Jan 18, 2013

Long Way To Go For Ethnic Peace On 15th Anniversary Of CHT Accord

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord, signed in 1997 between Bangladesh and the PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti). An accord which, unfortunately, has not yielded any solutions to the ongoing plight of the indigenous Jumma people in Bangladesh.

Concerned with the absence of action on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh regarding the implementation of the CHT Accord, the PCJSS has published a precise report establishing an inventory of all the promises the Government has failed to uphold, and calls for several measures to be taken to avoid further violence in CHT.

Whereas the CHT Accord aims at restoring ethnic peace to Bangladesh, reality has taken a different turn, with the Accord’s promises remaining largely unfulfilled by the Government. Several discriminatory actions continue to be taken against the Jumma minority, ranging from land grabbing to rape and physical violence. The PCJSS take the opportunity, through the report, to denounce corruption in the Hill District Councils, which makes progress in the form of elections, development and ethnic recognition very difficult for the local indigenous people.

The report gives precise accounts of which points of the Accord have or have not been addressed by the government. It also includes facts and reports of violations in the CHT region in the 15 years that have passed since the signing of the Accord. On top of suffering from land and dwelling occupation, regular plunder and destruction of houses, attacks, rapes and even killings, the Jumma people continue to suffer from the presence of the military, established in what were supposedly “temporary” army camps.

The PCJSS calls for a clear Road Map to be drawn up by the government, to address the clear priorities of solving land disputes, appointing local inhabitants to CHT posts, holding elections in CHT in which indigenous peoples will participate, as well as allowing development programs in the region.


For the full report in pdf, please click here.