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 protest 'rights abuses'
Ethnic protesters say they are being oppressed by Bengali majorityTribals take to the streets in northwestern Rajshahi district yesterday
- ucanews.com reporter, Rajshahi
- March 21, 2012
They also accused government and law enforcement officials of inaction and collusion regarding the abuses which they say includes attacks on them by Bengalis amid land and property disputes, the grabbing of their land with fake documents and the rape of tribal women.
At least 300 tribal men and women took part in the protest in Rajshahi district. It was organized by Jatiya Advasi Parishad, a national forum working for the rights of tribal people in northern Bangladesh.
The protesters said the situation has got worse in recent years.
â€śLand grabbers have re-launched efforts to force local tribal people from their ancestral lands. They seem to have the backing of local government officials and law enforcers,â€ť said Anil Marandi, 52, a Santal tribal leader.
He said they have complained to the authorities many times about the land grabbersâ€™ tactics, but nothing has been done to stop it.
JAP president Rabindranath Soren said the tribals have little choice but to take to the streets as they have few other options with which to claim their lawful rights.
â€śWe have not been recognized constitutionally and our rights have not been taken into account. Our backs are against the wall. If the government shows some sincerity we could live in peace,â€ť he said.
Local government and land officials in the area were not available for comment.
An estimated 3 million tribal people belong to about 45 ethnic groups in the country of nearly 160 million. About half of the countryâ€™s 350,000 Catholics are tribal people.
Leaders demand tribal rights