Chittagong Hill Tracts: Government Asked To Speed Up Implementation
The Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) yesterday [14 August 2008] called on the government to speed up the implementation of the 1997 peace treaty for the three hill districts.
The twelve-member CHTC, re-constituted in Copenhagen in May , also called for activating the land commission and the refugee rehabilitation task force.
The delegation made the call at a press conference following a four-day visit to the three districts.
"This was a familiarisation trip to gather and establish a database on information received during and after the first mission," CHTC co-chair Lord Eric Avebury said.
The commission will make recommendations to the government, political parties and stakeholders in the light of gathered information.
Lord Avebury said individuals or groups looking to contribute to the recommendations can do so before November 30  by contacting the CHTC secretariat.
The CHTC team met indigenous peoples, military officials and settlers in the three districts and also spoke to government advisers.
"There was a common view about the urgent need for peace in the region and for implementation of the peace accord, although there were diverse views on the possible means available," Lord Avebury said.
The commission also received reports on ethnic tensions and disharmony surrounding land disputes.
One of the main tenets of the CHT peace accord was that lands would be returned to owners once their land titles were confirmed through a survey.
CHTC co-chair Sultana Kamal, CHTC members M Zafar Iqbal, Swapan Adnan and Sara Hossain were present at the press conference.