Why we want our voice to be heard?


Sunday, September 19, 2010


_Bidhayak Chakma (17 Sep 2010)

1. 20 December 2009: Roundtable discussion organised by ILO in Dhaka :Finally national roundtable formed a committee with following Parliament Members to works for forming a ‘Parliament CAUCUS for indigenous peoples’-
(a) 5 MPs of indigenous peoples;
(b) 3 MPs from Awami League (namely Shawkat Momen Shahjahan, Rubi Rahaman and Rawshan Jahan;
(c) 2 MPs from Workers’ Party (Rashed Khan Menon and Fazle Hossain Badshah;
(d) 1 MP from Jatiya Samastantrik Dal (Hasanul Haque Inu).
The roundtable also formed a
3-member technical support committee with Mr. Goutam Kumar Chakma, Mr. Mesbah Kamal and Mr. Sanjeeb Drong.


2. 19 Feb 2010: A parliamentary caucus on indigenous affairs (Parliamentary caucus) was formed with 17 parliamentarians, including aforementioned five Adivasi MPs.


3. 16 July 2010: Prime Minister declared to form a committee to amend the Constitution (http://www.prothom-alo.com/detail/date/2010-07-16/news/79149)

4. 21 July 2010: 15 member special parliamentary committee, led by Deputy Leader of the JS (1) Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury,was formed to to chalk out a constitutional amendment proposal. (2) Suranjit Sengupta, chief of the parliamentary standing committee on law justice and parliamentary affairs ministry, was made the co-chair of the committee. Other mebers are (3) Amir Hossain Amu, (4) Abdur Razzaq, (5) Tofail Ahmed, (6) Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, (7) Rahmat Ali, (8) Syed Ashraful Islam, (9) Fazle Rabbi Mia, (10) Rashed Khan Menon, (11) Abdul Matin Khasru, (12) Hasanul Haq Inu, (13) Anisul Islam Mahmud, (14) Hasan Mahmud, and (15) Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury.

5. 22 July 2010: Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous affairs meeting was held (Mangal: presentation)

6. On the same day (22 July 2010), the five Adivasi MPs meet and discussed on the issue of recognition of the indigenous peoples of the country. They decided to meet the Prime Minsiter to talk on the issue. (Mangal: presentation)

7. Later the five MPs “met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who had reportedly agreed to consider the inclusion of Adivasi issues in the future constitution of Bangladesh” (Roy, P-1-2)

8. 27 July 2010: Declaration of the Judgement of 5th Constitutional Amendment by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court :


9. 7 Aug 2010: Dipamkar Talukdar MP hosted a meeting at his Dhaka residence, which was participated in by all the indigenous MPs and a number of indigenous leaders from different parts of Bangladesh. At this meeting, a Constitutional Reform Drafting Committee on Adivasi Issues [Drafting Committee] was formed with this writer as the chair.( 6 members: (1) Raja Devasish Roy (Chir person) (2) Sanjeeb Drong, (3) Albert Mankin, (4) U Shit Mong and (5) Goutam Kumar Chakma, and through co-option by consent, (6) Mangal Kumar Chakma)” (Roy, P-2). Note, Sanjeeb Drong and Gautam Kumar Chakma are member of the technical committee related with the Parliamentary caucus.

10. 8 Aug 2010: Orientation or meeting of the Drafting Committee with some indigenous leaders in Dhaka (BIAM) (Mangal: presentation)

11. 11 Aug 2010: The Drafting Committee “met on 11 August, 2010, among themselves, and along with three indigenous MPs” at Dhka residence of Raja da (Roy, P-2)

12. 12 Aug 2010: The Drafting Committee met Suronjit Sen Gupta in a informal meeting (Mangal: presentation)

13. 13 Aug 2010: The Drafting Committee met at Raja Da’s Dhaka residence where Raja da “wherein some draft proposals were deliberated and unanimously agreed upon”. “Attendees at the meeting included MPs Dipankar Talukdar, Promode Mankin and Bir Bahadur and Sanjeeb Drong, Albert Mankin, Ushit Mong, Goutam Kumar Chakma, Mangal Kumar Chakma, Mong Tahan, and the writer “[Raja da].

14. 23 Aug 2010: “The proposals – contained in a columned matrix referring to existing constitutional provisions, desired amendment proposals and justification for the same - were refined further and presented to a larger gathering in Dhaka on 23 August, 2010, presided over by State Minister Promode Mankin. This writer presented the amended proposals, which drew considerable support, along with some friendly criticisms and suggestions, among the participants. This draft – which is being further refined and strengthened - will be annexed to the sequel to this article (as mentioned in footnote no 1, supra). It is hoped that the draft will help stimulate healthy debate so that strong proposals are ultimately presented to the constitution drafting committee and to the Government of Bangladesh by political groups, citizens’ groups, organizations and institutions of indigenous peoples and others. (The attendees at the 23 August, 2010 meeting included Ayne Thein Rakhaing, MP, Sanjeeb Drong, Secretary, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, Goutam Kumar Chakma, member, CHT Regional Council, Gautam Dewan, Convenor CHT Citizens Committee, Barman leader and academic, Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman, Garo leader Albert Mankin, Jatiyo Adivasi Parishad leaders Anil Marandi and Rabindranath Soren, Khasi leader Pidison Pradhan Suchiang and several other prominent indigenous leaders.)” (Roy, P-2). I myself was present in the (23 Aug) meeting .


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