Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today assured inhabitants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) that they will enjoy the ownership of land there as people in other regions of the country do.
"The land ownership won't be determined by British-era laws," she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating the 4000th Para Kendra (Village Centre) in at Mitingachhari in Kaptai upazila of Rangamati through a video conference.
CHT affairs ministry and Unicef jointly organised the programme at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.
Sheikh Hasina said the government wants to develop the whole country in a balanced way as the government gives importance to the upliftment of people's socio-economic status."This is not possible to develop the country keeping one region neglected, we're giving a special attention to the development of the neglected areas of the country... the overall development of the CHT area is the responsibility of ours," she said.
Recalling the signing of the CHT Peace Treaty during 1996-2001 regime, the prime minister said a major part of the agreement has already been implemented and the rest of it will surely be implemented.
Regarding the land dispute issue, she said her government has formed the Land Commission and if the commission can sit regularly, the problem will be solved.
Hasina put emphasis on adopting modern methods in cultivation. "We want to establish food-processing industries here. This will create jobs and bring foreign currencies through export."
She asked the people of the CHT region to maintain peace in the region as this is a perquisite to development.
Chaired by State Minister for CHT Affairs Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, the inaugural ceremony was addressed, among others, by PM's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on CHT Affairs Ministry RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury and Unicef Representative in Bangladesh Edouard Beigbeder.
CHT Affairs Secretary Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura delivered the welcome speech.
The prime minister also launched a book titled “Chittagong Hill Tracts: Journey towards the Peace and Prosperity” from the programme.