Parliamentary Committee inspects spot of land disputes between indigenous people and Rubber Industries in Lama

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Hill Voice, 26 April 2023, Bandarban: Sub-Committee No. 2 of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs visited the ground to settle the long-standing land dispute between Lama Rubber Industry Limited and Mro-Tripura villagers at Sarai Union of Lama in Bandarban.

Today Wednesday (April 26, 2023) around 11 am, Sub-Committee No. 2 of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on CHT Ministry arrived at three Mro and Tripura Paras of Sarai Union in Lama.

The inspection team is led by ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, convener of the 2nd sub-committee of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs of the 11th National Parliament (Member of Parliament for Chittagong-06 Constituency). It also includes Dipankar Talukdar, MP of Parbatya Rangamati Constituency No. 299, Kujendra Lal Tripura, MP of Parbatya Khagrachari Constituency No. 298 and Basanti Chakma, MP of reserved women’s seat (309 Women’s Constituency-9) of three hill districts.

Bandarban District Commissioner Yasmin Parveen Tibriji, District Superintendent of Police Tariqul Islam, Lama Upazila Chairman Md. Mostafa Jamal, Lama Upazila Executive Officer Mostafa Javed Kaiser, Upazila A.League President and UP Chairman Bathwaiching Marma, Sarai UP Chairman Mohammad Idris Company were present.

On this occasion, the people of Mro-Tripura, victimized by Lama Industries, welcomed the members of the Parliamentary Committee and displayed placards of various demands with banners bearing the slogan “Save us from the injustice, oppression and land grabbing of Lama Rubber Industries”.

After the inspection, the convener of the 2nd sub-committee ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury MP said, “We have seen the matter. Since the land settlement has been stopped since the CHT Accord, the matter will be discussed through the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the purpose of establishing peace in the area and the law will be amended to provide 206 acres of land settlement to these 36 Mro and Tripura families,” he added. It needs to be resolved quickly, otherwise everyone will suffer more as time goes on.’

In the conversation, MP Dipankar Talukder, a member of the sub-committee, wants to know whether there is any armed activities of Pahari terrorists here, and if so, how far away are they located. In response to this question, District Superintendent of Police Tariqul Islam PPM said, “Terrorists do not have any such permanent location here.”

At that time, the public representatives said that according to the proposal of the top leaders of the district, it was proposed to give 5 acres of land to 36 families each total amount of 206 acres of land including religious institutions and crematoriums. But the villagers of Mro and Tripura rejected the proposal.

At that time Gajalia UP Chairman blamed Quantum Foundation and Lama Rubber Company for this dispute and said that the matter will be resolved if the land of both the organizations is measured.

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It is learnt that while the Parliamentary Standing Committee visiting the spot, the affected Mro and Tripura villagers have demanded returning 400 acres of Jum land to Mro and Tripura; cancelling the leases of all rubber plantations including Lama Rubber Industries, which destroys wildlife and the environment; arresting and prosecuting those involved in the attempt to kill people and biodiversity by poisoning Kalaiya Jhiri, Mro’s only water source, and the Ashoka Buddhist Bihara attack, vandalism and looting of Buddha statues; Arrest and prosecution of those involved in arson, assault and looting in Rengyen Mro Karbari Para on January 1; the unconditional release of Langkom Mro, who was detained in a false case filed by land grabber Lama Rubber Industries, and the withdrawal of all fabricated cases filed against Mro and Tripura.

It should be noted that on April 26, 2022, Lama Rubber Industries set fire to 350 acres of Jum land, plantations and vilkage common forests belonging to the indigenous people of Langkom Mro Karbari Para, Joychandra Tripura Karbari Para and Rengyen Mro Karbari Para in Sarai Union of Lama Upazila of Bandarban.

As a result of the burning of 350 acres of Jum land, plantations and VCF in three villages of Lama, 200 villagers of 39 families are facing a crisis of the livelihood, food and drinking water, while the natural environment has been severely damaged, including the death of wild animals.

The arson, assault and conspiratorial misdeeds of the land-grabber Lama Rubber Industries did not stop here. After the attack of April 26, 2022, at least a dozen attacks were made and 3 conspiracy cases were filed in 2022. Lama Rubber Company continues to encroach on the land despite the recommendations of the Hill District Council’s investigation team and the National Human Rights Commission to ensure the land rights of the villagers of Mro and Tripura.

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