The daily star:
Indigenous people formed a human chain yesterday in the town demanding restoration of constitution of 1972 and constitutional rights of indigenous people.
The human chain followed a discussion at the same venue.
The speakers reiterated the demand for a separate land commission to protect rights of the community living in plan lands.
They said the indigenous people are still victims of discrimination in different fields due to government indifference to their causes.
They are always lagging behind as they are being deprived of their rights in all sectors, they said.
The speakers also called to establish a separate ministry for indigenous people to deal with their problems.
Indigenous people are becoming landless as criminals and local influential people with the help of a section of officials are grabbing their lands, they pointed out.
Urging the government to save the indigenous people from the land grabbers, they said all fake documents made to occupy their land should be declared illegal.
They demanded allocation khas land to the landless indigenous people for their survival.
Calling for withdrawal of all false cases against the indigenous people, they said the indigenous community is still not getting facilities like others in the fields of education and job.
The speakers also demanded mother tongue-based primary education for their children and the community's quota in higher education and government service.
They said the indigenous people played a significant role during the liberation war in 1971 but they are yet to be given constitutional rights.
Demanding restoration of '72 constitution they said the people of the country including indigenous people joined the Liberation War to establish a secular society. But even after 39 years of independence it is yet to be achieved, they lamented.
Indigenous people in Rangamati also organised a human chain in the town yesterday demanding restoration of '72 constitution and constitutional recognition to the rights of the community, reports our correspondent.
Hundreds of ethnic people from different far-flung areas with banners and festoons joined in the programme followed by a rally.
Speakers at the rally said the indigenous people have been playing important role in national level since long but they are still deprived of their rights.
Congratulating the current government for move to restore the '72 constitution, they said the opportunity now has come for providing constitutional recognition to the indigenous people.
The Daily Star:
Recognise the indigenous in constitution
Adivasi Forum urges govt
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum yesterday reiterated its demand for constitutional recognition of the ethnicity, language and culture of the country's indigenous people.
They also demanded constitutional recognition of the indigenous people of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) for their political, economic, social, cultural and religious security.
The forum placed the demands at a human chain programme in front of the National Museum at Shahbagh in the city yesterday.
Gono Forum Presidium Member Pankaj Bhattacharya said the 1972 constitution did not give any recognition to the indigenous people, which is a historical mistake.
"Since the government has taken initiative to amend the constitution, I request them to include the recognition of indigenous people and their rights in the constitution."
He, however, said some government people are reluctant to give such indigenous recognition.
The forum also demanded seats reserved for the indigenous people in parliament as well as the local government.
The forum leaders also called on the government for keeping a guarantee provision in the constitution to take their opinion when amending the constitution and laws in indigenous people's interest.
They said the government should also give constitutional recognition to the CHT Peace Agreement.
Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, said the government assured him that the indigenous people's rights would be protected in the amended constitution.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum also organised similar programmes throughout the country including Rangamati, Chittagong and Rajshahi in support of their demand.
The New Age:
of minorities demanded
Staff Correspondent . Sylhet
Leaders and activists of Adivasi Forum, a platform of ethnic minority groups, formed a human chain in the Sylhet city on Saturday, demanding their constitutional recognition.
A cross-section of people also expressed solidarity with the minority groups’ demands for constitutional recognition and participated in the human chain in front of the Central Shaheed Minar at noon.
At a rally during the human chain, the forum’s leaders demanded immediate step to give constitutional recognition of the ethnic minority group people in the country and to recognise their ownership of land in the areas inhabited by the minorities.
Mentioning that 33 out of some 45 small ethnic groups have been living in the Sylhet region for over centuries and they have their own culture, religion and ethnic identities.
But, their participation in the policy making process of the country was ignored, depriving them of their citizen right, they said.
It is essential to give constitutional recognition of the small ethnic groups, to recognise their ownership of their land and to ensure their representation in the government’s policy making in order to put an end to the existing disparity they are facing, the speakers claim.
The Sylhet Tribal Welfare Association’s former president, Danos Sangma, presided over the rally.
Sylhet Bar Association president EU Shahidul Islam, Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan’s district secretary Abdul Karim Kim, Bangladesh Human Rights Implementation Association’s district secretary Shahin Ahmad Khan, Tribal Welfare Association leader Ilias Nakrek and Sylhet Divisional Indigenous Student Organisation leader Swapan Naek, among others, addressed the rally.
The Daily Samakal: