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Friday, March 5, 2010

Chakmas in CHT being subjected to ethnic cleansing

Source: PTI

Chakmas community living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh are being subjected to "systematic ethnic cleansing" by a section of that country's military and Islamic fundamentalists who conduct arms training camps for terrorists there, a community leader alleged today.

"Islamic fundamentalists, along with a section of the Bangladesh military, are carrying out ethnic cleansing of the Chakma community in the CHT. Islamic militants are also running arms training camps there," Secretary General of the World Chakma Organisation, Venerable Bimal Bikhhu told a press conference.

Bikhhu said a series of attacks in various parts of the CHT between February 19 to 24 left at least six indigenous Chakmas dead and 50 injured.

Over 400 tribal houses, along with a Buddhist temple and a church, were burnt down during the attack, while 2,000 people were displaced, he claimed.

Monks call on UN to stop attacks in Bangladesh

Source: Radio Australia News

Bangladeshi Buddhist monks want the United Nations to intervene. [Reuters]

Bangladeshi Buddhist monks want the United Nations to intervene. [Reuters]

Ron Corben, Bangkok

Last Updated: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 20:09:00 +1100

A group of Bangladeshi Buddhist monks have called on the United Nations to intervene and halt attacks on Buddhist communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of south-eastern Bangladesh, which borders both India and Myanmar.

They say attacks by Bengali Muslims and the Bangladesh military in late February have left at least two people dead, dozens injured, and still more missing after a village was set ablaze.

Speaking at a protest outside the United Nations in Bangkok, a member of the Bangladesh Jumma Buddhist Forum, Monk Arjun Chakma, said the Baghaichari massacre occurred in Chittagong Hill Tracts between February 19 and 23.

"The whole village was burned down by the military and the Bangladeshi Muslim. The illegal Muslim they try to grab our land and since in the long time the Bangladesh government try to clean the indigenous people and Bangladesh government try to make us Muslims but we are Buddhist people, we never want to come back into other religions," he said.

Monk Arjun Chakma showed reporters photographs taken of the scene of the attack. It included the destruction of a Buddha statue given to the community by Thailand.

"They put the fire into the village and all the village destroyed, right, you see. That person was shot by the military but he was taken to the medical treatment and the hospital but he is not alive now.... This is a military truck whom oppress the Jumma Buddhist people and this is the village burning down."

"We would like to request to the United Nations to take the action and to send news to the Bangladesh Prime Minister to end the military operation on Jumma indigenous people, stop the looting, stop the grabbing land, stop the human violence."

Rights group Amnesty international has called on the Bangladesh government to carry out an independent investigation into the attacks.

Amnesty says while government officials confirmed two deaths, local people feared at least six more Jumma indigenous people were killed on 20 February, but their bodies were not recovered.

6 indigenous houses burnt in Rangamati

Source: The Daily star

Six houses of indigenous people were brunt down in a remote area in Baghaichhari Upazila of Rangamati Thursday night.

Unidentified criminals set the houses ablaze at about 8:45pm in Dane Baipachora area in the upazila, our Rangamati correspondent reports.

The upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Baghaichhari upazila visited the spot Friday morning and confirmed the incident.