Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF): A Postmortem View

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Aung Mrant Aung

In early 2022, political articulation of an armed political organization named Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) suddenly caught my eyes while scrolling on my Facebook page. Members of the organization maintain a Facebook page titled: Kuki-Chin National Front-KNF through which they are seen making the photographs and military training videos of their regulars, political statements public, specifically, propagating concocted tales against the leaders and activists of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) while employing efforts to garner mass support in favor of the regime and army – the prime actors opposing the right to self-determination and unique identity of the Jumma people. Besides, they have come up with the demand for statehood named Kuki-Chin State showing a territorial map comprising of 9 Upazilas (Sub-Districts) of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) namely, Alikadam, Lama, Ruma, Thanchi, Rowangchari, Bilaichari, Jurachhari, Barkal and Baghaichari. The organization is also noticed to claim the Bawm, Pungkhua, Lushai, Khumi, Mro and Khiyang ethnic groups to be clans of Kuki or Kuki-Chin stock. All this forms the scenario of Kuki-Chin National Front-KNF –run programs.

The information available with the KNF’s articulation affirms that Nathan Bawm, the Supremo or President of the organization is a resident of Eden Road Village under Ruma Upazila of Bandarban Hill district. He is an artist post-graduated in Fine Arts from Dhaka University and possesses a credit of receiving awards in several events held in various countries of Europe.

The KNF organization has been given birth under overall direction of the army deployed in CHT. The previous name of the organization was Kuki-Chin National Development Organization (KNDO) with its office at Eden Road of Ruma Bazaar in 2008. Brigadier Mohammad Nokib Ahmed, the then Commander of Brigade-69 stationed in Bandarban Sadar inaugurated the debut programs of the organization. Later on also, presence of high-ranking military officials have been noticed in various programs of the organization. Besides, under overall supervision of the Ruma Military Zone, the army opened up a computer training center with office of the organization and arranged computer training. All this scenario proves that the KNDO and later turned into KNF organization has been created, sponsored and managed by the army. Hence, it is quite natural that the leaders of the organization will remain grateful to the army and will always be guided by the army.

The KNF is engaged in unwholesome activities designed to create confusion by spreading cooked and untrue information and data. With a view to organizing a Kuki-Chin ethnic race, the organization has been continuing to prepare and spread cocktail information. Leaders of the organization have derived the word “Kuki” from the north-east Indian context and the other word “Chin” from the ethnic context of Chin Hill under Sagain Division of northern Myanmar, to compose the compound word “Kuki-Chin” to introduce a new name to refer to several ethnic races collectively. Generally speaking, the compound word refers to the Bawm ethnic group only. But the KNF leaders profess that the Bawm, Pungkhua, Lushai, Khumi, Mro and Khyang ethnic groups belong to the ‘Kuki-Chin’ race. But in Myanmar, the Khumi and Mro ethnic groups are recognized as the Arakanese people. Consequently, the ethnic theory being advocated by the KNF leaders is a fallacy.

It is not only so but the KNF leaders also have been attempting to bring in a change in the history of CHT by introducing untrue historical information. There is no trace of events that provide instances of injustice, deprivation, oppression and driving away done upon the other small ethnic races including the Bawm, Pungkhua, Lushai by the majority Jumma races in the history of CHT. If there had been so, the Headmen would not have existed among the Bawm people. There is no historical evidence to prove that the lands of Bawm, Pungkhua, Khyang, Lushai, Chak and Mro were forcibly occupied by the majority Jumma indigenous races and rehabilitated own community people. Whereas, the KNF Facebook page, all the time, has been propagating fictitious tales in an attempt to draw a split line in the mental equilibrium and arouse hatred among the Jumma ethnic indigenous groups. Thereby, the KNF leaders have paced forward to earn their mean individual ends by fulfilling the interest and aim and objectives of the aggressive and communalist ruling class at the cost of causing confusion, disintegrity and hatred among the Jumma indigenous races.

The KNF statements bear the tune similar to that of the army. On observation, you would find that the way that the army explain and allege against the PCJSS and its leaders already engaged in the movement for implementation of the CHT Accord and establishment of right to self-determination of the Jumma people, the KNF also explain and allege against the PCJSS in quite the same way. There is no trace of difference in between their versions. At one end, the KNF in their words and actions, has been propagating quite contrary to the interest of the Jumma people while whole-heartedly expressing their support to the statements, propagation and articulation being made by the regime and army – the ruling class of oppression and deprivation.

Today, the cheap and deceitful activities of KNF have left nothing secret under the sky. As though the KNF is engaged to popularize the concept of separate ‘Kuki-Chin’ entity incorporating the six ethnic Jumma races, as to this day, neither Nathan Bawm nor the KNF has ever been seen raising voice in protest against the events of forcible land occupation from the indigenous people in CHT including the Mro, Khumi, Bawm and Pangkhua ethnic indigenous races living in Lama, Alikadam and Chimbuk range. The KNF does not have any headache or pays a glance over the plight of Mro, Bawm and Marma ethnic people who were displaced under compulsion from Alikadam, Thanchi, Ruma and Rowangchari.

It may be recalled that more than 1500 souls belonging to the Mro community who were obliged to set out for Myanmar from Poyamuri area due to two-way pressure comprising of extreme famine and tyranny of the Muslim Bengali settlers. Also at present time, the KNF exhibits no sign of concern at the growing figure of internally displaced and the families fleeing to neighboring countries under suppressive measures of the regime. Rather the organization is seen engaged in maligning and spreading ill propagation against the individuals who speak of land rights and other rights of the indigenous people. The prime attacking target of the organization is the PCJSS and its leaders. The PCJSS, Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma (Santu Larma), the President of PCJSS and the Chakma race are the main attacking target of the KNF. The KNF does not have any program to present other than spreading fabricated stories and causing panic among the already traumatic ethnic groups while siding by the Muslim Bengali settlers, regime and army. The KNF leaders are seen becoming too glad and readily agree with the statements made in favor of the settlers and army. Consequently, for the KNF, taking a pose to show themselves as the deprived and right activists gets exposed as nothing but plea and deceit.

Now, all are becoming aware of KNF’s self-contradictory role. The KNF and its leaders are though in an effort to create an image to show themselves fighting for the oppressed, excluded and right-loving people, in a bid to earn support from the masses and humanitarian quarters but with the passage of days, their self-contradictory character is getting clear and exposed to the people all by itself. There is no such illustration in the world where any oppressed, deprived and right-loving human can treat another oppressed, deprived and right-loving humans or an organization as an enemy since, in the case as such, it is the exploiter, ruler, oppressor, depriver and right robber becomes the enemy. But the KNF does not consider the exploiter, ruler, oppressor, depriver and right robber as their enemy target. KNF and its leaders does not oppose or protest against the acts of the exploiter, ruler, oppressor, depriver and right robber; rather the KNF and its leaders are extending their support covertly or overtly towards the anti-people activities. The organization has accepted the Muslim Bengali settlers who have been illegally brought in and indiscriminately rehabilitated in CHT to reap political harvest while terming them as ‘innocent Bengalis’. To the KNF, it is none but the Chakma, Marma and Tripura people are their enemies. The time is not so far when they will identify the Mro people as their enemy, since, such is the extremely brazen- self-contradictory character of a string-puppet.