The Chittagong Hill Tracts Treaty is not being implemented fully due to a lack of interest of the successive governments, said former adviser to a caretaker government Sultana Kamal.
“Those who were supposed to implement the treaty didn't do so. It has become difficult to implement the accord due to a lack of political interest of the successive governments,” she said. “Almost 20 years have passed since the treaty was inked. But still there is no significant achievement in its implementation," the rights activist told a discussion in the capital's Cirdap auditorium yesterday.
The Association for Land Reform and Development and the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission jointly organised the programme marking 20 years of the CHT treaty.
Goutom Dewan, convener of Chittagong Hill Tracts Nagorik Committee, in the keynote paper said it is necessary to mention a specific timeline for implementation of the accord.
He also suggested holding Zila Parishad elections at three hill districts immediately. “Preparing a voter list of permanent residents in Chittagong Hill Tracts areas is also necessary in this regard,” he added.
Nijera Kori Coordinator Khushi Kabir said hill people are eagerly waiting for a complete implementation of the treaty.
National Human Rights Commission member Banchita Chakma, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum General Secretary Sanjeeb Drong, and ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda, also spoke.
On December 2, 1997, Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed between the government and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS), an organisation of indigenous communities in the CHT.