Chittagong Hill Tracts: Yet Another Call to Set Roadmap for Accord’s Implementation
Photo by the United Nations Development Programme in Bangladesh
The 18th anniversary of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord was marked by disappointment among the CHT indigenous community concerning the lack of its implementation by the Bangladeshi government. Local leaders and activists called the government to create a roadmap for the implementation of the CHT Peace Accord, recalling its importance for peace and stability in the region.
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Below is an article published by The Daily Star:
The government must set a definite road map for effective implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord and eliminate frustrations of the region’s people, speakers at a discussion said today [2 December 2015].
If the government fails to achieve trust of the CHT people soon, there might rise suspicion and a feeling of deception among them, they told the discussion on “Implementation of CHT Accord: A National Pledge”. The discussion was organised by Jatiya Nagorik Udyog in the city’s Institution of Engineers’ seminar auditorium marking the 18th anniversary of the accord.
Ushaton Talukder, lawmaker of Rangamati, alleged that the government is not taking the issue seriously.
“Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) has already declared a non-cooperation movement as the government has not implemented the agreement in the last 18 years,” he said, adding that the government must realise that it is important for the national interest.
He also urged politicians and civil society members to stand united for the implementation of the accord signed between PCJSS, an organisation of indigenous communities of the CHT, and the then Awami League-led government on December 2, 1997.
Sanjib Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, placed a four-point demand including announcing an immediate roadmap for the implementation of the accord and taking legal and administrative measures.
Observing the agreement as an incomplete part of the Liberation War for national unity, Mujahidul Islam Selim, president of Communist Party of Bangladesh, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has failed to fulfil her commitment as the Peace Accord is not implemented yet.
Meanwhile, Oikya Nap President Pankaj Bhattacharya alleged that the state is treating the CHT as its “colony” and it is a threat to the country’s unity.
Senior journalist Mozammel Hossain Manju said the government cannot delay the implementation of the agreement on the ground of security because the CHT people, not the law enforcers, can protect the region.
Chaired by eminent columnist Syed Abul Moksud, Dhaka University teacher Prof Mejbah Kamal, among others, addressed the programme.