Call to allocate lands for indigenous people
It is necessary to allocate lands for all indigenous people so that they can have shelters, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on land ministry AKM Mozammel Haque said at a discussion yesterday.
Bangladesh Adivasi Odhikar Andolon in association with UNDP organised the discussion on 'Existence of Koch community people in Bangladesh and protecting their rights: Relevance of the UN declaration of 2007 regarding Adivasi' at Women's Voluntary Association (WVA) auditorium.
Hailing the decision of withdrawing army from Chittagong Hill Tracts, former ambassador Maj Gen (retd) Amin Ahmed Chowdhury said it is courageous and dynamic decision of the government.
"Hill people are peace-loving and sons of the nature. They should not be pushed into conflict. It is a farce to talk peace while carrying firearms in hand," he said.
Chairman of Bangladesh Koch Adivasi Organisation Romesh Koch, general secretary Sushil Koch, Monoranjan Koch, a teacher and social worker, and lawmaker Shawkat Momen Shahjahan also spoke.
Journalist and writer Shahriar Kabir presided over the meeting. UNDP representative Hossain Shahid Suman was also present.
"Koch is one of the most ancient ethnic group in the country," said Prof Mesbah Kamal.
There are at least two lakh members of Koch community across the country, mostly in Gazipur, Rangpur and Sylhet, he said.