A critical inquiry to understand peace and development from the perceptive of the marginalised indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
The notions of development are varied and contestant. Generally, its meanings, priorities and practices are defined and determined by the groups, organisation or state, the ones who are in power, based on their own interests. Thus, it could be not being driven by the real needs of the poor. As a consequence, the outcomes of many development projects have shown as negative rather than offering any benefit to the poor. The indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region in Bangladesh have seen many catastrophic events in their lives in the name of development over the last few decades that resulted displacement, suppression, domination, marginalisation, conflict, poverty and many other forms of human rights violation done by the state or foreign donors. However, development interventions have not always shown as the history of domination on the poor but also created an opportunity to reinterpret the dominant views, developing knowledge or voices for their own way of development and survival. From this point of view, the aim of this research is to understand the meaning of peace and development from the perspective of the marginalised indigenous people of CHT based on their experience of life and values of their culture which will help to evaluate the ongoing development and peace process in the CHT region. This research argues that for a meaningful development and for ensuring peace process and human rights in the post peace accord situation, after 1997, it is important to understand the voices and the views of indigenous peoples about the development and peace ensuring process. A qualitative ethnography methodology with unstructured in-depth interviews and focus groups discussions will be employed to carry out this research.