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“Demanding Justice for the Indigenous Jumma People of the CHT”

Jumma Peoples Network UK

PO BOX 38348

London E13 OWL

Tel: +(44) 07985938121/ 07967701480/ 07876271546/ 07951333941

Email: jpn_uk@hotmail.com

www.jpnuk.org.uk

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED

“Demanding Justice for the Indigenous Jumma People of the CHT”

at the “European Human Rights Conference on Bangladesh”

House of Lords, United Kingdom on 21 Nov 2005

In the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh the indigenous Jumma peoples are subject to shocking circumstances. For decades, the indigenous peoples are victims and survivors of massacres, extra judicial killings, eviction from their ancestral lands, gang rapes by security forces and illegal state sponsored Bengali settlers.

Licence to rape: It is alleged that military are using rape as a weapon to suppress the indigenous people. It is sad that those militaries who have committed and are committing gross human rights violations in the CHT have served at the United National Peace Keeping forces around the world and are also being chosen to serve at the UN’s peace keeping duties !.

Forced conversion is also a method being used against the indigenous Jumma people. Buddhist temples are being destroyed; monks are being killed and harassed. Moreover indigenous people are now subject to the pressure of ever growing fundamentalist jihadi activities. National news papers reported mosques and remote hills are being used as training camps in the CHT by the Islamic militants.

Peace Accord has been signed in Dec 1997 between the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) and the PCJSS. Main provisions of the accord have not been implemented yet. Where as GOB is deliberately violating the accord, instead of demilitarise the region as per accord new military infrastructures are being build, new settlers are being settled, indigenous peoples are being evicted from their lands.

European Human Rights conference on 17 June 05 adopted resolution: “Demands the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord of 1997 and an end to the demographic transformation of the CHT under military occupation”. Just one week later on 23 June 05 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) have forcibly evicted about 300 indigenous Jumma families after destroying their houses in Sajek, Rangamati district to make way to settle illegal Bengali settlers.

European parliament adopted an amendment of the Committee on Budgets in October 1996, which states that part of the aid to Bangladesh is ‘for the repatriation of Bengali settlers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) back to the plains’. In justification it states: ‘One of the main human rights violations concerning the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) people is population transfer (of Bengali settlers coming form the plains into the Hill Tracts), which is a main cause of conflict in the region’. (Draft amendment 0873, tabled by Mr. Brinkhorst, rapporteur on behalf of the Committee on Budgets). British Government’s presidency of the EU can raise this issue to the EU and international level to solve the settler problem of the CHT.

Jumma Peoples Network UK, a human rights organisation urges all civil society to raise the issue of the CHT and indigenous Jumma people to the relevant individuals, organisations and governments to give pressure to Bangladesh government to implement the peace accord and give the accord a constitutional safeguard.  JPN UK also demands constitutional recognition of the indigenous Jumma People. Moreover we demands all past human rights violations must be investigated and exemplary punishment to be given to the perpetrators to show that no one (even the military in the CHT) is above the law.

Finally we urge this ‘International Human Rights Network’ to set up a working group on the CHT and to investigate ways in which the findings of investigations on human rights violations can be handed over to an independent authority to ascertain the facts of each case and whether or not there is a basis for further legal action.

For information on CHT please visit Jumma Peoples Network’s website: www.jpnuk.org.uk

If you would like to contact member of the JPN UK please write to jpn_uk@hotmail.com



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