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21st anniversary of CHT Peace Accord observed

Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord
Guests release doves marking the 21st anniversary of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord in Khagrachhari on Sunday, December 2, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina  issued separate messages to the ethnic minority communities on Saturday

The 21st anniversary of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord was observed in Khagrachhari, Bandarban, and Rangamati.

A number of programs were arranged in the three hill districts, marking the peace treaty anniversary on Sunday.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina  issued separate messages to the ethnic minority communities on Saturday.

In Khagrachhari, around 9:50 am, the Khagrachhari Hill District Council organized a colourful rally from the Parishad premises towards Khagrachhari Town Hall, following a discussion meeting on the CHT treaty, peace, and development.

Khagrachhari’s member of Parliament (MP), Kujendra Lal Tripura, inaugurated the program.

He said: “Several sections of the treaty have not been implemented yet due to some conspirators. If everyone is united, it is still not too late to fully implement the treaty.”

Kongjuree Chowdhury, chairman of Khagrachhari Hill District Council, said the three hill districts have seen development in the last 20 years which has been possible due to the treaty.

In Rangamati, the Parbatya Chattagram (CHT) Jana Sanghati Samity and the Rangamati Hill District Council, organized various programs marking the occasion.

The Jana Sanghati Samity organized a discussion meeting at Rangamati Shilpakala Academy with the help of  the Rangamati district Committee.

Ushaton Talukder, MP and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) central vice president was present as chief guest.

Addressing the gathering the PCJSS leader alleged that the government was reluctant to implement the CHT Act. “The basic demands of the agreement have not been implemented and they are demanding quick implementation.”

The Rangamati Hill District Council also organized a discussion meeting in its conference room at the same time. 

MP Firoza Begum Chinu inaugurated the event as chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, she said: "The Awami League government will implement the treaty. Awami League wants peace in the hills, so it will be implemented through negotiations.”

At a Bandarban rally and discussion meeting, a free medical camp and blankets were were provided, marking the occasion. 

On Sunday morning, a rally was organized from the Deputy Commissioner's Office towards the Raja grounds. Later, blankets were distributed after discussion meetings, and free medical camps were organized for poor people.

Bandarban District Council Chairman, Kay Shai Hla, was present as chief guest at the ceremony. 

Kay Shai Hla said that due to the sincere efforts of the present government, a peace agreement was reached. “Because of this peace agreement, there is peace now in the hills.”

Meanwhile, the anniversary of the CHT Peace Accord has been observed in different upazilas including Ruma, Roangchhari Thanchi, and Alikadam in Bandarban.

The district councils and the regional army units of Rangamati and Khagrachhari organized evening concerts at their respective stadiums, to mark the occasion.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed between the government and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) on December 2, 1997 during the first tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ending bloody conflicts in

three hill districts. 

Then Chief Whip of Parliament, Abul Hasnat Abdullah, signed the agreement on behalf of the government, while Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma (popularly known as Santu Larma) signed on behalf of PCJSS.