Uphold CHT regulation, protect indigenous rights
Twenty-seven distinguished citizens have demanded that the government fully implement the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, 1997 through upholding the CHT Regulation, 1900 to protect the rights, heritage and culture of its indigenous people.
The CHT Regulation, 1900 had been issued by the then British colonisers to protect the diverse culture and its indigenous inhabitants. This regulation came into force on May 1, 1900 giving special status to the CHT area.
The 27 citizens placed the demand through issuing a joint statement on Wednesday, saying that if the 1997 CHT Accord is not fully implemented through safeguarding its assisting regulation -- the CHT Regulation, 1900 -- the image created in the international arena, through signing of the historic peace accord, will be damaged.
In the statement, they demanded that the government allocate necessary finance and provide complete assistance to make the CHT Land Commission effective in addressing land related disputes.
"We have noticed that a vested quarter is making different attempts to raise questions afresh about the CHT Regulation, 1900, although the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has already disposed the issue," it said.
According to the apex court verdict, the CHT Regulation, 1900 is not contradictory to the constitution and therefore, the government did not scrap the regulation.
The eminent citizens are: Prof Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury; rights activist Dr Hameeda Hossain; rights activist Sultana Kamal; former chairman of National Human Rights Commission Dr Mizanur Rahman; coordinator of Nijera Kori Khushi Kabir; former professor of DU and former member of NHRC Prof Meghna Guhathakurta; executive director of TIB Dr Iftekharuzzaman; economist Prof Abul Barkat; advocates ZI Khan Panna, Subrata Chowdhury and Syeda Rizwana Hasan; barristers Sara Hossain and Jyotirmoy Barua; economist Prof Anu Muhammad; Prof Bina D'Costa of Australian National University; executive director of ALRD Shamsul Huda; general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad Advocate Rana Dasgupta; former member of NHRC Nirupa Dewan; Prof Mesbah Kamal of DU; Dr Ainun Nahar of JU; Dr Robaet Ferdous of DU; presidium member of Puja Udjapon Parishad Kazal Debnath; general secretary of Adivasi Forum Sanjib Drong; president of Parbatta Chattogram Nagorik Committee Gautam Dewan; Advocate Tabarak Hossain of Sammilita Samajik Andolon; Prof Mongsanu Chowdhury of Parbatta Chattogram Nagorik Committee and Dr Mohammad Tanjimuddin Khan of DU.