Speakers tell seminar
Mick Gooda, aboriginal and social justice commissioner of Torres Strait Islanders, speaks at a seminar organised by Brac in association with Australian High Commission at Brac Centre in the city yesterday. On his right are Australian High Commissioner Dr Justin Lee, Brac Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed and State Minister for Cultural Affairs Promod Mankin. Photo: STAR
Development activities must reach ethnic minority communities for building an inclusive society and ensuring true democracy in the country, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.
“If Bangladesh is to realise its full potential, its all citizens must have equal rights and be able to contribute to its development. It is our obligation to ensure that we reach those who are marginalised and excluded. We must aim to build an inclusive society,” said Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac.
“The small ethnic groups together constitute less than two percent of the total population of Bangladesh. For true democracy and inclusive development, this numerical insignificance should not in any way be marginalised.”
The seminar titled 'Access and equity: Issues and challenges for rural development,' organised by Brac in association with Australian High Commission, was held at Brac Centre in the city.
Chakma Raja Debashish Roy said, “Indigenous people are disadvantaged and excluded from development activities and policy making. The government and NGOs must work together to ensure rights of the indigenous people.”
Mick Gooda, a descendent of aboriginal Gangulu people of Central Queensland and social justice commissioner of Torres Strait Islanders, presented a keynote paper at the seminar.
Mike is now in Dhaka since March 27 on a five-day visit to the country.
Four other papers titled 'Indigenous access to services', 'Managing the environment and natural resources for the benefit of indigenous communities', 'Economic development of indigenous communities' and 'Maintaining indigenous culture and tradition, including bilingual education' were also presented at the seminar.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs Promod Mankin and Australian High Commissioner Dr Justin Lee were present at the opening ceremony of the programme.