Deal #7556

Location #1

Spatial accuracy level
Exact location
Location
Bandarban Sadar Upazila, Bangladesh

Latitude
22.2468484
Longitude
92.24334870000007
Facility name
5 star hotel project
Target country
Bangladesh
Location description
Saingya Tripura Para, Laimi Para, and Hati Bhanga Para at Bandarban sadar upazila.
Comment on location
The three villages -- Saingya Tripura Para, Laimi Para, and Hati Bhanga Para – are home to 170 families and span over 250 acres of land.

Land area

Size under contract (leased or purchased area, in ha)
[current] 60.702846336
Comment on land area
Refuting the allegation, Chairman of Sylvan Wye Resort and Spa Ltd.said he bought around 60.702846336 ha of land in the Bandarban Mouza. He bought the lands to build a five-star hotel.

Intention of investment

Intention of investment
Tourism
Comment on intention of investment
Hotel and Resort.

Nature of the deal

Nature of the deal
Outright Purchase
Comment on nature of the deal
Chairman of Sylvan Wye Resort and Spa Ltd.said he bought around 60.702846336 ha of land in the Bandarban Mouza to build a five-star hotel.

Negotiation status

Negotiation status
[2018] Concluded (Contract signed)
Comment on negotiation status
During a visit to the site, bdnews24.com found that the police camp has been built and work to construct other structures is under way.

Implementation status

Implementation status
Startup phase (no production)
Comment on implementation status
Police camp has been built and work to construct other structures is under way. Acquisition is under investigation

Operating company

Name of investment project
Sylvan Wye Resort and Spa

 

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Data source #1

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
3 indigenous villages face land grabbing
Date
2019-07-28

Data source #2

Data source type
Other (Please specify in comment field)
File
Date
2019-09-25
Comment on data source
Webportal.

Data source #3

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Last six Marma families evicted
Date
2018-08-09

Data source #4

Data source type
Other (Please specify in comment field)
File
Date
2019-09-26
Comment on data source
Online Newspaper.

Names of communities / indigenous peoples affected

Comment on communities / indigenous peoples affected
Once inhabited by 42 families, the Saingya Marma Para of Bandarban in southeast Bangladesh has been subject to land grabbing for long. There were a only six families remaining till middle of last year when they began receiving death threats to leave their homes and their government-allocated jhum lands.

Recognitions status of community land tenure

Recognition status of community land tenure
Community traditional or customary rights not recognized by government
Comment on recognitions status of community land tenure
A gazette notification published on August 3, 1989 states that no land shall be transferred to a person who is not a resident of the hill dis-trict. According to the Bandarban Hill District Council Act 1989, “No land…within the jurisdiction of Bandarban Hill District shall be leased out, settled with, purchased, sold out or transferred otherwise with-out the prior approval of the Council.” These law and acts are violated.

Consultation of local community

Community consultation
Not consulted
Comment on consultation of local community
Chairman of the resort first lent money to the indigenous families in distress in Saingya Marma Para, a neighbouring village. When the families failed to pay the money back, he evicted them and grabbed their land. According to Article 10 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “Indigenous peoples shall not be forci-bly removed from their lands or territories.

How did the community react?

Community reaction
Rejection
Comment on community reaction
The panic-stricken families have already sought help from the local administration to stop the grabber. Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council member KS Mong Marma said, The grabbers will not stop unless the authorities concerned take stern action. Steps must be taken against those involved in the trading of land even after having no permanent residency here. Otherwise, land grabbers will be encouraged to encroach on our land by breaching the law.”

Presence of land conflicts

Presence of land conflicts
Yes
Comment on presence of land conflicts
Local people blame the project owners for constructing barbed-wire fences around the area, which hinders movement, and say that around 200 indigenous families live in fear of eviction from their ancestral land.

Displacement of people

Displacement of people
Yes
Number of households actually displaced
42
Comment on displacement of people
Once inhabited by 42 families, the Saingya Marma Para of Bandarban in southeast Bangladesh has been subject to land grabbing for long. There were a only six families remaining till middle of last year when they began receiving death threats to leave their homes and their government-allocated jhum lands. The last six families of this Para were evicted in 2018, according to an indigenous rights group. The other victims include the families of Mong Kya Prue, Ani Mong, Mong Yoi, Mong Ba U and Fow Sha Ching, said the headman. They are now dispersed and have taken shelter in Joutokamar Para, TNT and Bakichhara area, about 12 to15 kilometres away from their homes, he added. Meanwhile, there are also allegations that six Marma families were evicted soon after the project was launched. Moreover, local people blame the project owners for constructing barbed-wire fences around the area, which hinders movement, and say that around 200 indigenous families live in fear of eviction from their ancestral land.

Negative impacts for local communities

Negative impacts for local communities
Environmental degradation
Socio-economic
Cultural loss
Eviction
Displacement
Violence
Comment on negative impacts for local communities
Harassing local indigenous by filing a “false” case. Saingya Marma Para is the latest victim of the 13 villages in Bandar-ban grabbed in the last two decades by settlers. Jashim claimed that he bought 60 acres of land from the indigenous families, taking permission from Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Minister Bir Bahadur U Shwe Sing, Bandarban mu-nicipality Mayor Islam Baby, and Chairman of Bandarban Hill District Council Kwe Shwe Hla. Khushi Ray Tripura, president of Bangladesh Tripura Kalyan Sangsad, Bandarban unit, said, “We want tourism to flourish in this region, but the authority of Sylvan Wye Resort and Spa Ltd is continuously grab-bing the indigenous people’s land. Birendro Tripura, village chief of Saingya Tripura Para, said, “Jashim’s goons burnt my rubber garden as I resisted their move. When I sought justice from police, they said a case was filed against me.” We are informed that human rights of indigenous peo-ple in Bandarban are being violated and that they are facing eviction threats in the name of promoting tourism while many of the indige-nous families have already been evicted.” Destroyed the natural water sources and blocked the roads between the three paras,” added Haolian Bawm, chief of Laimi Para.

Former land owner (not by constitution)

Former land owner
Community
Indigenous people
Comment on former land owner
The local indigenous were farming in these lands.

Former land use

Former land use
Smallholder agriculture
Other
Comment on former land use
Cultivation of Jhum, burning of rubber garden.

Former land cover

Former land cover
Cropland
Comment on former land cover
Farm and cropland for Jhum cultivation and rubber burning.

Overall comment

Overall comment
Cradled in the scenic hilly landscape and close to the town centre, a cluster of three indigenous villages of Bandarban sadar upazila faces grabbing by a resort owner who intends to build a five-star hotel in the area. The three villages -- Saingya Tripura Para, Laimi Para, and Hati Bhanga Para – are home to 170 families and span over 250 acres of land. The panic-stricken families have already sought help from the local administration to stop the grabber. In a complaint submitted to the deputy commissioner on June 9, they accused Jashim Uddin (Montu), chairman of Sylvan Wye Resort and Spa Ltd, of grabbing their jhum land, burning a rubber garden, and harassing them by filing a “false” case. Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council member KS Mong Marma said, The grabbers will not stop unless the authorities concerned take stern action. Steps must be taken against those involved in the trading of land even after having no permanent residency here. Otherwise, land grabbers will be encouraged to encroach on our land by breaching the law.”

Feb. 2, 2020, 3:55 a.m.

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