Source: New Age, Dhaka, Metro, Nov 6, 2010
Speakers at a discussion meeting in Rajshahi on Friday demanded constitutional recognition of the ethnic minority people with a separate land commission for them.
They also expressed grave concern over the eviction of minority people from where they have been living for generations in different parts of the Rajshahi division, especially in Naogaon, by different public and private organisations.
Prominent writer Professor Hasan Azizul Haque as chief discussant attended the programme ‘Constitutional recognition for tribal people’ organised by jatiya Adibasi Parishad and Kapaeeng Foundation at the auditorium of the Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the city in the morning.
He urged the lawmakers for the north Bengal to raise their voice at the national parliament to realise the logical demands of the ethnic minority people.
Fazley Hossain Badshah, lawmaker for the Rajshahi-2 constituency and chief adviser of Jatiya Adibasi Parishad, as chief guest said the ethnic minority people had participated in all democratic movements of the nation including the liberation war but the question is why they are not mainstreamed.
He also said he would take the issues to the policy-making level of the government so that the demands could be considered with urgency.
He called on the indigenous people to come forward to launching mass movement to press for their demands.
Chitagang Hill Tracts Janasanghati Samity information and publicity secretary Mongal Kumar Chakma presented the keynote paper with Jatiya Adibashi Parishad president Anil Marandi in the chair.
In his keynote paper, Mongal Kumar Chakma mentioned that it was not a matter of sympathy for the ethic minority groups, rather it is their right as they have been living in the country for centuries.
Others discussants expressed grave concern over the eviction of minority families by different public and private organisations.
The government should take immediate initiative to stop such harassment and recognise their ownership of the lands they are using for centuries, they said.
Ethnic minority leaders also demanded that the government should implement their six-point demands, including reserved seat for tribal women in the national parliament.
Among others Shafikur Rahman Badshah, acting general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Rajshahi city unit, Shaktipad Tripura, organising secretary of Bangladesh Adibashi Forum, Mostafizur Rahman Khan, general secretary NAP Rajshahi district unit, Abul Kalam Azad, president Communalist Party Rajshahi city unit, Abdullah Al Masud Shible, general secretary Jatiya Samajtantrick Dal Rajshahi city unit, Jatiya Adibasi Parishad general secretary Rabindra Nath Saren, organising secretary Bimal Chandra Razoar, human rights activist Devashish Pramanik Debu, Bonya Kuzur, information and publicity secretary of Adibashi Chhatra Parishad, spoke on the occasion.