PCJSS representative delivers speech on item 6 at UN Permanent Forum

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Hill Voice, 24 April 2024, International Desk: Manojit Chakma, representative of the Parbatya CHattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), delivered speech on agenda “Item 6: Future work of the Permanent Forum, including issues considered by the Economic and Social Council, the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and emerging issues” at 23rd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The representative of PCJSS said in his speech that the Permanent Forum has adopted many important recommendations on various issues since its inception. I don’t know what steps Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has taken so far to implement these recommendations. For example, in 2011, the Permanent Forum in its 10th session, adopted recommendations to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord or CHT Accord of 1997 and screen the human rights reports of the military before deploying them to UN peacekeeping missions. I do not know what effective steps ECOSOC took to implement these recommendations. Does the Permanent Forum undertake any follow-up activities to implement such recommendations?

It is to be noted that although the Permanent Forum made those recommendations regarding the CHT, the Bangladesh government has not actually taken any steps to implement the CHT Accord and improve the situation of human rights violations that have been taking place against the indigenous Jumma people of the CHT by the army. Rather, the Bangladesh government has gradually move away from the process of implementing the Accord and has now completely stopped it.

Moreover, the Bangladesh government has taken the policy of massive militarization in the CHT and instead of solving the CHT problem through the implementation of the CHT Accord, it has taken the initiative to solve the CHT issue in a fascist manner by military means. As a result, ‘our life is not ours yet’, just as “life was not ours” before the signing of the CHT Accord. Many a time, when the Jumma people protested against the army’s atrocities, the army said, “Country is ours, land is ours”. This means that according to the army, the land of the CHT is no longer for the Jumma people.

Finally, PCJSS representative Manojit Chakma called upon the Permanent Forum to take necessary query on what steps taken by ECOSOC to implement the recommendations made by the Permanent Forum.

The 23rd session of the Permanent Forum began on April 15 and will end on April 26. Priti B Chakma, Chanchana Chakma and Manojit Chakma participated in this session as representatives of PCJSS. Besides, Mathura Bikash Tripura, Chandra Tripura, Uting Marma, Tony Chiran, Twisa Tripura, Rajkumari Ayetri Roy, Arjyasree Chakma at el are participating as the representatives of the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh.

Apart from Md. Moshiur Rahman, Secretary of the Ministry of CHT Affairs, Chairman of CHT Development Board and former ambassador Supradip Chakma, the Bangladesh government delegation includes officials from the Directorate General of Field Intelligence (DGFI), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office.

It is to be noted that, like every year, DGFI officials kept strict vigilence on the indigenous representatives of Bangladesh.