The government's reluctance to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts peace accord is jeopardising possible peaceful political solution to the CHT issue, says Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) chief Santu Larma.
Santu, who signed the 1997 accord with the then Awami League government, has accused the Sheikh Hasina administration of showing utter disregard for the accord.
“...As a result, the overall situation in the CHT is becoming apprehensive,” he said in a written statement, marking the 19th anniversary of the accord on Wednesday.
The peace accord between Shanti Bahini and the government ended decades of bloody armed struggle in the volatile hill tracts region.
Santu took command of the separatist group after the assassination of his elder brother Manabendra Narayan Larma.
Since laying down arms, Santu Larma-led PCJSS
has been pressing for full implementation of the accord. Santu Larma has, in the past, warned of bloody struggle in the hills for realising the rights of the tribal population.
“[If the accord is not implemented] … the tribal people will be forced to seek alternative ways for the sake of their existence … the government will be responsible for any untoward incident that may occur as a result,” he said on Wednesday.
Columnist and researcher Syed Abul Maksud, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Secretary Sanjeeb Drong, Executive Director of Institute for Environment and Development Numan Ahmed Khan, among others, attended the press briefing.