SETTLEMENT OF LAND DISPUTE – THE PREREQUISITE FOR ENDURING PEACE IN THE CHITTAGONG HILL TRACTS
Keywords:SETTLEMENT OF LAND DISPUTE
The CHT has a vast landmass with enormous potentials but Bangladesh is yet to utilize it. Though the security situation in the CHT has changed a lot following the CHT Accord1997 but still there are tensions with issues like abduction, exchange of fire among regional parties (JSS and UPDF), organized extortion/ toll collection etc. There is often a perception that most of these security issues have association with the CHT land issue. The study was aimed at exploring the relationship between the land issue and the security environment of the CHT and how the land issue can be resolved considering its present challenges. The present land complexity in the CHT is a cumulated effect of various reasons since the colonial age. The study revealed that land dispute has very close relation with the overall security environment of the CHT and settlement of this dispute will have significant positive impact in the overall security environment. Specially, this will reduce the long rivalry between the Tribals and Bengalis and improve the communal harmony. There are multifaceted challenges for the settlement of land dispute which will need combined effort and positive attitude from all stakeholders with sacrificing mentality. The major focus needs on amendment of Land Dispute Resolution Act-2001, effective Land Commission, and land survey issue. Government will also need other measures like public awareness program and introduction of special development project for CHT to uplift the living standard which will help in shaping up the behavior and widen the mental horizon of the hill people. This will ultimately reduce the age old rivalry among Tribal and Bengali community, setting the stage for an amicable settlement of the dispute. The delay will complicate the problem which will certainly raise the security concern and likely to unstable the overall security environment in the CHT.
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