Friday, July 15, 2011
Press Release: Seminar on CHT at the House of Lords, on 04 July 2011
Lord Eric Avebury, Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, with the co-operation of Jumma Peoples Network UK (JPNUK) organised a seminar on Chittagong Hill Tracts, which was held at the House of Lords on 4th of July 2011.
Lord Avebury chaired the seminar in which speakers from different organisations raised their concern over the gross human rights violations against the indigenous Jumma peoples in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. They also raised their concern regarding the delay of the implementation the CHT Peace Accord, which was signed in 1997.
The speakers were – Julia Deblaauw (Global Human Rights Defence), Sophie Grig (Survival International), Abbas Faiz (Amnesty International), Budhist Monk Nagasena Bhante, Bhumitra Chakma (International Jumma Organisations), Lal Amlai (Jumma Peoples Network UK), Rumana Hashem, a phd candidate of East London University; and Manzurul Karim Chowdhury, representative of Bangladesh High Commission.
Sophie Grig and Julia Deblaauw spoke about human rights violations that are taking place in the region, they also mentioned army involvement and non-implementation of CHT peace accord. Abbas Faiz shared his experience of his visit in the CHT. Many Jummas do not know the reason of the army presence in the CHT, it is mainly because lack of information and communication, he said in his speech. Bhante Nagasena concentrated on religious intolerance in the region, he also said, ‘peace will not be restored in the region unless the army is removed as they are backing the illegal Bengali settlers in the violence’. Bhumitra Chakma said the army must be removed from the region as they are supporting the illegal Bengali settlers who are committing numerous human rights violations in the region. Lal Amlai showed a Bangladesh cabinet meeting minute held on 26 January 2011 and mentioned, army and Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) representative said that the foreign ambassadors and foreign journalists were frequently visiting CHT, and they must have a secret agenda. DGFI recommended exerting regular political pressure on the local political groups in the CHT. Rumana Hashem shared her experience of her visit in the CHT.
At the end of the seminar Lord Avebury said further seminar on CHT would be organised with the co-operation of JPNUK.
Other guests and observers present were Alan Craig of Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA), Ujjaini Roy Chakma, Ashu Chakma, Rabindra Ghosh of GHRD, Julia Coton of GHRD, Anchelita Gowri of GHRD, Budhist monk Anomodorshi Bhikkhu, Areeba, Zahid Sarwar Nizam , Ripon Chakma, Smita Chakma, Mong Tin Rakhaine, Samong Prue, Mong Marma Bafrue, Aneek Khan, Rashedul Hasan, Utsa Mukhergee of Survial International, Ratan of GHRD, Rebecca Durand, Katy Guttman and David Brunetti.
Ansar Ahmed Ullah of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee assisted Lord Avebury during the seminar.
Posted by CHT NEWS UPDATE at 10:19 PM