Revised 28 November 2012                                 Contributor Profile: Bangladesh                        Dr. Rashed...
Revised 28 November 2012The Bangladesh police force first contributed to UN peacekeeping in 1989 through the UNTransition ...
Revised 28 November 2012will imbibe the Bangladesh Army with democratic values and lead to healthier civil-militaryrelatio...
Revised 28 November 2012Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have strongly supported UN peacekeeping despitedisagreements o...
Revised 28 November 2012authoritarian era of 1975-90. The outcome is a blurring of the traditional division betweencivil a...
Revised 28 November 2012face heavily-armed opponents in extremely demanding missions. These are significantcaveats for Ban...
Disregarding the Jumma                                                                    q       Home                    ...
Disregarding the JummaHonouring promise: Andrea Carmen, director of the International Indian Treaty Council, speaking at a...
Disregarding the JummaBangladesh mission to the UN, gave the official response, the thrust of which was that there were no...
Disregarding the Jumma400 homes of indigenous people, with army personnel in the area allegedly working as a ‘shield’ to p...
Disregarding the Jumma By Hana Shams Ahmed                            The Bangladesh government’s continued failure to pro...
Disregarding the Jumma By I P Adhikari                            With elections looming, Bhutan – one of the youngest dem...
Disregarding the Jumma                                                      Democracy in Bhutan                           ...
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Contributor Profile: Bangladesh - Bangladesh military in un peace keeping


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An Article on Bangladesh Military in UN Peacekeeping researched by Dr. Rashed Uz Zaman and Niloy Ranjan Biswas of Dhaka University - 28 November 2012

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Contributor Profile: Bangladesh - Bangladesh military in un peace keeping

  1. 1. Revised 28 November 2012 Contributor Profile: Bangladesh Dr. Rashed Uz Zaman and Niloy Ranjan Biswas University of Dhaka Active Helicopters Defense Uniformed UN UN Contribution Other Armed Budget2 Peacekeepers Breakdown significant Forces1 deployments157,053 Total: 23 2009-10: 9,142 MINUSTAH: 330 police None 14 Multi Role: $1.21bn (225 female) UNMIL: 1,409 (11 experts,World 12 Mi-17 Hip 15 police, 1,383 troops)Ranking H; 2 Mi-17-1V 2010-11: (30 Oct. 2012) UNOCI: 2,544 (13 experts,(size): 33 Hip H (VIP) $1.48bn 361 police, 2,170 troops) (1.5% of (78% armed UNAMID: 1,061 (12 experts,Army 126,153 9 Transport: the GDP) forces, 21% 658 police, 391 troops)Navy 16,900 3 Mi-171Sh police, 1% UNFIL: 326 troopsAir Force 6 Light Range 2011-12: observers) MONUSCO: 2,943 (3414,000 (2 Bell 206L $1.6bn experts, 390 police, 2,519 Long Ranger; (1.5% of Ranking: 2nd troops)(Paramilitary 4 Bell 212) the GDP) UNMISS: 287 (9 police, 27863,900) troops) UNMIT: 141 (3 experts, 138 police) MINURSO: 27 (7 experts, 20 troops) Defense spending / troop: US$8,377 (compared to global average of approx. US$59,000).Part 1: Recent TrendsBangladesh is a leading provider of UN peacekeepers and as of mid-2012 has participated in52 missions in 40 countries. Since 2000, Bangladesh’s troop contributions have increasedabout 280% (see figure 1). As of September 2012, Bangladesh had contributed a total of100,014 troops and 7,415 police personnel to UN peacekeeping operations. The armycontributed 93% of this figure and the police 7%. 103 Bangladeshi uniformed peacekeepershave died while serving under the UN flag (see table 1).Table 1: Bangladesh in UN Peacekeeping Operations (52 missions in 40 countries) Army Navy Air Force Police TotalNo. of Peacekeepers (completed missions) 94,768 2,039 3,207 7,415 107,429Deceased peacekeepers 91 1 3 8 103 1
  2. 2. Revised 28 November 2012The Bangladesh police force first contributed to UN peacekeeping in 1989 through the UNTransition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in Namibia. Since then Bangladeshi police officershave participated in all the major peacekeeping missions where the UN has deployed police.Between 2001 and 2011, there has been a 968% increase in the number of Bangladeshi policepersonnel in UN missions, surpassing 2,000 officers in 2011. These have deployed asindividual police experts and Formed Police Units (FPU) in East Timor, DR Congo, Côted’Ivoire, Sudan, South Sudan, and Haiti. One officer of the rank of Additional InspectorGeneral of Police has served in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)headquarters. As of May 2011, four Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and 21Superintendent of Police (SP) served in different UN missions. Bangladesh deployed its firstnaval contribution to a UN mission in May 2011: a naval frigate and an offshore patrol vesselto the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL).Part 2: Decision-making ProcessBangladesh sends troops and police personnel to UN missions based on a genericMemorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in December 2007 as part of the UN StandbyArrangement System (UNSAS).Neither the Government of Bangladesh nor the Bangladesh Armed Forces have specificpolicy guidelines regarding contributions to UN peacekeeping operations. The military hastended to monopolize decisions about Bangladesh’s participation in UN peace missions andthe civilian authorities have not challenged this prerogative. The decision-making processusually starts when Bangladesh receives a request for peacekeepers from the UN Secretariat.Dhaka’s Permanent Mission at the UN receives this request on behalf of the Ministry ofForeign Affairs (MoFA) and examines it in light of Bangladesh’s broader foreign policypriorities and existing international commitments. The Defense Attaché in the PermanentMission in New York deals with the bureaucratic procedures and subsequently forwards therequests to the relevant agencies in Bangladesh. Requests relating to troops are directed to theArmed Forces Division (AFD), which is the coordinating headquarters of the Army, Navyand Air Force. The Overseas Operations Directorate deals with peacekeeping operations inthe Army Headquarters in Dhaka.3 Requests for naval and air force components aretransferred to the respective Navy and Air Force Headquarters in Dhaka, which then issuenecessary directives for the upcoming operations. For troops, the Overseas OperationsDirectorate issues the necessary instructions to all other concerned branches of the armedforces for the requisite preparations. This involves the selection of personnel and theprovision of equipment and training. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) receivesrequests related to the deployment of the police personnel for the UN missions. After theinitial notification, the MoHA transfers the order to Police Headquarters in Dhaka to takedecisions on the selection of personnel.Part 3: Rationales for ContributingPolitical and Security Rationales: Bangladesh’s checkered political history plays animportant role in explaining the country’s active participation. The bloody and painfulseparation from Pakistan helped create an army that was heavily politicized due to itsparticipation in the war of 1971. This politicization resulted in the military taking control ofthe state between 1975 and 1990. Only in 1990 was democracy restored. However, this didnot mean a complete end to the military’s involvement in politics. The army remains one ofthe country’s most powerful actors. Bangladeshi political parties have welcomed themilitary’s involvement in peacekeeping because they believe participation in such missions 2
  3. 3. Revised 28 November 2012will imbibe the Bangladesh Army with democratic values and lead to healthier civil-militaryrelations at home. Further, participating in UN missions with active support fromdevelopment partners like the United States enhances Bangladesh’s profile in regional andglobal forums.Economic Rationales: Bangladesh is a low-income developing country with a gross nationalincome per capita of $700 (between 2007 and 2011). Despite considerable economic progressover the last two decades, Bangladesh still struggles to cope with a very high populationdensity and limited economic resources. This encourages the government to look foreconomic opportunities abroad and explains why UN compensation rates for peacekeepersare attractive to Bangladeshi soldiers and police. The financial benefits accrued byBangladeshi peacekeepers thus play an important role in supporting the economy. Officialsources indicate that during 2001-10, the government received $1.28 billion from the UN ascompensation for troop contributions, contingent-owned equipment, and other forms ofcompensation.4 UN peacekeeping helps the Bangladesh Army to purchase and maintainmilitary equipment that it would not be able to obtain under normal circumstances and toreward its personnel. UN peacekeeping may also produce other indirect economic benefitsthrough facilitating contracts in new markets for Bangladeshi businesses, especially in thepharmaceutical and agricultural sectors. (One example is Bangladeshi entrepreneurs leasingland in African countries to establish farms to help meet the food requirements of bothBangladesh and the host countries.)Normative Rationales: Bangladesh has constantly reiterated its commitments to the principlesof the UN, including the maintenance of international peace and security. Providing UNpeacekeepers allows Bangladesh to promote a positive image of the country abroad. In heraddress on International Day of UN Peacekeepers in 2011, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinaexpressed her gratitude to Bangladeshi peacekeepers for enhancing the country’s image in theinternational arena. So did UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. As The Economist observedin 2007, donning blue helmets gave Bangladeshis the chance to be known for somethingother than bad politics and natural disasters.Institutional Rationales: As noted above, the military usually plays the major role indecisions about Bangladesh’s participation in UN peacekeeping and it has strong institutionalreasons for contributing. First, peacekeeping allows Bangladeshi soldiers to interact withforeign armed forces and improve their professional skills. Such multinational exposure helpsthem gain operational expertise and first-hand knowledge of the latest doctrines and militaryequipment. Second, peacekeeping helps finance equipment and weapons platforms that mightotherwise be out of reach. Third, peacekeeping enhances the military’s professional skillsthrough language training, increased inter-personal skills, and by providing opportunities tointeract with foreign troops in military tasks. Finally, peacekeeping has promoted institutionaldevelopment at home. To cater for increasing demand for trained peacekeepers, theBangladesh Army has established the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support OperationsTraining (BIPSOT), a prestigious facility that provides training to foreign and Bangladeshipersonnel. BIPSOT has benefited from active support provided by United States and otherWestern countries and helps strengthen the professional image of Bangladesh Army hostingworld-class training institutions.Part 4: Barriers to ContributingDifficult domestic politics: This is not a barrier to Bangladesh’s peacekeeping contributions.The two major political parties of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) and 3
  4. 4. Revised 28 November 2012Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have strongly supported UN peacekeeping despitedisagreements on most other issues. Even leftist political parties, which are usually vocalabout Western countries and the pernicious impact of their policies on states like Bangladesh,do not criticize Dhaka’s involvement in UN peacekeeping. However, political leaders mustbe careful not to antagonize Bangladesh’s majority Muslim population. It would have beenvery difficult, for instance, for Bangladesh to participate in the mission in post-invasion Iraqeven with the UN’s authorization.Civil society groups and academics in Bangladesh have not focused much attention onmatters related to UN peacekeeping. Only one article has raised critical questions about thepotential influence of such missions on Bangladesh’s politics, especially with regard to civil-military relations. The article also posed questions about how the government and armedforces would cope with reduced demand for peacekeepers from the UN. The domestic powerof Bangladesh’s military prevents any serious opposition to its participation in UNpeacekeeping. So far, political actors are content to let the armed forces participate inpeacekeeping in the hope this will neutralize any potential praetorian desires.Part 5: Challenges and IssuesUN peacekeeping has had an enormous impact on Bangladeshi defense institutions. TheArmed Forces now accommodate peace-based modules and post-war state-buildingcomponents in its training discourse. By nature such modules focus on “human” rather thansimply “national” security and combat roles. They therefore pose a challenge for moretraditionally oriented sections of the military.5 After 25 years of UN peacekeeping, someargue that Bangladesh Armed Forces need to balance their role as peacekeepers with moretraditional national defense tasks. So far, little or no thought has been given to how thetransformation brought on by peacekeeping has impacted the capacity of the BangladeshArmed Forces to carry out traditional combat missions.Peacekeeping has also influenced defense budgeting and procurement. Recently, theGovernment of Bangladesh finalized a procurement deal for 44 tanks, three armed recoveryvehicles (ARV), and two helicopters. These new assets will ensure the necessary logisticalsupport to Bangladeshi contingents in UN missions. However, future procurements could beaffected by two main challenges. First, the Government’s defense purchases are often nottransparent and may lead to questions or suspicion about Bangladesh’s role in UNpeacekeeping operations. Second, the Government finds additional money for the defensebudget by ignoring other priority sectors. This could adversely influence the country’s overalleconomic development. In addition, the Armed Forces Division has not developed futureplans for this expensive equipment beyond its immediate use in UN peacekeeping.Although there is wide consensus that participation in UN peacekeeping will reducepraetorian aspirations in the Bangladesh armed forces, during the 2007 political crisis thearmy indirectly intervened to topple the caretaker government and install its preferredalternative interim government. The military actively supported the formation of a non-political cabinet to create a level-playing field for the political parties. The army was notneutral and the whole act was a reminder of the fragility of civilian rule. Althoughparliamentary elections eventually took place, the army’s role proved deeply divisive andreinvigorated debate about its place in domestic politics. It is notable, for instance, that thecivilian legislature’s control of the military has diminished, as reflected in the inactive role ofthe Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense Affairs.6 Moreover, the presence ofmilitary personnel in the civilian administration has not declined sharply from the 4
  5. 5. Revised 28 November 2012authoritarian era of 1975-90. The outcome is a blurring of the traditional division betweencivil and military institutions.Another question involves the desire of members of paramilitary forces like the BangladeshAnsar and Village Defence Party (VDP), and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to participatein UN peacekeeping along with their colleagues from the Bangladesh Armed Forces and thePolice. Until now this has not been permitted. But the Government’s reluctance may causedisaffection, which may adversely affect performance of these paramilitary organizations inthe long run.Financial issues will also continue to impact the future of Bangladeshi peacekeeping. At themicro level, it is notable that financial gain has become the primary reason why many join themilitary.7 This could be seen as a type of brain-drain that captures precious (often educatedand trained) human capital in the military service. Participation in UN missions also seems tobe more lucrative than serving on any other assignment, and officers often leave or retireearly after completing a UN mission.8 Furthermore, the money they earn contributes to theoverall remittance flow, and hence, strengthens the national economy. Nevertheless, theimpact of UN peacekeeping on the national economy is hard to quantify. Interviews withformer peacekeepers suggest that UN earnings were normally spent in non-productivesectors, for example, in consumption goods and real estate, or invested in small and mediumenterprises, and stock markets.Finally, allegations that the Bangladesh security forces might have engaged in extrajudicialkillings of ethnic minorities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and elsewhere raisequestions about the military’s compliance with international human rights standards, whichcould affect future participation in UN missions.Part 6: Key Champions and OpponentsThere is no critical public debate in Bangladesh on its contribution to UN peacekeeping.Despite ideological differences, political parties across the spectrum view Bangladesh’scontribution as a great source of national pride. The Bangladesh Institute of International andStrategic Studies (BIISS), a top think-tank of the Bangladesh Government’s Ministry ofForeign Affairs, has hosted conferences and published papers highlighting Bangladesh’sparticipation in peacekeeping.The burgeoning electronic and print media in Bangladesh are known for their critical viewson many issues but they have seldom raised critical questions with regard to UNpeacekeeping. It is more common for special reports to highlight positive work done byBangladeshi peacekeepers.9Part 7: Capabilities and CaveatsA well-trained, professional Bangladesh military that is eager to participate is a significantcapability for in UN peacekeeping. This is enhanced by widespread domestic support forsuch participation. The Government of Bangladesh and the Armed Forces are also clearlywilling to procure new equipment specifically for its participation in peacekeepingoperations.Bangladesh would find it difficult to take part in peacekeeping missions that did not generatepopular support among its Muslim-majority population. While the existing technicalcapability of the Bangladesh Armed Forces is not outdated, it is not adequately equipped to 5
  6. 6. Revised 28 November 2012face heavily-armed opponents in extremely demanding missions. These are significantcaveats for Bangladesh. In addition, decision-making pertaining to UN peacekeepingmissions rests firmly with the Bangladeshi military. There is a longer-term risk that as UNpeacekeeping becomes a more multidimensional enterprise requiring more civiliancontributions, Bangladesh’s major role in it will be diminished.Part 8: Further ReadingD. Banerjee, “South Asia: Contributors of Global Significance” in D. Daniel et al. (eds.), Peace Operations (Georgetown University Press, 2008), pp.195-96.N. Islam, “The Army, UN Peacekeeping Mission and Democracy in Bangladesh,” Economic & Political Weekly, XLV: 29 (17 July 2010): 77-85.IWGIA, Militarization in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh –The Slow Demise of the Region’s Indigenous Peoples (Report 14), (Amsterdam: IWGIA, Organising Committee CHT Campaign and Shimin Gaikou Centre, 2012).K. Krishnasamy, “Bangladesh and UN Peacekeeping: The Participation of a ‘Small’ State,” Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 41:1 (2003): 4-47.M. Rahman, “Blue Beret in the UN Peacekeeping Process: The Case of Bangladesh Police,” Indian Journal of Politics, 14:1 (2009): 19-44.R. Zaman & N. Biswas, “Bangladesh” in A.J. Bellamy & P.D. Williams (eds.), Providing Peacekeepers: The Politics, Challenges, and Future of United Nations Peacekeeping Contributions (Oxford University Press, 2013).Notes1 Unless otherwise stated, data is drawn from IISS, The Military Balance 2012 (London: IISS/ Routledge, 2012).2 Budget figures and calculations are drawn from “Sentinel Security Assessment - South Asia”, Janes SentinelCountry Risk Assessments, 11 April 2012.3 The Overseas Operations Directorate was set up in 2005 in order to free the Military Operations Directoratefrom the added responsibility of UN missions for the Bangladesh Army. Authors’ communication with DPKOofficer, January 2012.4 ‘Role of BD Armed Forces in UN Peacekeeping Missions’, restricted Bangladesh Armydocument (no date, anonymous author).5 Authors’ interview with a serving officer of Bangladesh Army, Dhaka, 2 April 2012.6 See Syed Imtiaz Ahmed, “Civilian Supremacy in Democracies with ‘Fault Lines’: The Role of theParliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in Bangladesh,” Democratization, 13:2 (2006), pp.283–302.7 A Bangladesh Army officer elaborated further on this matter when he pointed out that participation in UNpeace missions’ times leads to venality among some officers who became too involved with money-makingventures like investing in shares, buying real estate. Such activities, at times, tend to divert officers away fromsoldiering and hamper the professionalization of the military.8 Authors’ communication with DPKO officer, January 2012.9 See, for example, Ilyas Iftekhar Rasul, “International Day for UN Peacekeepers,” The Daily Star, 29 May2011; Staff Correspondent, “Bangladesh to bolster peacekeeping missions President laudspeacekeepers on Int’l Day,” The Daily Sun, 30 May 2012; “Dhaka largest troops-contributor to UN missionsInt’l Day of UN Peacekeepers today,” The New Age, 29 May 2011; Brig Gen Md. Abdul Hakim Aziz, psc,“Heroes beyond national frontiers,” The Daily Star, 18 June 2011. 6
  7. 7. Disregarding the Jumma q Home q Archive q Graphic Features q Blog Search q Web SearchReportDisregarding the Jumma July 2011By Hana Shams AhmedThe Bangladesh government’s continued failure to protect its indigenous peoples has forced thelatter to seek international help. Share Tweet (1 of 7)1/4/2013 12:30:41 PM
  8. 8. Disregarding the JummaHonouring promise: Andrea Carmen, director of the International Indian Treaty Council, speaking at a rally for the implementation of the 1997CHT Accord outside the 10th session of the UNPFIIPhoto: Ben PowlessThis year, Bangladesh was the subject of heated discussion at the 10th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on IndigenousIssues (UNPFII), held 16-27 May. The starting point was a report, commissioned by the UNPFII and written by a former member of theForum Lars-Anders Baer. Last year, in his post as special rapporteur on the issue, Baer spent time in Bangladesh and subsequentlycame out with a report exploring the status of implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997. Although the report receivedstatements of solidarity from the delegates, the Dhaka government’s response was novel: it refused to acknowledge the existence ofany indigenous population in Bangladesh whatsoever.The UNPFII, established in July 2000, is the first UN forum where indigenous peoples directly represent their own interests. It consistsof 16 members, half of whom are nominated by governments and the other half by indigenous communities, and ultimately is taskedwith making reports and recommendations, and generally raising awareness about indigenous peoples within the UN system. Themembers meet once a year for ten working days, at which governments, UN bodies, intergovernmental and non-governmentalorganisations, and organisations of indigenous peoples participate as observers. In 2010, Devasish Roy, the traditional raja of theChakma community, was selected as one of the UNPFII’s 16 members, representing the Asian region for the period 2011-13. Althoughindigenous peoples’ representatives from Bangladesh have always participated at the UNPFII, this year’s meeting was the first time thatthe CHT Accord has been a focus of the discussion.In the event, Baer’s report was well received by observer governments and international rights organisations, who called on the Dhakagovernment to speed up the implementation of the CHT Accord. Although a nine-member delegation of the Bangladesh government,including the state minister for CHT affairs, Dipankar Talukdar, and other indigenous members of the Parliament were scheduled toparticipate in the UNPFII discussion, they all cancelled at the last moment. (Though no official reason was given, it appears that theofficials felt they would be cornered at the Forum given the content of Baer’s report.) Instead, Iqbal Ahmed, first secretary of the (2 of 7)1/4/2013 12:30:41 PM
  9. 9. Disregarding the JummaBangladesh mission to the UN, gave the official response, the thrust of which was that there were no indigenous peoples in Bangladeshand as such the implementation of the Accord was not a suitable topic for discussion at the UNPFII. ‘We urge upon the Forum todedicate its valuable time to discuss issues related to millions of indigenous people all over the world and not waste time on issuespolitically concocted by some enthusiastic quarters with questionable motives,’ Ahmed stated.Given that one of the UNPFII members present, Raja Devasish Roy, was an indigenous person from Bangladesh, it was rathersurprising for Ahmed to take such an approach. Of course, this argument has been used before. Although both Sheikh Hasina andKhaleda Zia have publicly used the word adivasi (indigenous), and many older government laws use the phrase indigenous hill-men, the current government has categorically refused to recognise the existence of indigenous peoples. The Ministry for CHT Affairshas reflected this denial in a memo in which it instructed district-level officials to stop using the terms adivasi or indigenous ingovernment documents. It instead suggested using the word upajati – sub-ethnicity or sub-nation.Military biasIn its election manifesto during the 2008 polls, the currently ruling Awami League had promised to implement the 1997 CHT Accord infull. Nonetheless, today the Hill Tracts remains a militarised area, where arson attacks against the indigenous populace are frequent.According to some allegations, the security forces, including the army, police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), covertly supportthese attacks.So, in the face of such hostility by a government that was initially seen as secular and minority-friendly, the next option for theindigenous population has been to take their issues to the international community. ‘It is important to bear in mind the asymmetry in thestatus of the two parties to an accord: the state party and the non-state party,’ Roy said in response to the government’s statement. ‘Ifthe state reneges on its promises, what can the non-state party do but approach the United Nations? The Permanent Forum ismandated to deal with issues of indigenous peoples, irrespective of terms the governments use to refer to their indigenous peoples:“tribes” or “ethnic minorities” or otherwise.’In his statement, Iqbal Ahmed objected to two specific recommendations made by Special Rapporteur Baer’s report, calling them ‘out ofcontext’. Both of these were with regards to the peacekeeping forces that Bangladesh contributes to the UN: that the UN’s Departmentof Peacekeeping Operations ‘develop a mechanism to strictly monitor and screen the human rights records of national army personnelprior to allowing them to participate in peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations’ and that it also ‘preventhuman rights violators and alleged human rights violators within the security forces of Bangladesh from participating in internationalpeacekeeping activities under the auspices of the United Nations’. This could have a large impact on Bangladesh, which currentlycontributes more peacekeeping troops than any other country – a significant source of both pride and money.At the same time, however, indigenous peoples in CHT continue to bring allegations against the Bangladesh Army, which standsaccused of abetting or tolerating human-rights violations in the area. In February 2010, for instance, settlers burned down more than (3 of 7)1/4/2013 12:30:41 PM
  10. 10. Disregarding the Jumma400 homes of indigenous people, with army personnel in the area allegedly working as a ‘shield’ to protect the settlers. Non-cooperationfrom the government meant that no independent investigations were conducted into this case. In addition, the army is accused ofdisplacing indigenous people from their lands to increase requisitioned land for military garrisons in the CHT. The CHT Accord includesagreement to dismantle all temporary military camps, apart from the six designated cantonments, in addition to forming a LandCommission to resolve all related disputes. In its current form, however, the Land Commission and its chairperson, Khademul IslamChowdhury, stand accused of blatant pro-Bengali bias.Meanwhile, time is quickly running out for the implementation of the Accord during the tenure of the current Awami League government.The UNPFII has provided the Jumma – the collective name for the indigenous hill peoples in the CHT – with a platform to reach out tothe rest of the world and try to pressure the government to implement the 1997 agreement. But first, Dhaka needs to recognise why theinternationalisation of this issue has taken place in the first place: its own failure to take concrete steps to execute the clauses of the 14-year-old Accord, and its continued anti-indigenous-peoples attitude. Nothing could more potently underline this second point than thegovernment’s outrageous current gambit of refusing to admit to the existence of Bangladesh’s indigenous population in the first place.~ Hana Shams Ahmed is a writer based in Dhaka. Share TweetMore From Hana Shams Ahmed 2011 Disregarding the Jumma 30 June By Hana Shams Ahmed The Bangladesh government’s continued failure to protect its indigenous peoples... Raja Devasish Roy 31 May 2010 By Hana Shams Ahmed Disregarding the Jumma 15 June 2011 (4 of 7)1/4/2013 12:30:41 PM
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  13. 13. Disregarding the Jumma Democracy in Bhutan Bhutans second national election is expected to happen in the first half of 2013 From our archive: I P Adhikaris assessment of Bhutans first election (February 2008) and his follow-up, a year later (May 2009) Bhim Subbas review of Unbecoming Citizens: Culture, Nationhood, and the Flight of Refugees from Bhutan (August 2003) Wasbir Hussain on the India-Bhutan treaty of 2007 (May 2007) Carey L Biron debunks the Realm of happiness (January 2010)Powered By: Smart Solutions HomeAbout UsVacancyHRIFSAAdvertiseContact UsSitemap © 2012 Himal Southasian The Southasia Trust, GPO Box: 24393, Kathmandu, Nepal. Phone: +977 1 5547279, Fax: +977 1 5552141 (7 of 7)1/4/2013 12:30:41 PM