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8:28 am | April 17, 2024
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forests survive for minority people, syeda rizwana hasan, chief executive of bela
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Natural Environment

Forests survive for minority people: Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive of BELA

Forests survive for minority people: Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive of BELA


Sayed Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), said, “The destruction of natural forests is increasing in Bangladesh daily. However, wherever there are ethnic minorities, forests survive. They are the real maintainers of the forest.”

She said these things while attending a discussion meeting on ‘Land problems and actions of tribals’ at Farmgate, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Showing the picture of Madhupur, the third largest forest in the country, Rizwana Hasan said, “The small amount of forest that still exists in Madhupur is where you (minority people) are.”

Syeda Rizwana Hasan congratulated the students and youths of Madhupur’s minor ethnic groups in the discussion and commented, “Due to your protest, it had to stop the process of digging the lake through the Madhupur forest. Madhupur Forest must save the forest-dependent population.”

Rizwana Hasan advised the cultural movement of minority ethnic people and said, “You (minor ethnic groups) demand to commission only if you organize a discussion.

However, who will give you the commission? Show your strength. Show cultural power on the streets. There is no need to be fussy. Take the cultural materials, wear traditional clothes, and go to the streets.”

At the beginning of the meeting, Elena Talang, a member of the Indigenous Women’s Network, presented a written keynote speech. She gave short, medium, and long-term recommendations to solve the land problem.

Short-term recommendations recommend a thorough digital survey of minority lands through a joint committee comprising government and minority communities’ representatives.

The long-term recommendation calls for measures to ensure the representation of minority ethnic groups in the national parliament, local government, district, and Upazila councils through legislation, including the right to self-determination, constitutional recognition, independent land commission, and land settlement tribunal.

Mesbah Kamal, Coordinator of the Parliamentary Caucus on Tribal Affairs and Minority Affairs, said, “The struggle must rise everywhere, be it hills or plains. These two areas of residence of ethnic minorities cannot separate. We have to fight unitedly. “

He also commented that it would solve half of the land problem if only cancel the non-hilly-allotted land in the Chattogram Hill Tracts.

Sohrab Hasan, Joint Editor of Prothom Alo, said, “The land commission has been in Chattogram Hill Tracts for almost two decades. However, the commission could not settle a land dispute.

Just as Pakistan oppressed and denied Bengalis, Bangladeshi Bengalis continue to oppress and deny ethnic minority people. Without including everyone in the movement, it will not be possible to realize the rights.”

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