Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured the inhabitants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) that they would 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 on Sunday.
The prime minister made the statement while inaugurating the 4,000th Para Kendra (Village Centre) at Mitingachhari in Kaptai upazila of Rangamati district via videoconference.
The Ministry of CHT Affairs and Unicef jointly organized the program at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.
The prime minister said the government wanted to develop the whole country in a balanced way as the government gives importance to the uplifting of people’s socio-economic status.
“It is not possible to develop the country keeping one region neglected... we are giving special attention to the development of the neglected areas of the country… the overall development of the CHT area is our responsibility,” she said.
Recalling the signing of the CHT Peace Treaty during 1996-2001 regime, the prime minister said a major part of that agreement had already been implemented and the rest of it would also be implemented.
Regarding the issue of land dispute, she said her government had formed the Land Commission, and if the Commission could sit regularly, the problems would 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 it is a perquisite to development.
Chaired by State Minister for CHT Affairs Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, the inaugural ceremony was addressed 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.
Hasina also launched a book titled “Chittagong Hill Tracts: Journey towards the Peace and Prosperity” at the program.