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Friday, July 1, 2011

Indigenous groups reject amendment Say their identity lost, basic rights denied

Indigenous groups reject amendment

Say their identity lost, basic rights denied

Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) yesterday rejected the Constitution (15th Amendment) Bill, 2011 and said the government should be responsible for any unpleasant situation due to the undemocratic, communal and oppressive steps towards the indigenous people.

In a press release, PCJSS said that through the passage of the bill different indigenous groups are identified as Bangalee in the constitution. Besides, their ethnic identities and basic rights have been denied.

The bill passed yesterday afternoon in parliament introduces indigenous groups as tribes, minor races or ethnic sect, belittling them, says the press release.

Earlier, political and indigenous leaders criticised the government's move at a press conference organised under the banner of Nagorik Samaj.

Chief of Chakma circle barrister Raja Debashish Roy at the conference said "The same mistake was made in 1972 and the indigenous people will never accept it."

He said a team of representatives called on the law minister on Wednesday and discussed their constitutional recognition in the light of convention-107 and 169 of International Labour Organization.
Addressing the press conference, Mesbah Kamal, a teacher of history department of Dhaka University, said the recognition of 75 ethnic groups will be denied once the bill is passed.

Meanwhile, at a rally yesterday morning, MP Rashed Khan Menon, also chairman of the parliamentary caucus on indigenous affairs, said "We had a chance to give them (indigenous people) constitutional recognition after 40 years. But I think it would not be done".

Jatiya Adivasi Parishad held the solidarity rally at the Central Shaheed Minar marking the 156th anniversary of the historic Santal Revolution.

Pankaj Bhattacharya, presidium member of Gono Forum, said, "If we fail to give due respect to all communities of the country including ethnic minorities, achievements of the Liberation War will go in vain."

courtesy: The daily star

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