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Mapping Conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts 1997-2014

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The ‘issue’ of the Chittagong Hill Tracts is as divisive as the region itself. At one end there are tales of woe: how the original inhabitants of the region are being evicted from their land through violence and trickery, their marginalization, and elimination of their traditional way of life simultaneously while it is being exoticized for tourism. These accounts, however, paint a static picture where the members of these ethnic groups are victims, always and without any agency. Consequently these accounts fail to hold up in front of close examination and invites counter-opinion rage: that the Bengali and other ethnicities of CHT are prevented from living in harmony by disruptive elements within the society, that the oppression and repression of the hill peoples are made-up stories that feed national and international conspiracies.

In ‘Conflict Mapping in the Chittagong Hill Tracts,’ researchers from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Dhaka cut through this fog of confusion by presenting dispassionate, unornamented data. With the help of original data and systematic analysis, they show how the social life of CHT is marked by deep polarization, both within and across the ethnic divide, how it is beset by real and perceived accounts of discrimination and by lack of confidence on state agencies and the rule of law. They also investigate the trajectory of major cases of violence in the region in the past two decades and reveal that these have a common escalation pattern with various points marked by missed opportunities for prevention.

Based on a study that draws from a large survey of a cross section of people from 8 of the most crime-prone Upazilas of the region, semi-structured interview of selected elites and analysis of the dynamics of 14 incidents of large-scale violence between 1997 and 2014, this book aims at initiating a healthy, constructive conversation on the issue. It challenges long-held prejudices, common-sense beliefs and unsubstantiated propaganda. By offering the lens of social science, the book invites readers with well-meaning but vague opinions as well as consumers of zealous and spoon-fed ideas to form informed and nuanced opinion

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Dr. Zahid ul Arefin Choudhury is Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka. He completed his PhD in political science in 2013 from the University of Iowa, USA and Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) in 2004 from the Arizona State University, USA.
Md Rafiqul Islam is Associate Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka. He completed MA in 2009 from the department of Environmental security at the United Nations Mandated University of Peace, Costa Rica. He is currently studying as a PhD student at Flinders University, Australia.
Mohammad Shaheenur Alam is Assistant Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka. He completed his Masters in Social Science from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka. He completed his M. Phil in 2012 from the Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University, India.
Fahima Durrat is Assistant Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka. She completed her Masters in Social Science from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka and her M.Sc. in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Maria Hussain is Lecturer, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka. She completed her Masters in Social Science in 2011 from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka

The ‘issue’ of the Chittagong Hill Tracts is as divisive as the region itself. At one end there are tales of woe: how the original inhabitants of the region are being evicted from their land through violence and trickery, their marginalization, and elimination of their traditional way of life simultaneously while it is being exoticized for tourism. These accounts, however, paint a static picture where the members of these ethnic groups are victims, always and without any agency. Consequently these accounts fail to hold up in front of close examination and invites counter-opinion rage: that the Bengali and other ethnicities of CHT are prevented from living in harmony by disruptive elements within the society, that the oppression and repression of the hill peoples are made-up stories that feed national and international conspiracies.

In ‘Conflict Mapping in the Chittagong Hill Tracts,’ researchers from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Dhaka cut through this fog of confusion by presenting dispassionate, unornamented data. With the help of original data and systematic analysis, they show how the social life of CHT is marked by deep polarization, both within and across the ethnic divide, how it is beset by real and perceived accounts of discrimination and by lack of confidence on state agencies and the rule of law. They also investigate the trajectory of major cases of violence in the region in the past two decades and reveal that these have a common escalation pattern with various points marked by missed opportunities for prevention.

Based on a study that draws from a large survey of a cross section of people from 8 of the most crime-prone Upazilas of the region, semi-structured interview of selected elites and analysis of the dynamics of 14 incidents of large-scale violence between 1997 and 2014, this book aims at initiating a healthy, constructive conversation on the issue. It challenges long-held prejudices, common-sense beliefs and unsubstantiated propaganda. By offering the lens of social science, the book invites readers with well-meaning but vague opinions as well as consumers of zealous and spoon-fed ideas to form informed and nuanced opinion.

ISBN-13:

978-984-92659-0-0

Publisher:

Adarsha

Pages:

176

Publication Year:

2017

Dimensions:

8.5×5.5×0.6 inch

Language:

English

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