Govt fails to protect rights of ethnic minorities: speakers

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:04, Jul 17,2017 | Updated: 01:25, Jul 17,2017

 
 

Coalition of Indigenous People Organisation on Universal Periodic Review organises a seminar on rights of ethnic minorities at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka on Sunday. — New Age photo

Ethnic minorities on Sunday demanded that the government reports its failure to protect the marginalised communities from violence at the Universal Periodic Review meeting of the United Nations scheduled to be held next year.
Addressing a discussion the speakers said that ethnic communities were still deprived of their constitutional rights, including rights to live and getting employed as the government was reluctant to fulfil most of its previous pledges given to global representatives during the last two meetings of UPR in 2009 and 2013.
They complained that the government always followed tricky ways while reporting the global audience about its achievements in preserving rights of the people.
Coalition of Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations on UPR organised the discussion at Azizur Rahman Conference Hall in the city.
Although the government propagated that it had implemented most of the clauses of the Peace Treaty 1997 singed 19 years ago, the actual scenario was different, said Bablu Chakma, the keynotes speaker.
He said that the government still did not start settlement of above 20,000 land disputes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and it failed repeatedly in protecting the hill people’s rights to survive.
Namita Chakma, a senior citizen from Khagrachari complained that ethnic women in the hill and plain lands were subjected to torture by mainstream people due to lack of law enforcement, a complete violation of the treaty and international charters.
Eugin Nokrek an ethnic community representative from Madhupur, Tangail, said that the community people in the Madhupur forest tract passed days in fear of forced eviction.
Banchita Chakma, member of the National Human Rights Commission, observed that violence on the marginalised people went unabated as the crimes were often sponsored by ruling party men.
Referring the recent attack on ethnic minorities at Langadu of Rangamati, she complained that law enforcement personnel instigated the crimes and no one was brought to book so far.
Chaired by Jatiya Adivashi Parishad president Rabindranath Soren, Bangladesh Adivashi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong, CHT Headman Network leader Thuiaong Marma, Harendranath Sing, Subash Chandra Hembram, Sohel Hazang, among others, participated at the discussion.

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