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To

Catherin Aston

Vice President and High Representative of the Union for Foreign affairs and Security Policy, European Union

Subject: A memorandum to the European Union on the present situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts(CHT), Bangladesh.

Source: International Jumma Voice, European Jummas Association, World Jummo Voice, Jumma People Network(United Kingdom)

Date: 9 August, 2011

Your Excellency,

We, the representatives

and under signed persons of above mentioned organizations,

would like to greet you and inform about the ongoing situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts(CHT), Bangladesh. We are convinced that the European Union has been playing a great role in both economic and geo-politics of the world. There is no doubt that it can playa significant role in any matter of the world as well. We are very much concerned that the European Union has been playing a key role to the affairs of development in Bangladesh. The European Union is the major donator and key role player in numerous developmental projects of Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh can not run these developmental projects without the donation of the European Union. In a word, the financial help of European Union is an important factor in the economic and political affairs of Bangladesh. We appreciate for the role of the European Union to build up an economically sufficient Bangladesh as a

whole. Furthermore, we are very grateful

to the European

Union/Commission

for the resolution on CHT in 1997 which was

passed in European Parliament and press statement of you in February 2010 against the barbaric arson attack by Military and Bengali Settlers in Baghaihat and Khagrachari.

It is very regrettable matter to inform you that the Indigenous Jumma People of CHT have been facing severe problems for long time. They are victims of gross Human Rights violation such as- massacres, arson attacks, inhuman tortures, illegal arrests, arbitrary detentions, disappearances, rape of women, land grabbings etc. They are also victims of mass eviction from the ancestral homesteads. The first mass eviction had been taken place in early 60 th when the then Pakistani Government was established a hydro-electricity project at Kaptai by building a dam. The dam had created a big water reservoir by which hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Jumma People were evicted from their ancestral homesteads. Many of them were taken shelter in the neighbouring Indian states ofMizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh etc. Unfortunately, those who

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are living in Arunachal Pradesh still have no rights to citizen. You would be very astonished to hear that land grabbing, arson attack, killing, rape, arrest, torture, harassment against the Indigenous Jumma People are a matter of their daily lives.

Very recently, the Bengali Settlers brutally killed three Indigenous Jumma People

who are members of a same family in Lama of Bandarban Hill District on 30 July 2011. Just few months back, there was a clash between the Indigenous Jumma People and Bengali Settlers where more than 50 Jumma households burned to ashes. Many

Indigenous Jumma People

have been seriously injured and missing.

They have

burned down a Buddhist temple and the statues of Lord Buddha have been

dismantled. It was

taken place on 17 April 2011 in Ramgarh and Manikchari of

Khagrachari

Hill District when the Bengali Settlers went to occupy the land of

Indigenous Jumma People. On 17 th February 2011 the Bengali Settlers have attacked

the Indigenous Jumma Villages of

Gulsakhali Union in Longudu Upazilla of

Rangamati Hili District where many households burned to ashes. Moreover, same incidents were taken place last year on 19 February 2010 in Baghaihat of Rangamati

Hill District and 21 February 2010 Khagrachari town where at least two Indigenous Jumma People were killed by military brushfire and several hundreds of Jumma households burned to ashes. It is mentionable that one Buddhist Temple and one

Christian

Church were alsQ damaged during that attack. The reasQn gf the incident

was also

occupation of land of Indigenous Jumma People by Bengali Settlers under

direct patronization of military. This kind of incident has been taking place in CHT continuously since the independent of Bangladesh in 1971. There were more than a dozen of massacres have been taken place, thousands of Jumma People evicted from their ancestral homesteads, hundreds of thousands of acres of lands have been grabbed by the Military and Bengali Settlers, numerous Jumma women have been raped by the military and Bengali Settlers during this time in CHT. It is mentionable that the military or para-military or Armed Police or Ansar are involved in every incident. Their duty is to protect the Bengali Settlers and encourage to occupy the land

of Indigenous Jumma People by creating riots in CHT. We are very astonished

that the same military personnel {)f Bangladesh have been w{)rking as United Nations Peace Keeping Force in many countries of the world. They are killers inside the country and perpetrators of ethnic cleansing policy against the Indigenous Jumma People of CHT; on the other hand, they are Peace Keepers out side the country! How does It possible?

What is the very reason of all these happenings against the Indigenous Jumma People

of CHT?

Jumma

The main reason of

all incidents against the Indigenous

People of CHT is the 'Bengali Settlement Policy' of

Bangladeshi Rulers to make them

other word, the 'Ethnic Cleansing

minority in their own land. In Policy' of Bangladeshi Rulers

against the Indigen{)us Jumma People of CHT. The policy was planned

immediately after the independent of Bangladesh in 1971 and the Master of Bangladesh independent Mr. Sheikh Muzibur Rahman was the main planner of the policy. After his dead by a military coup, the plan was executed by military rulers

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General Ziaur Rahman and Hussain Muhammad Ershad by settling down more than one hundred thousand Bengali Families from the plain to the CHT in between 1979- 1981. And to protect the Bengali Settlers the military rulers have deployed hundreds of thousands of Military, Para-military, Armed Police, Ansar and VDP(Village Defence Party) etc in the region. After that, the previous Governments of Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina have save-guarded the policy and the present Government of Sheikh Hasina has also been save-guarding it continuously.

It is important to mention that there was an agreement signed in 2 nd December 1997 between the Bangladesh Government and the representative of Indigenous Jumma People Jana Samhati Samiti(JSS) to establish peace and stability in the region. The agreement clearly stated that all temporary camps of military, para-military, ansars etc should be withdrawn and the occupied lands of Indigenous Jumma People by Military and Bengali Settlers should be given back to Indigenous Jumma People. But the agreement did not implement by any Government of Bangladesh. Rather, the military rule is still continuing in the name of 'Operation Uttoron' and the Bengali Settlement Policy is also running smoothly. Though the present Government of Sheikh Hasina has re-assured to fully implement the agreement in the election manifesto of December 2008; but there is no sign to implement the agreement yet. The half of it's tenure has already passed in the meantime. We are worried that the Government will never implement the agreement at all.

Moreover, we would like to inform you that the present Government of Bangladesh has amended the constitution again on 30 June 2011 which is called 15 th amendment

of Bangladesh constitution where there is no recognition of Indigenous

Jumma

People of CHT and other Indigenous People of Bangladesh. This is just a newly

adoption of the constitution of 1972 where there was no recognition of

the

Indigenous Jumma People ofCHT and other Indigenous People of Bangladesh. It was

based on 'Bengali Nationalism'. The Bengalis are only citizens of Bangladesh

constitutionally. According to the Bangladesh constitution, Bangladesh is a land for only Bengalis! There is no space for the Indigenous Jumma People of CHT and

other Indigenous People of Bangladesh. This is a clear violation of our

'Ethnic

Rights'. We are very worried that our 'National Identity/ Indigenous Identity'

will be

vanished in near future if the Bangladeshi Rulers continuously deny to recognize us

in the constitution of Bangladesh. Following the 15 th amendment of the

Bangladesh constitution on 30 June 2011, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Dipu Moni has expressed the stance of the present Government by uttering there is no existence of Indigenous People in CHT and other parts of Bangladesh in a press briefing on 26 July

2011. All Representatives of Foreign Missions, Development Activists and Editors of Daily Newspapers of Bangladesh were present in the press briefing in Dhaka.

In this circumstances, we would like to request you as well as the European Union to check up the partnership policy with the Government of Bangladesh. It may happen that the Government of Bangladesh has been using the donation from the European Union to feed military administration as well as Bengali Settlement Policy which is endangering the existence of Indigenous Jumma People. It would be very unfortunate

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that if the humanitarian and developmental aid of the European Union will be used to vanish the existence of innocent Indigenous Jumma People of CHT. The Indigenous Jumma People of CHT with a small amount of population are very weak and helpless to prevent the 'State Policy of Bangladesh' which has been conducting against them. Our expectation from the European Union as politically and economically potential and powerful player of the world politics is high. The European Union can play an important role to protect the rights of Indigenous Jumma people of CHT and other Indigenous People of Bangladesh.

We hope that you as a High Representative of Foreign Affairs of the

European Union will come forward to save the

existence of

Indigenous Jumma People of CHT by recalling Bangladesh Government to stop all kinds of nexus policy against them. On the other

hand, the European Union as an important development partner of Bangladesh can create pressure on the Bangladesh Government to stop ethnic cleansing policy against

the Indigenous Jumma People of CHT. We think that it is a moral duty of any

civilized nation of the world

to avoid any co-operation with the Government

like

Bangladesh which is involve with anti-humanity activities. We are very hopeful that the European Union shall come forward to review the developmental co-operation policy with Bangladesh and create pressure to stop ethnic cleansing policy against the Indigenous Jumma People ofCHT.

We are humbly requesting to the European Union to consider following issues which are very important to save a dying people of human society. Our concerns are as following ........

1. Create pressure on Bangladesh

Government to recognize

Indigenous People in the constitution by cancelling the 15 th

Amendment of the Bangladesh Constitution and stop the 'Ethnic Cleansing Policy' against the Indigenous Jumma People of CHT immediately

  • 2. Create pressure on Bangladesh Government

to withdraw all

military camps from CHT and rehabilitate the Bengali Settlers in the plain land immediately

  • 3. Create pressure on Bangladesh Government

to stop further

establishment of military camps and Bengali Settlement in CHT

  • 4. Create pressure on Bangladesh Government to stop all kinds of

human rights violations against the Indigenous Jumma People and to punish the responsible persons of all killings and arson attacks in CHT immediately

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5. Create pressure on Bangladesh Government to implement the agreement which was signed in 2 nd December 1997 without any delay

6. Oppose the recruitment of military personnel from Bangladesh in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force

7. Change the developmental co-operation policy with Bangladesh and donate only under the condition of not using the purpose of militarization and Bengali Settlement in CHT

Sincerely Yours,

1. Junephar Chakma

President, International Jumma Voice, 13 Rue Couverte, 89340 Champigny, France.

  • 2. Jashoyan Dewan

President, European Jummas Associations, 2 Rue de Moscou, 91300 Massy, France.

511-l\JcH/I-tj Cff 4k?Vl/f

  • 3. Sanchay Chakma

Organizer, World Jummo Voice, Liestalerstrass 8, 4127 Birsfelden, Baselland, Switzerland. Email(sanchaychakma@hotmail.com), Tel: +41 (0)763798567

  • 4. Anomadharshi Bhikku

Representative, Jumma People Network(United Kingdom), Email(info@jpnk.org.uk),

(jpn_uk@hotmail.com), (0)7876 27 15 46.

Tel: +44 (0)7985 93 81 21, +44 (0)7951 33 39 41, +44

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