Bangladeshi Buddhist leader escapes attack

Monday, December 27, 2010

DHAKA - A prominent Buddhist tribal leader of Bangladesh escaped an attack on his motorcade Monday, a day after he discussed with the government a peace agreement signed in 1997, which is yet to be implemented.

The cavalcade of Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, popularly known as Santu Larma, who is Chairman of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council, came under attack at Bogachhari in the southeastern Rangamati district.

No one was hurt when bricks were thrown at his car, breaking the glass window of a car, The Daily Star reported.

Larma, a former minister, was a key participant in a meeting in Khagrachhari Sunday on implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.

The meeting was chaired by the committee’s chief Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, also deputy leader of parliament, reported.

Chowdhury assured the Buddhist tribal leaders that the government will frame new laws, if necessary, to enforce the accord signed Dec 2, 1997 during the previous tenure of Sheikh Hasina, the current prime minister.

The accord that proposes autonomy for the Buddhist tribals has been delayed because of protests from the Muslims. They were settled in the Buddhist majority region since Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) became part of the erstwhile East Pakistan during the India-Pakistan partition in 1947.

“There will be new laws, if necessary,” she added.

“There have been many discussions and confusions about the accord. We will not head that way. We will implement quickly whatever is left of the accord to implement,” Sajeda said.

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