Sunday, 31 May 2020

Taungbro, Maungdaw, Burma: As many as 60 Chakamas retuned to Bangladesh from Arakan State, Burma on August 21, after living there for six months, said a source in the border area close to the BDR.

The Chakmas hail from Baish Pari village of Taungbro union, under the Bandarban district in   Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. They went to Arakan State six months ago under the Natala villages programme of Burma's Border Security Force (Nasaka).

The Chakamas were persuaded by Burmese authorities with false promises that they would get more facilities in Arakan State. Believing this, they went to Arakan from Bandarban district in Bangladesh. After arriving they were settled in Hokadonga village in Maungdaw Township under the Natala (model) village programme, said a village elder from Taung Bro on condition of anonymity.

Burmese authorities have been settling up model villages or Natala villages in northern Arakan over a long time inviting newcomers from inside Arakan State as well as Burma proper. They have even invited people from other countries.

But, the Chakamas did not get the facilities promised and faced many difficulties in Arakan. Frustrated and their dream shattered they returned to Bangladesh on August 21, without informing to the authorities in Burma, said one of the Chakmas.

On being informed the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) of Taungbro camp went to Baish Pari village to make inquiries about the Chakmas.

Earlier, some Chakma families from Chittagong Hill Tracts went to Burma after being persuaded by Burmese authorities, but they returned after a few months as life was no better than in Bangladesh.