire.com/ab/jumma/genocide.html

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Chittagong-Hill-Tracts-CHT-Campaign/1514815695463279

https://www.facebook.com/CHTHUMANRIGHTSWATCH

https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHT-jummaland/327524104096965

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Please share about the genocide in South Africa against the white people. Our farmers get killed and the Government sing songs about kill the boer meaning to kill the white people, They are so racist against white people here. We have power outages and they refuse to buy coal to generate power because the company/s is not 50 black employed. But the law states at least 25% black employed. Please Anonymous Share light on this matter so that the whole world can know. If they find out I write this they will punish us and probably send me to jail for being racist

  2. the news is true for the past 25 years back. it was really happened when they wanted to be free from bangladesh as a new country and a neighboring country help them by providing arms. And as any other country bangladesh try to stop them.

    the present situation is not like the same before.

  3. It’s a completely supreme human indifference. Not only as human but also as Bengali i want the government to know, it has to be stopped ASAP.

  4. You are the good guys. We need a few more. Please cripple the bad governments as much as you can. Human lives and dignity has become cheap. Very cheap.

  5. I am from Chittagong.never hear anything like that.few days age the non bengaly start strike for stop building medical collage .police fire Rubber bluet. its a bullshit news.you guys can check local news paper.

  6. I dont know who has posted this topics…i will request them to visit Bangladesh and see the situation…They are buddhist and we are muslim that’s not the reason….Reason is land….Cht buddhist people claiming that Locall Bangladeshi people against them…Bangladeshi people claiming that cht buddhist are against them….Its fully propaganda….

    This CHT People have tried many times to break Bangladeshh and.make a new country…Bangladesh Army fought with them 20 years and lost many soliders…they are rebels….And our army is not against them…its just their propaganda….One week ago govt minister met with their leader Shantu Larma….Both are satisfied with the new plan of Govt…This CHT people doint anti country activities…Bangladeshi Intelligence DGFI already told about anti country activities of this cht minority budfhist people to Prime minister…That’s why army is always there…They dont want army because if army pattroll in their area, they cant do anti counntry activities…That’s why they are making Propaganda…

    @Anohaq
    I wanna ask u some thing
    U post about CHT

    Where was you when Myanmar started genocide on Rihinga Muslim

    Where was you when India starte genocide in gujrat

    Where was you when Switzerland started taking bombing on Mosque?

    Is this justify???

    Oh!!! no
    I forget tgat…This is western medi
    ..keep it up..god bless you

  7. I dont know who has posted this topics…i will request them to visit Bangladesh and see the situation…They are buddhist and we are muslim that’s not the reason….Reason is land….Cht buddhist people claiming that Locall Bangladeshi people against them…Bangladeshi people claiming that cht buddhist are against them….Its fully propaganda….

    This CHT People have tried many times to break Bangladeshh and.make a new country…Bangladesh Army fought with them 20 years and lost many soliders…they are rebels….And our army is not against them…its just their propaganda….One week ago govt minister met with their leader Shantu Larma….Both are satisfied with the new plan of Govt…This CHT people doint anti country activities…Bangladeshi Intelligence DGFI already told about anti country activities of this cht minority budfhist people to Prime minister…That’s why army is always there…They dont want army because if army pattroll in their area, they cant do anti counntry activities…That’s why they are making Propaganda…

    @Anohaq
    I wanna ask u some thing
    U post about CHT

    Where was you when Myanmar started genocide on Rihinga Muslim

    Where was you when India starte genocide in gujrat

    Where was you when Switzerland started taking bombing on Mosque?

    Is this justify???

    Oh!!! no
    I forget tgat…This is western medi
    ..keep it up..god bless you

  8. me too from chittagong. there’s nothing happening like it said in the post…
    there is other issue of drugs and arm trafficking…

  9. me too from chittagong. There’s nothing happening as said or claimed in the post.
    there is other issue involved like drug and arms trafficking and total control of natural resources.

  10. How long the Govt of Bangladesh will hide the truth…? Settlers were brought by the Govt of Bangladesh not only to grab the land belongs to Jummas but to rape our mothers & sister’s and of course to vandalise temples, minorities worship. I don’t know how long the Jummas have to bear the pain of being murdered on their own motherland by the military and it’s associates.

  11. I assure these news is atleast three decades old.If you don’t believe me then i request you to visit there,and keep in mind that we are not like americans, we are not oblivious about the governments misdeeds and wrongdoings.You don’t have to visit Chittagong to verify the truth of this news,just visit Dhaka(the capital) and you’ll know that they(minorities) live among us in peace and harmony.But keep in mind that these people were adamant to harm our race even after the peace agreement.

  12. I have many friends from CHT, i am a Bangali and as much as i respect them, i also love them. I know what kinds of struggle they face but things are changing. The informations you’ve provided are somewhat true. But you have understand those were in the past. I would certainly request you to visit CHT, cause thats the only way you’ll understand the situation. And about the separatists, i’ve seen posters all around Chittagong city containing messages against the sovereignity of Bangladesh. Just to let you know, there are many native Chakma, Marma and many other non Bangali people working in government such as Police, BGB, RAB, Army, Navy etc.

  13. all CHT jummu people report all fake news. they made a false news. they are gating facility more then the bangladeshi people who leave in hill tracks. but jummu make plane to make chittagong inside burma. to the idiot reporter ” dont tell lie or you can’t survive”.

  14. http://cht-terrorism.blogspot.com/2014/03/photos-of-cht-genocide-committed-by-shantibahini.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/11/world/bangladeshi-insurgents-say-india-is-supporting-them.html

    http://parbattanews.com/en/bhusanchara-genocide-400-bengalis-killed-within-hour/

    some of the responses above have outlined the events took many years before. that however does not justify that they happened. However when a report is published it should be objective and bring out the news and views from both sides which is absent. There are good and bad people amongst both the Bengali and the people of Chittagong Hill Tracts. Long time ago estimated abt 300 years ago, the present dwellers of CHT fleed persecution by the Burmese, Rakhines and came to settle in this lands. Back then this was dense forest. The British took control of Bengal, India around 1769. The east india company and the british later were interested in maximising revenue from the land, hence for their own convenience of administration, they created three administrative circles in the CHT, creating three kings for three circles through whom the British would earn revenue. The only way to come out of this is for the emancipation of all people living in CHT and also for them to realise the new reality of Bangladesh. Bangladesh cannot refuse their diverse ethnicity, culture and language. At the same time CHT people need to embrace that they are citizens of Bangladesh. Many are doing so. CHT now gets special allocation in govt budget for its development. Its true its important to preserve the history and culture of this people, however govt alone cannot do so. Many tribal people have chosen to migrate getting scholarships abroad and settling for life in western countries. They can also consider returning to their land working for the betterment and development of their own communities and people. Typically Bangladeshis are not communal as painted in the report. We believe in peaceful co existence of all our people inspite of race, religion or creed. Like others, i will ask Anonymous to visit hill tracts on their own. I should also tell you why its important for govt to maintain a strong grip on this area. As these are dense forests, there are many insurgent groups of India and Myanmar who also traditionally used to use these areas to store weapons, engage in extortion, drug and arms trade. Amphetamine is produced in large qty in neighbouring which is smuggled through the porous borders here. This also requires vigilance by law enforcement and armed forces.

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