Oct 29, 2015

Chittagong Hill Tract: Protests over Rangamati University Plans Continue

Protests continue in the Rangamati Hill District as Jumma groups are furious with government plans to establish a Rangamati Science and Technology University and Medical College prior to the implementation of the 1997 Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord. On 21 October 2015, members of the indigenous community peacefully conducted an office boycott across three hill districts of the CHT. On 27 October 2015, a new call was launched amongst the Jumma people for non-cooperation with the authorities if the government continues to ignore their cries.

UNPO has been following the story, read about it here


The below article was published by New Age:

Daylong boycott of offices in the three hill districts enforced by Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti passed off peacefully on Wednesday.

Witnesses said that the programme was observed strictly in many parts of Rangamati district and loosely in Khagrachari and Bandarban districts.

The regional political party boycotted offices in the three hill districts for the full implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord signed in 1997.

As part of their programme, PCJSS enforced the daylong boycott of all government, non-government and semi-government offices, courts, banks, insurances, non-governmental organisations at district, upazila and union levels.PCJSS assistant information and publicity secretary Sajib Chakma said that their programme passed off peacefully. The party in a statement on Wednesday thanked hill people for making their programme a success by boycotting the offices.The party held the programme as part of their non-cooperation movement for the implementation of the accord.

The accord was signed on December 2, 1997 between the government and the PCJSS. PCJSS leaders said that many major issues of the accord remained unimplemented even about 18 years after it was signed Schools and hospitals in the three hill districts remained out of the purview of the programme.



The below article was published by Prothom-Alo:

A group of hill people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts on Tuesday threatened to launch demonstrations if the government does not backtrack on its stand for setting up the proposed Rangamati Science and Technology University and Medical College before full implementation of the CHT Accords.

Speakers at a rally in Rangamati said they would launch a nonstop blockade programme if the government starts the university project, ignoring public demand.

The rally was organised jointly by Parbatya Chattagram Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), Parbatya Chattagram Juba Samiti (PCJS) and Hill Women’s Federation (HWF).
Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti’s publicity secretary Sajib Chakma said, “The government has halted all the activities for implementing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, 1997.”

“Until the accord is being implemented effectively, the citizens of the Chittagong hill tracks will not accept any university and medical college here,” he added.

At least 70 families of the CHT areas were reportedly evicted from a 100 acre plot of land at Jagra Bil in Rangamati, to set up a science and technology university.

On 12 January, activists of ruling Awami League’s student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) locked in a clash, leaving 10 people injured over the inauguration of the university in Rangamati.


photo courtesy of powless