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Friday, October 28, 2011

"We have been betrayed by the Government"- say Indigenous and rights activists

Following are the reports from "the daily star" and "the independentbd" :


Govt yet to recognise indigenous people

Say speakers

(From left) Sanjeeb Drong, Rashed Khan Menon, Sultana Kamal, and Farah Kabir at a seminar on "Adivasi and election manifesto of Awami League" organised by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum in Cirdap auditorium in the city yesterday. Photo: STAR

Rights activists and indigenous people yesterday alleged that the present government has broken its electoral pledges denying recognition as indigenous in the amended constitution.

They termed it "tantamount to betrayal" with the indigenous community and said they will continue their movement until their demand is met.

They told a seminar titled 'Electoral Manifesto of Awami League, Charter for Change: Expectation and Achievement of Indigenous Community' organised by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum in Cirdap auditorium in the city.

Advocate Sultana Kamal said there is a huge difference between what indigenous community expected and what they have received from the government.

It is unfortunate that the ministers who earlier talked in favour of the indigenous people now they have changed their mind with the change of positions, she said.

Rashed Khan Menon, chairman of the parliamentary caucus on indigenous affairs, said, “We surely knew that the indigenous people would be recognised in the constitution but it was beyond my knowledge how things turned upside down at the end.”

Saktipada Tripura, organising secretary of Parbatya Chattagram Janasanghati Samity (PCJS), alleged that the Awami League led grand alliance has broken their electoral manifesto about the indigenous people and it is "synonymous to betrayal" with the indigenous community.

There is no alternative other than united movement to achieve rights of the community, he said.
Rabindranath Saren, general secretary of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, chaired the programme while Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, read out a keynote paper.

Prof Mesbah Kamal and Dr Dalem Chandra Barman of Dhaka University, among others, spoke while Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, moderated it.


courtesy: the daily star

Constitutional rights for ethnic minorities demanded

 Speakers at a discussion meeting on Wednesday demanded constitutional rights for ethnic minorities as it was one of the election manifestos of the ruling party. The speakers at the discussion on ‘Manifesto of Awami League, charter of change: achievement and expectation’ reiterated that ethnic minorities should be recognised in the Constitution by virtue of their own identity. 

“People of the country including those of ethnic minorities joined the Liberation War to establish a secular society. But even after 39 years of independence, it is yet to be achieved,” said Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain O Shalish Kendra, at the discussion as chief guest. To exercise democracy, ethnic minorities should be recognised, she said.

Workers party president Rashed Khan Menon, MP, said the government might be trying to dissuade from the issue of ethnic minorities. We are dissatisfied with it but we would go ahead with the rights of ethnic minorities, he added.

The ethnic minorities are under threat of displacement from their lands and the situation might get worsen further due to the absence of constitutional recognition of their identity and rights. 

Non-implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Treaty and non-functioning of the CHT Land Commission could be held responsible in this regard, Sultana Kamal said.

Leader of ethnic minorities Sanjib Drong presented the keynote paper, while ActionAid country director Farah Kabir moderated the programme.  



courtesy: theindependentbd

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