Bangladesh: IPs Massacred for Land Grab

[Aboriginal News]
Bangladesh: IPs Massacred for Land Grab

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[WBT Editors Note – The land grab in Bangladesh has been going on for such a long time.

There is a film on at Gallery of Modern Art [GOMA-
Brisbane] at the moment that describes its beginnings at the hands of the Pakistan military.
The military, with the help of the local Mullahs who played on ignorance and superstition, took the land away from the indigenous people in the region.
See Matir Monia (The Clay Birds) 2002 Ages 15+

It is free and is screening at 7.30pm Wed 3 Mar 2010 / Cinema A

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Asian Centre for Human Rights
Embargoed for: 23 February 2010

Dear Sir/Madam,
The Asian Centre for Human Rights is writing to inform that more
villages of indigenous Jumma peoples have been burnt today i.e. 23
February 2010 under Khagrachari district of Chittagong Hill Tracts
(CHTs), Bangladesh. Dozens of houses were set on fire at Mahajanpara
and Milanpur villages at Khagrachari by the illegal plain settlers
with the backing of the Bangladesh Army personnel at the time of
issuing this press release. The illegal plain settlers took advantage
of a strike called by the United Peoples Democratic Front, a political
party of the indigenous Jumma peoples, protesting against the killings
of indigenous Jumma people at Sajek Union under Rangamati district on
19-20 February 2010.

The ACHR has also released the report, “Bangladesh: IPs Massacred for
Land Grab”. The report is available at: http://www.achrweb.org/reports/bangla/CHT012010.pdf

In its report, the ACHR demanded that the government of Bangladesh
provides immediate and unrestricted access to massacre sites. The
government of Bangladesh has so far denied access to the sites where
scores of indigenous Chakmas in 14 villages under Sajek Union were
massacred on 19-20 February 2010.

The ACHR stated that at least six Chakmas were shot dead by the
Bangladesh army personnel while dozens were injured on 19-20 February
2010. The injured ones who went to government hospital for treatment
of bullet injuries sustained in the firing by the Bangladesh army
personnel were shown arrested in connection with the attacks on
indigenous Jumma peoples since 19 February 2010.

In order to prevent the truth from coming out, the Bangladesh army
personnel have prevented any independent observer including
journalists and human rights activists from visiting the affected
areas to hide the truth. On 20 February 2010, two journalists from the
Bengal dailies – “Samakal” and “Prothom Alo” – who tried to visit the
affected areas were attacked. The motorbike of “Samakal” correspondent
was burnt down by the illegal plain settlers.

ACHR questioned the silence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who has
recently been awarded Indira Gandhi Peace Award by the government of
India, among others, for promoting “peace by resolving a long standing
insurgency (problem) in Bangladesh by concluding the Chittagong Hill
Tracts Peace Accord”.

ACHR has urged the Prime Minister to order a judicial inquiry into the
killings of indigenous peoples at Sajek to be completed in ninety
days, prosecute the culprits, provide proper resettlement and
rehabilitation to the victims; terminate the military operation
“Uttaran” in the CHTs, withdraw all the military forces to the
cantonments and fully implement the CHTs Accord of 1997.

We thought you would find ACHR’s report of interest.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely
Suhas Chakma
Director

Asian Centre for Human Rights
[ACHR has Special
Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC]
C-3/441-C, Janakpuri, New Delhi-110058, India
Tel/Fax: +91-11- 45501889 25620583
Website: www.achrweb.org;
Email: achr_review

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