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International day of Indigenous People: Govt urged to preserve languages of indigenous community

  • Published at 11:28 pm August 9th, 2019
Sanjib Drong- Indigenous People-International Day of Indigenous People
Bangaldesh Adibasi Forum general secretary Sanjib Drong speaks during a program, marking the International Day of Indigenous People, at Charukola Institute in Dhaka on Friday, August 9, 2019 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The indigenous community demanded stoppage of communal attacks, false cases, harassment, and propaganda against them, and to ensure their security as well

Indigenous people of Bangladesh have urged the government to take necessary measures to preserve their languages.

Besides, the indigenous community demanded stoppage of communal attacks, false cases, harassment, and propaganda against them, and to ensure their security as well.

They made the demands at a programme organized for marking the International Day of Indigenous People, at Charukola Institute in Dhaka on Friday.

Speakers at the programme said that their rights as a human being is in crisis. Bids to occupy indigenous people’s lands in different parts of the country, attacks on them, raping of their women, seizure and eviction from their land have been increased significantly, they alleged, adding, "Specially, the level of violence on the indigenous women has increased a lot." 

The fundamentals of the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) Accord, signed in 1997, have not been implemented even after the passage of 21 years from the signing. So, people of the hill track areas are living a miserable life due to insecurity, they said.

Sanjib Drong, general secretary of Bangaldesh Adibasi Forum said: "Although the country is developing, the indigenous people are facing discrimination."

Bangladesh, as a country could not become "a county of everyone" even after 48 years of  independence, he said.

Mamunur Rashid, playwright and cultural personality, urged the government to take necessary steps so that the children of the indigenous community are taught books in their respective mother language at primary school level. 

“Children become puzzled and distorted when they are forced to learn other languages at a young age. So it is important to teach them in their mother language first," he said.

Indigenous people, who participated in the program, wanted recognition for their mother language, so that everyone not only honour them, but also respect their language.

To sustain the nation's existence, indigenous languages should be given recognition, they said. 

At the program, they demanded implementation of their 14-point charter.