Chittagong Hill Tracts

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (Bengali: পার্বত্য চট্টগ্রাম, Parbotto Chôṭṭogram) comprise an area of 13,180 km2 in south-eastern East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). It borders internationally to the Republic of India's North-eastern regions and Myanmar (Burma). The indigenous population of at least 1.1 million belong to different tribal groups.

Most people are Buddhist, some Christians and animists. The major ethnic groups among 13 peoples are the Chakma, Tipra, Murong and Magh, but almost 50% of the present day's population are immigrated Bengali Muslim settlers. Since the independence of Bangla-Desh the indigenous population was faced with increasing immigration of settlers from the mainland, fostered by the central nationalist government. Among the tribal nations first political and civil, later (since the 1980s) armed resistance was organised, especially by the Shanti Bahini guerrilla movement. In reaction the whole region was heavily militarised and the police and army unleashed a wide spread repression with a serious human rights violations. The 5-points-manifesto of the Jana Samhati Samiti, released on 7 September 1987, was focused on a well entrenched autonomy:

1. autonomy for the CHT with legislative assembly and recognition of the right to self-determination
2. inclusion of this provision in the Constitution
3. removal of all non-tribals settled in CHT after 17 August 1947
4. allocation of funds from the government to develop the region
5. creation of favourable environment for a political solution of the crisis.

On 2 December 1997 a "Peace agreement" was signed by the government and Parvatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti, the political platform of the indigenous peoples, granting a limited level of autonomy to three districts of CHT. The Jana Samhati Samiti transformed into a party, but this treaty has never been implemented, as it was opposed by both the opposition parties of Bangla Desh and by the majority fraction of the Shanti Bahini. The current Bangla Desh government of Khaleda Zia promised to relaunch the peace process, but until now did not accomplish with its promises

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