UNPFII: Special Rapporteur must investigate role of military in CHT- PCJSS delegate

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Hill Voice. 20 April 2023, International Desk: Delegate of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), Priti B Chakma, calls upon the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to initiate a thorough investigation of the role of the Bangladesh military in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

This call was made by the PCJSS representative while delivering statement on Agenda Item 5(d) Human rights dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on 19 April 2023 in the evening meeting at the 22nd session of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

The 22nd session of the UNPFII started on 17 April and continues to 28 April 2023 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA. A three-member delegation of PCJSS led by Priti Bindu Chakma is attending the 22nd session as representatives of the PCJSS.

The full text of the statement of Priti Bindu Chakma are as follows:

We, the indigenous Jumma peoples of CHT of Bangladesh. are very thankful to the United Nations for adopting the Declaration on the rights of the Indigenous peoples around the globe for their existence in 2007 and because of this action of the UN, many Indigenous communities are surviving well in different parts of the world.

The Bangladesh Government made an agreement with the PCJSS in 1997 to provide limited rights to the CHT Indigenous Jumma peoples. In fact, the government played a tricky role with the agreement as it has not implemented it yet fully in 25 years. The government wants to solve the CHT issue militarily as before.

The CHT is full of Bangladesj military and they control from administration to road construction to business to checking each Jumma indigenous person and commit human rights violations.

The militaries are the main abstracle in implementing the Accord or peace in the CHT.

You may be aware, foreigners are not allowed to enter the CHT without prior permission of the Home Ministry. Even if anyone is allowed, he/she should be talking to Indigenous people in the presence of an agent from the militaries. Last year in August, the Honorable UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet visited Bangladesh, but she was not allowed to enter the CHT which is a proven fact that the CHT region is not in good shape with regards to human rights

My appeal to the UN through the Permanent Forum is that-

1) The Special Rapporteur must initiate a thorough investigation of the role of the Bangladesh military in the CHT

2) Stop taking Bangladesh military into UN Peacekeeping Mission unless until they extend cooperation for peace in the CHT as per recommendation of Permanent Forum in 2011.

3) Expert mechanism should be such that wherever the militaries of any country are involved in human rights violations in the Indigenous inhabited areas in the world should not be allowed to be deserved in participation of UN Peacekeeping Mission and in such Indigenous inhabited areas, the UN Peacekeeping forces should be deployed.