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Monday, July 05, 2010

Govt follows hard-line to 'develop' the CHT situation?

Courtesy: Jugantor, Dhaka (last page), 5 July 2010,

* Regional political parties shall be brought under registration and legal compliance.
* National political activities shall be encouraged and strategic pressure shall be enforced on the regional political parties.
* Readjustment of boundaries of 3 hill districts shall be done. Baghaichari upazila under Rangamati Hill District shall be transferred to Khagarachari Hill District and new district and upazillas shall be created. * Baghaihat attack victims shall be settled, land demarcation and transfer of land to them shall be conducted by civil administration.
* UPDF shall be grilled, field level leaders shall be targeted.
* "Strategic Management Forum" shall be constituted with MoCHTA, Home Ministry, Armed Forces Division, intelligence agencies, Forest Division, concerned Circle Chief under a Minister/Adviser.
* Elections to the HDCs and the Regional Council shall be conducted based on UNDP recommendation, after earliest settlement of the High Court judgment.
* Poppy cultivators shall be discouraged by switching them over to maize, wheat, vegetablesand fruit cultivation and massive drive shall be conducted to end the poppy cultivation.

The report of the Jugantor in today's issue.

THE Jugantor, a national daily vernacular publishes a report today (last page) under the caption “Massive plan to curve violence in the CHT and development” on the government's recent decision to undertake drastic measures to curve violence in the CHT. This newspaper reports that decision has been taken by the Prime Ministers office and the Ministry of the CHT Affairs has been informed on the matter.

After appreciating the report the design cannot be called as political one, in the name of developing the CHT situation, especially when the CHT people, national civil society and international community have been asking the govt to start the implementation of the CHT Accord at the earliest. Referring to the CHT Accord the PCJSS President, Santu Larma, the signatory of the CHT Accord also accused the govt last week that the govt did nothing in last 16 months.

This newspaper reports that the govt decision includes- rehabilitation of the victims (369 Jumma families and 124 Bengali families) of the recent Baghaihat ethnic violence through “Ashroyon” prokolpa, a project implemented by the army. Land demarcation and transfer of lands for them shall be done by the civil administration.

Poppy and other drug producers shall be encouraged to produce maize, wheat, vegetables and fruits and they shall be brought under safety net for 2-3 years and at the same time massive drive shall be conducted against poppy drug/cultivation, for bringing to the permanent closure of poppy cultivation in the CHT.

Considering the UPDF’s role against national interest and their anti-state activities during the recent Khagarachari and Baghaihat incidents the UPDF shall be grilled drastically and to this end the field level leaders shall be prioritized.

The UPDF and regional political parties shall be brought under government registration and they shall be pressurized to comply with the legal bindings.

Elections to the Hill District Councils and the Regional Council shall be conducted after earliest completion of the High Court judgment. And, in this regard, the govt is considering a UNDP recommendation.

Readjustment of the boundaries of the three hill district shall be done from the aspects of the geo-political status, socio-economic development and conveniences and inconveniences of the communities of the remote areas. Baghaichari upazila shall be transferred to Khagarachari.

The “Strategic Management Forum” shall be organised under a minister or a adviser with the CHT Affairs Ministry, Home Ministry, Armed Forces Division, Forest Department, concerned Circle Chief, intelligence agencies to oversee the government activities.

And initiative has already been taken for conducting coordinated activities of the intelligence agencies, enhancement of capabilities of para-military and civil administration, coordination of development activities of different international agencies and bringing in the regional political parties into mainstream politics by accelerating culture of national politics in the CHT.

We favour importance and urgency of ending the ongoing almost regular Jumma-violence in the CHT and free the general Jumma sufferers from the captivity. But, it does not require adopting a non-political hradline policy which would be implemented by officials and some of them might not have positive approach and right techniques because of many reasons.

It is clear that the government undertakes the design to pressurize the regional political parties and drives them go to the national political parties for which it has been decided to encourage activities of national political parties in the CHT and bring the regional political parties under separate strict legal bindings. It is believed that some other decisions will also invite sheer reaction among the Jummas and thus the popular grand alliance political government led by Seikh Hasina is going to enshoulder all the blames for giving birth to a new unrest by avoiding the implementation of the CHT Peace Accord.

The honourable Prime Minster and the political forum of the grand alliance should review the government decision and the 3 MPs of the CHT also should take the issue up with the government.

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