Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

History

On Friday I ran a workshop here to start the process of documenting the history of Moanoghar. It has a long and complicated history, through which the political situation of the CHT and the misfortunes of the indigenous people are intertwined and interwoven. The monks who started Moanoghar are getting on in years, and will soon leave this life, so the process of documenting, learning from  and sharing this history is important. There is so much to be learnt from history. If we don’t learn from history, then we are doomed to repeat it. Someone once said.

What the 3 founding monks went through to establish and to continue running this institution is really quite astounding. The backdrop to their efforts including death threats and the subsequent exile of one monk to India, harassment and intimidation by the army, indigenous tribal lands being grabbed by government supported and sponsored Bengali settlers, an armed conflict over many years, and the violent suppression of the indigenous people that resulted in 56, 000 people from the CHT fleeing to India as refugees in 1986. Through all of this Moanoghar somehow managed to stay open, and continue to provide education for the poor and destitute.

In health news: I got my blood test done yesterday. I was not expecting it all to be so quick and easy. Got the blood taken immediately after registering, and picked up the results 5 hours later. Sometimes Bangladesh really does amaze me. I was expecting total chaos, and then Bangers sent me this little gem of an experience.

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