Chittagong Hill Tracts: Existence of Indigenous People under Threat in Bangladesh
Indigenous people in Bangladesh are on the verge of extinction as their rights are being frequently trampled upon, claimed experts and tribal leaders.
According to available statistics, in the last 50 years the ratio inhabitants levelled to 50:50 in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), where the major share of the country's tribal people live.
Some two million indigenous people living both in plains and hills of Bangladesh are under tremendous pressure from both the government and the people in general, an indigenous leader told ANI.
He added that the tribesmen have been murdered, tortured, raped and had their villages burnt down in a genocidal campaign against them ever since the country become independent in 1971.
"We are still fighting for our existence against various forms of discrimination and harassment," said Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma who led a armed struggle in the south eastern Chittagong Hill Tracts to re-establish rights of the tribal people and signed the land mark peace treaty with government in 1997.
Larma, now the chairman of the CHT Regional Council, told a press conference on the occasion of International Day of the World's Indigenous People that the conditions of the plain-landers are more vulnerable than that of the highlanders. The World's Indigenous People Day will be observed on August 9.
"We have fought an armed fight for two decades and the hilly people are very much concern about their rights now and they will not let it go unchallenged," he said. "The indigenous don't have their fundamental rights. In fact, they don't have any of right at present," he added.
To a question Larma, however, said returning to the armed struggle would depend on the situation. (ANI)Source: Web India 123