Welcome to ChakmaRaj.com the Official Website of the Chakma Royal Family from the thousand year old heritage of a long line of “Rajas” of a Republican Kingdom modeled on the Ancient Sakyan Ganarajya (Republic).
Here you can browse through the articles written about the history and origins of the Chakma people and their ancient Kingdom, photos from one hundred years ago to today’s, and publications of members of the Chakma Royal family themselves!
We the team of Administrators hope that all your curiosity about the Chakma people, their culture, language, history, heritage, customs, and traditions will be satisfied!
The Chakma civilization is a thousand years old historically and another thousand years old through legends and myths. Raja Sakya was the legendary King who united all the clan chiefs under a singular Ganarajya (Republic). He lived at the “eastern foothills of the Himalayas” according to legend.
Champaknagar is considered the legendary ancient capital of the Chakma Royal Kingdom where Raja Champakali established a new Kingdom. Speculations, and theories point in multiple directions with possible sites being in Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.
Raja Bijoygiri was a semi-legendary who famously crossed the “Tewa” River with 26,000 troops led by the legendary Commander-in-Chief of the Chakma Royal Army General (Senapati) Radhamon Khisa, conquering Teknaf, Indang Hills and Krindang Hills in the process.
The Chakma Royal Kingdom has fought several wars against the ancient Arakanese/Rakhine Kingdoms for a span of over a thousand years and in 1550 a map of Portuguese explorer Joao de Barros shows “Chacomas” clearly on the eastern bank of the Karnafuli River.
Chakma Royal Kingdom had wars with the Mughal Subahdar of Chittagong in the 17th century though peace was established in 1713 with Raja Fateh Khan.
The Chakma Royal Army also fought several wars against the British East India Company and His Majesty Chakma Raja Jan Baksh Khan signed a Peace Treaty with British Governor General Lord Cornwallis in Calcutta in 1787 recognizing the sovereignty of the Chakma Royal Kingdom in exchange for a yearly tribute of 500 maunds of cotton.
In 1860 the British Government annexed the Chakma Royal Kingdom though the region’s special status was documented in the “Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation 1900″ law passed by the UK Parliament.
1947 came and the British left, but the non-Muslim Chittagong Hill Tracts district (comprising the Chakma Royal Kingdom and others) was arbitrarily awarded to Pakistan.
From 1956-1964 the Kaptai Hydroelectric Project blocked the currents of the Karnafuli and created the Kaptai Lake, submerging the farmlands and homes of 100,000 Chakma people in the process including the Chakma Royal Palace. Hollow promises of compensation proved to be empty rhetoric in time.
Bangladesh became an independent country in 1971 and the majority population of Chittagong Hill Tracts continued to suffer and after a quarter century long conflict with the State a Peace Treaty was signed in 1997.
The Accord remains yet to be fulfilled in February 2015.
The Chakmas (aka Dainget/Doingnak) who live in Myanmar are believed to be ancient ancestors of the Chakma people, possibly being separated from the rest of the people about a thousand years ago.
The Chakmas in Tripura had migrated to India in the early 20th century when the whole subcontinent was still a singular entity.
The Mizoram Chakmas were separated when the British administration separated a huge portion off the Chakma Royal Kingdom and placed it within “Lushai Hills” District in 1898.
The Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam moved from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the latter half of the 20th century in the “Bor Porong” (Great Exodus) due to the Kaptai Dam’s flooding of their lands and some also fled in the 70s, 80s and 90s to escape from genocides, land-grabbing, rape and other violent measures inflicted on them by the Bangladesh Government, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Rifles and illegal Bengali Muslim settlers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Tanchangya and Chak people are also believed to be from the same source of an ancient people a thousand or more years ago. Our combined ancestors may have been the “Sak” which Rakhine people still call us and our claimed origins are the Sakya peoples of which Sidhhartha Gautama the historical Buddha was a member of.
Chakma people are predominantly Theravada Buddhist but used to Vajrayana Buddhists several centuries ago. Pre-Buddhistic Chakma culture was a mix of Hinduism, Animism, and other indigenous beliefs which contain rituals and ceremonies possibly several millenniums old in their origins.
The Chakma script is a descendant of the Brahmi script and is similar to the Burmese script. Chakma traditional dress is “pinon-khadi” for women and “dhoti”/”longyi” and “silom” for men.
Chakma people have their own unique musical instruments such as “dhuduk””hengorong””singa””bela” among others. “Genkhuli””Ubhogeed” are some of the popular traditional musical styles.
Chakma written literature dates back a thousand years and oral literature perhaps a few millenniums. The historic “Charyapada” may be linked to ancient Chakma language. “Chadigang Sora Pala” is a classic Genkhuli song about Chittagong from a thousand years ago.
Chakma people are spread out worldwide as of today and have a generally friendly, proud, and helpful attitude. The age of practice of “Malleya” where people in a village help another member of the community when they are in need of it and the assistance is mutually returned including feeding the generous villagers a fresh sumptuous feast.
Bizu is the most important festival of the Chakmas, often celebrated from 12-15 April. Nowadays, the celebrations are extended to be about a week or two in length.
Chakma cuisine is delicious with bamboo shoots, shrimp paste, bamboo-steamed eggs, frog legs curry, snails, herbs, and a whole array of other sumptuous healthy and delicious dishes.
Chakma people are usually honest, hard-working and fun loving and most of the population is still “Jum” farmers.
Chakma people traditionally are a river valley civilization though many chakmas also live in urban centers and higher hills nowadays.
Chakma people number about a million in total global population and live in over 50 countries across the globe.
Chakma Royal Kingdom exists through the support of the people themselves and we hope you will join us in making the world a better place for all!
10th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues May 16-27, 2011 New York
Agenda Item 8: Future Work of the Permanent Forum: Report on the Implementation Status of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997 25 May, 2011
Intervention by: Raja Devasish Roy Member, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Madame Chairperson, Indigenous, state & non-governmental delegations, ladies & gentlemen
CONGRATULATIONS TO RAPPORTEUR
I offer my congratulations to Mr. Lars Anders Baer for his report on the Implementation Status of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997 (E/C.19/2011/6). It is well-researched and factual, and contains reasonable and implementable recommendations. I also commend the observer governments for participating in the discussion today. This is what the Forum is all about: to have dialogues between indigenous peoples, governments and others. I wish more of this were to happen, here in the plenary of this Forum, in side events parallel to the sessions and in informal discussions over meals or at the governmental missions in New York. (more…)
13th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 11-23 May, 2014 UN Headquarters, New York
Agenda Item 5 (a): Half Day Discussion on Asia
Intervention by: Raja Devasish Roy Member, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 15 May, 2014
THE STUDY ON LAND CLAIMS & LAND DISPUTES
Along with my esteemed colleague, Simon W M’viboudoulou, member, UNPFii, I was to have concluded and presented a study on best practices and examples in respect of resolving land disputes and land claims, including consideration of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (the Philippines) and the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission (Bangladesh) and the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at this session of the Forum.
Unfortunately, we could not conclude the study this year. We will conclude it and present it at the 13th session of this Forum, in 2014. Meanwhile, I wish to share some of the highlights of the draft study from Asia. (more…)
13th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 11-23 May, 2014 UN Headquarters, New York
Agenda Item 4(a) Human Rights:
Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Intervention by: Raja Devasish Roy Member, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20 May, 2014
Grateful thanks for the presentations this morning, including by outgoing Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya and the president of CERD, Jose Franciso Cali Tzay. It is also encouraging to see increased participation of governments at this session, including from Asia.
In this intervention, I would like to particularly draw attention to the intervention by the Government of Bangladesh, on Agenda Item 5, on 15 May, 2014. (more…)
12th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20-31 May, 2013 UN Headquarters, New York
Agenda Item 7: Human Rights:
Intervention by: Raja Devasish Roy Member, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 22 May, 2013
Thank you, Chairperson
IMPORTANCE OF ILO CONVENTIONS NO 169, 107 & 111
I wish to thank the representative of the ILO for his intervention. We appreciate the importance of the ILO Conventions No. 169, 107 and 11, and we should indeed seek to have more and more countries ratify Convention 169. However, the ILO tripartite system has some limitations and challenges for the direct participation of indigenous in the ILO system, which need to be looked into, and addressed. (more…)
The Government of Bangladesh’s Disrespectful Conduct towards the Permanent Forum
The statement by the representative of the Government of Bangladesh made at the fifth session of the Permanent Forum, on 23 May, 2006, is disrespectful towards the Forum, when it purports to compare it to a “talk show”. Such conduct is not surprising, when we recall that several Bangladeshi indigenous participants were threatened to be summoned by the Parliament of Bangladesh for alleged “anti-state” statements they made at the fourth session of the Forum. It is reported that the parliamentary committee on Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs again made threatening statements against former and would-be participants from Bangladesh participating at the Forum at a meeting held in Dhaka prior to the start of the Fifth session. (more…)
From about the beginning of the first quarter of the second millennium AD, most parts of Bangladesh other than the Chittagong Hill Tracts were included within empires and kingdoms or other highly formalized political or administrative systems in the nature of states. The Hill Tracts, in contrast, had comparatively non-formalized or less formalized self-governing systems, which were considered to be independent. These consisted of mainly of small kingdoms, chiefdoms and smaller chieftaincies. (more…)
The 50th Chakma Raja has written thus about the early history of the Chakma Rajas:
“The genesis of the line of the Chakma Rajas, like that of many others, is traced back to antiquity, where it becomes more legendary than historical. There is the traditional beginning with the story of the ruler in an ancient land, who belonged to the solar race. Such a beginning, however, does not, obfuscate the reality of the Chakma rulers and the Chakma nation since centuries past, as there are several references to them in a variety of historical literature covering the area and its neighbouring countries….”
[Raja Tridiv Roy, The Departed Melody (Memoirs), PPA Publications, Islamabad, 2003, p. 28. Raja Tridiv is the 50th Chakma Raja and father of incumbent Chakma Raja, Devasish Roy. The former is a Federal Minister, Government of Pakistan (see further, section on the Chakma Raj family)]. (more…)
PREPARATORY MEETING FOR WORLD CONFERENCE ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (2014) & CELEBRATIONS OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR’S 14TH B’AQTUN
I am on my way home from a visit to Guatemala, in Central America, on the invitation of the Government of Guatemala, along with other colleagues from the three indigenous peoples-specific mechanisms of the United Nations (UN), the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFii), the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples (SRIP).
The aim of the meeting was to prepare for the forthcoming World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to be held at UN Headquarters in New York in 2014 ‘within the framework’ of the Mayan calendar’s end of the 13th b’aqtun and the beginning of the 14th b’aqtun, thereby incorporating the identity of indigenous peoples and their heritage, including their spirituality, sciences, arts and other aspects of their life and worldviews. (more…)