Hill Voice, 7 June 2023, Mymensingh: In the divisional solidarity gathering held in Mymensingh demanding the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord, Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon MP said the Accord is passing 25 years, we cannot stay at home any longer. We all have to stand together and fight for our demands. Today we have only one demand, i.e. the Accord must be implemented. He said that military rule should not be imposed there just looking it through security glasses. In the name of security and under the pretext of separatism, martial law should not be imposed there.
June 5, 2023 around 3 pm, Mymensingh divisional meeting was held at the Town Hall Advocate Tarek Smriti Auditorium in Mymensingh demanding implementation of the CHT Accord by the CHT Accord Implementation Movement. A mass procession was also held after the gathering.
Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon MP, CPB General Secretary Ruhin Hossain Prince, Bangladesh JASAD Leader Dr. Moshtaq Hossain, BASAD Leader Comrade Khalekuzzaman Lipon, Jatiya Sramik Jot President Saifuzzaman Badsha, Executive Director of ALRD Shamsul Huda, Joint Coordinator of CHT Accord Implementation Movement Khairul Islam Chowdhury, PCJSS leader Dipayan Khisa, central member of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Eugin Nakrek etc. spoke in the solidarity meeting where Advocate Emdadul Haque Millat was in the chair and moderated by Advocate Nazrul Islam Chunnu.
Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon MP also said that today in Mymensingh left progressive leaders and indigenous people have united in a single demand which is pleasure. The incompleteness of 1971 was fulfilled by singing this Accord. But unfortunately, it has not been implemented yet. The signing of the Accord was not easy, but its results is not yielding. On assuming to power, Ziaur Rahman used military force instead of solving the Hill problem, that we tried to resist. We fought against Ershad’s military might. Khaled Zia took initiatives under mass pressure but did not sign the Accord. Although the Accord was signed on the initiative of Sheikh Hasina, it has not been implemented. Today, as a result of nurturing the conflict, there is an activities and movement of Kuki-Chin and training of country’s radical groups resulting an unrest everywhere in the hill and plains.
He said that there is nothing for indigenous peoples in the proposed budget this year, but we wanted to have an allocation in the national budget for the implementation of the Accord. He said, today there are medical colleges, universities, hotel-motel and resorts in the hill for which the hill people are paying. These developments are not for the people of the hills, but for the enjoyment of Bengalis.
Ruhin Hossain Prince, general secretary of CPB, said that there was unrest in CHT, though a peace Accord had to be signed there. In the 1960s, the seeds of unrest centering the Kaptai Power Station were sown. In the constitution of independent Bangladesh in 1972, the dispute was nurtured.
He also said that according to the Accord the hill will be the indigenous inhabited area. But today there are many settlers in the area which is against the spirit of the Accord. The indigenous people have no land rights anywhere in the Hill and plains. They are being evicted from the ancestral land in the name of development. Today is the time for everyone to unite demanding for rights and speed up the democratic and socialist struggle.
Bangladesh Jasad leader Dr. Moshtaq Hossain said, today we are holding the meeting for the implementation of the CHT Accord in Mymensingh, because we were united with the indigenous people in the war of 71. Today we stand united with their demands. We the people of the plains want to guarantee the rights of the hill dwellers.
He added that the country acquired through the blood of all indigenous ethnic groups but today it has adopted an exploitative, discriminatory and imperialist turn. In order to protect peace, law and order and sovereignty, the hill land problem must be resolved, and the Accord must be implemented.
Basad leader Comrade Khalekuzzaman Lipon said, the question arises why we are holding a meeting in Mymensingh. Bangladesh became independent after the liberation war for establishing equality, human dignity and social justice. But the constitution does not guarantee the status to indigenous people which is a shame for us.
Today, to protect the dignity of the liberation war, the hill peole must be given constitutional status and the Accord must be implemented. Freedom will be realized only by protecting their own culture and guaranteeing their rights. We have to continue this struggle in order to implement the Accord.
Jatiya Sramik Jot President Saifuzzaman Badsha said that Sheikh Hasina signed the Accord when she was the prime minister. She is still the prime minister. Yet why the Accord has not been implemented? Today we see that the indigenous people are not recognized as indigenous. The indigenous people fought the liberation war in the war of 71 as the Bengalis, yet why they will not get constitutional status, why the Accord will not be implemented. If peace is established in the hill, only then in the plains. The land issue should be implemented quickly, the Accord should be implemented.
ALRD executive director Shamsul Huda said, we hoped that peace would come to the hill when the Accord was signed 25 years ago. Even after 25 years there is no peace in the hill. It is really disappointing that the government has not implemented it. He expressed hope that the government will allocate for the implementation of the Accord in this budget.