Villagers of the Mro community face eviction threats from eight of their ancestral villages at Chimbuk hill in Bandarban district in the Chittagong Hill District, Bangladesh due to the construction of a five-star hotel in their ancestral lands.
Officials of the Army Welfare Trust and a giant business entity (the Sikder Group-owned R&R Holdings Ltd.) have jointly encroached on their indigenous farm-land, village forest, cremation grounds and different fruit orchards to construct the hotel.
It has come to our attention that on 12 September 2020, Bangladesh army and Sikdar group announced that the five-star Hotel will be built on Chimbuk Hill in a joint venture between the 24th Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army in Chittagong, the 69th Infantry Brigade in Bandarban, Army Welfare Trust and Sikdar Group (R&R Holdings). The hotel building will be accompanied by 12 separate luxury villas, a modern cable ride and a swimming pool.
Some of the villagers have already been evicted, while others are facing threats due to the construction of the hotel. 800-1000 Acres of their land will be adversely affected by this project. Members of the Mro and other Indigenous communities are afraid that the construction of the hotel will damage sacred sites, forests, water resources and biodiversity in the region.
Indigenous Mro People in Kapru Para, Dola Para, and Era Para will be evicted while villagers in Markin Para, Long Baitong Para, Mensing Para, Riamanai Para and Menring Para are under threat of eviction if this hotel is constructed.
The construction of the luxury hotel will effectively destroy the social, economic, traditional and cultural fabric of the Mro Indigenous community. Mro villagers have no other way to survive without this land, moreover, this displacement and eviction will bring a destruction in the history of the Mro Indigenous Peoples civilization.
→ The open letter, calling on Prime Minister Sheik Hasina and Minister Sing to protect the Mro from forced eviction has been submitted:
(The story has been published on iwgia.org and has been reproduced here in full.)
(Featured image source: thedailystar.net)
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