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Santu Larma: Implementation of CHT peace accord halted

  • Published at 06:25 pm December 1st, 2019
File photo of Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma Syd Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

PCJSS organized a press briefing on occasion of the 22nd anniversary of signing the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord

The progress of implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord has been stopped, alleged Santu Larma on occasion of the 22nd anniversary of signing the treaty.

President of Parbatya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) Santu, formally known as Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, said there is no alternative of a full-fledged implementation of the accord. 

He was speaking at a press conference on Sunday, arranged for explaining their views on the status of implementation of the accord.

“The signing of the peace accord came following 26 meetings with the government starting in 1985. The five core demands are yet to be implemented,” he said.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed between the government and the PCJSS on December 2, 1997, during the first tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ending a bloody conflict in three hill districts.

President of Parbatya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) Santu, formally known as Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma speaks at press conference on Sunday, December 1, 2019 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The then Chief Whip of the Parliament, Abul Hasnat Abdullah, signed the agreement on behalf of the government, while Santu Larma signed on behalf of PCJSS.

The party who supported and went for the signing of the accord could not make effective measures to ensure full-fledged implementation of the accord till to date though they are in power for the last 11 years.

“There is no room left for democratic movement in hilly areas. The area is still under army rule, defying the core demand of the accord," he added.

Regarding allegations that internal conflicts among hilly people are hindering implementation of the peace accord, he said: "Such conflicts are also prevailing in plain lands as well. It is common nature, and all the hilly people could not be the supporters of PCJSS.” 

While replying to another query, he said a regional committee was formed without empowering them. "They do not know anything about their duty, and the administration also never listened to them."

He alleged: "Although the government is claiming that they have implemented 48 articles of the accord, the truth is that they have so far implemented 24 articles, with 15 others partially implemented. Some 34 articles are yet to be touched."

Professor Mesbah Kamal of the Department of History at Dhaka University, said the indigenous communities of the country did not get their deserved recognition, and are deprived of equal dignity that is ensured by the constitution. 

In the program, PCJSS Education and Cultural Secretary U Win Mong Jolly, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum President Snajeeb Drong, and Oikya NAP (National Awami Party) President Pankaj Bhattacharjee, among others, were present at the conference.