Courtesy: Daily Sun, Dhaka, 10 Dec 2010
Govt urged to implement CHT Peace Accord
Speakers at a meeting on Thursday said the indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) are deprived of their basic human rights because of the wrong policies of the previous governments.
It is high time for the present government, which signed the CHT Peace Accord, to eliminate all kinds of discrimination in the region, they added.
The speakers further said land ownership rights of the indigenous people should be protected in regard to Section 169 of the ILO Convention.
The observations were made at the meeting titled “2nd Indigenous People’s Network Forum” organised by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum at a city hotel.
Describing indigenous culture as rich and traditional, Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed said the government is committed todeveloping and nourishing the indigenous language and culture.
“The present govern-ment is determined to ensure the rule of law to resolve problems in the hill districts, including land dispute, in a short time.”
The minister called on the indigenous leaders to cooperate with the chairman of the Land Commission for a quick solution to land dispute.
He said the indigenous people should be provided adequate facilities to complete primary educ-ation in their mother language.
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Dr Mizanur Rahman said it is the responsibility of the government to stop discrimination at each level of the state.
The rights of the indigenous people will be protected if the government is able to stop discrimination, he added.
Roger Plant, intern-ational consultant and team leader of Asian Development Bank, said Bangladesh should lay emphasis on education and infrastructural deve-lopment in the CHT to safeguard rights of the indigenous living in the region.
Prof Dalem Chandra Barman presided over the programme where Secretary to CHT Affairs Ministry Dr Masud Ahmed, Jatiya Adivasi Parishad Secretary Rabin-dranath Soren, PCJSS Organising Secretary Shaktipada Tripura and Prof Mesbah Kamal also spoke.