Courtesy: The New Age, Dhaka, 30 June 2010
Hill civic body wants no land
until law changed
A civic forum in Rangamati on Tuesday urged the government to stop Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Settlement Commission activities until the amendment to the 2001 act regarding the commission.
The forum also demanded removal of the commission chairman Khademul Islam for his ‘controversial role’ and appointment of a person having non-communal ideals.
The Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizens’ Committee at a briefing urged the government to amend the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Settlement Commission Act 2001 clauses which were contradictory to the 1997 CHT Accord, frame regulations in keeping with Section 18 of the Land Commission Act, and enact laws required to uphold the customary land rights of the ethnic minority people living in the hills.
They said the commission chairman had not shown much interest in gaining the cooperation of hill people’s leaders and unilaterally decided to hold a cadastral survey of the hill districts going beyond his jurisdiction.
The forum demanded his removal from the position and appointment of someone having non-communal ideals.
They accused the commission chairman of not convening any formal meeting of the commission and entertaining all land-related complaints.
The chairman earlier made a public notification seeking complaints from affected parties without consulting the commission members, they said.
The leaders also called for appointment of the member secretary of the commission from ethnic minority communities as the most of the people, who lost their land because of the unstable situation in the hills, cannot speak Bangla.
The committee president, Gautam Dewan, Anjulika Khisha, Hlapru Jimi, Jnanendu Bikash Chakma, Bijay Ketan Chakma, Prakriti Ranjan Chakma, Shantoshita Chakma and Abhay Prakash Chakma attended the briefing.
The citizen’s committee earlier brought out a procession from the Shilpakala Academy in Rangamati and marched towards the deputy commissioner’s office to submit a memorandum to the prime minister.