Anti-fascist forum demands rights of indigenous people
Leaders of indigenous and civic groups on Sunday demanded constitutional recognition and right to
self determinations of indigenous and linguistic groups and other minorities.
Speaking at the opening session of a two-day convention of a National Committee Against Fascism and Imperialism, they said that these people of the country were deprived of their rights.
Politicians, academics and leaders of 45 indigenous groups got together at the convention, held at the Dhaka University Teacher Student Centre, to voice the demand.
More than 1,000 representatives of indigenous people from all over the country took part in the convention.
They said that the indigenous people and religious minorities in the country were deprived of their rights.
The committee president, Marxist theoretician and politician Badruddin Umar chaired the opening session.
He said religious minorities and the indigenous people were suffering much across the country.
He said the sufferings of these groups had increased to an unprecedented level under the Awami League led alliance government.
Umar demanded making a new Constitution of the Republic as it does not protect the rights of the indigenous people.
He said that the existing Constitution was made keeping the interests of the ruling class in the mind.
Representatives of the indigenous groups spoke at a close door session which followed the opening session.
United Peoples Democratic Front president Prosit Bikash Khisa said that UPDF would continue its movement to establish the rights of each and every indigenous group of people.
He said that no government in the country protected the Constitutional rights of the indigenous people.
He called for rejecting the opportunist and compromising left leaders who pay lip service to the indigenous people to get close to them but work as the ‘B team of Awami League led government.’
The NCFAI general secretary and Dhaka University teacher Akmal Hossain called for a sustained movement for advancing and protecting the rights of indigenous people.
Jatiya mukti Council secretary Foezul Hakim said that the country needed a constitution that ensures the rights of the indigenous people.
Leaders of indigenous groups, Pidison Prodhan, Porimal Singh, Sneha Tripura, and representative of Urdu speaking group Mohammad Sadakat Khan and Lekhak Shibir general secretary Hasibur Rahman spoke among others.
A cultural function was organised in the evening.
The convention ends today after a day-long third session with the adoption of a declaration, organisers said.
The participants would take out a procession from TSC to march up to the National Press Club.
courtesy: NewAge BD
Following is the report from Daily Star on the same event:
'Reform law to protect rights of forest people'
They also urged the government to stop eviction of indigenous people in the excuse of saving national parks, eco parks, safari parks, reserve forests and social forestation.
The demands came at a two-day national convention “to establish rights of minorities in Bangladesh” organised by Fascibad O Samrajjobad Birodhi Jatiya Committee at Teacher Student Centre auditorium of Dhaka University (DU).
Speakers there placed their demands including formation of “Ethnic Commission” to solve socio-economic and political problems of indigenous people.
They urged the government to stop using the term “upajati” in government documents and textbooks as it undermines indigenous communities.
Speakers suggested representatives of people living in forest regions including the indigenous to form a seperate political organisation for their welfare.
Presided over by noted intellectual and author Badruddin Umar, the inaugural session was addressed by DU international relations department Prof Dr Akmal Hossain, Greater Syhlet Adivashi Forum President Pidison Pradhan and United Peoples Democratic Front President Prosit Bikash Khisa.