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Mahalchari Burnt Ricemill

On 26 August 2003, Bangladesh army in league with Muslim settlers attacked the indigenous Buddhist people in Mahalchari. Bangladesh army and Muslim settlers set fire on more than 370 indigenous Buddhist houses. An indigenous Chakma man and an indigenous Chakma infant (8 months) were killed. More than 1000 indigenous Buddhist people were rendered homeless. Lemucharipara Buddhist Temple and Babupara Buddhist Temple were burnt down. Lord Buddha's images were demolished. Bangladesh army and Muslim settlers raped 10 indigenous Chakma women.


BNP government forms Committee for Implementation of CHT Accord to conceal its lackluster attitude

After assuming power in 2001, some ministers of present BNP government of Bangladesh declared in several meetings that BNP‑led 4‑party coalition government accepted the CHT Accord on principle. The government would not cancel the Accord. But the Accord is not being implemented; rather several important provisions have been violated. Such as, appointment of a Muslim settler MP as the Chairman of CHT Development Board, no indigenous minister in the CHT Ministry, it is kept under the Prime Minister, no sign of temporary camps withdrawal rather involvement of Bangladesh army and military in civil administration etc.

As an attempt conceal its lackluster attitude, in 2003 the present BNP government formed a committee which was named Committee for the Implementation of the CHT Accord headed by Mr. Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development. So far, four meeting took place between the government representatives and CHT Regional Council representatives aiming to deal with various issues of implementation of the CHT Accord. In these meeting following persons attended as representatives of the government and the CHT Regional Council.

Government representatives

  1. Mr. Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development
  2. Barrister Moudud Ahmmed, Minister of Law, Parliament and Justice
  3. Mr. M. Shamul Islam, Minister of Land
  4. Syed Wahidul Alam, Whip of Bangladesh Parliament
  5. Mr. Moni Swapan Dewan, Deputy Minister of CHT Affairs

CHT Regional Council Representative

  1. Mr. Goutam Kumar Chakma, Member of CHT Regional Council
  2. Mr. Sudhasindhu Khisa, Membber of CHT Regional Council
  3. Mr. K S Mong Marma, Member of CHT Regional Council

Although, the government termed this committee as the Committee for the CHT Accord Implementation, but it neither a follow up of the previous committee nor formed according to the CHT Accord of 1997. According to the Accord this committee was supposed to be formed consisting three members i.e. a person appointed by the Prime minister; president of PCJSS and Chairman of Task Force on Rehabilitation of Returnee Jumma Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.

Although several crucial decisions, such as, amendment of CHT Land Dispute Settlement Commission Act 2001, formation of Task Force, Transfer of Subjects to the Hill District Councils, etc. have been taken to discuss in the meetings of the committee. However, all these discussions are without any decisions or tangible results. On the other, there is no sign of any workable steps for the implementation of accord. So, all these meetings seem nothing but killing the time and delay dealing tactics.

On 27‑28 July 2003 two separate meetings were held between Mr. J. B. Larma, Chairman of the CHTRC and Mr. Maudud Ahmmed, Minister for Law, Parliament and Justice and Mr. Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development. In the meetings, discussions took place on amendment of Land Disputes Settlement Commission Act and the overall development of CHT again without concrete decision.


Sources:

PCJSS (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
E-mail: pcjss.org@gmail.com, pcjss@hotmail.com
Website: pcjss-cht.org

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