HPM Sheikh Hasina seeks cooperation to resolve land disputes in CHT


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought the cooperation of Chittagong Hill District Regional Council to resolve the land dispute problems in the hill districts to expedite the peace and development process in the region.

"Land dispute resolution is the most complex issue of the execution of the CHT Peace Treaty. However, it can be resolved if the regional council extends its cooperation," the prime minister said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has already amended the law to resolve the land dispute problem and the government is sincerely making constant efforts to fulfill every demand of the people according to the peace accord.

The prime minister was addressing the people of the three hill districts from her Ganabhaban residence on Friday evening through a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.

"As many as 48 conditions of the peace accord, out of total 72, were fulfilled completely while 15 conditions were implemented partially," she said.

Nine other conditions would also be executed gradually, she said, adding most of the conditions of the peace accord have been accomplished while others remained under a process of implementation."

The Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed on December 2, 1997 between the Awami League government and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti, ending decades-long insurgency in the hill districts.

On the occasion, rallies were organized in Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban where ministers, political leaders, senior government officials and cross section of people were present.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has discharged many responsibilities including the charge of the tourism sector under the jurisdiction of the hill district councils. Army camps were withdrawn from many areas according to the demand of the hilly people, she said.

The premier said the peace accord was signed aimed at development of the region and making the lives of the people peaceful and prosperous. The accord has immensely helped development of education system and boosting tourism in the region, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has undertaken many development programmes beside the scheduled development works for rapid socioeconomic growth of the hill districts.

Residential schools, the premier said, are being constructed considering the communication problem of the students and steps were taken to provide primary education to indigenous children in their mother languages.

Holding the post-1975 government responsible for making the Chittagong Hill Tracts unstable, she said the military rulers had began politics of killing in the country and at the same time they were responsible for initiating the suicidal conflict in the CHT.

Sheikh Hasina said the military rulers had tried to settle the CHT conflict militarily but the Awami League government had showed the ways of resolving the conflict politically.

In this regard, the prime minister mentioned about the formation of constituting a committee, headed by late AL leader Ataur Rahman Khan Kaiser, to find out the problems and their solutions after her return to home in 1981 from exile.

It was very important to build up confidence among the people of the CHT to come back home, she said, adding that the CHT peace accord was a result of frantic efforts of Awami League to bring peace in the hill areas.

Congratulating the people of three hill districts marking the signing of the Peace Accord on December 2, 1997, Sheikh Hasina said about 1,800 members of Janasanghati Samity surrendered their arms.

"Many countries in the world have experience of having such peace accord but surrender of arms was a rare example in the history," she said.

State Minister for CHT Affairs Bir Bahadur also spoke from Ganabhaban on the occasion while Minister for Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader was present.

PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury conducted the function. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor took part in the discussion from Rangamati Stadium.

Later, cultural and laser shows were arranged in the venues of the three districts.

Photo: Saiful Islam Kallol

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