A new organisation named Parbatya Chattogram Nagorik Parishad (PCNP)was formed on Saturday aiming to bring peace and harmony among the inhabitants of Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT).
The leaders of the newly formed organisation said they would work with all the people of the hill tracts, irrespective of whether they are Bengalis or Jumma people.
In a press briefing at Chattogram press club Engineer Alkas Al Mamun Bhuiyan, convener of the PNCP, announced a 42-member committee and read out a written statement of the organisation.
"The organisation has been formed to work with all the people of CHT for a common goal. This is not an organisation of the Bengalis. The door is open for all the oppressed and disadvantaged people, irrespective of whether they are Bengalis or Jumma, living in the CHT," said Engineer Alkas Al Mamun Bhuiyan.
The organisation was formed dissolving seven Bengali-backed CHT based organisations – including Parbatya Chattogram Bangali Chhatra Parishad, Parbatya Chattogram Sama-Adhikar Andalon, Parbatya Chattogram Adhikar Forum and Parbatya Chattogram Oikko Parishad – that were previously active.
"For the peace of CHT we are all here on a single platform," said Engineer Alkas.
The Parbatya Chattogram Nagorik Parishad will have two wings – Prabatya Chattogram Chhatra Parishad and Parbatya Chattogram Mahila Parishad.
Engineer Alkas said, "The people of the hill tracts are frustrated due to the rampant terrorism and extortion by tribal terrorist groups. We want discrimination-free hill tracts."
"We are not against the Peace Accord that was signed between the government and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samity (PCJSS) in 1997. We want a revision of some sections of the accord which has discriminated against Bengali people living here."
The Chattogram Hill Tracts, comprising three districts – Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban, has over 1.6 million people, including 13 ethnic minority groups.
In 1997, the government signed the peace treaty with Parbatya Chattogram Jana Samhati Samity to restore peace in the area. The treaty has been opposed by several groups including a faction of the Jumma rebels.