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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Celebration of indigenous day in Bangladesh amidst government’s imposed restriction

The indigenous peoples of Bangladesh have vowed to celebrate international indigenous peoples’ day on 9th of August, despite the government's imposed restriction on celebrating the day in a circular released on 11th of March by the Bangladesh’s Ministry of Home Affairs. Following is the english version (original version also uploaded below) of the circular that was distributed to the government officials (courtesy for the english version: survival international) :
English Version Not to Celebrate Ip Day
Original copy of the government circular directing not to celebrate IP day:
Not to Celebrate Ip Day

To foil the observation of the day, it has been learnt that a suddenly appeared non-government organization named, "Coalition of Local NGO’s Bangladesh" (CLNB), has been posting posters all over Bangladesh, with pictures of indigenous peoples; poster reads: "The indigenous issue is a conspiracy: we want to live as ethnic-minority people"
Following is the picture of one of the posters:

The hypocrisy of this organization is not limited only within posting posters across Bangladesh. On last Tuesday (07.08.2012), they even organized a discussion meeting with the title, "No Indigenous – We want declaration as Ethnic" at the VIP Lounge of National Press Club-Dhaka, where all the national medias were invited to broadcast it.
Pictures of the conference could be seen here (uploaded on facebook): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.396768000390238.87997.100001711231574&type=1

They also posted a video of the conference on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-GxVaWsH74&feature=plcp
One does not really need to have Einstein's brain to understand who are behind all these!!!
It has been also learnt that the military secretly called different media personals and journalists and asked them to use media tools to propagate anti-indigenous activities. This was also clearly directed in the letter issued by Bangladesh’s Ministry of Home Affairs on 11th of March. The letter stated:

"Steps might be taken to publicize/broadcast (by providing related information) inthe print and electronic media that there are no Indigenous people in Bangladesh."

 Now we can see how they are implementing the steps!!! 

However, despite all these attempts from the government and military to foil the celebration, the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh are determined to celebrate the day with other 370 million indigenous peoples around the globe.  Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples' Forum (BIPF) have declared  week long programs to celebrate the day, which includes: friendly football match, CHT versus plain land indigenous peoples on 3 August 2012 at Dhaka University, discussion meeting by parliamentary caucus on indigenous peoples on 6 August 2012 at public library in Dhaka, discussion on land rights and human rights of indigenous peoples on 7 August 2012 at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, national seminar on compilation of land-related customs and practices of indigenous peoples of CHT to be organised by CHT Regional Council and Manusher Jonno Foundation on 8 August 2012 at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, and procession and rally to be organised by BIPF on 9 August 2012 at central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka. Following is the invitation letter of the 9th August progamme: 

And here are the links on national newspapers on celebration of the day:

Indigenous people 'face extinction': Says Santu Larma; slates curbs on rights

CHT Accord Implementation: Santu blames policymakers

AL-led govt unwilling to implement CHT accord: Santu Larma

Indigenous Day: 2 ministers slam govt attitude

Ruling MPs for state observance of Int’l Day for Indigenous Peoples 

Identify ethnic groups as ‘indigenous’

Demand MPs at World Indigenous Day discussion

Withdraw restrictions:CHT commission asks govt to allow observance of int'l indigenous day

Int’l Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples to be observed: CHT commission



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