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Friday, March 2, 2012

Call for end to CHT land disputes

Call for end to CHT land disputes

Speakers at a national dialogue Tuesday called for immediate solution to longstanding land disputes in Chittagong Hill Tracts to avoid possible flare-up over the issue.
The existing crisis over land disputes will have to be resolved soon otherwise violent clashes may erupt anytime in CHT region, they told the programme at CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
Nagarik Sanghati, Parbatya Campaign Group and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) jointly organised the dialogue ‘Plan to Resolve Land Dispute of Indigenous People in CHT’.
Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Prof. Mizanur Rahman addressed as chief guest the programme with President of Citizen Solidarity ASM Atikur Rahman in the chair.
Prof. Mizanur Rahman said there are three kinds of ownership recognised in the country’s constitution excluding the community ownership of indigenous people over land.
“A concept is there that all citizens have equal rights to land anywhere in the country including CHT but a kind of politics misleads it to make people fool,” he added.
“We need to recognise the traditional land rights of people to put an end to the growing land ownership crisis in the CHT region,” the NHRC chairman noted.
He also stressed that distance between the state and the indigenous people should be reduced to establish peach in the CHT region.
Civil society can play role in removing the distance, he said adding, “If the civil society took the initiative, the NHRC will provide all-out support to them in this regard.”
Columnist Syed Abul Moksud in his speech said that the CHT issue is political one, and political goodwill is a must to resolve the land dispute problem in the CHT region.
“CHT people are living in a critical situation and if the existing land dispute problem continues, they (CHT people) will disappear after 15-20 years,” he added.
Prof Mesbah Kamal said, “Existing crisis in the CHT is not regional problem. It is a national problem and the policy makers of the government need to understand it.
Many CHT people, present in the dialogue, criticised the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission Chairman Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury and demanded his removal.
Rothi Chakma, Subal Sarkar, Dr Abdul Hai Majumder, Ferdous Alam Ujjal, Javed Ikbal and Anisuzzaman Anis, among others, spoke at the programme.

courtesy: The Daily Sun


NHRC emphasises equitable solution to CHT land dispute

The longstanding land dispute in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) should be resolved based on equity, said National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman yesterday.

“A concept is there that all citizens have the equal rights to own lands in the CHT. One kind of politics is hidden there in this concept to fool people,” he told a dialogue at Cirdap auditorium in the city.

“But since the people of the region are underprivileged, the land dispute issues should be resolved on the basis of equity,” he stressed.

Nagarik Sanghati, Parbattya Campaign Group and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) jointly organised the national dialogue tilted 'Plan to Resolve Land Dispute of Indigenous People in CHT'.

Chaired by Nagarik Sanghati President Prof Dr ASM Atiqur Rahman, the dialogue was also addressed by columnist Syed Abul Maksud, Prof Mizbah Kamal, CSRL Member Secretary Manisha Biswas, indigenous leader UK Jam and General Secretary of Nagarik Sanghati Sharifuzzaman Sharif.

Abul Maksud said the self-identity of the country's indigenous people is now at stake due to the land dispute in the CHT. “The right to land is as important as that to survival.”

Speaking as the chief guest, the NHRC boss said the community ownership of indigenous people over land is not recognised by the constitution. “Had it been recognised by the constitution, the customary ownership of land would have been protected.”

About the country's security status, he said it was not possible to protect a country with arms and weapons and deploying military forces. “The security could be ensured by creating a relationship of love among its citizens.”
He urged all to come forward to remove all the prevailing differences of opinions and conflicts to establish people's rights.

Prof Mizanur assured that if any initiative was taken to resolve the CHT land dispute, the NHRC would provide its all-out support to make it a success.

courtesy: The Daily Star

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