Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) chief Santu Larma also criticised the government’s wary efforts, citing lack of connection between the government and the indigenous community leaders.
He said: “If the peace treaty is not implemented, we will vanish. Whatever projects are going on in the CHT also put our existence at risk.”
The discussion, organised by PCJSS, was held today at Hotel Sundarban in Dhaka.
The PCJSS chief claimed that the indigenous leaders were unaware of what was being implemented. For instance, plans to establish a medical college without consulting the indigenous leaders was a violation of the treaty.
He added that they would continue protests to ensure human rights as outlined in the treaty on behalf of indigenous peoples.
Speakers expressed that the 19th anniversary was supposed to be a happy occasion, however they were not able enjoy it as the agreement remains unfulfilled.
The accord was signed on December 2, 1997 between the government and the PCJSS during the first tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ending bloody conflicts in three hill districts.
President of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Mujahidul Islam Selim joined Santu Larma in his criticism of the government.
Echoing Santu Larma, the CPB president said: “160 million people of the country will call this government hypocrite as conditions of the accord have been completed but the agreements remain unfulfilled.”
Sanjeeb Drong, secretary of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum said: “I hope on the occasion of next anniversary, the Government will behave modestly toward us shunning the colonial mindset.”
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages marking the 19th anniversary of CHT peace treaty.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought cooperation from all for full implementation of CHT peace treaty. She claimed that the government had implemented massive development programmes in different sectors, including education, health, electricity, communications and mobile networks.
President of Oikkyo NAP Pankaj Bhattacharya, President of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal Sharif Nurul Ambia, Member of the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission Sara Hossain, Dhaka University professor Mesbah Kamal, Polit Bureau Member of Workers Party of Bangladesh Nur Ahmed Bakul, Rabindranath Saren president of Jatiya Adibashi Parishad and other speakers all urged for political collaboration among all parties to implement the CHT Peace Accord.