Monday, December 12, 2011

Indian Chakmas angry at 'Bengalee' tag in Bangladesh



By Paritosh Chakma

Published in Merinews.com, 12 December, 2011

[The Indian Chakmas are angry over the fact their brethren in Bangladesh were forcibly identified as 'Bengalees' in the recently amended Constitution of Bangladesh.]

INDIAN CHAKMAS have expressed their anger at ‘Bengali tag’ of their brethren, which is aimed at ‘destruction of their identity’ in the recently amended constitution of Bangladesh. Fifteen Indian Chakma civil society organizations submitted a joint “protest letter” to the visiting Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Minister of Bangladesh, Mr Dipankar Talukdar at Kamala Nagar, headquarters of Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in South Mizoram today, protesting against his alleged support to the unacceptable reference of the Chakmas and other indigenous peoples including Lushai, Tripuri, Garo etc as “Bengalees” in the recently amended Constitution of Bangladesh.

The Chakmas from Mizoram, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh through their civil society organizations expressed the “angst of the Indian Chakmas” against the “destruction of identity of the Chakmas in Bangladesh” as a consequent to the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of Bangladesh passed on 30th June 2011 which has branded the Chakmas and other indigenous peoples including Lushai, Tripuri, Garo as “Bengalees”.

The Chakmas civil society organizations have demanded a "written assurance" from Dipankar Talukdar (who also belongs to Chakma community) that after his return to Bangladesh he will take all the necessary measures to impress upon the Sheikh Hasina government to recognize the Chakmas and other ethnic communities as “indigenous peoples” in the Constitution of Bangladesh.

The Indian Chakmas also demanded Mr Talukdar’s personal intervention in his capacity as Member of Parliament and Minister of CHT Affairs for speedy and full implementation of the CHT Peace Accord of 1997 signed between the Government of Bangladesh and the indigenous peoples of CHT which would help restore peace and bring development to the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

The 15 signatory organizations to the memorandum are Mizoram Chakma Development Forum, Tripura Chakma Students Association, Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union, MAADI, Meghalaya Chakma Students Union, Guwahati Chakma Students Union, Barak Valley Chakma Students Association, The Chakma Voice, Mumbai Chakma Association, Dibrugarh Chakma Students Union, Mizoram Chakma Students Union, the Central Young Chakma Association, Mizoram Chakma Social Forum, Mizoram Buddhist Association and Chakma Mahila Samiti.

Mr Dipankar Talukdar is on an official visit to India (Mizoram) from 7-11 December 2011 to strengthen trade relations between the two countries.


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Also read, Chakmas peeved at 'Bengalee' tag, The Seven Sisters Post, 11.12.2011



Old age pension not paid for last nine months in Mizoram


By Paritosh Chakma

Published in Merinews.com, 10 December 2011

ON DECEMBER 9 2011, Mizoram’s well known voluntary organisation, the Mizoram Chakma Development Forum (MCDF) claimed that Old Age Pension has not been paid in the entire state of Mizoram for the last nine months, since March 2011 and has sought the personal intervention of Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla for payment of Old Age Pension to all the beneficiaries before the Christmas.

In the petition the MCDF stated that as per the Supreme Court order dated 28th November 2001, payment of the pension under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension (IGNOAPS) Scheme shall be made before seventh day of every month and that Central grants meant for the IGNOAPS cannot be diverted for any other purposes as per the direction of the Supreme Court of 27 April 2004. But old age pension has not been paid in the entire state of Mizoram for the last nine months since March 2011 which is direct and blatant violation of the directions of the Supreme Court.

Due to the inordinate delay in the payment of the old age pension, the beneficiaries in the entire state have been sufferings and the State cannot be a silent spectator to their hardships, MCDF stated.

According to Mizoram Upa Pawl (Senior Citizens’ Association) of Mizoram, there are 23,547 beneficiaries of old age pension scheme.


Friday, December 9, 2011

MCDF demands payment of Old Age Pension to all beneficiaries in Mizoram before the Christmas


9 December 2011

Press Release

Old age pension not paid for the last 9 months in Mizoram: MCDF seeks CM’s personal intervention


New Delhi: Today the Mizoram Chakma Development Forum (MCDF) stated that Old Age Pension has not been paid in the entire state of Mizoram for the last nine months, since March 2011 and has sought the personal intervention of Mizoram Chief Minister Mr Lalthanhawla for payment of Old Age Pension to all the beneficiaries before the Christmas. The petition has been submitted by fax.

“In the petition the MCDF stated that as per the Hon’ble Supreme Court order dated 28th November 2001, payment of the pension under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension (IGNOAPS) Scheme shall be made before seventh day of every month and that Central grants meant for the IGNOAPS cannot be diverted for any other purposes as per the direction of the Supreme Court of 27 April 2004. But old age pension has not been paid in the entire state of Mizoram for the last 9 months since March 2011 which is direct and blatant violation of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.” – stated  Hemanta Larma, president of MCDF.

“Due to the inordinate delay in the payment of the old age pension, the beneficiaries in the entire state have been sufferings and the State cannot be a silent spectator to their hardships”, further stated Mr Larma.

The petition was also submitted to the Mizoram Governor His Excellency Shri V B Purushathaman, and the Office of the Supreme Court Commissioners, New Delhi. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Virtual identity



Paritosh Chakma: that is not


In today’s world, everyone ought to have a “virtual existence”. If you don’t, you are out-dated. Therefore, even Chakma people from remotest areas like Nunsury village on the India-Bangladesh border of Mizoram are active on the online world which provides you a “virtual existence”. They are uploading information and photos of every life.

Any existence must have an identity. Now, the Chakma netizens have come out with a unique concept and they are enjoying it. The Unique Identification (UID) Number of the Government of India may be steeped in controversies, this Chakma project of similar nature is going viral in the Facebook.

“The Government of the United Royal Chakma Kingdom” – a virtual country of the Chakmas - has started issuing National Identity Cards to all its “citizens”. The project will cover entire Chakmas on planet earth. This mindboggling project is being handled by very sophisticated CIN (Chakma Information Network)

I too applied for my National ID card and got it. Have a look. Isn’t it wonderful?







However, not everyone is eligible. Every country has its own laws, rules and regulations. In this virtual Chakma country, only “Chakma” or “Changma” are eligible to apply for National ID Cards. If you are not one of these, you will be outrightly denied an ID Card in United Royal Chakma Kingdom, like this friend of mine. 








Paritosh Chakma: that is

Currently, Paritosh is editing "The Chakma Voice – Global Edition 2011", which is to be released on 31st December 2011. It is a mammoth task, but his team is going strong.


Wish me best luck.