Several organisations of indigenous community, civil society and rights group this morning brought out a rally in Dhaka demanding effective measures from the government for fully implementing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.
“We hope that effective measures will be taken to materialise issues including thebasic points in the CHT accord, which are yet to be implemented, for the peace, development and prosperity and for the greater interest of the country,” reads a memorandum prepared jointly by the organisers in this regard.
The rally was organised on the Dhaka University campus at 11:00am to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister SheikhHasinato press home their demand.
Marking 20 years of the signing of the CHT Peace Accord on January 1 last year, the prime minister said, “It is our responsibility to implement the accord as we have done it. We will, for sure, fully implement the accord, but we need cooperation from all. We want overall development of the area.”
With reference to her speech the organisers in their memorandum specifically listed eight points as the important parts of the fundamental issues of the peace accord which they demanded to be implemented immediately.
Points in the memorandum include:
1. Take necessary legal and administrative steps to preserve characteristics features of the areas known for jhum (slash and burn) cultivation
2. Handover and implement the affairs and functions of Chittagong Hill Tracts local government council and three hill district councils
3. Hold elections in CHT local government and three district councils
4. Withdraw remaining (over 400) temporary army camps
5. Resolve land dispute
6. Rehabilitate refugees
7. Amend laws including police act 1861, police regulation and CHT governance 1900 to make them relevant to the peace accord
8. Give priority to hilly people in CHT job sectors ensuring appointment to local residents
Jono Udyog, Adivasi Chhatra Sangram Parishad, Adivasi Chhatra Parishad, Adivasi Jubo Parishad, Santal Students' Union (SASU), Madol, Chanchia (a platform of the Garo community), Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF), Kapeng Foundation, Institute for Environment and Development (IED), Research and Development Collective (RDC), Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD) were among others who jointly prepared the memorandum.
On January 21, the prime minister in a video conference assured that the CHT people would enjoy the ownership of their land.