No CHT ministry delegation to UN indigenous forum
25 May 2011
Muktasree Chakma Sathi
A government delegation, set to attend the UN meeting on indigenous people, finally cancelled its trip to New York, said officials.
The 10th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues started at the UN headquarters in New York on 16 May, and a government delegation, headed by the Chittagong Hill Tracts ministry’s state minister Dipankar Talukdar, was supposed to attend the meeting before May 25 when CHT issues were scheduled to be discussed.
Dipankar said that the ministry’s delegation had not gone to New York as his doctor had told him not to travel because of his poor health.
Lawmaker Jyotindralal, when contacted by New Age, said, ‘Dipankar Talukdar told me that our trip was cancelled, though I do not know the reason. Maybe the decision was taken because we have to attend the 9th parliamentary session.’
The session began on 22 May for two days and then it was adjourned to 30 May.
Another delegation member, lawmaker Ethin Rakhain, echoed her colleague in explaining why she had not gone to New York. ‘I met Dipankar Talukdar at Boudhdha Purnima’s programme and he told me that our trip had been cancelled.’
Instead of the delegation, Bangladesh’s permanent representative to the United Nations will represent the government at the meeting.
Representatives of the indigenous communities in Bangladesh expressed their regret at the absence of a delegation of the CHT ministry.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum’s secretary general Sanjeeb Drong said, ‘It is really regrettable that the government delegation cancelled the trip. As public representatives they should have been there.’
Sanjeeb also expressed his concern saying that a public representative rather than Bangladesh’s ambassador to the UN, AK Abdul Momen, who is a bureaucrat, could represent well the views of ethnic minority people.
Ten members of non-governmental organisations along with leaders of ethnic communities have gone to the UNPFII to talk on indigenous rights.
A daylong session on the status of the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord 1997 is taking place today (25 May, 2011).
Courtesy: New Age