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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bangladesh Govt urged to ensure rights of indigenous people

The Human Rights Forum for Universal Periodic Review (UPR-HR Forum) yesterday called upon the government to take effective measures to ensure the rights of the country's indigenous people.

The forum officials made the call at its monthly meeting yesterday, said a press release.

The latest constitutional amendment, which termed all the people including indigenous as Bangalee, goes against the sprit of pluralism of ethnicity and multiculturalism, said the forum Convener Sultana Kamal.

It undermines the fundamental rights of those who are not Bangalee by ethnicity and cultural identity, she added.

She also urged to repeal this amendment and demonstrate equal respect to the citizens.
The government has violated its election pledges of giving constitutional recognition to the indigenous people, said the forum officials.

Their other demands included full implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, immediate resolution of land dispute of indigenous communities and withdrawal of all army camp from the CHT.

The UPR-HR Forum is an alliance of 17 non-government organisations working for promoting human rights.

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courtesy: The Daily Star


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Following is the report from New Age:


UPR-HR urges govt to ensure rights of national minorities

The Human Rights Forum on Universal Periodic Review, Bangladesh in a statement issued on Thursday expressed its ‘disappointment’ at the process to ensure the rights of the ‘indigenous communities’ in Bangladesh.

‘We are very disappointed that instead of making progress, the government has moved backward…’ the statement said.

Both the constitution and the manifesto of the ruling Awami League for the 2008 parliamentary elections contain the term ‘adivahi (indigenous peoples)’ and the manifesto promised to uphold the rights of such peoples.

The current government, viewed to be a ‘natural ally’ in the struggle of the national minorities, has failed to ensure the constitutional recognition of such minorities, the UPR-HR forum observed.
The constitutional declaration of the citizens of Bangladesh as only ‘Bangalees’ is against of the spirit and values of ‘pluralism and multiculturism’ which was the main inspiration of the independence war, the statement also said.

The statement further said that the UPR-HR forum hopes that the government would show ‘political courage and commitment’ in taking proper, time-bound, ‘result-oriented action’ to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord 1997 as the ‘credit for achieving the Peace Accord goes to the prime minister Sheikh Hasina.’

They also called on the government to ensure the rights of such communities and withdrawal of the army camps from the Chittagong Hill Tracts, immediately.

The UPR-HR forum list comprises 17 leading rights organisations such as Ain o Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Nijera Kori, Nari Pakkha, Transparency International, Bangladesh and Bangladesh Institutes of Labour Studies.

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courtesy: New Age

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