Reluctance of PCJSS hinders CHT Peace Accord

MAMUNUR RASHID:

The Parbatya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) are yet to surrender in person to the authorities with all their arms, and ammunition and also did not hand over the full list of their arms cadres as stipulated in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, although the country is celebrating the silver jubilee of the historic peace accord.

However, from the day of signing the CHT Agreement, UPDF opposed PCJSS and became one of the rival groups of Jyatirindra Bodhipriya Larma, popularly known as Shantu Larma. In addition, JSS (Reformist) were separated from PCJSS due to ideological conflict in 2010.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina government’s strong political will led to the signing of the historic Chattogram Hill Tracts Peace Accord 25 years ago. December 2 of 1997, became a red letter day in the pages of history, as the Agreement was signed on the day between the government and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS).

The Chattogram Hill Tracts Peace Accord contains 72 sections. Only two provisions will be implemented by JSS and the government will implement the rest.

The government implemented 48 sections fully and 25 sections partially with implementation of 9 sections in progress. But JSS claimed only 25 sections have been implemented fully and 18 partially and 29 sections have not been implemented at all.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Chattogram Hill Tract Affairs said 48 out of a total of 72 provisions had been fully implemented. “The government is making a serious effort to implement the CHT Peace Accord and the work in this regard is progressing quickly,” according to the Ministry of Chattogram Hill Tracts Affairs.

According to a clause of CHT Peace Accord JSS shall submit to the government the lists of all its members including the armed ones and the arms and ammunition under its possession and control within 45 days of signing the agreement.

The government and the Jana Sanghati Samity shall jointly determine the date and place for depositing arms within the 45 days of signing the agreement. After determination of date and place for depositing arms by the members included the list of the Jana Sanghati Samity the government shall ensure security for return of JSS members and their family members to normal life, according to the clause.

Meanwhile, Kazi Md Mujibur Rahman, President of Central Parbatya Chattogram Nagorik Parishad (PCNP) and former general secretary of ruling Awami League, Bandarban district unit told the Daily Observer the tribals largely hoodwinked the government by handing over mostly unusable arms. Jana Sanghati Samity and all their associate groups have not left arms for a single day. They also did not hand over their members included in the list of the Jana Samhati Samiti members after 25 years of Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, he added.

According to local law enforcing  agency, at least 5,000 sophisticated  weapons like 144 LMGs, 641 SMGs/AK-47 rifles, 323 7.62 MM rifles, 122 M-16 rifles, 59 G-3 rifles, 85 22 rifles, 5 Sniper rifles, 180 pistols, 40 mortars, 180 local pistols, 245 local guns, 1,166 hand grenade and 54 rocket-launchers still belong to the four  tribal regional groups.

According to an interview of  Shantu Larma on November 11 of 2011 in Independent News Channel, PCJSS is maintaining armed cadre for different purposes. Shantu Larma is also getting all the facilities given to state ministers since Chattagram Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord was signed. He also refused to accept the NID card for the last 23 years.

UPDF (Democratic) was formed from UPDF (Main) due to the same ideological conflict with UPDF (Main). Besides, emergence of Marma Nationalist Party (MNP) and Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) in Rangamati and Bandarban respectively has become a new challenge to JSS (Main). Therefore, JSS (Main) is gradually losing ground and overall domination in CHT.

Dipankar Talukdar, MP, of Rangamati said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took initiatives to establish peace and uplift the life of ethnic people after assuming state power in 1996.

He added the government has been implementing a number of development projects by different governmental agencies with a view to easing lives of the people living in the hilly district. This is possible for Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, he added.

Under the development plans of the government, the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has been implementing different projects, including roads, bridges, culverts, building constructions and refurbishment works, in the hilly area, he further said.

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