Jun 26, 2015

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Peace Dialogue in Progress

Stakeholders in Chittagong Hill Tracts are discussing with the National Human Rights Commission the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord. Questions regarding the ceasing of human rights violations in the area, and the establishment of a customary and ancestral land ownership system, are of particular importance.


Below is an article published by The Daily Star:


National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will hold a dialogue with the newly appointed army chief to establish trust among the stakeholders in Chittagong Hill Tracts, said its Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday.

NHRC is waiting for the army chief to take over the charge, Mizanur said at a national seminar on “Land Rights and Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh” jointly organised by NHRC and Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF) in YWCA auditorium of the capital's Mohammadpur.

In order to ensure indigenous people's rights in Chittagong Hill Tracts, there is no alternative to implementing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, he added.

Lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha, convener of the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talked for those people who are engaged in destructive politics in Bangladesh but he had never expressed any concern over the condition of indigenous people in the country.

“We will get strength, if he [Ban Ki-moon] talks against the right violation of indigenous people,” said Badsha, mentioning that the state's judicial system also seems to be against the indigenous people as none has been convicted yet in any indigenous woman rape case.

BIPF General Secretary Sanjeeb Drong urged that a law should be formulated to recognise the customary and ancestral land ownership system of indigenous people and abolish the sytem of leasing out their land, and a land commission  be formulated for plain land indigenous  people.

Rana Das Gupta, Bangladesh Hindu Buddha Christian Oikya Parishad general secretary; and Shamsul Huda, executive director of the Association for Land Reforms and Development, also spoke at the seminar chaired by Jatiya Adivasi Parishad President Rabindranath Soren.