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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Protest against govt envoy’s remarks on ‘indigenous’ issue

Protest against govt envoy’s remarks on ‘indigenous’ issue



The government disrespected a total 30 lakhs ethnic people due to the representative of Bangladesh Government, first secretary of the Bangladesh Mission in USA, Iqbal Ahmed’s quote “Bangladesh does not have any ‘indigenous’ population”. “The indigenous people will not be recognised in the constitution until eliminating pro-Pakistan ideology from the Bangladeshis,” said presidium member of Gono Forum, Pankaj Batterchariya while addressing at a human chain organised by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum (BAF) at in front of national museum in Shahbag in the city on Friday. ­Iqbal Ahmed made his statement while objecting to the ‘Study on the status of implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord of 1997’, in the UN headquarters in New York on May 25. 

Batterchariya said the government’s first secretary of the Bangladesh Mission in USA ruined the image of the Bangladesh in denying the existence of indigenous population in the country.

“It is not expected from a representative of the present government as the alliance government mentions the indigenous people in their electoral manifesto,” said Prof Meshbah Kamal. The persons who do believe in spirit of Liberation War, equal rights and democracy never recognise the existence of indigenous people and diversity. General Secretary of BAF Sanjib Drong said the indigenous peoples have been recognized in several laws of Bangladesh, but they have not yet been recognised in the constitution.

He strongly protests the statement of Iqbal Ahmed and alleged that a vested quarter of the government does not want to recognise them as indigenous peoples.

He demanded the constitutional rights as ‘indigenous people’. He expressed hope that the government will feel the heartbeat of 3 million people of more than 46 indigenous peoples.

Prof. Dr AHK Arefin said that no people can set the identity of others. “If it is done, then human rights will be violated,” he noted.

There is an opportunity to recognise the indigenous peoples after 40 long years, the NHRC chairman further observed.

He hopes that the government would recognise the indigenous people in the constitution.

Among others journalist Salim Samad, Dipayan Khisa and Hiron Mitra Chakma addressed the human chain.


courtesy: The Independent

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