Int’l confce on minorities’ land right begins Saturday
The two-day conference at Bangabandhu Interna-tional Conference Centre will deal with the causes of national minorities being dispossessed of lands and make recommendations to address the problem, said a press release of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples’ Forum.
On the eve of the conference, BIPF general secretary Sanjeeb Drong said the government needed to act on the issue immediately to ensure rights of national minorities according to its own commitments and UN recommendations on ‘indigenous issues’.
The conference will be held as a part of the programme marking International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Sanjeeb Drong warned that the rate at which national minority peoples were being dispossessed of their lands could lead to their extinction. ‘A hundred years ago, there were dense forests in Gazipur, home to a large community of my people, the Garos. Most of them have long since been displaced, fleeing north to Mymensingh. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the ratio of Adivasis to Bengalis was 90:10 in 1951; today it is 47:53.’
The state minister for land Mostafizur Rahman, minister for law and parliamentary affairs Shafique Ahmed and chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on information ministry Obaidul Quader will attend the conference.
Dhaka University professor Abul Barakat, Chakma circle chief Raja Devasish Roy and lawyer Rizwana Hassan will present papers recommending comprehensive land reform changes to forest law.
Information commissioner Sadeka Halim and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust chairperson Sara Hossain will also speak at the conference.
courtesy: New Age