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     Volume 7 Issue 44 | November 7, 2008 |

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An Honest Life Lost

Raja Paihala Prue Chowdhury

In his life, he was an honest and dedicated person for the people of his kingdom. He was liberal and engaged himself for social reformation and humanitarian services. He was polite and intelligent and he always worked for the betterment of his Mong circle. He has been helping poor children have access to education, and has been trying for remove poverty from the society. He was always very modest and never spoke ill about anyone.

On October 22, this man, head of the Mong, Raja Paihala Prue Chowdhury, was killed when a bus carrying him plunged into a roadside ditch at Patachhara near Ramgarh in Khagrachhari district in Chittagong Hill Tracts. The 55-year old Raja, heading one of the three tribal circles, the other two being Chakma and Bohmong, died early Wednesday while returning from a 12-day tour of Australia. Along with a woman passenger, he died on the spot. The Raja's son Saching Prue Chowdhury, along with 23 other passengers on the bus, was injured in the accident.

The cremation ceremony of late Mong Raja was held on October-27, 2008 in Khagrachhari. Thousands of people gathered at the residence of the late Mong Raja at Madhubazar (zero mile) in the hill district for the cremation day to pay homage to him.

Mong Raja Paihala Prue Chowdhury has ruled different tribes, including Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Rakhine and Mag, who have been living in 1200 villages under 34 unions in the Mong kingdom. The king also ruled 88 Mouzas with the help of 88 headmen (mouza heads) and 950 Karbaris (village chiefs).

The Mong Raja played a vital role in making CHT peaceful. He has a great contribution for signing the CHT Peace Accord.

Mong Raja Paihala Prue Chowdhury was born on May 23, 1960 at Aparna Chowdhury Para under Sadar upazila in hill district Khagrachhari. He was the fifth child of his schoolteacher father Kayasaue Chowdhury and housewife mother Bulu Chowdhury. His father Kayasaue Chowdhury worked in Shishu Sarkari Government Primary School government primary school as an assistant teacher.

The Mong Raja started his academic life from his father's school Shishu Sarkari Government Primary School on 1 January 1965. After completing his primary school he was admitted to Khagrachhari Government High School in 1970 and completed his SSC in 1975. Then he went on to complete his HSC in 1977 and B.Com in 1979.

He married Madhuvi Lata Chowdhury, the daughter of Mong Thu Chowdhury and Chingmra Chowdhury from Golabari under Sadar upazila in hill district Khagrachhari on January 22, in 1980.

His first daughter Umaching Chowdhury was born in 1983, the second daughter Unuching Chowdhury was born in 1986 and the crown prince Saching Prue Chowdhury was born in 1987. The crown prince Saching Prue Chowdhury has completed his HSC from Khagrachhari College in 2007 and is preparing to study Law.

Mong Raja Paihala Prue Chowdhury was the founder Headmaster of Pankhaiyapara High School and was involved with the school for six months. He joined as Ramghor Mohakuma Information officer in Ramghor and was promoted to the post as District Information Officer in 1983.

After 25 years he became Assistant Director of District Information Office and then resigned from that post in 2005. He was the Secretary of the Marma Unnayan Sangsad (MUS), the first Marma indigenous forum from 1987 to 1990. He was President of the same organisation from 1990 to 1992. He was selected as the advisor of MUS and as the chief election commissioner of MUS. He was also the advisor of another Marma indigenous organisation Bangladesh Marma Sangghathan Aikka Parishad.

The 6th King of Mong Circle Mong Prue Sain Chowdhury died in 1984. He had no children of his own except a stepdaughter Unika Devi. His wife Rani Niharbala Devi become the acting chief of Mong Circle in 1984 and conducted her duties till her death in 1991.

After Rani Nihar Vala Devi's dead, the government nominated Paihala Prue Chowdhury as the 7th Mong King. Paihala Prue Chowdhury was the nephew of late king Mong Prue Sain Chowdhury. The then Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong Mohammad Sakawat Hossen has sworn Paihala Prue as the 7th king of the Mong Circle in 1998.

On March 11, 2006 Raja Paihala Prue Chowdhury organised the first Raja Punnah, the biggest traditional function of each Raja (traditional King) and identified him as the 7th Mong Raja.

While he was Mong Circle Chief, Unika Devi, the step daughter of the late king Mong Prue Sain Chowdhury filed a case in High Court challenging the legality of his (Paihalaprue) appointment as king but he won the case defeating Unika Devi in 1998 and government give him reorganisation as Mong Raja.

Unika Devi, again filed a writ in Supreme Court but again she defeated as the court declared Unika's writ was illegal and Paihala Prue Chowdhury became Mong Circle Chief as competent and fit person. Unika, lost the case after fighting the case for about 12 years.

Because of the circumstances surrounding his death, there was huge shock among his people and they and gathered them under the slogan “Nirapod Sarak Chai”.

Who Becomes the Next King?
According to the traditional Marma laws Saching Prue Chowdhury, the only son of late Raja is expected to become the next King. The Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong would appoint the new Raja after giving him a sword on behalf of the government, keeping with the traditional Marma laws.


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