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Monday, April 19, 2010

Call to ensure indigenous people's rights to land

Source: The Daily Star News

Indigenous people's rights to land must be ensured for their sustainable livelihood and other fundamental rights, said the speakers at a regional workshop here on Sunday.

Due to lack of awareness, they viewed that the indigenous people have been loosing their rights to land and other services provided by the government organisations.

To get rid of this, they suggested wide-ranging expansion of literacy among the indigenous people thereby they could be aware of their rights.

Some NGOs working for socio-economic development of the indigenous people jointly organised the workshop titled "We want separate land commission for the plain land indigenous people" at Nanking Darbar hall.

Local lawmaker Fazley Hossain Badsha addressed the workshop as the chief guest with General Secretary of Jatiya Adibashi Parishad Rabindra Nath Saren in the chair.

Badsha said the indigenous communities were all along deprived of the mainstream development process and the trend should be changed for betterment of the plain land indigenous people.

In the context of land rights, he said the plan land indigenous people have been facing more problems than that of the hilly indigenous people.

He stressed the need for undertaking an effective step to make the indigenous people competent in all aspects especially literacy and social empowerment so that they can ensure their welfare.

Besides, he called for proper enforcement of the laws and regulations relating to land transfer of the indigenous people to protect them from all sorts of harassments in this regard.

Jatiya Adibashi Parishad President Anil Marandi, indigenous leader Bishad Muni Tappa, Director of Barendra Unnayan Prochesta Foyzullah Chowdhury, BLAST Coordinator Advocate Abdus Samad, political leaders Rafiqul Islam Piarul, Abul Kalam Azad, Advocate Entazul Haque Babu and Ganesh Mardi also spoke at the meeting.

The speakers underlined the need for a concerted efforts to bring the indigenous people in the mainstream of society for their substantial welfare protecting them from repression and oppression by the surrounding opportunists for their peaceful survival.

They said the indigenous people are hardworking and playing a vital role in increasing farm production. So, a holistic village-based community development approach has become indispensable for their substantial welfare, they added.

Stressing the need for protecting their rights, the speakers said importance should be given to protecting the underprivileged people from all sorts of deceptions by the surrounding privileged and muscle men.

Depicting grim pictures of their vulnerable lifestyle and other social context, some indigenous people called for taking special programmes to protect them from violation of human rights along with ending discrimination.

They also narrated their vulnerable social status saying that the minority people should be given opportunities of enjoying the fundamental rights for development of their socio- economic condition.

Apart from this, they underscored the need for a concerted efforts of government, NGOs and other stakeholders to ensure reproductive health and safe motherhood for the disadvantaged and poor indigenous community.