Apr 30, 2014

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Frustration Over Stalling Peace Treaty Implementation

Indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have expressed their disillusion over the lack of true governmental initiative to improve their living conditions, as it was expected with the signature and enforcement of CHT Peace Treaty.

Below is an article published by The Daily Star:

Lately neither the ruling Awami League nor the BNP want unity among indigenous people, said Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council (CHTRC) Chairman Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma yesterday [28 April 2014].

He was exchanging views with journalists following a meeting of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum held in the auditorium of Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) in the capital.

Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, moderated the meeting where people of indigenous communities spoke about the situation they were in currently.

Santu Larma, also chief of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity, said there had been no progress regarding implementation of the CHT peace treaty.

The influx of Bangla speakers and Rohingyas in the Chittagong hill tracts is only worsening the situation there, he said.

Political parties approach indigenous communities and makes commitments to them before election to attain votes, but after the election they forget their commitments, he further said.

Shaktipada Tripura, organising secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, said although the government had signed a peace accord with the indigenous communities, it did not improve the indigenous people's quality of life.

Representatives from indigenous communities in the meeting described how land grabbers were harassing them by lodging cases against them.