Why we want our voice to be heard?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ban urged to raise CHT issue with govt

 A rights body has urged the visiting UN secretary-general to take up the issue of implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord with the government.

The CHT Commission said in an e-mailed press statement on Sunday that implementation of the 1997 CHT Peace Accord was an issue that called for a special attention from Ban Ki-moon.

"The CHT Commission firmly believes that such human rights violations of the indigenous hill people will continue and there will be no peace in the CHT unless the 1997 CHT Accord is implemented in full," the NGO said.

"The culture of impunity prevails in the CHT, where members of the security forces are regularly alleged to be involved in human rights violations of indigenous hill peoples, and these incidents are rarely investigated," it said.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts is home to 11 indigenous groups, numbering approximately 500,000 people. The accord, signed by Awami League government and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), brought an end to decades of armed conflict in the region.

The CHT Commission said Awami League had pledged implementation of the accord in its 2008 election manifesto, but nearly three years into its term, the party was yet to finalise a roadmap for the process.

The NGO in its statement quoted a United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) report in May this year, which made specific recommendations on the matter of army presence in the hill tracts, such as:

a) That the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the UN Secretariat develop a mechanism to strictly monitor and screen the human rights records of national army personnel prior to allowing them to participate in peacekeeping operations, and

b) That the Department of Peacekeeping Operations prevent human rights violators and alleged human rights violators within the security forces of Bangladesh from participating in international peacekeeping activities under the auspices of the United Nations.

According to the government, up to 2007, 200 military camps in the hill tracts were withdrawn in phases since the accord was signed. In August and September this year, 34 more were removed. But the report disagrees with these figures.

"The indigenous peoples of Bangladesh have faced discrimination and persecution from the majority Bangali population and from the state, and they continue to be treated as second‐class citizens as exemplified by the government's lack of commitment to its own promises," the CHT Commission said.

It hoped that the UN secretary general would raise the issue with the government and monitor the future performance of their international obligations in the matter.

courtesy: bdnews24

Following is letter from CHTC to UN SG:

CHT Commission to UN Secretary General November 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment