How does one learn of atrocities that have been committed, and are being committed, in remote corners of our planet? The standard answer to this question would likely be, “Consult the indexes to the leading components of the American establishment press, such as, for instance, The New York Times Index.” But, by so doing, one would be deeply disappointed, as I was. If one wanted to learn the horrifying particulars of the genocide the government of Bangladesh has been waging for at least 20 years against the tribal peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, an exhaustive search of the American establishment press would yield, at best, only a most shadowy, tenuous, and distorted picture. One's only certainty would be that there has been unrest in the Hill Tracts and that a long‐suffering Bangladeshi government has had a trying time suppressing it. Indeed, one's dominant impression would likely be of a beleaguered government of a newly independent, “democratic” state struggling against its own unruly dissidents. The truth, of course, is quite other‐wise: The government of a dubiously democratic, newly independent state, in a relentless and openly avowed land‐grab, is waging genocidal warfare against the non‐Muslim tribal minorities who occupy lands along one of its borders with India. A Bangladeshi army commander operating in the Tracts once avowed the government's aim: “We Want the Soil but not the People of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.” A genocidal intention could not easily be more explicitly expressed.
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