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User Name: Firoz_Kamal
Full Name: Firoz Kamal
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Anti-state Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) Treaty and the growing threat of terrorism in Bangladesh


Major Faruk Ahmed (Retd.)

The anti-state Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) Treaty was signed by Awami Govt on 2nd Dec 1997 with Chakma terrorist organization PCJSS led by Shantu Larma.  Armed group of PCJSS is named as so called Shanti Bahini who were sheltered, trained and armed by India to fight a proxy war against Bangladesh (BD) in CHTs. 

The treaty was imposed by India on BD through Awami govt. If someone carefully goes through the the clauses of the treaty, it will be clear how the sovereignty of BD and citizenship rights of 160 million Bangladeshi people were denied and CHTs which is one-tenth portion of BD is pushed towards probable disintegration. 

As per the treaty, CHTs is declared as a tribal area and 7 lac Bangla speaking citizens were put at the mercy of tribals as they have to collect certificate from local tribal headman, circle chief and Regional Council to be recognised as inhabitants of CHTs. Without this certificate, no Bangalee can be included in the voter list or stay in CHTs. 

Again, no citizen of BD (from Bangla speaking community) can buy, lease any land or settle in CHTs without the permission of tribal authority. Even BD govt is denied to acquire any land in CHTs without the approval of CHT Regional Council.

Even all the security camps except 5 have to be withdrawn from CHTs. More than a hundred Security camps have been already abandoned, the surrounding areas of which are now left to be dominated by JSS armed groups. 

More than 1000 people have been killed and more than 700 people were kidnapped by tribal armed groups since signing of the treaty. Incidents of clashes between rival armed groups occur every week for control of area domination and toll collection.

Shantu Larma, without being a legitimate representative of the people of CHTs, has been imposed on the people of CHTs as a ruler of one-tenth portion of Bangladesh. Though he is not elected, he has been ruling CHTs (Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban Districts) for last 15 years in spite of the verdict by the High Court terming CHT Treaty and Regional Council as anti- state and anti- constitutional. 

As per the treaty, all the leading posts in CHTs have been reserved for only  tribals. 3 District Council Chairmen with two-thirds tribal members, Regional Council Chairman post which is given to Shantu Larma and two-thirds of its members from tribals, minister of CHT Affairs, Chairmen of CHT Development Board, 3 Circle Chiefs of 3 districts, Headmen of all Mouzas etc are reserved for only tribals, no Bangalee can even contest for these posts. Again MPs of three hill districts are all tribals. Thus 45 percent non-tribal population of CHTs are deprived from representation and became subjects of tribals, though these tribals are migrated people from India and Myanmar.

Approximately 30000 Bangalees have been killed and kidnapped by terrorist Shanti Bahini, more than 50000 people left CHTs to save life. More than 3 lac Bangalees have been internally displaced and living inhuman life in cluster villages. 5 lac Bangalee inhabitants of CHTs have been discriminated in political field, job sector, education and economic sectors.  

Being the original sons of BD soul, CHT's Bangalees are struggling for equal rights but they have been abandoned by Awami govt through this treaty. Our opposition party also has no headache about this serious national issue.

Enjoying all the power and facilities, Shantu Larma is continuing his separatist activities sitting at Regional Council headquarter. He expressed his threat of taking up arms several times in public meetings. Several propaganda meetings are held in India and anti-BD propaganda is being conducted through several websites. 

CHT Bangalees are killed and kidnapped almost every week, they are threatened of expulsion from CHTs. Some identified so called intellectuals and self-declared Intl CHT Commission are working to oust CHT Bangalees and ensure withdrawal of all security camps from CHTs so that whole area come under the control of JSS armed wing.

Tribal students especially Chakmas are given CHT Quota for admission into all medical colleges, all universities, all engineering colleges including BUET, all cadet colleges etc whereas  no Bangalee student of CHTs is given such quota. Such discrimination in education and job sector has created a lower class Bangalee community in CHTs who are also deprived from all the major posts mentioned earlier.

Local affair sectors of dozens of ministries have been handed over to Regional Council. Thus, Awami govt has created a state within a state which may endanger the existence of Bangladesh.

More than 700 Shanti Bahini members were recruited in Police department meaning - those who conducted mass murder in CHTs, they are again given legal weapons, as a result, now we find that those Shanti Bahini Police are now stealing arms and ammunitions to hand over to JSS.

India has created this so called Shanti Bahini terrorist outfit to keep Bangladesh under constant pressure and cause the people of CHTs and BD Army to bleed; India's agent Shantu Larma has been installed as a ruler of one-tenth portion of Bangladesh. Now Shantu Larma is reorganising his armed group with an aim of driving out all Bangalees and security forces from CHTs so that a Jummoland or Tribal Area can be established as mentioned in the first clause of the CHT Treaty.

But India is not aware of the plan of JSS which wants to create a Chakma state named Jummoland incorporating three CHT districts and Indian state of Mizoram and Tripura.

Under the above circumstances, may I call upon all patriotic intellectuals, politicians and people to raise their voices about this anti-state CHT Treaty, struggle to implement the verdict of the High Court about this treaty, establish equality and human rights of all people living in CHTs and save Bangladesh from the racial and separatist conspiracies of Shantu Larma?

31 October, 2012

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