CHT Regional Council kept inactive, alleges Santu Larma

Santu LarmaFile photo

Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, the chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council and president of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti, has alleged that the council has intentionally been kept dysfunctional. 

Addressing the turbulent situation in the hills, he said the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed with much optimism, but it has remained dysfunctional for 27 years. The hill people are now frustrated and aggrieved against different realities, including  suppression. They want their rights to survive with human dignity.

He, popularly known as Santu Larma, came up with the statement while speaking as the chair of a discussion at the Zila Parishad auditorium in Rangamati on Monday, marking the 25th anniversary of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council. 

Kujendra Lal Tripura, state minister for the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, attended the discussion as the chief guest, while Rashed Khan Menon, the president of the Bangladesh Workers Party; Supradeep Chakma, the chairman of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board; Sudatta Vikas Chakma, the chairman of the Refugee Resettlement Task Force; Angsui Pru Chowdhury, chairman of Rangamati Zilla Parishad; among others, were special guests. 

The anniversary celebration commenced with the guests lighting the mangal lamp. 

In his speech, Rashed Khan Menon warned of conspiracies to undermine the peace accord and pointed out that the regional council is yet to have its operational regulation. 

He further asserted that there has been Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation since 1900 to safeguard the special rights of the hill people and that no one can whimsically repeal or amend it. If any amendment or cancellation takes place, it would disrupt the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord. 

Addressing the occasion, Kujendra Lal Tripura laid emphasis on implementation of the peace accord, saying that there are no alternatives to complete implementation of the peace accord to ensure coexistence in hills. 

He also warned that the hill people will not accept the repeal of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation - 1900 and urged them to remain vocal in its defence.