International day of the world’s indigenous people’s was celebrated by ECDO on 9 August 2018. ECDO celebrated this event with theme of ‘Indigenous Peoples Migration and Movement’. On the occasion of this event ECDO organized a colorful rally in the morning in Sylhet city with the active participation of different indigenous people’s organization and local civil society members. And in the afternoon, ECDO jointly organized a discussion session with the Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC) of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) at CCC Sylhet office. The discussion session was presided by Mr. Aziz Ahammed Selim, senior journalist and the chairman of CCC Sylhet. At the beginning of this session Mr. Lakshmikanta Singha, Executive Director of ECDO was delivered a welcome speech. Advocate and ex-president of Sylhet Bar Association Mr. Emad Ullah Shahidul Islam was present as moderator of the session. Ms. Nongpoklai Sinha, Coordinator of ECDO made a multimedia keynote presentation related to the event.
In her keynote paper she endeavored to give a present scenario of Bangladeshi indigenous peoples. After her presentation the floor was open for the audiences. Most of the participants were urging to the government not to ignore indigenous peoples rights to ensure good governance in the country. Further they said the government should give more attention on the issue of indigenous people’s rights and development. Because, now the indigenous peoples are marginalizing day by day due to unable to adopt with rapid urbanization process. As a result they are gradually displacing from their ancestral land. On the other hand some of the local political leaders are also trying to grab indigenous peoples land. For that reason now some indigenous groups like Patro, Oraon, Dalu etc. in Bangladesh are living in an endanger situation. Considering the above situation most of the speakers urging to the government to pay special attention to the plain land indigenous peoples.
On the occasion of this day celebration on behalf of plain land indigenous peoples claimed the following demands to the government;
- To establish a separate ministry for plain land indigenous peoples
- To increase the fund of Special Affairs Division (SAD) under Prime Minister’s office.
- To ensure publication of primary level text book in different indigenous peoples languages according to the national education policy-2010
- To establish a separate institute for indigenous peoples in Sylhet city.
- To solve all kinds of indigenous peoples land related disputes in a short time and easy process
- To take initiate different project for ensuring income generating activities for indigenous youth
- To made indigenous peoples protection law
- To create a special FUND for the development of tea labor community
- To introduce a reserve seat in the parliament for the indigenous peoples of Sylhet region
- Finally to recognize ‘indigenous peoples’ in our Bangladeshi constitution.