Chairperson of Bandarban Hill District Council (BHDC), Kwe Shwe Hla, has betrayed the Mro people by allegedly giving their jhum land in Lama upazila's Dola Para for tourism, said Parbatya Chattogram Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) in a statement yesterday.
BHDC took the jhum land under the promise of facilitating the livelihoods of local people by exhibiting agricultural technology and developed farming methods there. But without any discussion with the local Mro people, the chairman leased the land to an organisation for tourism purposes, said the statement.
The chairman in question said at a press conference on Sunday that the land was taken following a discussion with the Mro community. "No one lived in that area and no Mro people will be affected," he claimed.
PCP said in their statement that Kwe Shwe Hla's words were contrary to the reality. In the statement PCP demanded immediate cancellation of the lease and a stop to all forms of tourism-related construction in Chimbuk area.
Though there is provision in CHT Peace Accord to discuss with regional council in carrying out all development activities and council functions, Chairman Kwe Shwe Hla didn't follow this procedure, and his actions are not in the interest of Mro people and their livelihood of jhum cultivation, said the statement.
Despite several attempts to reach Kwe Shwe Hla for a comment on PCP's statement, he could not be reached.