In the aftermath of the landslide, Moanoghar (an NGO supported in part by BODHI) began sheltering about 40 families who have lost everything, having to flee for their life. They are temporarily sheltered at the school and the meditation centre.
Although no-one at Moanoghar was killed, the institution faces a risk of damage from erosion undermining several of its buildings, including its dormitories. Urgent measures are needed to stop further erosion (see pics above).
Parts of Moanoghar were also flooded, but the children were moved to safer buildings.
Nishan, the Moanoghar general secretary, writes "this is a catastrophe, we have no idea how we shall respond to this". See pictures above. Please visit the Moanoghar Facebook page to see more photos.
Earlier in June a very aggressive attack occurred in a village in the Chittagong Hills, resulting in the burning of 90-224 houses of Indigenous people. At least one woman was killed, but the mental health trauma for most survivors will endure for decades, aggravated by the scarcity of counselling services and simplistic interpretations of fate and kamma in this area,
The Bangladeshi army and police are reported to have simply watched while this traumatic experience unfolded.
A newspaper report links the arson to the alleged murder of local Awami League leader Nurul Islam Nayan by two Indigenous men. Pics below: see
On June 15 2017, in the Rangamati district of Bangladesh, over 150 people died from land slides after record monsoonal rain. Increasingly intense rainfall events are consistent with climate change theory and are expected to increase. This tragic loss of life is also in part due to aggressive government policies including deforestation, erosion, and an incredibly high rate of recent population growth. According to official Bangladeshi census data the population of the district increased by almost 50% from 1991 to 2011. This is not largely due to a high birth rate (though the birth rate is high) but the "transmigration" from the Bengali plains to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). This is effectively a form of land grabbing, a brutal and familiar story of the displacement of Indigenous people, underway in this part of Bangladesh since 1979. It has been supported by the Bangladeshi army and other instruments of state. A fundamental driver, of course, is high population pressure on the plains.
Many people have been forced to build flimsy houses on unstable hills in the CHT. This is poorly regulated, if at all. Anecdotal evidence suggests that state resources disproportionately go to the settlers (euphemistically called) rather than the Indigenous population, many of whom are marginalised.
As of June 18, 2017 all the road connections to Rangamati remained cut, making the city of Rangamati (2017 population circa 150,000) accessible only by water from the Kaptai reservoir. Electricity and water was lost in many places for at least 3 days but is now slowly returning to some parts. There is a well-justified fear of an outbreak of water-borne diseases.
Food prices are high, and there is a shortage of food and fuel as well as other essentials. However, a shipment of 18 tonnes, escorted by the army, is under way. Newspaper reports: here and here.
Lack of media coverage about the arsonists
Protests about this violence included in Delhi, Guwahati and Agartala (India) and Maungdaw in Myanmar. In Australia this miserable event appears to have been completely ignored by the mainstream media.