Indigenous people demand constitutional recognition | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 10, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 10, 2010

Indigenous people demand constitutional recognition


Sajek Land Protection Committee holds a candlelight vigil at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city yesterday in memory of those killed in violence in Rangamati.Photo: STAR

Violence-ravaged ethnic families yesterday demanded constitutional recognition to the indigenous people in order to protect the marginalised community from torture on them.
“In the last 36 years since the country's independence, we had our policy makers none but army commanders or general officers commanding (GOCs) in our area, whereas there should be people's representatives for making any policy in a democratic and independent country," said Gyanendu Chakma, convener of Sajek Land Protection Committee.
"Protect us from the army ruling by giving constitutional recognition to the ethnic people.”
The committee organised the programme at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city yesterday in memory of the deaths of Adivasi people on February 19 and 20 unrest at Baghaichhari in Rangamati.
“We are not separatists. We want to live as Bangladeshi citizens, we want to live with constitutional recognition,” said Ripon Chakma, an arson victim, conducted the programme.
They also held a candlelight vigil in the evening to commemorate the deaths of Adivasi people while those at Sajek also held a memorial ceremony for the deaths in the morning.
The organisers also burnt down the March 8 issues of two Bangla newspapers for, what they said, misquoting them in the report on 'Public hearing on the situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts' on March 7.
Dhaka University unit of Bangladesh Chhatra Federation, Pahari Chhatra Parishad, Santal Students Union and Central Chhatra Moitri expressed solidarity with the demands of the indigenous people.
Meanwhile, Citizens' Rights Movement also formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club to fulfil its eight-point demand, including implementation of CHT Peace Accord and amendment to Chittagong Hill Tract Land Commission Act 2001.

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