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Observation of 8th Anniversary of Signing of the CHT Accord


On 2 December 2005 the 8th anniversary of signing of the CHT Accord was observed in three hill districts of CHT, Dhaka and Chittagong. PCJSS held protest meeting and brought out processions in the headquarters of three hill districts and sub-districts (upazilas) demanding full implementation of the Accord. Demanding immediate implementation of the Accord, PCJSS organized press conference at national press club in Dhaka on 30 November. On the occasion of the 8th anniversary of signing of the CHT Accord, PCJSS published report of the present status of implementation of the CHT Accord and circulated leaflet.

Three hill districts programme:

Rangamati: The protest meeting was held at Gymnasium premises of Rangamati where Sukumar Chakma, general secretary of Upazatya Samajik Forum presided over. Among others, PCJSS leader Ushaton Talukder, Chittagong University teacher Dr. Hossain Kobir, leader of Socialist Party of Bangladesh Rajekujjaman Ratan, Social worker Nirmolendu Tripura, Assistant Director for youth affairs of PCJSS Dhiro Kumar Chakma, Secretary for student and youth of Rangamati PCJSS Mrikanka Khisa, leader of Hill Women’s Federation Suprova Chakma and president of Hill Student Council Ujjal Chakma spoke in the meeting.

Speakers blamed the past Awami League government for not implementing the accord fully and the present government for violating its vital clauses. An influential quarter in the coalition government instigates anti-accord elements. They alleged that the government is instigating anti-accord elements through various ways to complicate the situation in the hills.

Later, a protest procession paraded the main streets of the town.

Khagrachari: Protest meeting was held at Larma Square in Mohazon Para in the town. PCJSS leader Rasamoy Chakma presided the protest meeting. Among others, Assistant General Secretary of PCJSS Tatindra Lal Chakma, central member of PCJSS and CHT Regional Council member Roktatpal Tripura, Secretary for student and youth of Khagrachari PCJSS Braja Kishore Tripura, refugee leader Sontoshita Chakma Bakul and Nagorik Committee (citizens’ committee) leader Hemanta Tripura addressed the meeting.

Speakers said there has been no achievement in the hills from the peace accord in last eight years as the government is not sincere to implement it. They alleged that events in the last four years proved that the government ‘has no intention’ to implement the peace and establish peace in the hills. They bitterly criticised government’s ‘reluctance’ to implementation of the Accord and urged indigenous people to continue agitation to realise their rights. If this continues, the indigenous people will have no option other than launching tougher agitation to realise their demands.

A large number of indigenous people from all upazilas attended the rally and procession demanding full implementation of the Accord.

Bandarban: Protest meeting was held at the premises of Rajbari Math in the town. President of Bandarban upazila PCJSS Ucho Mong presided over the meeting. Among others, General Secretary of PCJSS Chandra Shekhar Chakma, President of Bandarban district PCJSS K S Mong Marma, Vice President Jali Mong Marma, leader of CHT Women Association Wching Prue Marma, leader of the Hill Women’s Federation Meiyo Ching Marma, AGS of PCP Uchothowai Marma spoke in the meeting. Following the protest meeting, a procession paraded the main streets of the town.

Protest meeting was also held at Baghaichari, Barkal, Longadu, Jurachari, Kaptai and Bilaichari upazilas in Rangamati district and Rowangchari and Ruma upazilas in Bandarban district.

Dhaka programme:

Press Conference: Press conference was held at national press club in Dhaka by the PCJSS demanding for full implementation of the CHT Accord where on behalf of the PCJSS, its President Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma spoke. Among others, Assistant General Secretary pf PCJSS Laxmi Prasad Chakma, Information and Publicity Secretary Mangal Kumar Chakma, Adivasi Forum leader Juhinal Khasia, Andrew Solemor, and Hill Women’s Federation President Choitali Tripura were present at the press conference.

Mr. Larma reiterated that Awami League government signed the accord but did not implement it fully. The present coalition government is working against the Accord. These are intrusion of Bengali settlers in the hill region, encroachment of Jumma people’s lands, attempt to increase the number of Bengali settlers to soar vote banks, creation of division between the permanent Bengali and Jumma people, and encroachment of lands for setting up of military camps. He also mentioned that military atrocity is the part of life of indigenous Jumma people.

He said different vested quarters are now engaged in various activities in a bid to deprive the hill people of their rights. He alleged that Sama Adhikar Andolon, an extreme communal organisation of the Bengali settlers have been carrying out anti-accord activities with the assistance of the Armed Forces. He also mentioned that due to non-implementation of the Accord, Islamist militants have set up hideouts in the hill region. They have close links with their counterparts in Myanmar. These separatist militants have been providing training to Bangladeshi militants posing serious threat to the country.

He expressed that full implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord is not possible without a secular and democratic government in the country. He placed a six-point charter of demand to solve the problems prevailing in the hill region, such as, holding of national and local elections following separate voter lists of the permanent inhabitants in the hill region, immediate withdrawal of temporary army camps and suspension of ‘Operation Uttaran’, activation of Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Commission and rehabilitation of returnee Jumma refugees ands internally displaced persons.

Discussion meeting: Bangladesh Adivasi Adhikar Andalon and Bangladesh Adivasi Forum jointly organized day-long discussion meeting at the Women’s Voluntary Association auditorium in Dhaka marking the eighth anniversary of the CHT Accord. The discussion meeting was divided into two sessions. The first session was presided over by PCJSS and Bangladesh Adivasi Forum President Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma. Other speakers at the first session included Deputy Minister for CHT Affairs Ministry Mani Swapan Dewan, Workers Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon, retired justice Golam Rabbani, Dhaka University teachers KHS Arefin, Mesbah Kamal and Robayet Ferdous, women’s rights leaders Shirin Aktar, General Secretary of Dhaka Journalists’ Union and Chief News Editor Shah Alamgir, Bangladesh Agriculture University teacher Dr. Abidur Reza, and Advocate Rafuqul Amin. In the open discussion during first session, adivasi leader Albert Mankin, activist of Sommilito Samajik Andolan Sharifujjaman Sharif, journalist Tipu Rahman, student of Dhaka University Tushar Ahmed and president of Hill Women’s Federation Choitali Tripura spoke.

The second session was presided over by Gono Forum Presidium Member Pankaj Bhattacharja. Amon others, the speakers were Awami League Presidium Member Dr. Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir, Vice President of PCJSS Rupayan Dewan, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Huq Inu, Communist Party of Bangladesh leader Ruhin Hossain Prince, Executive Director of Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha Rokeya Kabir, General Secretary of Jatiya Adibasi Parishad Rabindranath Saren and Director of Ekata Trade Fair Forum Arshad Siddiquee. In the open discussion during first session, PCJSS president J B Larma, teacher of Dhaka Univerity Dr. Dalem Chandra Burman, cultural activist Pradip Kumar, retired bureaucrat Julfiqur Ali, Dilara Rekha of Institute of Environment and Development, student Aungya Marma and Manju Chowdhury spoke.

Both sessions were facilitated by Jinnat-e-Fedousi of Bangladesh Adivasi Adhikar Andolan and Mangal Kumar Chakma of PCJSS.

In his speech, PCJSS president J B Larma said that the military forces have been playing anti-accord role in CHT. Due to continuing military role, the army have been conducting operation and atrocities on Jumma people, such as, arbitrary arrest, extra judiciary killing, harassment, torturing, forced labour etc. They have also been patronizing Bengali settlers to grab Jumma people’s land, to instigate Bengali settlers to commit communal attack on the Jumma people.  Due to non-implementation of the CHT Accord, Islamist militants of Myanmar are also helping the Bangladeshi militants by giving them arms and training, which has now posed a threat to national security. Parbatya Chattagram Sama Adhikar Andolon, an extreme communal organisation of the Bengali settlers under the shelter of security forces, is carrying out communal activities against the indigenous people in the three hill districts and conspiring for cancellation of the CHT Accord. Various communal organisations are mobilising Bengali settlers in the CHT against indigenous people as well as opposing the CHT Accord.

PCJSS Vice President Rupayan Dewan alleged repression on indigenous people by security forces. They are also creating obstacles to implementation of the CHT Accord. He regretted rehabilitating thousands of Bengali settlers and leasing out land to them in the three hill districts. He demanded immediate implementation of the peace accord.

Deputy Minister of CHT Affairs Moni Swapan Dewan admitted that the CHT issue should be considered a national problem. No militant operations should be allowed in the CHT and its problems should be resolved through dialogue. And the policy makers of the government have a key role to play in this regard.

PCJSS President Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, who chaired the discussion, stressed political will for resolving CHT problems since, he said, it is a national issue and not an issue of indigenous people only. He has a firm belief that the peace accord will be implemented.

Awami League (AL) leader Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir reiterated that they would implement the CHT Accord if AL could assume in the government power.

Leaders of the indigenous people, opposition political parties and human rights bodies said Islamist militant forces have gathered strength in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) with the security forces.

Chittagong:

Discussion meeting demanding for the Implementation of the CHT Accord was held at the Muslim Hall in Chittagong on the eighth anniversary of the signing of the Accord. Samiran Chakma chaired the meeting. Leader of Communist Party of Bangladesh comrade Shah Alam, central member of PCJSS Sudhasindhu Khisa, advocate Rana Dasgupta, journalist and poet Omar Kawsar and Dipayan Khisa were present in the discussion meeting. Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury was the chief guest at the meeting.

ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, in his speech alleged that the CHT accord has been acclaimed as one of the epoch-making steps but the incumbent government is now dilly-dallying to implement the treaty.

Mr. Sudhsindhu Khisa said, in his speech, that the previous government signed the accord but was not cordial in implementing, did not implement the major provisions and the present government did not implement rather violated some major provisions such as the appointment of Deputy Minister instead of a full minister in the CHT Affairs Ministry, the appointment of Abdul Wadood Bhuiyan as the Chairman of CHT Development Board.

Activities of anti-accord element:

The Sama Adhikar Andolon, an extreme communal organisation of the Bengali settlers army-backed extreme communal organization of Bengali settlers observed the day as black day hoisting black flags in the three hill districts. The flags were supplied by local BNP men, who also threatened them if they do not hoist those. At a rally held at the Muktangan of Khagrachari district with BNP lawmaker Wadud Bhuiyan as the chief guest, Sama Adhikar leaders demanded cancellation of the CHT Accord. Rally in front of Rangamati Municipality was brought out by the Sama Adhikar Andolan demanding cancellation of the Accord. Parbatya Bangalee Chhatra Parishad also held a rally at Banarupa in Rangamati in the evening against the Accord.

Extracted from PCJSS news



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