Recognition as 'indigenous' demanded
Ethnic communities across the country yesterday observed the International Day of the World's Indigenous People with demand for their constitutional recognition as 'indigenous people'.
The leaders of different ethnic communities at a rally in Rangamati Town Hall yesterday urged the government to take steps for ensuring their political, economic and social rights, reports our Rangamati correspondent.
Criticising the foreign minister for her statement that there are no indigenous people in Bangladesh, the speakers said the ethnic peoples in Bangladesh fulfil all criteria, as per ILO convention, to be regarded as indigenous people.
They criticised the present government for failure to fully implement Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord and solution to land dispute in CHT region.
Renowned educationist Dr Manik Lal Dewan inaugurated the rally.
Ushatan Talukder, member of CHT Regional Council, attended as chief guest at the rally presided over by Prakkriti Ranjan Chakma, president of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, CHT chapter.
Later a mammoth colourful procession joined by indigenous people from different far flung areas paraded main thoroughfares in the town.
On the other hand, Samo Odhikar Andolan, a platform for Bangalee settlers in CHT, formed a human chain at New Court Building area in the town yesterday, urging the government not to recognise the jumma community in CHT as indigenous people.
Our Khagrachhari Correspondent reports: MN Larma faction of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) at a rally held at Surjashikha Club ground in the district town yesterday demanded cancellation of the 15th amendment of the constitution and official recognition of the ethnic communities as indigenous people.
The speakers at the rally urged the government to take immediate initiative for ensuring their fundamental rights including those regarding land, culture, education and language.
The also demanded the full implementation of CHT peace treaty.
Sudha Sindhu Khisha, co-chairman of central PCJSS (MN Larma faction), presided over the programme where educationist Ananta Bihari Khisha attended as chief guest.
Meanwhile, the PCJSS activists blocked Khagrachhari-Mahalchhari road for four hours from 9:00am yesterday after their fleet of vehicles faced obstacle while going to join a programme organised on the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous People.
The blockade was withdrawn at around 1:00pm after a negotiation with the local administration.
Earlier, Bangladesh Adivashi Forum and Bangladesh Marma Oikya Parishad formed a human chain at Golabari of Khagrachhari district town yesterday.
Our Thakurgaon reports: Thakurgaon district unit of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, a platform of the ethnic communities, yesterday organised different programmes marking International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples with demand for their constitutional recognition as indigenous people.
At a discussion at Thakurgaon Press Club auditorium, the speakers demanded establishing constitutional rights of indigenous people and formation of a separate land commission to protect land rights of the indigenous people living on plan lands.
District unit Pof Jatiya Adivasi Parishad Surjo Mormu presided over the meeting while advisor of district unit of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad advocate Imran Hossain Chowdhury attended there as chief guest.
They urged the government to save the indigenous people from the land grabbers and withdraw all false cases against the indigenous people.
Our Barisal Correspondent adds: Rakhaine community people and socio-cultural-human rights activists on Wednesday organised rally and discussion Patuakhali and were organised in Kalapara of Patuakhali and Taltali upazila of Barguna.
Speakers at the programmes urged the government to establish a separate ministry to ensure the ownership and right to live on their ancestral land for the plain land indigenous people of the country.
Similar programmes were also held in different areas including Mymensingh and Pabna.