RUB Research School

Associate Doctoral Candidate UK Mong Marma

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy

Forced Migration and Land: An Expulsion in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh

Forced migration in Global-South has appeared as global crisis. Displacement caused due to global ‘land rush’ by foreign corporate investors often received more attention in scholarly writings; however, local, national and transnational forces and their intersections receive less focused. Furthermore, everyday forms of displacement from social space and livelihood are nearly under-research. Such forms of displacement is perpetuated in borderlands of South Asia like Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh. CHT, lone hilly ethnic region of Bangladesh, is part of mountainous belt located within Southeast Asia and South Asia. Excepting CHT, the rest part of Bangladesh is geographically plain and culturally has similarity with South Asian ethnic groups. Therefore, both culture and geography divides CHT within Bangladesh. Historically, it has been experiencing socio-economic and political transformation since British colonial era. The consequential features are ethno nationalism, peace-building development interventions, highly militarization, emerging middle class, frequent ethnic motivated violence, de-facto land ownership and land alienation of marginalised community. While every day forms of ethnic displacement continues, geo-politics among Bangladesh, India and Myanmar over projects such as ‘Asian High Way’, ‘Shwe Project’ (natural gas exploration project) and ‘Regional Connectivity Project’ are emerging as force of displacement in this region. This study will employ multi-sited ethnography from a historical and social perspective. It will explore how local, national and transnational forces’ triangulation enabled displacement from both social and physical space of CHT peoples; What are the displacement patterns and transnational mobility in different periods in CHT; and What are the impacts of displacement; resilient and copping mechanism of CHT peoples with displacement?

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz

About UK Mong Marma

  • Displacement and migration
  • social transformation
  • rural livelihood and empowerment
  • Identity politics
  • development
  • borderland and conflict transformation
1998-2002 Bachelor of Social Science in Chittagong University, Bangladesh
2002-2003 Masters of Social Science in Chittagong University, Bangladesh
2014-2015 Master of Development Practice (MDP) in James Cook University, Australia


01/2018-12/2018 Sylff fellowship of the Tokyo Foundation
2014-2015 Australia Awards Scholarship

Development professional with over eight years of experience in the areas of community empowerment, participatory action research and conflict transformation with conflict affected and borderland ethnics in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh.

Engaging with development and conflict transformation practitioner and academics to foster the marginalised peoples’ lives in developing countries through exchanging experience, knowledge and expertise of respective fields.

Related links