Jan 19, 2016

Chittagong Hill Tracts: 400 Km Human Chain Calls for Implementation of Peace Accord

The indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) demanded once again the full implementation of the 1997 CHT Peace Accord, this time by forming an impressive 400-kilometers-long human chain. They also called for the return of hundreds of acres of land to the Jumma people, after years of land transferring to individuals from other districts. Moreover, the demonstrators asked the Bangladeshi government to form an impartial land commission to deal with such cases.

Below is an article published by the Daily Star:


Indigenous people organised programmes in different districts yesterday demanding adequate steps to protect the rights of indigenous people.

Indigenous people in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) formed around 400-kilometre-long human chain yesterday demanding full implementation of CHT Peace Accord without further delay, reports our Bandarban correspondent.

They also urged the government to return to the Jumma people hundreds of acres of land that had been earlier leased to different individuals from other districts.

Over the years, different government agencies and Bangalee settlers have occupied large areas of homesteads and agricultural lands that once belonged to the Jumma people of the CHT area, speakers said at the programme.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizens Committee, CHT unit of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum and CHT Headmen's Network organised the programme in three hill districts.

Thousands of people, carrying banners, placards and festoons, joined the human chain from Gundhum in Naikhyangchhari upazila of Bandarban to Dhudukchhara in Panchhari upazila of Khagrachhari district to press for their demand.

Our Thakurgaon Correspondent reports: District unit of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad formed a human chain yesterday to press for their nine-point demand including immediate formation of a separate land commission for the ethnic people of plain land to protect their land rights.

The demand also includes ensuring constitutional rights for the indigenous people, establishment of a separate ministry for ethnic people to deal with their problems and mother tongue-based primary education for the children of ethnic minority groups.

They also demanded allocation of khas land among the landless indigenous people for their survival.

The human chain followed a discussion at the same venue.

District unit of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad (JAP), a platform of the indigenous people, organised the programme presided over by JAP General Secretary Babul Tigga.

Our Dinajpur Correspondent adds: The ethnic minorities at a human chain in front of Dinajpur Press Club yesterday demanded speedy trial of the cases for last year's November 18 gun attack on Dr Piero Parolari in Dinajour town and December 10 attack on Iskcon temple in Kaharol upazila under the district.

The human chain also demanded the government to form a separate land commission to save their lands.

Several hundred ethnic people of different upazilas of Dinajpur lined up holding placards, festoons and banners highlighting their demands.

Rabindrath Soren, president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, spoke there, among others.

Our Tangail Correspondent adds: Indigenous people in Madhupur upazila under the district at a human chain yesterday reiterated the demand for formation of a separate land commission for the indigenous people living in the plain land areas.

They also demanded full implementation of the CHT peace deal.

Different organisations including Joinshahi Adivasi Unnayan Parishad, Achik Michik Society (women organisation of the Garos), Tribal Welfare Association, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, IPDS, Adivasi Cluster Development Forum, Bagachhag (student organization of the Garos) and Gasu joined the human chain on Tangail-Mymensingh Road at Pochish Mile Bazar in Jalchhatra area of the upazila.

They also held a rally presided over by Ajoy-a-Mre, president of Adivasi Cluster Development Forum.