The CHT and the Peace Process
A protracted armed conflict raged across the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh for nearly two-and-a-half decades before it came to an end with the signing of a Peace Accord on 2 December 1997 by the Government of Bangladesh and the Parbattya Chattagram Jano Samhati Samiti. In 1920 the Manual was amended and the CHT Regulation 1920 declared the CHT an ‘excluded area’, independent of general administration. The CHT, comprising three hill districts–Rangamati, Khagrachari and Banderban–is a distinct region in Bangladesh in terms of its geography, topography and politico-economic-administrative system and the ethno-national identity, culture and religious beliefs of its people. In the 1935 Government of India Act, the CHT was declared a ‘totally excluded area’. The Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party government, which came to power following the removal of General Ershad’s military regime in 1990, undertook a fresh initiative for a negotiated settlement of the CHT conflict.