|Dr. M. A . Muktadir, Bijon Bihari Sharma, Nujaiba Binte Kabir, Ayesha Siddiqua
|Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology
From the time immemorial the Chittagong Hill Tracts has been the home of indigenous ethnic groups. They collectively identify themselves as the Jumma people, the first peoples of the CHT. The Jumma people are distinct and different from the majority Bengali population of Bangladesh in respect of Race, Language, Culture, Religion and Ethnicity. The demand for autonomy towards maintaining cultural and linguistic identity by the Jumma pepole raised an armed conflict between the Government and the indigenous community. As a consequence several massacres occurred which caused the deaths of hundreds of people. On December 2, an agreement was signed with the BD Government which has been known as the ‘CHT Treaty’. The treaty was hailed by leaders around the world as a breakthrough in the quarter of a century conflict in the CHT.
The main purpose of this Memorial is to highlight the unforgettable moment of “PEACE TREATY” that occurred in 1997-a revolutionary step taken by our government for the well being of both Jumma people & Bangladeshi settlers.
CHT Treaty didn’t full fill major demands of the Jumma people, because main problem in CHT is the land & its management between Bengali people & 13 ethnic groups. Language & cultural diversity sometimes create distance between Bengali settlers and ethnic groups. However the attempt to connect these two races despite their differences is the main purpose of this Memorial Complex.
CONCEPT: “P A X – C U LT U R E”
The idea is ‘peace through culture’. Building an invisible bridge in order to connect “PEOPLE”, connect “TIME”. The aim is to provide a physical point of reference with visual significance that keeps alive the memory of the CHT treaty; to provide accommodation to house and display relevant memorabilia/interpretive material for public access and information; a visitors centre for exploring nature & information zone, which would be useful for the tourists who visit the memorial & Khagrachari. The memorial is designed as a single artifact that acts as both memorial & museum. It is a free standing memorial set adjacent to a building accommodating material relevant to the memorable event.
As said earlier, the main design element is an invisible bridge, which is connecting time….
The plaza resemblances conflicts, the lines are very distinct. The journey starts with the sense of conflicts between the two groups. This sense starts to fade as we enter the first floor and the huge scale takes us to immense feeling of sublime and purity. The view instantly shifts towards the monument, as a symbol of peace and honour.
As we come closer towards the monument, the vista amazes us with the different levels of spaces and the surrounding nature.
The visitors feel the nature to the fullest standing in front of the monument and also oversees the water tunnel underneath the waterbody. After coming down at the ground floor, the visitors can enter the museum lying underneath the monument. As they cross the water tunnel they feel the fierce situation of the war. The hidden sculptures under the waterbody acts as the reminder of the cruel times and their consequences.
The relics and the memories shown in the museum are the reminders of the war. The museum is situated under ground because the concept was to hide the sorrowful events of the past under the ground.
The whole area of the monument both makes us feel respect and honour towards the martyrs as well as sadden us about the war. Thus it makes us realize about the importance of peace that –
THERE IS NO PATH TO PEACE..
PEACE IS THE PATH .