CHT after two decades of signing peace accord
Md Shafayet Hossain, Bandarban Correspondent
The debate has not yet ended even after 24 years of implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord. The government says that most of the clauses of the agreement have been implemented. According to the JSS, the government is violating the agreement instead of implementing it. After the peace agreement, the hill based organizations have been engaged in conflict with each other. An agreement was signed between the present government and Jana Sanghati Samiti on December 2, 1997.
According to the UPDF democratic leaders, the peace agreement is not just for the hill people, but for all the people living in the hills. Many changes have taken place since the peace agreement in the mountains.
The village leaders also said that if the land dispute is implemented, the ethnic minorities and Bengali people will be able to live peacefully.
According to the leaders of the Bengali organizations, terrorist activities are still rampant.
However, the Bengali leaders think that the violence will stop if temporary army camps are set up in the hills to maintain peace in the hills. With the implementation of the peace agreement, development is taking place in all areas of the hill areas, but still some miscreants are trying to disrupt the peace agreement by creating unrest in the hill areas. In 1997, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed the peace agreement to resolve the country’s internal problems through bilateral talks.
Most of the provisions of the peace agreement have been implemented because the government is sincere in implementing the agreement. The remaining clauses will also be implemented. The government has promised to implement the agreement but the JSS has not kept its word.
Meanwhile, Kazi Mujibur Rahman, central president of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizens’ Council, said the peace agreement had not benefited the people of the hills for twenty-four years. Most of the peace agreements have been implemented, but the withdrawal of army camps there has led to an increase in violence in the mountains.
He further said that after the JSS rescued their interests in the peace agreement, Awami League leaders and activists were being selectively killed in the hills to nullify the leadership of Awami League.
On the other hand, Lakshi Pad Das, joint secretary of district Awami League and member of Bandarban Parbatya Zila Parishad, said that as a result of the peace agreement, huge development has taken place in the hill tracts region.
There have been schools, colleges, multiple universities, medical colleges. Medical sector, communication system, mosque-temple, and other facilities have been built. Above all, infrastructure development and people’s financial empowerment have increased manifold.
The sons and daughters of poor farmers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts are getting education opportunities and government jobs. 24 years ago today there was a ruined Chittagong Hill Tracts. After 24 years, a prosperous Chittagong Hill Tracts has been formed. Today the Chittagong Hill Tracts are flowing with the tide of huge development, this is the benefit of the peace agreement. Most of the clauses and sub-clauses of the peace agreement have been implemented.
But even after the peace agreement, a group continues to use terrorism, extortion, kidnapping, murder and disappearance to disrupt development. However, if the illegal activities are hacked by conducting a special operation in the mountains, the peaceful atmosphere of the neighborhood will return.