Amendments to CHT district council laws opposed
Tribune Report

The laws would threaten the democratic practices within the hill districts and the country overall

Different organisations yesterday raised their voices against the three amendment bills produced in the parliament recently in connection to the district council governance of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Under the banner of “Nagorik Samaj,” they formed a human chain in front of the National Museum in the capital demanding the immediate cancellation of the three proposed laws – Rangamati Parbatya Zilla Parishad (amendment) Bill, Khagrachhari Parbatya Zilla Parishad (amendment) Bill and Bandarban Parbatya Zilla Parishad (amendment) Bill.

They claimed that the proposed laws were a clear violation to the peace accord that was signed by Awami League and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti in 1997.

Oikko NAP President Pankaj Bhattacharya said: “The government is violating the CHT Peace Treaty by proposing the three district council acts according to their whims.

It was clearly stated in the peace accord that the government must consult with the Ancholik Parishad [interim council] before amending any law in relation to them.”

The laws would threaten the democratic practices within the hill districts and the country overall, the speakers said.

They also demanded an immediate election to ensure local representatives in the CHT district council.

The original laws passed in 1989 had provisions for electing members of the district councils by direct popular votes.

Since then, only one election took place in 1989.

CHT commission member Khushi Kabir, Dhaka University History Prof Mesbah Kamal, Adivasi Forum General Secretary Sanjib Drong took part in the human chain.

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