UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
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.
Bill aims to recognize ethnic minorities
Mass human rights violation, says report