On 2 December
1997 the Jana Samhati Samiti (JSS) signed an agreement which has been known as
the 'CHT Treaty' with the Bangladesh (BD) Government. The treaty was hailed by
leaders around the world as a break through in the quarter of a century
conflict in the CHT. At the same time the treaty was condemned by the rightwing
parties of Bangladesh who believe the treaty gives away 10 per cent of the land
area of Bangladesh to the Chakmas. The Jumma student fronts condemned the
treaty as it does not give full autonomy.
government in accordance with the provision of the treaty has begun withdrawing
army camps from Chittagong Hill Tracts
which has been questioned by BNP and the right wing parties in Bangladesh while
the tribal people blame the government for the delayed withdrawal . Under the
backdrop of this debate our calling show this week , has brought in two distinguished
guests who answered the questions of our listeners . Our guests were Rashed
Khan Menon and Professor Mesbah Kamal .
Menon is a Member of Parliament in Bangladesh and President of Bangladesh
Workers’ Party. Mr Menon was on the
National Committee which was formed in 1991 to make peace, recognizing the
rights of the people from Hill Tracts in Bangladesh in maintaining their
cultural and linguistic identities and to stop the bloodshed which was
devastating for the area.
guest was Professor Mesbah Kamal from the Department of History in Dhaka
University. Professor Kamal has been working for the rights of the indigenous
people in Bangladesh for quite some time now. He is the General Secretary of
Bangladesh Adibasi Odhikar Andolon and also General Secretary of the Research
and Development Collective. Mesbah Kamal has done research on the needs of indigenous
people at National & Regional levels for their empowerment.