Tomorrow marks 24th anniversary of the CHT Accord

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Hill Voice, 01 December 2021, Special Correspondent: Tomorrow, 2 December is the 24th anniversar yof the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord. This agreement was signed between the Government of Bangladesh and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) 24 years ago on 2 December 1997 with the aim of resolving CHT problem through political and peaceful means.

As a result of the signing of this agreement, the democratic, non-communal and progressive forces of the country including the Jumma people hoped that this time there would be a lasting political solution to the CHT problem. The persecution, exploitation, neglect and deprivation of the Jumma people for centuries is going to an end. And the Jumma people are going to get their lost rights to self-government.

But as the days go by after the Accord is signed, that hope turns to dust. Far from being a political solution to the CHT problem and from regaining Jumma’s lost rights to self-government, the Jumma people continue to be subjected to more and more oppression and exploitation.

The present Awami League government led by Sheikh Hasina, which had signed the CHT Accord, claims that out of 72 sections of the Accord, 48 sections have fully been implemented, 15 sections have been partially implemented and 9 sections are in process of implementation. On the other hand, the PCJSS, another signatory of the Accord, says that out of 72 sections of the agreement, only 25 have been implemented, 18 sections have been partially implemented and the remaining 29 are fully unimplemented. Above all, the core issues of the Accord are completely unrealistic.

Amid contradictory statements and skepticism of these two parties, the Government and the PCJSS, the government side is going to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the Accord with great enthusiasm and rejoicing this time too. On the contrary, PCJSS has also taken various programs on the occasion of the day through anger, dissatisfaction and frustration.

On the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Accord, the PCJSS has published reports and leaflets on the implementation of the CHT Accord, supplements in the national daily, posters, etc. Besides, PCJSS and various organizations have undertaken the following programs:

1. PCJSS and Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF) will organize a discussion meeting on December 2 at 10:30 am at the Liberation War Museum auditorium in Agargaon, Dhaka. President of PCJSS Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma and national political leaders and eminent persons of civil society will speak on the occasion.
2. A discussion meeting and cultural presentation will be organized by the 24th Anniversary of the CHT Accord Celebration Committee at the premises of J M Sen Hall, Chittagong on December 2 at 3:00 pm. It will be addressed by eminent teachers, journalists, writers, poets, political leaders, women leaders, human rights activists, students and civil society leaders.
3. A discussion meeting will be organized at Shilpakala Academy, Rangamati on December 2 at 9:30 am on the initiative of Rangamati District Committee of PCJSS. Vice President of the PCJSS Ushatan Talukder will be present as the chief guest.
4. A discussion meeting will be organized in Bandarban on December 2 at the initiative of Pahari Chatra Parishad and Hill Women’s Federation.
5. A discussion meeting has been organized at Ugalchhari Mukh (Battala) of Baghaichhari on December 2 at 9:30 am on the initiative of ‘People of All Aalks of Life of Baghaichari Upazila’.
6. ‘Madal’, a cultural organization, will organize a protest cultural program at 3:00 pm on December 4 at the Liberation War Museum auditorium in Agargaon, Dhaka.
7. A procession and student gathering will be organized in front of the National Museum in Shahbag, Dhaka on December 7 at 3:00 pm on the initiative of Pahari Chatra Parishad (Hill Students’ Council).

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