Manabendra Narayan Larma was a friend of the deprived and marginal people and he fought for their rights, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.
The event was organised to mark his 37th death anniversary. The national committee to observe his death anniversary arranged the meeting at Women Voluntary Association (WVA) in the capital.
MN Larma, born on September 15, 1939, was a prominent Chakma politician and a leading proponent of the rights of CHT people. He was assassinated on November 10, 1983.
At yesterday's event, speakers said MN Larma does not belong to any particular group or party; he is a leader for all to follow. He fought for a democratic and progressive Bangladesh, they added.
Larma raised debate in the parliament about the constitution as he thought it did not include the voice of the deprived and marginalised, said speakers. But the government is yet to recognise the rights of the people living in the hills, they said, adding that people there are still fighting for their rights.
Abu Sayeed, journalist and columnist and convener of the committee, chaired the session, conducted by Prof Robayet Ferdous of Dhaka University and joint convener of the committee.
Among others, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Kapeng Foundation, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, Sammilito Samajik Jote, Hill Women Federation, and Bangladesh Adivasi Nari Network co-organised the event.
Rashed Khan Menon, president, Workers Party of Bangladesh; Pankaj Bhattachariya, president, Oikya Nap; Rokeya Kabir, executive director, Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha; Dr Sadeka Halim, dean of social science faculty, Dhaka University; Dr Mushtak Hossain, former general secretary of Ducsu; Shamsul Huda, executive director, Association for Land Reform and Development; Prof Mesbah Kamal of DU; Ruhin Hossain Prince, central member, Communist party of Bangladesh; Numan Ahmed Khan of Institute of Environment and Development; Sanjib Drong, general secretary, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, and Ushatun Talukder, vice president of Parbatya Chattogram Jana Samhati Samiti, also spoke at the programme.