Santu Larma sceptical about implementation

03 Dec,2018


Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti president Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma on Sunday expressed his doubts whether the government would implement Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord signed 21 years ago.

‘I cannot believe that it will be implemented by the ruler…,’ Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, popularly known as Shantu Larma, told a discussion tiled implementation of CHT Accord on its 21 years and expectation in the elections, held at KIB auditorium in the capital’s Farmgate.
Jatiya Nagarik Udyog hosted the discussion chaired by columnist Syed Abul Maksud.
Shantu Larma discussed how they initiated talks with the then president Ziaur Rahman and later with the then president Hussain Mohammad Ershad and continued it until November 30, 1996, paving the way for signing the accord finally. 
The accord was signed between Shantu and the then ruling Awami League on December 2, 1997.
In the discussion, rights activists and academics voiced concerns over delayed implementation of the accord even after 21 years and alleged that CHT affairs ministry in their newspaper supplements published on Sunday misled people about the implementation of the accord. 
The discussants said only 25 of 72 sections of CHT Accord were implemented despite the passage of 21 years and even the political party, ruling Awami League, which was in power during the signing of the treaty, did not take any initiative to implement the treaty despite staying in power for the last 10 years.
One of the articles published in the supplement, however, claimed that the government implemented 48 out of 72 sections of ‘peace accord’ while 15 others were implemented partially and the rest nine were under process of implementation. 
Shantu alleged the government was spreading falsehood through the newspaper supplement. 
Syed Abul Maksud said that the government expressed its meanness with the supplement published on Sunday. 
About the newspaper supplement, Indigenous Peoples Development Services president Sanjeeb Drong said the government was cheating people with the money spent from public exchequer.
He said that when the government was advocating its development work, he saw disparity was widening between the rich and the poor. 
Mesbah Kamal of Dhaka University’s history department wondered how long it would take the government to implement the accord, and urged the government to spend money for development of the CHT people instead of expending it for military development.
Nur Muhammad Talukdar, a leader from teachers’ association, said not only the ethnic minority rather people from majority community should be aware about the current situation in the CHT. 
Pankaj Bhattacharya, president of Oikya National Awami Party, urged the government to bring democratic environment through an election instead of squeezing it. 
He vented anger over the continued arrest across the country. 
Shantu said they were either contesting the elections or supporting any candidates in national elections scheduled on December 30.

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