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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Constitution Amendment Committee denies to provide constitutional recognition to indigenous peoples

Constitution Amendment Committee denies to provide constitutional recognition to indigenous peoples
New Age, 16 March 2011

Committee on constitutional amendment meets

Agrees to recognise ethnic minorities
The parliamentary special committee for constitutional amendment on Tuesday agreed to recognise the ethnic minority groups (Khudro Jonogosthi) in the constitution, although no minority community will be recognised as indigenous (Adibashi) people.
The committee at a meeting discussed the issue with the representatives of the ethnic minority groups and also agreed that the contributions of the ethnic minorities during the liberation war in 1971 would be recognised, committee sources said.
‘We agreed to recognise the ethnic minorities in the constitution,’ the committee co-chairman, Suranjit Sengupta, told reporters at the media Center of the parliament after the 10th meeting of the committee.
He said as the demand for recognising them as indigenous people could not be applicable in the context of Bangladesh, so it was more logical to recognise them as Bangladeshi, not indigenous.
‘The definition of indigenous people given by the United Nations has no consistency with the situation in Bangladesh,’ said Suranjit, adding that it could be applicable for some countries like Australia where indigenous people were ousted from state power by others.
Meeting sources said that four lawmakers, two of them are state ministers of the government, representing the ethnic minority communities placed a combined demands of the different ethnic minority groups at the meeting.
State minister for cultural affairs Promod Mankin, state minister for CHT affairs Dipankar Talukdar and lawmakers Jatindra Lal Tripura and Aye Thein Rakhain placed the demands including recognising the contributions of the ethnic minority groups during the liberation war and reconising their own culture, education, language and tradition, sources said.
‘As the issue was not included in the constitution of 1972, the discussion with the leaders of the ethnic minority community was very much important,’ said Suranjit.

 Chtnewsupdate team's note: However, just few months back Suranjit also said all these... ""The government will recognise the indigenous people in the constitution of the country, Suranjit Sengupta, co-chairman of parliamentary special committee for constitutional amendment, said yesterday.
''We want to give the constitutional recognition to the indigenous people. The Adivasi people and their well-wishers should place this demand to the special committee. I will take the matter seriously to the committee,'' he said."

It seems like now he is trying to redefine the word "Indigenous"

Following is the link of that news:



Please visit following news links (in Bangla) for more news on government’s denial on constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples:
The Daily Star, 13 March 2011

'Include indigenous people in census'

Some indigenous students yesterday urged the government to include all of their communities in upcoming Population and Housing Census 2011 based on their respective parentage.
Out of the 46 indigenous communities, only 27 were included in the last census and in the coming census, over 10 lakh indigenous people would be enlisted as general population, they said.
They placed the demand at a human chain organised by Bangladesh Indigenous Students Action Forum at the base of Aparajayo Bangla of Dhaka University.
Other demands include constitutional recognition, separate land commission for plain land indigenous people and implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord 1997.
Adivashi Chhattra Sangram Parishad President Nishkriti Hagidak and Parbatta Chattragram Pahari Parishad General Secretary Bulbul Chakma also spoke.
Please visit following news links for more news on census:

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