Dhaka, Bangladesh
Full execution of CHT accord demanded

Full execution of CHT accord demanded

Our Correspondent RANAGMATI, Aug 9: The leaders of different indigenous communities in Rangamati on Thursday urged the government to give them constitutional recognition as 'indigenous people' along with the demand for immediate execution of the Chittagong Hill Tracts accord. They said fundamental clauses of the accord have remained unimplemented which made the jumma people dismay and deeply concern. As the chief guest, Ushatan Talukder MP, said indigenous people are migrating into different countries from Bangladesh in fear of killing, torture and reprisal from the ruling class in recent time. Now the situation in CHT has stand that nobody can express opinion freely due to obstruction from the government side. If we speak out for establishing our rights it does not meant that we are opposing the government, pointed out Talukder. Our Jumma people are in deep concern about whether they could survive here or not due to continuous oppression by the ruling class, said Ushatan who is also a senior leader of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Shanghati Samiti (PCJSS). Killing and raping of our women and girls by the Bengali settlers is on the rise in hills. But fair justice is still far away and elusive for us. Until or unless establish of rule of law and good governance, the rights of all the citizens including indigenous people would not be protected in the country, asserted Ushatan. He further blamed an interest group for spreading communalism in the region. The land and homesteads of the adivasi people is being grabbed by the influential quarters within the government and outside, making them more marginalised communities. Twenty one years have passed after signing of the accord. But the government does not coming forward with concrete road map to implement it fully. Government should declare 'Road Map' immediately, thinking the greater interest of people in CHT, said ethnic leaders. As the execution of the deal is getting delay, frustration and resentment is prevailing among the jumma people. They said establishing permanent peace is not possible without proper implementation of the accord. The decision makers in the government are thinking that the sovereignty of this country will be hampered if the accord is executed. But this conception is wrong. There is no one clause in the accord against the sovereignty, ethnic leader observed. The word of 'Adivasi' has appeared as allergenic problem for the government. In different times, the government is terming the indigenous people in various names like tribal, ethnic minority and hill people. The government did not recognise the jumma people as indigenous so far despite fulfilling all criterias as per the United Nations Declaration, they lamented. It's totally not true that the sovereignty of the country will ruined if the government gives constitutional recognition to our jumma people as indigenous, they pointed out. Blaming, they said those who opposing against the word of 'indigenous', they are conspiring against the jumma people. Our ethnic people want to involve in mainstream development activity of the government, then the country would get more progress ahead of the days. Leaving behind the jumma people, the expected development is not possible in the country, said Talukder. Lawmaker Ushatan Talukder said we are the citizens of Bangladesh. We born on this land, we are not alien here, and we have to live in this country. So we have to continue our agitation for our survival. He called upon all to work together to strengthen sectarian harmony in the region for the greater interest. Former National Human Right Commission's member Nirupa Dewan, CHT Headmen Network's assistant general secretary Thoai Aung Marma, Rangamati Sachetan Nagorik Committee former president Chand Roy, CHT Indigenous Writers Forum president Shishir Chakma, sadra upazila vice chairman Rita Chakma and Bijoygiri Chakma addressed, among others. Prakkriti Ranjan Chakma, president of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, CHT chapter, chaired the function. Intu Moni Talukder, secretary of Adivasi Forum, CHT unit, addressed the welcome. Later, a colourful procession was bringing out from Rangamati Municipality to district Shilpakola Academy which paraded main thoroughfares in the town. Indigenous people from different far flung areas joint in the rally.

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