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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Announce roadmap to implement CHT accord

Courtesy: The Daily Star, Dhaka, Metro, Nov 30, 2010
Wev: Prothom Alo, Dhaka:

Announce roadmap to implement CHT accord
PCJSS President Santu Larma urges government

Staff Correspondent

Demanding announcement of a roadmap to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord, Joytirindra Bodhipriya Larma known as Santu Larma said two years have passed since this government took the office but it is yet to take any fruitful actions to implement the accord.

Santu Larma, the president of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), made the demand yesterday at a press conference at a hotel here yesterday on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the peace accord signing.

He said the accord was signed on December 2, 1997 but the situation remains the same like before.

“So far the government is only promising to implement the accord. But no effective steps have been taken to secure life and properties of the indigenous people living in CHT,” he said.

“Rather, many indigenous people have been evicted from their land and the conspiracy of making the Muslim a majority in the CHT region still goes on,” he added.

Former guerilla leader Santu Larma inked the CHT peace accord with the government on December 2, 1997 that ended a two-decade long fight.

Mentioning that the peace accord is the only solution to make the CHT stable and peaceful, he said the prime minister received an international award by signing this accord so it is a moral duty of this government to implement the accord effectively.

“So, the government should have implementation of the CHT accord in its priority list,” he said.

While evaluating the steps of the government, Santu Larma said the government has so far recast some committees and appointed indigenous people in some important posts like state minister for CHT affairs, Taskforce on Rehabilitation of Repatriated indigenous refugee, chairman of CHT Development Board, CHT Land Commission and recasting of CHT accord implementation committee.

He also mentioned withdrawal of a brigade and 35 temporary camps from the CHT region as one of the tasks the government has done.

At the press conference, Santu Larma also said the present government has cancelled lease allocations of 593 plots, out of 2,000 on 50 thousand acres of land.

“But still the leaseholders are occupying the land. They are now trying to make a fresh lease contract of that land,” he said.

He also said around 9,780 indigenous families, out of 12,222 who returned from Tripura of India are yet to get back their land.

The demands of PCJSS also include making the three hill district councils active, amendment of the land commission law, withdrawal of permanent and temporary camps of law enforcers from the CHT and prohibiting the united people democratic front (UPDF).

Elderly politician Pankaj Bhattacharya of Gano Forum, Sanjeeb Drong of Bangladesh Adivasi Parishad, Mangol Kumar Chakma and Shaktipada Tripura of PCJSS, Prof Mesbah Kamal, secretary of Adivasi Adhikar Andolon, and Rabindra Nath Soren of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad were also present at the press conference.

Marking the day of CHT peace accord on December 2, the PCJSS will hold daylong seminar at the Institute of Diploma Engineers while local party units will stage processions and rallies in every upazila headquarters in hill districts, said the organisers.

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