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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Move to drive away hill people still on: says Larma

Move to drive away hill people still on: Larma

Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma

Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Regional Council, has said the government, like its predecessors, is trying to drive away the hill people from CHT by acquiring their land in the name of what he said expansion of security camps and development of tourism industry.

Popularly known as Santu Larma, he was speaking at a seminar on “Compilation of laws and custom relating to Chakmas' Land Management System” in the conference room of CHT Regional Council here yesterday.

Mongal Kumar Chakma read out the keynote paper while Gautam Kumar Chakma, member of CHTRC, and Prakkriti Ranjan Chakma, president of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, CHT chapter, were the main speakers at the seminar organised by CHT Regional Council in association with Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF).

Larma said around five lakh people from plain land were settled on the ancestral land of Jumma people during the regimes of late president Ziaur Rahman and Ershad. It was part of a conspiracy hatched by the two governments to annihilate the Jumma people, he alleged.

The conspiracy is still on to grab the ancestral land and homesteads of Jumma people, said Larma, also the chief of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS).

He said CHT Regional Council has become a dysfunctional institution due to non-implementation of peace accord and other laws relating to its (CHTRC) smooth functioning. He demanded full implementation of the accord as soon as possible.

“We are facing serious problems in land management in hills as many authorities like Raja, headmen, karbaries and deputy commissioners (DCs) are dealing with the issue,” Larma said, stressing the need for a proper land management system so that the hill people can establish their right to land.

He said since the chairmen and members of three hill district councils are politically nominated they always work in favour of the government. They can't do any task without instructions of the party's high command, he added.

Dr Shamim Inam, director of MJF, and Brishaketu Chakma, councillor of Rangamati Hill District Council, were the special guests at the seminar.

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courtesy: The daily star

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