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Dhaka, Saturday 15 Dec, 2018

CHT Peace Treaty could not be fully implemented in 21 yrs for conflicts

Staff Correspondent Daily-Bangladesh.com
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Though 21 years have elapsed since its signing, the CHT Peace Accord is yet to be fully implemented for various reasons, mainly legal barriers, non-cooperation from and conflicts among some regional groups.

The agreement was signed to establish peace in the region, but it is still far away due to conflicts among the regional groups which frequently claim lives in the hill.

Sources at the local intelligence and law enforcement agencies said around 53 people belonging to different ethnic minority groups were killed, 46 others injured and 78 abducted by Pahari terrorist groups in the three hilly districts in the last 11 months till November 30.

Besides, 14 Bangalees were killed, 25 injured and 12 abducted by the terrorists during the period.

The total figure from January 1, 2014, to November 30 this year stood at 166, 259 and 312 respectively for the Pahari people while 98, 572 and 148 respectively for Banglaee settlers.

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

Then Jatiya Sangsad Chief Whip Abul Hasnat Abdullah signed the agreement on behalf of the government while Joritindra Bodhipriyo Larma (Santu Larma) on behalf of PCJSS.

A group of ethnic minority people, led by Prosid Bikash Khisa, formed the United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) in 1998 opposing the peace accord.

The PCJSS also saw a split as some left the organisation in 2007 and formed PCJSS (Reformists), led by Sudha Sindho Khisa, while armed group of the UPDF also got separated from the organisation and formed UPDF (Democratic), led by Tapan Jyoti Chakma (alias Borma and Jalwa) on November 15, 2017.

The Pahari groups have allegedly been engaged in various crimes, including extortion, kidnapping and killing, in the hilly region. Sometimes they lock in clashes among themselves which claim lives of both Pahari and Bangalee people, hampering development activities in the region.

Contacted, Chairman of Taskforce on Tribal Refugee Affairs Kujendra Lal Tripura told UNB that two-thirds of the CHT Peace Treaty has already been implemented. "It'll take some more time to fully execute the treaty as it's not possible to implement all the clauses overnight," he said.

Replying to a query, he said regional groups like UPDF, UPDF (Democratic) andPCJS (Reformists) are engaged in attacking each other for establishing supremacy in their respective areas and they are also hampering the implementation of the peace accord.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Khagrachhari M Shahidul Islam said 48 out of total 72 clauses of the CHT Peace Treaty have already been implemented while 15 others partially implemented and the remaining nine clauses are under implementation process.

He said several land-related cases are pending with the court which is hampering the implementation process. "It'll take some more time as there're some difficult issues involving land as well as legal matters to be settled."

Meanwhile, different programmes will be arranged in the three hilly districts on Sunday marking the anniversary of the peace treaty.

Daily Bangladesh/Sohug

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