Christmas & New Year Break
Blessings of this Season!
To mark this holy time, UCAN will not be producing reports or newsletters from Christmas Day until Jan 2, 2015.
We look forward welcoming you again from Monday Jan 5.
Our best wishes,
The UCAN team
Tribals angered by lack of state support
Govt has chosen not to back World Indigenous DayIndigenous minorities form a chain during protests in Dhaka
- ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka
- August 3, 2012
About 100 tribal leaders and students attended a meeting by the National Coalition of Indigenous PeopleÂ on Wednesday, in which the secretary-general of the Bangladeshi Adivasai (Indigenous) Forum, Sanjeeb Drong, accused the government of failing its own people.
â€śThe government doesnâ€™t want us to be recognized as indigenous people,â€ť said Drong, an ethnic Garo.
Bangladesh has not ratified the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and has claimed in the past that there are no tribal people in the country, he added.
â€śWe are upset that when 370 million indigenous people in 70 countries will celebrate the day with festivities and fanfare, we will still be struggling for recognition,â€ť said Drong, adding that a program would take place this year without state support.
This yearâ€™s theme will be â€śindigenous media empowering indigenous voices,â€ť he added.
In April 2010, the ruling Awami League passed the Ethnic Groups Cultural Institutions Act labeling indigenous tribal people as ethnic minorities, a term these groups have since requested to be changed to include the term advisai, or indigenous.
Dr Sarwar bari, a deputy secretary of the Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Ministry, confirmed that the government had directed authorities across the country not to support to celebrations on August 9.
â€śThey can celebrate the day, but government officials are told not to patronize [events],â€ť he said.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni previously told foreign diplomats and international development partners there are no indigenous people in the country referencing in particular the Chittagong Hill Tracts area in the east on the border with Myanmar.
While Bengali people had lived in the area currently known as Bangladesh for 4,000 years, she added, ethnic groups could only be traced back to the 16th century.
Bangladesh became an independent country in 1971 following colonization by the United Kingdom and a later war with Pakistan.
The government lists 27 ethnic groups in the country accounting for about 1.5 million of Bangladeshâ€™s 150 million people.
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