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Speakers at Chakma Students Meet advocate 'ethnic reconciliation'
TIWN
Speakers at Chakma Students Meet advocate 'ethnic reconciliation'
PHOTO : Eminent Journalist Subir Bhaumik speaking at Chakma Students Meet. TIWN Pic Sept 29

KOLKATA, September 29 (TIWN):Venerable Pragyalankar Bhikkhu, a leading Buddhist monk of the Chakma community, advocated better understanding between Chakmas and other tribes in Northeast.

"Our people were forced to become refugees by developments in East Pakistan , now Bangladesh. We took shelter in various Northeastern states , where we are viewed with suspicion . But I call for peace and understanding, let us understand each other," said Pragyalankar Bhikkhu , also the deputy registrar at Viswa Bharati University.
 
Bhikkhu lashed out the 'internal colonisation' in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, saying there was no effort to implement the 1997 peace accord or stop the flow of Bengali settlers in the CHT. 
 
"A day will come when to find a tribal in CHT , we will need a microscope." 
 
Delivering his address as the chief guest, veteran journalist-author Subir Bhaumik called for 'ethnic reconciliation' between all tribes and non-tribals in Northeast .
 
"This is a must because without this we cannot get what we want from Delhi. The Northeastern identity is coming of age and we need to strengthen it not by fighting among ourselves but by understanding each other better," said Bhaumik.
 
He described the Chakmas and other tribes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts as the 'worst victims of the Partition' and called for sympathy and consideration for those of them residing in Northeastern states.
 
Top research scholar Mrinal Kanti Chakma appealed to all in Northeast not 'to misunderstand' the Chakmas or their intentions.
 
"We want to live in peace and identify ourselves with the cause of the Northeast and the states we live in."
 
D.Zeliang, the convenor of the Kolkata Northeast Students Forum , reciprocated the gesture of friendship by the Chakma students body and said : " We need more dialogue to come together and work with each other."
 
" I must be honest, I have just come to know that the Chakmas are victims of the Partition. We need better understanding amongst ourselves to tackle the problems students from Northeast face in bigger Indian cities ," Zeliang said.
 
Chakma Tradional Dance Programme 
 
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