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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Post-treaty CHT situation warrants no military operation: Devashish

Post-treaty CHT situation warrants no military operation: Devashish

The Chakma circle chief, Devashish Roy, on Saturday said the changed situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts after the signing of the CHT peace deal in 1997 did in no way warrant operations like counter-insurgency.
‘But the state continues to view the situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts from security perspective and prefers to continue counter-insurgency operations there. The home and defence ministries know it well that the law and order in the hills is no different than that in the plains,’ he said at an exchange of views organised by the Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizens’ Committee.
Devashish said the state seemed unwilling to implement the 1997 CHT deal which had been misinterpreted as being biased towards the hill people depriving the Bengalis.
‘I think, time has come to create reserved seats in parliament for indigenous communities in the three constituencies in the hills and areas dominated by Garos, Santals and Rakhains. Such measures have been adopted in India and many other countries,’ he said.
Devashish feared that the way Bengali population was swelling in the ‘predominantly indigenous people’s areas’, representatives of hill people might not be elected in the constituencies in future.
Golam Rabbani, a former Supreme Court judge, said successive governments had ignored the spirit of the CHT deal. ‘The bureaucrats remain a major obstacle to implementation of the deal. They want cadastral survey before the land disputes are settled. The deputy commissioners demand amendment to the laws on the hills in keeping with their choice. Dependency on bureaucrats is a major weakness of the governments,’ he said.
Rabbani said problems in the hills could be easily solved by recognising the ethnic minorities constitutionally and awarding them self-rule. ‘There is no need to deploy military in the hills,’ he said.
The citizen’s committee chairperson Goutam Dewan lamented that though the Awami League had signed the CHT deal in 1997, it was not sincere about implementing the agreement.
Information commission member Sadeka Halim, Nijera Kori executive director Khushi Kabir and Bhorer Kagaj editor Shyamal Dutta also spoke at the programme.
Members on the citizens committee Jasheshwar Chakma, Mong Shanoo Chowdhury, Anjulika Khisha, Ukyaw Zen, Zumliam Amlai and Jnanendu Bikash Chakma were also present.


source: newagebd (19.09.2010)

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