Land commission sought | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 30, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:04 AM, October 30, 2017

PLAIN LAND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Land commission sought

The government should form a separate land commission for the plain land indigenous people, said indigenous rights activists at a workshop yesterday.

It should also provide more assistance to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Commission for ensuring the land rights of the minority group, they added.

They also urged the government to take necessary measures regarding false cases filed against the indigenous people over land disputes.

The workshop was organised by Kapaeeng Foundation at a hotel in the capital with an aim to strengthen networks among the indigenous rights defenders.

The workshop was held under a two-year project, supported by the Australian High Commission, said the organisers.

Sanjeeb Drong, secretary general of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, said, “It's the responsibility of the government to ensure the land rights of the adivasi people.”

Without ensuring it, the country cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he added.

Ajoy Mree, a rights activist from Modhupur, said the government declared the Modhupur forest as a reserve forest in 1984.

So, at times, those living in the area get charged with false cases. As a result, they are living in fear of eviction, he said.

Shanti Bijoy Chakma, general secretary of CHT Headman Network, alleged although the CHT has a separate land commission, it does not have any visible activities due to the government's inadequate support.

James Dillon, second secretary (direct aid programme) of Australian High Commission, Pallab Chakma, executive director of Kapaeeng Foundation, and Shohel Chandra Hajang, project coordinator of the foundation, were also present. 

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