Govt reluctant to implement CHT accord
Says rights body
The indigenous people of Chittagong Hill Tracts have been facing fear, discrimination and insecurity as the government is reluctant to implement the CHT peace accord and not acting to stem the violence in the region, observed a rights body.
A prevailing culture of impunity in the region casts a negative impact on the human rights of both the indigenous and Bengali communities, members of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Commission told a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday.
Visiting the region on Nov 26-28 on the eve of the 14th anniversary of the signing of CHT peace accord, members of the commission noticed signs of human rights violation, absence of dialogue between parties and inaction of the government.
The government is not even publishing probe reports on crimes committed by Bengali communities on the indigenous people, complained the rights body. The offences include killing, torching of houses and rape.
Expressing concerns about reports of continued violence against women, the commission urged the government to take immediate remedial measures at all levels.
Co-chair of the commission advocate Sultana Kamal pointed out the violent incident in Ramgarh in April as the latest in a series of such events occurred since 2008.
She lamented the fact that no impartial, independent and transparent inquiry report on these incidents has been made public.
Elsa Stamatapoulou, Sara Hossain, Shapan Adnan, Meghna Guha Thakurta and Jenneke Arens were the other members of the commission on the trip to the CHT.
The commission members criticised some members of the civil administration and intelligence agencies for following them round the clock while taking interviews, testimonies or holding meetings.
They claimed that such action of the government is contravention of constitutional provisions as well as international norms of freedom of movement, personal liberty and security, and freedom of expression.
The commission met several ministers, officials of the government, army, and non-governmental organisations, leaders of regional councils and political parties, and representatives of some international organisations.
It also collected testimonies from indigenous and Bengali victims and survivors of human rights violations in the CHT.
After years of peace talks, the government and Jana Samhati Samity on December 2, 1997 signed the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord to end violence.
The CHT commission was floated to promote respect for human rights, democracy, and restoration of civil and political rights in the region.
courtesy : The Daily Star