CHTC deeply concerns over continued violence upon the Mro community in Lama

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Hill Voice, 3 January 2023, International Desk: International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) deeply concerned over continued violence upon the Mro community and calls for effective action to ensure justice, safety, and human rights of the victims.

In a statement signed by three Co-chair of the CHTC, Sultana Kamal, Elsa Stamatopoulou and Myrna Cunningham Kain on Tuesday (January 3), CHTC expressed this concern and demand.

In the statement, it is said that CHTC is grimly disturbed to learn that Lama Rubber Industries Limited has perpetrated another arson attack upon the Mro indigenous community in Rengyan Mro Para of Lama, Bandarban.

The CHTC calls upon the Government to act effectively to ensure justice, safety, and human rights of the Mro community. According to media reports12, on Monday (2nd January), at around 1:00 am, hundreds of goons, allegedly hired by Lama Rubber Industries Limited – initiated the attack.

The goons burnt down and vandalized over a dozen houses of the Mro indigenous community and looted their mobile phones, household items, poultries, cattle, and other belongings. The Mro people fled to the jungle to escape physical harm during the attack.

It has been a long time now that the influential Lama Rubber Industries Limited has repeatedly been perpetrating violence and arson attack upon the indigenous peoples of Langkom Karbari Para, Joychandra Tripura Karbari Para, and Rengyan Mro Para of Sarai union under Lama Upazila of Bandarban with the intention to grab their land.

Previously, the CHTC released two separate press statements on 30 April 2022 and 28 September 2022; and demanded justice and protection for the indigenous communities, their traditional land, and the environment. The recent attack on the 2nd of January is a result of the government’s repeated failure to bring into account those who were responsible for the previous attacks.

CHTC hoped the government will take some exemplary action this time against the alleged perpetrators and ensure Indigenous Peoples’ safety and security. The CHTC believed that the existing culture of impunity is what encourages these perpetrators to continue such repeated attacks on the Indigenous Peoples.

CHTC also requested that the government provides immediate food support and shelter for the victims and ensure their safety and protection of human rights.