Nov 13, 2013

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Gradual Extinction Due To Non-Implementation Of 1997 Peace Deal

The government of Bangladesh has not yet executed the agreement it concluded in 1997 with the United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, aiming to bring peace to the region.

Below is an article published by The Daily Star:

Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Regional Council Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma yesterday [10 November 2013] said the existence of the Jummo people is under the threat of gradual extinction due to non-execution of the peace accord during the last 16 years.

The deal was signed on December 2 in 1997 between the then Awami League (AL) government and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanhati Samity (PCJSS), aiming at a solution to CHT problem and bringing permanent peace in the hills.

“Sheikh Hasina’s government has done nothing for execution of the deal in time,” said Jyotirindra, popularly known as Santu Larma, who is also the chief of PCJSS.

He was addressing as chief guest a memorial meeting marking the 30th death anniversary of PCJSS founder Manabendra Narayan Larma (MN Larma) at district Shilpakala Academy hall in the town.
MN Larma along with his eight followers was assassinated in 1983 by a group of derailed Shanti Bahini (now defunct) men led by Priti Kumar Chakma.

“MN Larma, who always thought about establishing the self-determination of Jummo people, will never be lost from the mind of indigenous people,” Santu said.

The former guerrilla leader blamed a section of so-called educated Jumma people for not coming forward with the PCJSS to wage movement for full execution of the peace accord.
“Why do the civil society leaders put pressure on the PCJSS to compromise with United People’s Democratic Front? It is not possible due to great differences on the grounds of ideology and principles,” he said.

Chaired by Bijoy Keton Chakma, convenor of MN Larma Memorial Foundation, the meeting was also addressed, among others, by Kalpana Chakma, Shishir Chakma, Mong Shanoo Chowdhury and Ripesh Chakma.

Earlier, Rangamati district unit of PCJSS and it front organisations — CHT Mohila Samity, Pahari Chhatra Parishad and Juba Samity brought out a mourning procession in the town and put floral wreaths at the portrait of MN Larma on the premises of district Shilpakala Academy.