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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Khaleda Zia's remarks on Santu Larma and CHT Accord sparks protest in CHT

Khaleda Zia's remarks on Santu Larma and CHT Accord sparks protest in CHT

On 21 March 2011 Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sahhati Samiti (PCJSS) organised protest meeting in three hill districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) protesting the remarks made by opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia about Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma and CHT Accord.
Speakers of the protest meeting urged the Speaker of Jatiya Sangasd (parliament) to expunge the slanderous, irresponsible, ill-motivated and impolite discourteous remarks from her speech delivered in the parliament on 15 March 2011.
It is mentionable that chairperson of BNP Khaleda Zia, returning to parliament on 15 March 2011, branded the PCJSS president, Santu Larma, as a terrorist saying he was trained in India and killed members of the Bangladesh Army and innocent people.    
The PCJSS leaders said such irresponsible, motivated and communally provocative statement was not expected from a former prime minister who was now the opposition leader in parliament.
Speakers alleged that the remarks of Khaleda Zia were an evil attempt to mislead the country’s people over the hill people’s struggle for self-determination and provoke communal hatred. They questioned that if Santu Larma is a terrorist, how could the then government led by her held meetings 13 times with the PCJSS in the1990s.
Her comments will make the nation confused about the ongoing agitation of the indigenous peoples, who are demanding constitutional rights, and also thwart full implementation of CHT Accord, the speakers said.
As the leader of the opposition in parliament, Khaleda should play her due role in implementation of CHT Accord, the PCJSS leaders said, urging her not to make any false statements about PCJSS chief and the CHT Accord.
Though the indigenous people actively took part in the country's Liberation War in 1971, they are still deprived of their constitutional rights, the PCJSS leaders said.
Speakers also demanded constitutional recognition as indigenous peoples, but not small ethnic group.
The protest meetings were followed by submission of memorandum to the Speaker of parliament through respective deputy commissioner and upazila executive officer in this regard.
In Rangamati, chaired by Gunendu Bikash Chakma, president of PCJSS Rangamati district branch, the protest meeting was addressed, among others, by vice-president of PCJSS Mr. Ushatan Talukder, staff member of PCJSS central office Mr. Udayan Tripura and general secretary of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) Mr. Nitol Chakma. General Secretary of Hill Women’s Federation Ms. Nishi Dewan read out memorandum while assistant general secretary of PCJSS Rengamati branch Mr. Sharat Jyoti Chakma conducted the meeting. Hundreds of indigenous people from different areas joined the rally and later paraded the main streets in a procession.
In Bandarban, chaired by Sadhuram Tripura, president of PCJSS Bandarban district branch, the protest meeting was addressed, among others, by Dendoha Jolai Tripura of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, PCJSS central members Mr. Joli Mong Marma and Chinghla Mong Chak, Ms. Wchaing Marma of CHT Women Association and Arun Tripura of PCP. General Secretary of Bandarban district branch Mr. Kyaba Mong conducted the protest meeting. Besides, protest meetings were also held in Rowangchari, Ruma, Alikadam, Naikhyongchari and Lama upazilas.

source: PCJSS

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