Courtesy: The Daily Star, Front Page, Dhaka, Monday, October 11, 2010
(Please read more. New Age: Govt agrees to settle CHT land disputes before survey. Web: http://www.newagebd.com/2010/oct/11/front.html)
CHT Land Disputes
Govt agrees to fix ownership before survey
A Correspondent, Rangamati
The government has agreed to determine the ownership of lands before conducting survey of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) as per the CHT peace accord following a demand from CHT Regional Councils and Rajas (kings) of three hill districts.
The demand came from a meeting on “Settlement of Land Disputes in Chittagong Hill Tracts and Survey”.
The CHT affairs ministry and land ministry jointly organised the meet at the conference room of CHT Development Board in Rangamati yesterday.
However, no discussion regarding any article of the CHT Land Dispute Settlement Commission Act took place in the meeting, sources said.
After a closed-door meeting that lasted for three hours from 10:30 am, Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira said, the meeting reached a consensus to remove small problems in implementing the CHT peace accord.
CHT Regional Council Chairman Jyotirindra Bodipriyo Larma (Santu Larma) said yesterday's meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere. The decisions taken at the meeting would take forward the work in implementing the CHT agreement, he said.
All the leaders who participated in the meeting expressed their firm commitment regarding implementation of the peace accord, meeting sources said.
State Minister for CHT Affairs Dipankar Talukder said there is no doubt that the CHT agreement will be implemented during the tenure of the present government.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina penned the agreement to remove sufferings of people in Chittagong Hill Tracts and to establish peace and stability in the area, he said.
Reading article 53 of the Chittagong Regional Council Act, land minister said the act has given the Regional Council authority to advise on formulating laws in the region and their amendment.
He said 23 proposals were put forward for amendment to the Land Commission Act that need to be made effective.
As per the demand of the leaders of the hill areas, ownership of land will be determined before the survey, he said. He also assured that laws will be amended if necessary.
Santu Larma said no amicable solution to problems of Chittagong Hill Tracts is possible without solving the land related problems.
Chakma Raja Devashish Roy said if the survey is conducted before determining the ownership of land, the land related problems in CHT would become more complicated.
The CHT accord has recognised the traditional rights of the indigenous people in the region, he said.CHT Development Board Chairman Bir Bahadur MP, Chairman of CHT Internal Refugee Rehabilitation Task Force Jatindra Lal Tripura MP, Maung Circle Raja Saching Prue, high officials of the ministries concerned, CHT Regional Council and district a