The government would be held responsible for any unanticipated situation in the CHT region that may evolve if it executes any undemocratic or anti-people initiative in contrary to the 1997 peace accord, Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti President Jyotirindra Bodhipriya (Santu) Larma said yesterday.
Santu Larma, who signed the accord with the then Awami League government to end a decade-long armed struggle, made the announcement at a press conference in the capital’s Hotel Sundarban, organised by the PCJSS.
He alleged that the Awami League government had utterly failed to implement the fundamental points of the accord.
Santu also strongly condemned the recent attack on members of the CHT Commission on July 5 in Rangamati. “Several groups and settler Bangalees, who are being patronised by the government and its other agencies, continue their activities with the aim to grab indigenous people’s land forcefully. Their intention becomes clear after the attack on the visiting CHT Commission team.”
The PCJSS chief criticised the government for taking initiatives to establish a science and technology university and a medical college, to enact the CHT Development Board Act, 2014, and to amend the Hill District Council Act, 2014 since the government had not discussed these issues with the CHT Regional Council as per related laws.
He said the government had passed the CHT Development Board Act, 2014 in parliament unilaterally on July 1 which he termed “undemocratic” since it would go against the interests of the indigenous people.
Regarding the proposed university and the medical college, he referred to the Kaptai Sweden Polytechnic Institute. “If admission takes place following the proposed rules and regulations, 90% outsider students will be able to take admission.
“The PCJSS thinks that without establishing such controversial academic institutions, the government should rather focus the three government colleges in the CHT region which need more subjects in honours and masters levels. The government should also increase number of teachers, quota for students, scholarships and logistic support.”
On the three hill district councils, Santu Larma said no government had taken any initiative to hold election to the bodies in the last 22 years. “Every ruling party appointed their own party members and followers as chairmen and members to operate the councils undemocratically,” he alleged.
He also criticised the government for not passing the CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission Act, 2013. It was placed in parliament last year but remain pending with the parliamentary standing committee.
Santu Larma later presented a 17-point charter for demands that include withdrawal of all temporally Army, Ansar, APB and VDP camps, rehabilitation of the displaced indigenous people, and banning anti-peace accord group United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF).
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