Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Demand Government Recognition of Their Rights

Indigenous peoples in Dhaka demanding official recognition of their constitutional rights
Photo courtesy: UCANews

More than 200 people, belonging to different indigenous groups, created a human chain in Dhaka on July 31 and demanded the government recognition of their constitutional rights. 

Braving rains, they also criticized the government for shying away from the annual official  observance of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on every August 9.

"Indigenous people are routinely abused for their property and land because the state does not recognize them as equal citizens. They are evicted from their land, face violence including murder and rape, but our law and justice system can't protect them," said Sanjeeb Drong, secretary of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, the largest one for ethnic minorities in the country.

Bangladesh, with an area of 147,570 square kilometres (smaller than the Canadian province of Ontario), has a population of about 160 million -- the majority being the Bangali Muslims. About three million people  belong to 45 indigenous or tribal groups.

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