Problems of minority leaders, commission members hinder resolution: Shafique
The law minister, Shafique Ahmed, on Thursday said that land disputes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts could not be resolved because of the problems among the national minority leaders and within the CHT land commission.
He said that the CHT land disputes resolution commission chairman was sincere enough to ensure the land rights of national minorities. ‘The problem lies with the members of the land commission… They [other members] must have some interest.’
Shafique said this during an argument with Bangladesh Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee chairman ZI Khan Panna at the launch of a book in the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka.
The Association for Land Reform and Development organised the programme where ‘The CHT Regulation 1900,’ compiled by the Chakma circle chief Raja Devashish Roy and Supreme Court lawyer Pratikar Chakma, was launched.
Justice Golam Rabbani presided over the programme, attended by Supreme Court lawyers including Karunamoy Chakma and Rana Das Gupta and the ALRD executive director, Shamsul Huda.
Emphasising communal ownership of land and customary laws of the national minorities, the minister said, ‘Plain-land people have no authority to encroach on your land but you [national minorities] have to prove to the land commission that you are the owners.’
ZI Khan Panna asked how the land commission could survey the community property as the constitution does not recognise community ownership.
Raja Devashish, who is also a member of the CHT land disputes resolution commission, tried to speak but was stopped by Justice Rabbani.
courtesy: New Age
Govt to reform land law of Hill Tracts: Law Minister
“A commission led by Justice Khademul Islam has been formed in solving the land disputes in Chittagong Hill Tracts, but the commission is not getting enough response from the locals. So, the government will take initiative to update the law for solving the problem permanently,” said the law minister.
He came up with the disclosure at the publication ceremony of a book titled ‘The Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation-1900’ organized by the Association for Land Reform and Development (MLRD) at the CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
The senior lawyer of the Supreme Court said the matter of protecting the culture, traditions of different ethnic and indigenous groups living in different areas, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, was not recognized constitutionally.
“They have been given constitutional recognition by amending the constitution this time,” he said.
Seeking advice from all he said any effective measure has not been taken until now for solving the land disputes as per the peace accord.
The law minister also told his audience that the government is trying to protect the fundamental and human rights of people of all walks of life. “The government will not do anything that hampers your rights,” he said.
With Justice Golam Rabbani in the chair, the progamme was also addressed, among others, by Daily Sun Editor Syed Anwar Husain, Advocate Karunamay Chakma and Advocate Rana Dasgupta.