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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Headmen-Karbari conference demands Regional Autonomy for CHT

Headmen-Karbari conference demands Regional Autonomy for CHT

source: chtnews.com
News No. 123/2010, August 27, 2010

A conference of the Headmen and Karbaris of Khagrachari district has
endorsed an 11-point demand which includes, among others, declaration
of CHT as an autonomous region and providing recognition to the ethnic
nationalities in the constitution of Bangladesh.

Chaired by Swadesh Priti Chakma, Headman of Maischari Mouza No. 255,
the conference also unanimously endorsed the proposed amendments to
the constitution
of Bangladesh formulated by United Peoples’
Democratic Front (UPDF).

About 250 Headmen and Karbaris (village heads) from all Upazilas in
Khagrachari district attended the conference held at Perachara High
ground at 10am today.

The main slogan of the conference was “Unite for constitutional
recognition of the ethnic nationalities and declaration of CHT as an
autonomous region”.

The conference was also addressed, among others, by Ajit Baran Chakma,
headmaster of Perachara High School, Shanti Jibon Chakma, Organising
Secretary of Jumma Refugees Welfare Association, Dipankar Dewan,
president of Dighinala Headmen-Karbari Association, Chajai Marma,
chairman, Maischari Union Council, Ms Gopa Devi Chakma, headman of
Dhanpada Mouza, Dighinala, Rabi Shankar Talukder, president of
Khagrachari Contractors Association, and Ujjal Smriti Chakma, member,
central committee, UPDF.

The declaration and demand of the conference was read out by Ranik
Tripura, president of Khagrachari District Headmen and Karbari

The conference was conducted by Norendra Karbari.

The conference condemned the February attacks on Jumma areas in
Khagrachari and Sajek and expressed concern over the fact that even
after six months of the said attacks the government has failed to
constitute an inquiry committee and provide compensation to the

It also criticized the government for following in the foot steps of
the BNP-Jammat alliance government of the past and continuing virtual
military rule in the name of Operation Uttoran.

The declaration of the conference expressed serious doubts as to
whether the Jumma land owners would be able to get back their lands
through the Land Commission.

It also expressed concerns over continuing land grabbing, secret
infiltration of the settlers and violations of human rights.

The demands also include, among others, abrogation of absolute powers
given to the chairman of the CHT Land Commission, putting an end to
land grabbing and providing constitutional recognition to the
traditional land rights of the Jumma people, rehabilitation of the
Bengalee settlers outside of the CHT, withdrawal of the army from CHT
and an end to Operation Uttoran, putting an end to all forms of women
repression including rape and murder of the Jumma women, holding
elections to the Regional and District Councils after preparing a
voter list that would include only the permanent residents of the CHT,
formation of a special police force with its members drawn from both
the Jummas and Bengalees, formation of community police, VDP and Ansar
in Jumma villages, putting an end to ill treatments meted out to the
Headmen, Karbaris and other Jumma village elders by the army

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