Major Activities in 2016

January 03, 2016
UPDF Bandarban unit organized a rally in Bandarban on the occasion of the party’s seventeenth founding anniversary. The rally was to be held at Balaghata bazaar intersection. But as the police refused to allow it to take place there, the organizers shifted the venue to its party office in Balaghata in the town.

January 08, 2016
Democratic Youth Forum, Hill Women’s Federation and Hill Students’ Council held a rally in Dhaka in solidarity with the movement of the tea plantation workers of Chandapur-Begumkhan in Chunarighat Upazila under Hobigonj district for permanent lend settlement. HWF president Nirupa Chakma presided over the rally, which was also addressed by DYF president Mikel Chakma and PCP general secretary Bipul Chakma. The rally was moderated by PCP leader Real Tripura.

February 26, 2016
UPDF president Prasit Bikash Khisha addressed a public meeting organized and attended by writers, artists and cultural activists in Dhaka in protest against curtailment of freedom of expression and freedom of thought. He said, ‘The government has imposed a war on the people in which truth has been killed and the marginal and weaker sections of the people are being targeted for attack.’ He termed this as a symptom of fascism and added, ‘The prime minister has referred to her own confinement in jail for eleven months, but the irony is that she has put the people in an open prison. The 11-point directive for the CHT is something only an occupation force can issue.’

Prasit also alleged that the government had refused to allow a Boisabi festival rally to take place last year (in Khagrachari) and sent many people to jail.

March 08, 2016
A huge rally was held in Khagrachari on the occasion of International Women’s Day under the auspices of CHT Women’s Association and Hill Women’s Federation. Hundreds of Jumma women took part in the rally.

April 05, 2016
A student and youth rally was held in Kudukchari, Rangamati district on the occasion of the 14th founding anniversary of the Democratic Youth Forum. The day was coincided with its 5th central council.

The theme of the rally was ‘Guard against collaborators, opportunists and reactionaries; strengthen unity and solidarity to achieve Full Autonomy – the magna carta for national liberation.’ An estimated seven thousand leaders, activists and supporters of the DYF as well as representatives of national minorities from Teknaf-Ukhia, Rajshahi and Dinajpur attended the rally.

April 10, 2016
UPDF falicitated four Jumma women athletes for their outstanding performance at South Asia Games held in India. Nodi Chakma won bronze in 48 kg weight-class women wrestling, Phulpodi Chakma wrested silver in 58 kg category weightlifting (144kg), Probha Chakma clenched bronze in 49 kg category taekwondo and Juni Chakma received bronze in Kabadi. Each of them was handed a crest with citation and cash Taka 20 thousand.

April 20, 2016
Democratic Youth Forum, CHT Women’s Association and Hill Women’s Federation held a rally in Chittagong in protest against communal attack on Jumma people in Alikadam, Bandarban in which three houses were burnt down and a Tripura couple was wounded. The attack was carried out by Bengali settlers on 19 April after the dead body of a cattle-trader was recovered in the area the day before.

May 24, 2016
The PCP blocked roads for half a day in Khagrachari protesting unlawful obstruction by army and local civil administration from holding a rally in observance of its 27th founding anniversary on 20 April in Dighinala. The army had dismantled the speaker platform and the canopy set up for the programme.

June 10, 2016
Hill Women’s Federation and CHT Women’s Association held a rally and protest march in Chittagong demanding severe punishment for Lt. Ferdous and his cohorts for abducting HWF leader Kalpana Chakma in 1996.

June 30, 2016
A seminar on ‘the fifteenth amendment to the constitution and constitutional recognition of the national minorities’ was held in Chittagong under the auspices of the Democratic Youth Forum. Freedom fighter and journalist Raishul Haq Bahar, Muhammad Ameer Uddin, teacher of Chittagong University, Advocate Bhulon Lal Bhowmik, a leader of Jatyo Mukti Council, Sonali Chakma, president of CHT Women’s Association and Aongay Marma, president of DYF took part in the discussion.

Sukriti Chakma presented a keynote on the fifteenth amendment to the constitution and its effect on national minorities while Thuikoching Marma conducted the discussion.

September 02, 2016
A seminar on ‘Education and mother tongue of the national minorities’ was held at Muslim Institute Hall Room in Chittagong under the auspices of the PCP Chittagong unit and Chittagong University unit.

Rupon Chakma, information and publication secretary of the PCP Chittagong University unit, presented a paper on the theme, while Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman, chairman of Bangladesh Mukti Songram o Muktiyuddha Gobeshona Kendra (Centre for research of Bangladesh  freedom struggle and war of liberation), Raishul Haq Bahar, a freedom fighter and journalist, Muhammad Ameer Uddin, an associate professor of Education and Research Institute, Chittagong University, Aongay Marma, president of DYF and Simon Chakma, president of PCP took part in the discussion.

The speakers demanded that the government imparts education in national minorities’ own languages as a fundamental right, and not on the basis of majority-minority dichotomy.

September 04, 2016
First conference of the Alutila Land Protection Committee was held with the support of the UPDF. The theme of the conference was ‘we’d rather sacrifice our blood than leave our land; resist conspiracy to grab our land in the name of special tourist zone’. The participants put forward a four-point demand to the government.

[Note: The movement against the so-called special tourist zone in Alutila was successful as the government finally scraped the plan.]

September 30, 2016
The Democratic Youth Forum held a youth rally in Chittagong to press home its nine-point land-related demand including recognition of the traditional land rights of the Jumma people. It also demanded that the government stop land grabbing in the name of setting up a special tourist zone at Alutila. An estimated 700 Jumma youths from Chittagong city attended the rally.

October 03, 2016
UPDF published a booklet urging the CHT people to participate in the process of settlement of land disputes initiated by the CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission. It also called upon the people to prepare themselves for movement as the hope for a settlement of land disputes, which are essentially a political problem in nature, within the legal framework of the Commission is very slim.

October 12, 2016
UPDF general secretary Rabi Shankar Chakma issued a press statement expressing concern over BAPEX decision to explore oil and gas in 1,646 square kilometer area in Kaptai and Baghaichari upazilas under Rangamati district.

October 24, 2016
PCP and DYF blocked roads for half a day in Panchari upazila protesting against the arrest and demanding the unconditional release of Bipul Chakma, general secretary of the PCP, who was arrested a few days ago from Panchari.

November 03, 2016
PCP blocked roads in Khagrachari showing their anger over the arrest of its leaders Binoyon Chakma and Anil Chakma by the army from a press conference at Swanirbhor the day before. The press conference was held following the arrest of PCP general secretary Bipul Chakma.

November 27, 2016
Residents of greater Khabongpujjya formed a human chain in front of Khagrachari press club and handed the DC a memorandum addressed to the PM, demanding the release of UPDF leader Ujjwal Smriti Chakma.

November 28, 2016
Elected public representatives and local leaders handed the DC a petition addressed to the PM demanding the release of UPDF leader Ujjwal Smriti Chakma. A total of 2,184 persons including Panchari Upazila chairman Sorbottom Chakma signed the petition. They also held a press conference at a convention centre in Khagrachari town where they alleged that a vested interest group had been feeding the governemnt with wrong and distorted information in order to keep the CHT problem alive.

December 01, 2016
UPDF leader Sachib Chakma issued a statement on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of the signing of the CHT accord, demanding the government stops making jokes over the CHT accord and meets the fundamental demands of the CHT people including Full Autonomy.

December 07, 2016
UPDF formed human chains along a 30-kilometer road from Khagrachari town to Dhudhukchara in Panchari to demand the release of its arrested leaders and activists, including Ujjwal Smriti Chakma and PCP leader Bipul Chakma. Thousands of people took part in the programme that lasted for half an hour from 10 – 10:30 a.m.

December 14, 2016
In observance of the National Martyred Intellectual Day, UPDF Dhaka unit placed a floral wreath at the graveyard of the martyred intellectuals at Mirpur. UPDF activists displayed a banner that read ‘Inquire into all killings in CHT including the one that took place at Kukichara in 1971 and punish pro-Pakistan army officers in CHT’.

December 15, 2016
UPDF Bandarban unit handed the DC a memorandum addressed to the home minister, urging the government to release Ujjwal Smriti Chakma and other arrested UPDF leaders and activists.

December 26, 2016
The UPDF marked its 18th founding anniversary with a children rally, placing floral wreaths at makeshift monuments for its martyred members, film shows, acrobatic displays and meetings and discussions.