26 December 2004
Sixth founding anniversary of the Party observed
The Party held a discussion meeting and brought out a colourful procession at Chittagong on the occasion of its sixth founding anniversary on 26 December 2004. While the convener of the Party, Prasit Khisha, presided over the discussion and led the procession, comrade Badruddhin Umar, a noted intellectual, revolutionary writer and president of Bangladesh Jatyo Mukti Council, and Advocate Bhulan Lal Bhoumik, a renowned lawyer of Chittagong Bar Council and president of the Chittagong unit of Bangladesh Jatyo Mukti Council, were present as guest speakers. Rabi Shankar Chakma, convener of the Committee for Observing the Sixth Founding Anniversary, delivered the welcome address.
Earlier UPDF leaders, Prasit Khisha and Rabi Shankar Chakma, accorded formal reception to the guest speakers on the stage. Mr. Khisha also accorded special honour to two Party members – Niran Chakma and Shishu Moni Chakma – by pinning special badges on their chest for their remarkable contribution to the Party and the people. Both of them are victims of JSS atrocities.
Before the discussion, which was held at Waziullah Institute, the Party chief, Prasit Khisha, inaugurated the anniversary programme by unveiling the banner of the programme hung on the wall of the stage. This was coincided by showering of flower petals on the participants by traditionally dressed Jumma girls. A thundering applause reverberated throughout the hall room that was full to the brim.
The opening ceremony was followed by the national anthem and the welcome song “we shall overcome someday” sung by young female artistes from Khagrachari and also by two revolutionary songs played from a computer system.
Addressing the audience, Prasit Khisha said, “The whole country will rage in flames if the Chittagong Hill Tracts burns”. He said full autonomy is a must for just and enduring peace in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. He demanded of the government to immediately stop Operation Uttoran and withdraw the army from the CHT, rehabilitate the settlers elsewhere in the plain districts, rehabilitate the repatriated as well as Internally Displaced Persons, and to release all the UPDF members detained in jails.
Mr. Khisha alleged that the BNP-led alliance government was providing support to the Jana Samhati Samiti in order to prolong the fratricidal conflict of the Jumma people.
Badruddin Umar in his speech said the ruling classes of Bangladesh are mere stooges of imperialism. “We are fighting against them. No real struggle for the rights of the people can be waged if it is not linked to the fight against imperialism. Peoples’ victory can be achieved only through the defeat of imperialism.” he said.
Mr. Umar lashed out at the Rapid Action Battalion, terming it a fascist and terrorist force. He said this so-called anti crime force was created to deal with the extremist groups operating in the southern districts.
Regarding the CHT treaty, he said, “The treaty was signed for two main reasons. One of them was Indian interest as it had wanted to shield off its north-eastern border; and the other was the degeneration of the Jana Samhati Samiti itself.”
He said, “The peace accord was signed in such a manner that it was destined to fail to bring peace in the area. Santu Larma signed the accord subserviently. He was not allowed to speak during the surrendering ceremony. That was enough to enable anyone to anticipate the future of the accord. We said the accord was not enforceable.”
Describing the present situation of the CHT, he said, “The CHT people have been deprived of any democratic rights. The UPDF has not only to fight against the state forces, but also against their lackeys.”
Badruddin Umar said, “Unless the whole state structure is changed and peoples’ power established in the country, the right to self determination of the CHT people would not be achieved. Both the Bengali and Pahari people must fight together for establishing people’s power in the country.”
Advocate Bhulan Lal Bhoumik said, “The accord has failed to bring peace in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.” He termed Santu Larma as a collaborator of the government. He criticised the role of the army in the CHT and questioned: “what are they doing there?”
In his welcome address, Rabi Shankar Chakma said, “The dark nights of the Jumma people will come to an end”. He further said that the last six years of the UPDF had been turbulent and stormy. “The first founding anniversary programme was to take place in Chittagong in 1999, but as the police cracked down on the participants, who came in from three hill districts in buses, the propramme was completely foiled. But no amount of repressive measures could subdue the UPDF.”
The discussion was followed by a colourful rally, which paraded main the thoroughfares of the port city. An estimated 1,500 UPDF members and supporters took part in the rally.