Saleh Noman, Chattogram
Indigenous communities now find an address in Dhaka with the inauguration of the newly constructed ‘Chattogram Hill Tracts Complex’ at Bailey Road the capital by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday. Government sources said the complex, constructed at the cost of Tk 194 crore, aims at promoting the national cultural diversity and social customs and individual characteristics of the ethnic communities. The building has a multi-purpose hall, dormitory, administrative building, museum, library and residences for the CHT Affairs Minister and Chairman of CHT Regional Council. Kujendra Lal Tripura, a lawmaker from Khagrachhari told Bangladesh Post, “This Complex is a permanent address of all CHT people in Dhaka. This is a gift from Prime Minister Sheik Hasina to CHT people.”
Explaining how the CHT complex will be beneficial to the hill residents, the MP of ruling Awami League said, the people of the CHT are usually backward, when they come to the capital for education, medical or any other reasons then they face many types of suffering because of their unfamiliar environment. Such problems will be removed for the CHT complex.”
“People of CHT will be able to spend the night at a low cost in CHT complex; they can also collect proper information about where services like treatment, education in CHT complex,” He added. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of “Parbatya Chattogram Complex” (Chattogram Hill Tracts Complex) in Dhaka on 08 May 2016. Hill Tracts have been the scene of an armed conflict between ethnic rebels, led by the Shanti Bahini, and the government. After years of fighting that left many dead and thousands displaced, the then government lead by Awami league lead by Sheik Hasina signed historical peace treaty with Parbatya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samity (JSS), political wing of Shantibahini lead by Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma aka Shantu Larma, to end the conflict in December 2, 1997. Although the government said most articles of the resulting 1997 peace accord have been implemented, but the Shanti Bahini leader Shantu Larma, claims many articles of the accord have not implemented yet. After returning to power in 2008 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government was “very sincere” about implementing the remaining articles. “The CHT complex in Dhaka is an initiative to reduce the distance between the hill tribes and the administration. This complex will help local officials coordinate with central government. King Barrister Devasish Roy, the traditional chief of the Chakma circle in CHT told Bangladesh Post. “Beside this the complex will also be helpful for foreigners who are involved in development activities, but cannot visit the hill areas for safety and other reasons. These foreigners will be able to hold meetings with officials of different organizations of CHT like CHT Regional Council, The CHT Development Board any time” King Debashis Roy added.