The Mong Raja will be developing organisational policies on the most important areas of responsibility, These policies will be underpinned by strong partnerships with local and national government institutions. In all of these areas, the three Rajas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts are united in seeking robust and workable solutions that respect the rights of all local communities.
The Mong Raja is a Member of the Land Commission, but will not take his seat until National Government creates a Commission that fairly reflects the needs of all CHT communities. This is an essential element of the 1997 UN Peace Accord. The Raja remains committed to finding a workable solution to the many outstanding land issues in the CHT. This solution must include traditional government, as well as recognising the important role the Headmen play in local land management and administration.
NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
The CHT is an area rich in natural resources, but commercial and demographic pressures make robust management of these resources a high priority. Bangladesh is one of the least forested countries in the world, with the CHT one of the last remaining areas of natural forest. National forestry policy potentially affects rural communities here, and the Raja’s interest is in making sure that these local interests are taken into account. Headmen and Karbari have a vital role to play in preserving national resources, and the training and development being planned with the UNDP and Government of Bangladesh will focus on this area of responsibility.
The Raja is the head of the customary law system of the Hill Tracts. This is a valuable oral tradition through which the Headmen and Karbari resolve disputes locally in many important civil law areas. The Raja will be seeking support from the Chakma and Bohmong Rajas for agreement on a statement of principle on customary law.