International Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Commission demanded the government withdraw restrictions on its activities and implement the CHT peace accord.
At a press conference yesterday, members of the commission presented some government letters and documents as proofs of restrictions.
They demanded to scrap the instructions on the government officials of non-cooperation from observing the international indigenous day.
Terming the restrictions “illogical” and “unacceptable”, they urged the government to show its will in protecting human rights in three hill districts.
“We place our demands to the government on implementations of the CHT peace accord. We do not have any other options but to expect that the government would implement it,” said Sultana Kamal, co-chair of the international CHT commission.
The commission, however, praised some recent steps taken by the government to implement the CHT peace accord.
The violence against women in CHT is on the rise, said Sultana Kamal in her written speech.
She demanded the government investigate the incidents neutrally and requested the local administration in playing a proactive role in this connection.
In the press conference, the commission members criticised the government’s move to bar Thomas Eskilson, one of the advisers of the commission, from entering the country and sending him back on July 23 without showing any specific reason.
They informed that till now three foreign citizens were expelled from the country as they were conducting “development works” under organisational contracts.
The commission also urged the government to recognise the people living in CHT as “indigenous” instead of “ethnic minorities” in the constitution.
Barrister Sarah Hossain, a member of the commission, Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh, Khusi Kabir, executive director of Land Reform and Development, among others, were present.