Hill Voice, 18 November 2020, Chittagong Hill Tracts: 9 Jumma social-student organizations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) today issued a statement against the fraudulent lies of the companies involved in the construction of five-star hotels and amusement parks in Chimbuk Hill of Bandarban.
The statement said that despite the protest reaction of the civil society and intellectuals across the country including the aggrieved Mro community against the initiative, the enterprise group yesterday organized a dramatic human chain to set up a five-star hotel and tourist center at Kapru Mro Para adjacent to Chimbuk Hill in Bandarban Hill district. In fact, this human chain was the drama of eviction of the indigenous community.
The statement added that leading persons of the agitating Mro people are being intimidated to stop the movement and protests. In order to protect image and legitimize the tourism establishment, the Bandarban army has manhandled Kazi Mujibur who was expelled from the post of general secretary of the Awami League of Bandarban district which is not at all a matter of dignity for a well-organized state forces.
The statement further said that the initiative to build a five-star hotel and amusement park with other facilities from Kapru Para to Jibannagar including Naitong Para would push about 10,000 indigenous Mro villagers to become refugees. As a result, 4 villages will be directly evicted and 70-116 villages will be indirectly affected. The tourism center that will be built around this hotel complex will destroy the social privacy of indigenous Mro people, their ever-familiar and accustomed environment and expose them to an unfamiliar world that will gradually eradicate their distinct traditional livelihoods, cultures and identities. It will be very difficult for Mro people to survive.
The statement alleged that various tourist areas are being created by renaming the hilly areas and renaming them to the locals. The statement called for an immediate stop to the evictions of indigenous Mro people in the name of setting up five-star hotels and amusement parks and to stop all types of plot against the indigenous Mro people to repeated evictions from their source of life and livelihood.
The 9 Social Jumma student organizations are Bangladesh Marma Students Council, Tripura Students Forum Bangladesh, Bangladesh Mro Students Association, Rangamati Blood Donor Organization ‘Unmesh’, Bangladesh Tanchangya Students Welfare Forum, Bangladesh Rakhain Students Association, Bawm Students Association, Bangladesh Kheyang Students Union and Bangladesh Khumi Students Council.
Originally published by Hill Voice on November 18, 2020.