Jun 03, 2011

Chittagong Hill Tracts: NHRC Chief Decries Non-Recognition of Indigenous

Due to the Bangladesh Government denying the existence of indigenous populations, the HRC Chairman demands recognition or the government be charged with a violation of international laws.

Below is an article published by BD News:

The Human Rights Commission chairman has said it would be the violation of international laws if the indigenous people are not recognised constitutionally.

"It'll be a clear violation of the international laws if we don't implement the international statutes that we've signed. Peace in the hills won't sustain this way," he said on Thursday.

His remarks came in the wake of government's 'denial' in recognising the country's indigenous people constitutionally.

Addressing a meeting at the National Press Club, he suggested that the mindset of both the state and the administration needed to be changed for the development of those people.

The discussion, titled 'Constitutional Recognition of the Indigenous: Land and Forest Rights', was arranged by a non-government organisation, Research and Development Collective (RDC).

The Bangladesh first secretary to the UN last week said the country had no indigenous population, but minorities.

At the 10th session of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York, Iqbal Ahmed shrugged off the allegation of dilly-dallying in executing the 1997 peace accord.

Mizanur said the 'collective ownership' issue was needed to be incorporated in the constitution to provide indigenous people the right to land and forests.

Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee president Shahriar Kabir also echoed Mizanur's sentiment.

He demanded that the government recognise the indigenous people's right to study in their own language constitutionally.

On the same day in parliament, state minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Dipankar Talukdar blamed the opposition BNP-Jamaat alliance for hindering the implementation process.

Chaired by Dhaka University faculty Dalim Chandra Barman, the meeting was attended, among others, by RDC general secretary Prof Mesbah Kamal and barrister Amir-ul Islam.