MN Larma’s 81st birthday will be celebrated through various programmes

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Hill Voice, 14 September 2020: The 81st birthday of Manabendra Narayan Larma (M N Larma), a pioneer of Jumma People’s National Awakening, founder of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), former Member of Parliament (MP) and great revolutionary leader, will be celebrated on 15 September tomorrow through various programs.

The online news portal ‘Hill Voice’ will launch a supplementary publication on 15 September 2020 Tuesday on the occasion of the 81st birthday of the great leader M N Larma. The articles written by M N Larma’s elder sister and revolutionary leader Jyoti Prava Larma, Information and Publicity Secretary of the PCJSS Sajib Chakma, former President of the Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) and eminent writer Bachchu Chakma, activists of PCP Nipon Tripura and Mitul Chakma Bishal will be there.

Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF) plans to organise an online discussion on 15 September 2020 at 11:00 am on the occasion of the 81st birth anniversary of revolutionary leader Manabendra Narayan Larma. Presided over by Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary of BIPF and facilitated by Harendra Nath Singh, Assistant Organizing Secretary of the Forum, the online discussion will be attended by Rashed Khan Menon, President of Workers Party of Bangladesh; Shah Alam, General Secretary of Communist Party of Bangladesh; journalist and writer Abu Saeed Khan; Professor Mesbah Kamal, teacher of History Department of Dhaka University, Robayet Ferdous, teacher of Mass Communication and Journalism Department of DU, teacher of Anthropology Department of DU Dr. Jobaida Nasrin Kona, Central Member of BIPF Meinthein Promila, among others. The online discussion will be broadcast live from the ipnews Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ipnewsbd/).

On the occasion of the 81st birth anniversary of the great revolutionary leader M N Larma in maintaining social distance and the rules of COVID-19, a brief discussion meeting and prize distribution ceremony will be organized by MN Larma Memorial Public Library at the library office of Devasishnagar in Rangamati at 4:00 pm on 15 September. President of M N Larma Memorial Public Library Sumon Chakma will preside over the function while Intumani Talukder, General Secretary of Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Branch of BIPF will be the chief guest.

On the initiative of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), Parbatya Chattagram Juba Samiti and Hill Women’s Federation, a discussion meeting will be held on 15 September at 10:00 am at Kalyanpur in Rangamati and a candle lighting programme will be held at 6:00 pm.

Besides, online cultural program and poetry recitation programme will be organized at 5:00 pm on the initiative of Bangladesh Indigenous Cultural Forum. The program, which will be chaired and conducted by Chandra Tripura, President of Bangladesh Adivasi Cultural Forum, will be aired live from the Facebook page of Bangladesh Adivasi Cultural Forum.

Manabendra Narayan Larma was born on 15 September 1939 in a middle class family in Mahapuram, a sprawling village not far from Rangamati town. His father, Chitta Kishore Chakma, the headmaster of a junior high school in the same village, was both an educator, a humanist, a philanthropist and a thinker of democracy. Mother Subhashini Dewan was a pious and loving woman.

He matriculated from Rangamati Government High School in 1958. He then passed higher secondary from Chittagong Government College in 1960. He passed BA in 1965. He then passed BEd in 1968 and LLB in 1969.

During his career he joined Dighinala High School in 1966 as an assistant teacher, Chittagong Railway Colony High School as a headmaster in 1968 and in 1969 as a lawyer in the Chittagong Bar Association.

From 1956, he got involved with the political life through student movement. He was one of the organizers of the first hill student conference held in 1957. He joined the East Pakistan Students Union in 1958 and the Democratic and Progressive Movement in 1960. He played a leading role in the Jumma student society in 1960 and was the main organiser of the hill student conference held in 1962.

In 1961, he organized a movement against the construction of the Kaptai dam. As a result, the government of Pakistan arrested him on 10 February 1963 under the Prevention Act (from the hill student histel at Patharghata in Chittagong). After more than two years of imprisonment, he was released on condition from Chittagong Jail on 8 March 1965.

He formed the Chittagong Hill Tracts Election Steering Committee in 1970 and was elected a member of the East Pakistan Provincial Assembly in 1970. After independence of Bangladesh, he submitted a four-point demand for regional autonomy to Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15 February 1972.

The Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) was formed in 1972 on his initiative. Birendra Kishore Roaza and he were elected as the founding President and General Secretary of the PCJSS respectively. In 1973, he was elected a Member of Parliament in the first election of Jatiya Sangsad of Bangladesh. In 1973, he became the President of the PCJSS.

On 31 October 1972, he boycotted the session of the Constituent Assembly in protest of the first constitution of Bangladesh identifying the Jumma people as ‘Bengalis’ and refrained from signing the Constitution of Bangladesh.

In 1974, he visited London to attend the Commonwealth Summit as a Parliamentary Representative of the Government. He joined BAKSAL in 1975 at the call of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in order to solve the CHT problem. When Bangabandhu and his family were killed on 15 August 1975, all avenues of the constitutional movement were blocked and he went into the underground and took the helm of the armed movement.

In 1977, he was re-elected as the President of the 1st National Conference of the PCJSS. He was also re-elected as the President of the 2nd National Conference of the PCJSS on 20 September 1982.

On the morning of 10 November 1983, he was brutally killed in a betrayal sudden attack by the Giri-Prakash-Deben-Palash clique at the source of Khedarachhara in Panchhari upazila of Khagrachhari hill district.

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