Category Archives: World Indigenous Day

International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples-2017

Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO) organized the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples-2017 in Sylhet jointly with the Social Work department of Shajalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and The Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on 9th August 2017. ’10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ was the theme of the event.

On the occasion of the day celebration a colorful rally was arranged with the participation of local indigenous peoples, university teachers, students, human rights activists in the university campus. Then a discussion session was held at Seminar hall of Social work department. And the discussion session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Faisal Ahmmed, Head of Social work department. Professor and Dean of Social Science faculty Dr. Abdul Ghani was present as chief guest. Mr. Lakshmikanta Singh, Executive Director of ECDO, Advocate Irfanuzzaman Chowdhury, President, Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC) TIB, Sylhet were present as special guests.

Celebration of World Indigenous Day 2016

ECDO organized the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples-2016 in Sylhet jointly with the Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Bangladesh on 9 August 2016. At the beginning of the event a rally was arranged in the city and after that rally a discussion session was held in front of the Central Shaheed Minar, Sylhet. The discussion session was chaired by Mr. Aziz Ahmed Selim, vice president, CCC, Sylhet. Mr. Lakshmikanta Singh, Executive Director, ECDO delivered welcome speech at the beginning of the discussion session and Ms. Nongpoklai Sinha, Project Coordinator of ECDO made concept note paper presentation on the theme of the event. Advocate Irfanuzzaman Chowdhury, President of CCC, Sylhet, Advocate Emad Ullah Shahidul Islam, ex-president, Sylhet disctrict bar association and CCC member, Sylhet, Advocate Mohit Lal Dhar, President, Human Rights Defenders Forum, Mr. Anil Kishan Singha, cultural activist, S. Rina Devi, Indigenous women leader, Mr. Samendra Singha, member, HRD, Mr. Enayet Hasan Manik, CCC member, Mr. Komal Khisha Saha, Area Manager TIB, Sylhet, Mr. Milon Oraon, member of Human Rights Defender forum delivered their speeches. In the discussion session indigenous peoples and civil society members claimed to the government to establish right to education in mother tongue for indigenous children as per national education policy. They also demand to full fill all other rights of indigenous peoples on the aspect of national and international law. They urged to the government to establish a separate plain land indigenous peoples land commission and a separate ministry of plain land indigenous peoples to address the existing problems of plain land indigenous peoples as well as CHT indigenous peoples. At the end of the session the chair Mr. Aziz Ahmed Selim thanks to all participants including civil society members and media personnel for making the event successful with their valuable presence. All local and national print and electronic media was coverage the event very well.



International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2011


Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future”

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

In 1994, the General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (Resolution 49/214 of 23 December). The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

The UN General Assembly had proclaimed 1993 the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People, and the same year, the Assembly proclaimed the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, starting on 10 December 1994 (Resolution 48/163). The goal of the First Decade was to strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health.

In 2004, the UN General Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples through Resolution 59/174. The goal of the Second Decade is to further the “strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development, by means of action-oriented programs and specific projects, increase technical assistance, and relevant standard-setting activities”.

Secretary-General’s Message for 2011

On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we reaffirm the rights of indigenous peoples and our shared commitment to advance the values of equity, justice and dignity for all.

Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity — 5,000 distinct groups in some 90 countries. They make up more than 5 per cent of the world’s population, some 370 million people. Together, they are custodians of a valuable and often fast-disappearing cultural heritage. We see their creativity and innovations in the arts, literature and the sciences. These contributions are highlighted by the theme of this year’s observance, “Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future”.

Indigenous peoples face many challenges in maintaining their identity, traditions and customs, and their cultural contributions are at times exploited and commercialized, with little or no recognition. We must work harder to recognize and strengthen their right to control their intellectual property, and help them to protect, develop and be compensated fairly for the cultural heritage and traditional knowledge that is ultimately of benefit to us all.

I encourage all Member States to take concrete steps to address the challenges facing indigenous peoples — including marginalization, extreme poverty and loss of lands, territories and resources. Countries should also commit to ending the grave human rights abuses that indigenous peoples encounter in many parts of the world.

As we look forward to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014, I urge all Member States to work in full partnership with indigenous people to identify practical ideas and proposals for action at this important gathering.

Together, let us celebrate and recognize the stories, cultures and unique identities of indigenous peoples around the world. At the same time, let us work to strengthen their rights and support their aspirations.

                                                                                                                                                                          Ban Ki-Moon

Celebration of World Indigenous Day-2009

Last 9th August, 2009 ECDO celebrated World Indigenous Day in Sylhet with other local indigenous people’s organization. Rally, discussion session and cultural program were organized on the occasion of the day. There were more than one thousand indigenous peoples from different indigenous communities took participate in that whole day program. Besides of these there were present City Mayor, government officials, civil society members, lawyers, journalists, academicians and other local leaders. In the discussion session, indigenous leaders raised to the government to ensure following some of their basic demands;

A part of rally on World Indigenous Day 2009

  1. 1. Constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples.
  2. 2. To form another special standing committee for indigenous at Sylhet City corporation and at union level where indigenous peoples are living.
  3. 3. To ensure primary school for all indigenous community villages.
  4. 4. To recruit indigenous community teachers at primary school considering the problem of language barrier for indigenous children.
  5. To ensure mother tongue primary education for indigenous children.
  6. To ensure government scholarship for the poor meritorious indigenous students.
  7. To form a separate plane land indigenous ministry.
  8. To preserve quota at college level and University level (especially for Sylhet region) for indigenous students for a specific period of time.
  9. To provide training & loan facilities for ensuring employment opportunity of indigenous youths and girls.
  10. To provide hostel facilities for the poor indigenous college and university students.
  11. At last to ensure land rights for the indigenous community.

Cultural program on World Indigenous Day 2009

At the end of discussion session the honorable guests were also disclose the journal Annual Review of Ethnic Affairs Vol V, which is being published by ECDO every year on the occasion of world indigenous day since 2005. Mentionable that most of the indigenous leaders appreciated very much our honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for her important message on this day. The program was held very successfully with support from Oxfam GB at M. Saifur Rahaman auditorium, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Most of the local and national dailies covered this news emphasizing very highly.

ECDO celebrates World Indigenous Day 2008

Venue: Sharoda Hall, Sylhet, Bangladesh
Dated: 9th August 2008
The Theme of this year’s World Indigenous Day was The Economic and Social Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO) is a non government & nonprofit voluntary development organization working with different ethnic and indigenous communities in Sylhet region, Bangladesh. As an organization dedicated to the welfare of disadvantaged indigenous communities, in 2005, it took an initiative to celebrate World Indigenous Day for the first time in Sylhet city with support from VSO Bangladesh. After the successful celebration in 2005, ECDO continues to celebrate World Indigenous Day with the active participation of different local indigenous and ethnic community based organizations. This year ECDO also celebrated this Day successfully.
A brief description of the celebration:

Inauguration session:
World Indigenous Day 2008The celebrations began with the raising of the national flag & singing the national anthem at 10 am, the day’s celebration was inaugurated by Prof. Abdul Aziz. Just after the inauguration, a colorful rally of about six hundred indigenous peoples walked around the city. They carried different placards & banners marking different indigenous rights.

Discussion session:
After the rally, all the participants went back to Sharoda auditorium where discussion and a cultural session was held. The discussion session was chaired by Mr. Gouranga Patra Chief Executive of Patro Sampradai Kollyan Parishad. Mr. J, N Biswas, Additional Commissioner Sylhet Division was present as the chief guest. Mr. Harunoor Rashid Khan, deputy commissioner- Sylhet, Md. Aftab Uddin acting General Secretary of Sylhet Press Club and Mr. Saikat Biswas Project Officer of OXFAM GB were present as Special Guests. The Welcome speech was given by Mr. Lakshmikanta Singh Executive Director of Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO). He said that ECDO has been organizing World Indigenous Day since 2005. Indigenous people in this region at present are facing many problems and to solve them we need to cooperate with one another and spread awareness. He requested the cooperation of local government and civil society in the economic and social development of the indigenous community.
IMG_6576The present situation of indigenous community of Sylhet region prepared by ECDO and PASKAP research paper was presented by Mr. Nabul Chism. He suggested 10 recommendations for the development of indigenous community. Then Adibashi leaders gave their speeches, Mr. Jubel Lusai Chairman of Tribal Welfare Association of Sylhet, Mr. Rano Bahadur Jute leader of Tea labor community, Mr. Rabindra Patra Chairman of Patra Adibashi Oykya Parishad, Ms. S. Rina Devi Chairperson, Bangladesh Manipuri Mahila Somity and Mr. Horendra Patra. In their speech they all vocalized the need for the indigenous to have their own language, literature, and culture and requested the government for a system where a quota of government services went to Indigenous people. They also appealed to government to stop the harassment of indigenous community by some mainstream community.
Special Guest Mr. Harunoor Rashid Khan said that government and non government organization should cooperate together to ensure the rights of indigenous people are upheld. He went on to add that the problem of CHT and plain land are separate but their heritage and culture are similar. Indigenous people have rights but they are not claiming their rights, the government on the other hand, is also not ensuring indigenous rights. According to him this issue would be resolved if indigenous leaders have links with the local government.
Chief Guest Mr. J, N Biswas said that indigenous communities are part of our society and it’s quite impossible to develop a country without them. Indigenous communities are being phased out by war, harassment, under development, so to remedy this situation not only government agencies but also non governmental organizations should play a more active role with them. He added that indigenous people’s culture and heritage are well known in foreign countries and present care taker government is working for the development of indigenous community. The situation of indigenous people has improved from the past. He emphasized the importance of education to overcome the many problems of indigenous people. He commended the program of World Indigenous Day and said that it has vastly improved his knowledge of indigenous people’s problems and given him suggestions on resolutions to explore. He ended his speech by pledging his support from the government side to solve the indigenous problems.
Discussion Session Chair Person Mr. Gorango Patra said that indigenous people’s problems have no limit.  At present, Indigenous people are harassed by some local mainstream community peoples. To ensure the fundamental rights of indigenous communities, he urged the cooperation of the government. He then closed the discussion session.

Cultural Program:
After lunch break there was an excellent cultural program organized and participated by the different indigenous communities in the area: – Khasi, Manipuri, Patro, Garo and Tea labor. Each community was given a chance to present their distinct culture on the stage. The audience was entertained by the lively program and their applause could be heard in all the surrounding neighborhoods. The program was presented and organized by Nongpoklai Sinha & Rabikiron Singha Project coordinator of ECDO.
ECDO would also like to recognize OXFAM GB and VSO Bangladesh, whose financial support made the day’s celebration possible. Without their financial support and cooperation it would have been impossible for ECDO to organize such a large scale program. So ECDO gratefully acknowledges these organizations for their unconditional support and assistance and ECDO believes that this cooperation will be continued and extended in future. It should be mentioned that ECDO also published a journal with the name of Annual Review of Ethnic Affairs Volume IV. On the occasion of this day celebration with support from VSO Bangladesh; the review contains a lot of indigenous related articles.