Bangladesh: Statement of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) On the Occasion of its 41st Founding Anniversary

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    Dear revolutionary people,
    The Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) is all set to witness the 41st year of its coming into existence while marching through numerous ups and downs of the movement for the right to self-determination. PCJSS emerged in its form with distinctive politician, Mr. Birendra Kishore Roaza as Convener and Mr. Manabendra Narayan Larma, revolutionary the great, as Member Secretary on 15 February 1972. Ever since then, PCJSS, as the symbol of the hopes and longings of the Jumma peoples, has been waging the glorious struggle at the helm for ascertaining their rights to self-determination for the last 41 years. Keeping the aim of establishing the right of the Jumma peoples ahead, the struggle for rights to self-determination of the Jumma peoples that spurred to a new chapter with the demand of four-point-based regional autonomy in 1972, is at its undaunted speed under the leadership PCJSS as of today.
    It is so special to recall that the multi-lingual Jumma peoples of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have been being squeezed under the suppression and oppression of the feudalist, colonial, ultra-nationalist and Islamic expansionist rules for ages. The very entity of nationalities and motherland of the Jumma peoples had gradually been led to extinction due to constant vicious and barbaric suppression and oppression inflicted by different rulers of feudalist class and colonial powers.
    In the course history of the Jumma peoples, a range of conspiracies, with a ultimate aim of ethnic cleansing, had been plotted and implemented, which had led the Jumma peoples to an acute crisis of their existence of nationalities and motherland. Among many, some instances of those conspiracies are: utter deprivation of the Jumma peoples during the partition of India in 1947; providing settlement to the Bengali Muslim people in CHT ignoring the CHT Regulation-1900 after the creation of Pakistan; illegal occupation of lands of the Jumma peoples by enacting CHT Land Acquisition Act in 1958; eviction of the Jumma peoples from their ancestral lands by construction of Kaptai-Hydro-electric Dam – the death trap of the Jumma peoples; unilateral abolition of Tribal Region status of CHT without prior consent of the Jumma peoples and thereby to open up a passage for infiltration of the outsiders into CHT; inhuman tortures upon the Jumma peoples in the name of wiping out the Razakar-Mujahid-Mizo elements after the liberation of Bangladesh; rejection of the Jumma peoples’ demand for demand for Regional Autonomy with utter disregard in 1972 and above all, series of conspiracy hatched by the government of Bangladesh following the state-sponsored settlement of Muslim Bengali settlers deep into CHT in 1950s, etc. – obviously a heinous design contributing to the racial attrition of the Jumma peoples.

     

    With all those negative developments of the situation, the whole region had been overwhelmed with uncertainty, chaos and confusion. At such critical juncture, Jumma peoples began to feel the necessity of having own political platform that could meet their political aspirations and desires. In the course of history of the CHT, a number of organizations had emerged, for instances, the CHT Youth Association (1915), CHT Peoples’ Association (1920), Hill Students’ Association (1956), CHT Teachers’ Association, CHT Tribal Welfare Association (1966) and so on. However, despite collective endeavours for raising a platform against the prevalent exploitation, atrocities and deprivation, eventually none of those organizations could come up to meet the want of a political party of the Jumma people.
    In 1970, ahead of the National and Provincial elections of the then Pakistan, an effort was undertaken to combat the uncertain situation prevailing in CHT politically with the formation of Election Managing Committee. In the meantime, process of the formation of a full-pledged political party carried out, as well. As the desired outcome of that progress of the process, Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (in English: CHT United Peoples’ Party) – the first and the only political organization of the Jumma peoples – was formed on 15 February 1972 under the leadership of Manabendra Narayan Larma. With that historic phenomenon, a new glorious chapter of political struggle for the preservation of existence of national entity of Jumma people and their motherland began under the leadership of the political party.
    Dear revolutionary masses,
    As you know, embracing the humanity as the guiding ideology, PCJSS has emerged aiming to put an end to racial and communal oppression and atrocities, exploitation and deprivation prevailing in human society, or rather to establish a society free from discrimination and exploitation. The Jumma peoples speaking in different languages started uniting under the flag of PCJSS based on the principles of Nationalism, Democracy, Secularism, Equality and Social Justice; and under the flag of PCJSS, a new era of the united movement of the Jumma peoples began.
    The struggle for ascertaining the demands of the Jumma peoples began in constitutional way, under the leadership of PCJSS. But the then ruling class rejected the demand of Jumma peoples with utter hatred and, setting three cantonments up at Ruma, Alikadm and Dighinala in the CHT, the ruling class continued oppression and suppression at all spheres with heavy militarization in the region. At certain state, the movement, led by PCJSS, turned into an armed struggle, when all avenues of conventional-legal movement got closed. However, despite embracing armed-struggle, PCJSS kept the doors open for resolving the CHT problem through peaceful dialogue.
    On one hand, PCJSS kept advancing the armed struggle for the rights to self-determination of Jumma peoples, and on the other hand, it continued to carry out formal dialogue with the government of Bangladesh, aiming at political and peaceful resolve of the CHT problem. As a consequence of PCJSS’s adherence with political and peaceful resolution of the CHT problem, formal dialogue started between PCJSS and  the government of General Ershad on 21 October 1985; and that peaceful formal dialogue continued during consecutive governments: Khaleda Zia-led government (1991-1995), and  Sheikh Hasina led government (formed government in 1996), and finally, a new chapter for political and peaceful resolution of CHT crisis opened up with entering into an agreement known as the CHT Accord signed on 2 December 1997. However, it has appeared to be grave concern that the desired political solution to the crisis of the CHT has not been achieved, due to constant non-cooperative stance and reluctance of the government in terms of the implementation of the CHT Accord. Therefore, in the context of that prevailing overall situation of the CHT, the Jumma peoples are now face to face with the question of their survival and extinction.  
    It is known to all that the struggle for the self-rule of CHT peoples led by PCJSS has not advanced along smooth way. From the inception of its birth, the conspirators both at home and in abroad, reactionaries and the opportunists have been hatching conspiracies to destroy the struggle of PCJSS, by all means. In early 1970s, PCJSS had advanced the movement for rights to self-determination of the Jumma peoples, by tackling, with sagacity, the counter-revolutionary activities, like Pahari Juba Sangha (Hill Youth Organization), Tribal Peoples’ Party (TPP), Bamayata Group, Purba Bangla Sorbahara Party (East Bengal Proletariats Party) and its associate CHT Gono Mukti Parishad. In addition, PCJSS had to deal with the conspiracies of the reactionary organizations like Tribal Convention, an organization sponsored by the government. Furthermore, those opportunists and reactionary quarters, involving with different national political parties, continued to oppose the PCJSS-led movement for attaining the right to self-determination.
    In terms of intra-Party affairs, PCJSS, with support of the mass people, had to advance their struggle tackling the deadly conspiracies and destructive activities bred forth by the opportunists, power hunger, ambitious, reactionary and groupism developing circles, which were grown up and kept hidden in the party. Consequently, PCJSS had to confront the ‘civil war’ (inner-party conflicts) inflicted by the four plotters – Giri-Prakash-Deben-Palash – in 1980s.  Besides, since signing the CHT Accord of 1997, PCJSS has been to confront armed-terrorism of UPDF, the anti-Accord element, and the conspiracy of small gang led by Rupayan-Tatindra, which was drifted from PCJSS during the State of Emergency in 2007-2008, as part of implementation of the constant conspiracy of the governments against PCJSS.
    During the prolonged sanguinary struggle for the right to self-determination, PCJSS had lost hundreds of freedom-loving revolutionary fighters and numerous patriots including the pioneer of Jumma national arousal, the great leader Manabendra Narayan Larma. Many had to suffer unbearable sufferings of life for being victimized of the communal violations and racial atrocities & injustice of the ruling class. Even being so, the Jumma peoples, having more united and mobilized under the flag of PCJSS, continued to advance their struggle for the right to self-determination under the leadership of PCJSS with unsurpassable velocity. PCJSS leadership has been able to advance forwards progressively, because of having firm faith of the Jumma peoples of all walks of life in the ideology and path directed by the great leader M N Larma, and party leadership,  and most importantly, because of the sagacious and undaunted leadership of the party.  
    It is needless to say, that the Jumma peoples have established an unprecedented illustration in the history of struggle of the world’s freedom-loving peoples in ascertaining their just rights, by waging heroic struggle for 41 years under the leadership of PCJSS. All through its glorious movement, the PCJSS, as the result of its flawless strategy and tactics has been able to-
    •    Inspire and unite the Jumma peoples, who were in slumber and wary under constant exploitation, oppression, atrocities and suppressive measures meted out by the rotting feudal leadership, in the political spirit;
    •    Motivate and amalgamate the nearly abolishing Jumma peoples in the struggle for ascertaining their rights to self-determination;
    •    Inspire the multi-lingual Jumma peoples, who were absolutely confined in narrow nationalism, in the spirit of Jumma nationalism;
    •    Compel the government or rather the ruling class to sign the CHT Accord – the Charter of the Rights of the Jumma peoples and Bengali permanent residents – through waging steel-hard struggle against relatively very imbalanced power – the power of an established State.
    Dear revolutionary masses,
    Currently, the existence of entity of Jumma peoples and their native land has been passing an acute crisis. Albeit the government has been compelled to sign the CHT Accord in the wake of mighty struggle of the Jumma peoples, willingness of the government in resolving the CHT problem through proper implementation of the CHT Accord has evidently appeared to be zero. As a result, the core issues have been left unimplemented over the last 15 years, such as, preservation of tribal-dominating feature of the CHT region, putting the administrative system of CHT Regional Council and the three Hill District Councils into effect, to return the lands of the Jumma peoples to their owners through resolution of the disputes over the lands, withdrawal of all temporary camps and de facto military rule ‘Operation Uttoron,’ rehabilitation of the India-returnee Jumma refugees and internally displaced Jumma families, transferring of the core subjects, such as, Supervision of Law & Order and Co-ordination, Police (local), Land & Land Management, Secondary Education, Forests & Environment, Local Tourism, Statistics of Birth & Death, Jum Cultivation etc. to the Hill district Councils, appointment of the Jumma candidates to the all post of CHT and so forth.
    Moreover, in terms of constituting elections of the Hill District Councils and the CHT Regional Council, reluctance and lack of goodwill of the government in enacting necessary Rules relating to making voter list with permanent residents of the CHT, and election of the Chairmen and Members of the Hill District Councils, have caused the overall situation to be more complex. The question of survival of the Jumma peoples and existence of their native land is now in serious uncertainty due to non-implementation of the Accord. On other hand, instead of resolving the problems, the government is found to have involved in implementing its blueprint by:  not rehabilitating the Bengali settlers outside CHT with respectful manner; continuous settlement and infiltration of the outsiders into CHT; making Jumma peoples permanently evicted from their ancestral lands and homesteads, grabbing their by the outsiders; meting out communal attacks, arson, raping, abduction and heinous violence against Jumma women, marginalization and Islamization, etc. upon the Jumma peoples.                                                                                           
    In addition, a sort of reign of terror has been inflicted in CHT by some quarter of vested interest of the ruling class, by paving way for the anti-accord element named UPDF to terrorize the region with unabated extortion, killings and so on in CHT, and with this terrorism, the implementation of the blueprint of destruction of the existence of national entity and land of Jummas has been being accelerated. Alongside, the government actively continues to patronize so called Samo Odhikar Andolon (Movement for Equal Rights), one of the ultra-communal and fundamentalist groups in the CHT, to carry out their racist and hatred programs – ‘ethnic cleansing’ agenda – against Jumma peoples, under the coverage of ‘Operation Uttoron’ (Operation Upliftment), the military rule which is still in force in the CHT.
    Dear freedom-loving people,
    Today it has been crystal-clear like daylight that the government will not come forward to implement the CHT Accord aptly. Instead, the government is executing its conspiracy through rehabilitating and protecting the interest of the Bengali settlers coming from outside aimed at establishing the Islamic Expansionism in CHT. In one hand, the Operation Uttoron has been kept in force as to provide the Bengali settlers with optimum security and that the temporary camps of army, Armed Police Battalion and Ansars are not being withdrawn, and on the other hand, the flow of armed terrorist activities is not being put to an end by declaring the UPDF as an illegal outfit. Alongside, the three Hill District Council Acts and the CHT Regional Council Act have been kept ineffective; the Land Commission is not being made functional with necessary amendment to the CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission Act; the Electoral Roll Rules and Election Rules are not being formulated to hold the elections for three Hill District Councils and Regional Council based on the electoral roll with only the permanent residents; and no necessary amendment is being made to the CHT Regulation of 1900, Bangladesh Police Regulation, Bangladesh Forest Act, the Acts of municipalities and local government bodies to ensure preservation of the characters of  the CHT to be the tribal dominated area.
    Indeed, there is no alternative of the implementation of the Accord to ensure the right to self-determination for the Jumma peoples. Insurance of establishment of Jumma peoples’ political, economic, administrative, social, cultural and land rights is laid in the implementation of the Accord. Hence, the 41st founding anniversary of the PCJSS calls on:
    ■ Let us compel the government or rather the ruling class to implement the CHT Accord aiming at the establishment of right to self-determination of permanent residents, both Jumma and Bengalis;
    ■ Let us unite and stand against the anti-Accord elements including all the conspiracies designed to ethnic attrition being meted out upon the Jumma peoples;
    ■ Let us resist all forms of terrorist activities, including that of UPDF and
    ■ Let us take part of the democratic, non-communal and progressive movement at national level aiming to establish a democratic and progressive government.
    Long Live the Jumma peoples’ struggle for establishment of right to self-determination!
    Strengthen the struggle for the implementation of CHT Accord in establishing right to self-determination!

     

     

    Source: PCJSS