Celebration of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018

 

 

 

Bangladesh Indigenous peoples Forum has observed UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018 on in a befitting manner at national level in Dhaka. The programme was begun on 6 August and ended on 9 August. More than three thousand indigenous representatives from the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Greater Sylhet and Mymensingh, North-Bengal, Coastal area, Gazipur National Park area and other parts of the country were present in the events like press conference, seminars and dialogue meeting, grand rally and cultural programmes. Members of majority Bengali community have also attended the events.

The Adivasi Day has also been observed in the Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Cox’s bazar, North Bengal, Mymensingh, Modhupur, Joypurhat, Gazipur, Sherpur, Moulvibazar, Khulna, Borgona and in some remote places where indigenous peoples live. This is the impact of Adivasi Forum’s activities at national level for the last 17 years.

Keeping the Day at the front, also this time, the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples’ Forum and other organizations have undertaken various programs. The followings are, among others:

  • 7 August: day-long program of Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples at BICC media conference hall;
  • 8 August: Seminar on the main theme of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples organized by ALRD and other organizations jointly at CIRDAP auditorium;
  • 9 August: 10:00 a.m. the main event of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at Central Shahid Minar. The function contains gathering, rally and cultural display. The occasion inaugurated by Sultana Kamal, former Advisor to the Caretaker Government and graced as the Chief Guest by Hasanul Haque Inu, MP and Honorable Minister, Ministry of Information. Besides, eminent citizens of the country were present and expressed their solidarity. On same day MJF organized a drawing competition and a seminar followed by cultural display on ‘Violence Against Indigenous Women: Role of Media’ at Bangla Academy Auditorium, Shahabag, Dhaka

The national media including TV channels and radio have covered the programme very well.

6 August – Press Conference at National Level

Prior to the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018, a press conference was held at Hotel Sundarban, Dhaka. On the occasion Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples’ Forum calls for:

  1. Introduction of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Protection Act in order to stop all forms of suppression and oppression upon the indigenous peoples;
  2. Adoption of measures to stop forcible migration of the indigenous peoples while putting an end to the human rights violation of indigenous peoples;
  3. Undertaking of special measure for socio-economic development of indigenous peoples and to accommodate special grants for the indigenous peoples in the national budget;
  4. Proper implementation of the CHT Accord with immediate effect and to that end to declare a time-line-based Work Plan or Road Map. Putting the Land Commission Act in place with immediate affect;
  5. Endorsement and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007 and implementation of ILO Convention 107 and ratification of ILO Convention 169.
  6. Formation of Land Commission for the indigenous peoples living in the plains. Cancellation of Reserve Forest declared in the lands of Garo in Madhupur and in lands of Koch indigenous peoples;
  7. Assertion of land rights of the Khasi indigenous people in Jhimai and Khasi Punji of Moulavibazaar and cancellation of lease of tea estate.
  8. Adoption of special measures for security of the indigenous women and gilrs and having complete investigation on the incidents of human rights violations (such as, rape, gang rape, abduction, arbitrary torture, etc.) and bringing under exemplary punishment of all the perpetrators responsible for such heinous mischiefs.

The national media including TV channels have covered the programme very well.

7 August: Day-long high level policy dialogue on Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (BIPRA) by the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples at BICC media conference hall, Dhaka

A day long programme was organized by the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples at BICC media conference hall on 7 August. In the dialogue programme Mr. Fazle Hossain Badsha, Convenor of the Caucus presided over where Prof. Dr. Mesbah Kamal, technocrat member of the caucus presented a keynote paper. 9 members of parliament from different political parties including Awamiligue were attended. Mr. Sanjeeb Drong, secretary general of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, representative from UNDP were also spook in the programme. The speakers of the programme were emphasized on the rights of the indigenous peoples. They drew attention of the government to enact the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (BIPRA) in parliament, implement the CHT accord and form a separate land commission for the plain land indigenous peoples.

 8 August: Seminar on land rights of indigenous peoples by over 15 civil society organizations at CIRDAP Auditorium and Candle light vigil and cultural program by Garo Student Union (GASU)

On the occasion of International Adivasi Day a seminar was organised by seventeen  human rights based organizations including BIPF, ALRD, ASK, TIB, BLAST, Kapaeeng Foundation, Maleya Foundation, Nijera Kori, Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, CCDB, URBAN, HDRC, CARITAS and BELA. Mr. Sanjeeb Drong presented the key note papers in the seminar. Sultana Kamal chaired the seminar Prof. Dr. Amena Mohosin, Khusi Kabir, Rani Yen Yen, Prof. Robayet Ferdous, Professor of Dhaka University, Adv. Rana Dasgupta, Rabindranath Soren and others were as panel discussants of the seminar. The land problem of indigenous peoples is highly discussed.

Garo Student Union organized a candle light vigil programme on 8th August at Sheed Minar. Indigenous leaders, rights activists, university teachers, civil society members and others were attend the program.

UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August, 2018

Inauguration, discussion, rally and cultural programme

Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum has celebrated the UN International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018 on 9 August at

Central Sheed Minar in Dhaka. An inaugural session and discussion meeting of World’s Indigenous Peoples Day was held at Shaheed Minar. Eminent human rights activist and the former adviser to the care taker government Sultana  Kamal inaugurated the event. Hasanul Haq Inu, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Information was present as chief guest on the discussion meeting.

Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma president of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum and chairmen of CHT Regional Council presided over the event.

Many intellectuals, professors, writers, journalists, political leaders, Member of Parliament, leaders from indigenous communities and organizations, social and cultural activists, and women leaders were present there.

The mainstream people leaders and civil society members have made their speeches with support for indigenous peoples. Indigenous leaders urged the government to protect forceful migration and implement the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The speakers also demanded for establishing a separate land Commission for plain land Adivasis, implement CHT peace accord and adopt Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.

During the event, National Anthem and Indigenous songs had been performed by Madal. People from all walks of life joined in the rally at Shaheed Minar. BIPF has published a souvenir named Sanghati (Solidarity) and poster marking the Day. More than 25 indige

nous people’s organizations and representatives from different regions of the country gathered at programme with colorful banners and festoons focusing demands of implementing the rights of indigenous people. More than four thousand indigenous and other people attended the programme.

On same day MJF organized a drawing competition and a seminar followed by cultural display on ‘Violence Against Indigenous Women: Role of Media’ at Bangla Academy Auditorium, Shahabag, Dhaka. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma president of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum and chairmen of CHT Regional Council was chief guest where Prof. Dr. Jubaida Nasrin Kona presented a key note paper. Prof. Dr. Ainon Nahar, Mr. Sanjeeb Drong among other spook in the seminar. Ms. Shaheen Anam, Executive Director of MJF presided over the session and after the seminar displayed a pleasant indi

genous cultural shows. The media has highly covered the programme, including TV channels. TV talk show was held in different TV channels. The celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples ended at 2:00 P.M. In many places in the country, the Day was observed.

The impact of Adivasi Day 2018

The celebration of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018 has proved that indigenous peoples’ existence is a reality in Bangladesh and they have the rights as citizens and peoples.  The national level programmes have focused on fundamental human rights including civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights. It has highly emphasized on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which covers the right to self-determination, land rights and rights to forest and resources, education and culture, livelihood, migration and wide ranges of indigenous peoples survival and existing points. A leaflet was distributed widely. The Adivasi Day has a great impact on non-indigenous majority community on indigenous issues. Hundreds of people from Bengali community attended the programme and extended their solidarity and support. Media including newspapers and television and radio have covered the programmes and it was the lead news in some cases. TV talk show and special programmes have been broadcasted. The Day has a big role in making and strengthening relationship and partners

hip among indigenous peoples in the CHT and plain land. It has played a vital role in building solidarity between Bengalis and indigenous peoples. The Day has gathered a good numbers of human rights activists, social and cultural activists, indigenous rights defenders and youth and students in one platform to raise voices together.

The Adivasi Day has promoted the ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity of the country. It has a message for development and peace in the society.

The publications like Souvenir 2018, colorful posters and books will be used as advocacy tools for indigenous rights.