Issue 19 :: 26 December 2006

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CCD News:

Awareness of the Indigenous on Their Franchise Stressed

Lalmonirhat, December 23: Stressing on raising awareness of the indigenous people on their franchise, speakers said, to stop selling and buying of their votes, the indigenous people have to be made aware and conscious of their rights of voting in a free and fair way.

It was stressed in the dialogue on Role of Journalists in Raising Indigenous People’s Voice in Lalmonirhat today. With the support of WACC, mass communication oriented development organization CCD Bangladesh organized this dialogue. Speakers in the dialogue also said, indigenous people living in the northern region are not much aware of their voting rights and its significance. That is why; many candidates either buy their votes for a nominal financial exchange or prevent them from voting by life-threat or violence.

Indigenous leaders furiously said, though many organizations are implementing different awareness programs on election process, but there is no involvement of indigenous people in this program. As a result, a huge number of indigenous people are becoming deprived of their proper, free and fair voting rights.

The problems and potential of the indigenous people living in Lalmonirhat in respect to their economy, education, culture, politics and environment and the role of journalists to uphold these issues were chalked out in the dialogue.

Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Department of Rajshahi University Dulal Chandra Biswas facilitated the dialogue. Regional Coordinator of CCD Aminul Hoque, Project Coordinator A H M Abdul Hai, Networking Officer Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal and Advocacy Officer Salah Uddin Ahmed Murad presented welcome address. Representatives of local and national newspapers and delegates from indigenous communities and NGOs working for the welfare of the indigenous people actively took part in the dialogue.

Constitutional Recognition of the Indigenous of Northern Region Demanded

Kurhigram, December 22: The constitutional recognition of the indigenous people living in the plain land of the northern region has been demanded for the socio-economic and human rights development of these unprivileged community.

It was demanded in the dialogue on Role of Journalists in Raising Indigenous People’s Voice in Kurhigram today. With the support of WACC, mass communication oriented development organization CCD Bangladesh organized this dialogue. Speakers in the dialogue also said, though the tribal people living in the hilly area have been constitutionally recognized as indigenous, the northern indigenous people have yet been the same. As a result they are becoming deprived of different Government facilities. Moreover, having no initiative for their development, the indigenous people living in the northern region are leading very poor and subhuman life here.

Speakers also said, United Nations (UN) has stressed on recognition of the indigenous constitutionally and also recognized the term Indigenous internationally. Therefore, indigenous leaders called upon the journalists to play active role to build up public opinion and encourage Government for their constitutional recognition.
The problems and potential of the indigenous people living in Kurhigram in respect to their economy, education, culture, politics and environment and the role of journalists to uphold these issues were chalked out in the dialogue.

Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Department of Rajshahi University Dulal Chandra Biswas facilitated the dialogue. District Coordinator of CCD Shofi Khan, Project Coordinator A H M Abdul Hai, Networking Officer Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal and Training Officer Swaran Sarkar presented welcome address. Representatives of local and national newspapers and delegates from indigenous communities and NGOs working for the welfare of the indigenous people actively took part in the dialogue.

News Article:

Indigenous people lack warm clothes

As winter begins, indigenous people of Parbatipur, Hakimpur, Ghoraghat, Birampur and Phulbari Upazilla under Dinajpur district are suffering from extreme cold as they do not have sufficient warm clothes. Though temperature is lowering day by day, govt. has yet to take steps for distributing warm clothes among the underprivileged indigenous people. [Source: the Daily Ittefaq, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 20 December]

Stopping election terrorism against women stressed

Published in the Daily Independent, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 17 December: By Correspondent: Speakers at a discussion meeting stressed the need for measures to put an end to the acts of election terrorism against the minority community and indigenous women. They said that it was a high time to realise the fact that the election terrorism patronised by political party had undermined the value of democracy. They asserted that the state patron election terrorism against minority women should be put to an end to raise the value of democracy.

They were speaking at the meeting on 'stop terrorism against women of the minority community and indigenous women in parliamentary election'.

Nari and Manabedhiker Foundation(NAMAF) in collaboration with Bangladesh Development Partnership Centre (BDPC) arranged the discussion meeting.

The meeting was participated by the female members of the minority community and indigenous women of the district. It was also attended by the NGO representatives, journalists and lawyers. Chairperson of NAMAF Advocate Shahina Akhtar presided over the meeting. It was addressed, among others, by president of Magura Press Club Advocate D. R. Gandhi, Vice-Principal Yunus Ali, Advocate Ali Akhtar and Laila Kaniz Banu.
The speakers placed the value of democracy above everything else urging the caretaker government to take measures to stop terrorism in the ensuing parliamentary election.  Read online >>

Indigenous youth urged to unite against drug abuses

Conference calls indigenous youths of Bangladesh to be united for fighting against drug abuse. It is urged in the first conference of indigenous youths held at Mohammadpur YWCA Building in Dhaka on Saturday last.

84 representatives from Chittagong Hill Tracts, Greater Mymensing, Sylhet and Northern region of the country took part in the event arranged by Indigenous Youth Conference Udjapan Committee with assistance of Indigenous People’s Development Services.

Sensitizing college and university going students on indigenous rights, building network among indigenous people living n different parts of the country, creating leadership and contributing to establish indigenous rights are among goals of the conference- told the organisers.  Source:The Daily Prothom Alo,Dhaka, Bangladesh, 17 December 2006 [Translated by Anisul Ashekeen]

Indigenous children in Narail deprived of their rights

Published in the Daily New Age, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 December: Nearly 90 per cent children of the indigenous community living in some pockets of Narail do not go to primary schools because of the appalling poverty of their parents.

These children supplement the income of their poor parents by working in different sectors. Most of the children help their parents by pulling rickshaws.

This was the finding of a survey carried out by the Children’s Express, a news agency for children run by the Mass-Line Media Centre.

The survey report said that 300 families of the indigenous community live at Zaminder Para, Halath Para and Hatir Bagan. Their ancestors were brought to Narail by some English traders for indigo cultivation. They live in slums or on abandoned lands.

Their ancestral lands were forcibly occupied by the musclemen as they did not possess any document of their landed property, the survey report added.

The report further said that only five per cent of the people of the indigenous community completed primary education, but none could still cross the secondary level since the independence of the country.

The indigenous people earn their living by working as day labourer. Their daily income is around taka 40 to 50. They cannot think of sending their children to schools due to grinding poverty. Read online >>

Garo Students Assoc organises film show on their demands

Published in the Daily Independent, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 17 December: By Dhaka University Correspondent: Bangladesh Garo Students Association (BGSA) organised a documentary film show at Russian Cultural Centre in the city on Friday, with a view to making the spirit of indigenous people universal.
On the occasion, documentary films 'Behind the Green', 'Demanding Justice' and 'Achik' focusing the lives of Khasia, Garo and Chakma peoples of greater Sylhet region, Chittagong Hill Tracks and greater Mymensingh region were screened.
The tribal people demanded immediate implementation of the 'Peace Treaty' through the documentary of 'Demanding Justice'. They urged the government to establish their rights on land in the hilly areas by rehabilitating the people Bangali in what they called settler to another place.
The documentary titled 'Behind the Green' showed that the government grabbed their lands in the name of environment development making 'Eco Park' in greater Sylhet region by which the concerned authorities treated us as animals of zoo.
The history behind converting the Garos of Mymensingh region to Christianity from their traditional religion was focused in the documentary 'Achik'. Through the film they also made a request not to implement the earlier proposed project to make 'Eco Park' in Madhupur. Read online >>

[This e-bulletin has been prepared and published with the assistance of WACC]

Contact: CCD Bangladesh, Monafer Morh, Raninagar, Rajshahi-6204, Bangladesh

Tel: +880 721 751001, Fax: +880 721 751001, Hotline: +880 156 317450, Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2006 CCD Bangladesh | Developed by Anisul Ashekeen, Information & Documentation Officer, CCD Bangladesh