Sunday, August 16, 2009

'JS body soon to solve problems of indigenous people'

Lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha at a discussion in Rajshahi yesterday said an initiative has been taken to form a parliamentary body to resolve the problems of indigenous people in the plain land.

The JS body would play role in creating opinions in parliament for the formation of a separate land commission with a view to solving the several decades old land-related problems, he added.

"After the body is formed, it will hear opinions of the indigenous people for helping the parliament make a law, if necessary, as well as pressurise the government for establishing social status of the underprivileged ethnic minority," said Badsha.

The grand alliance lawmaker warned that many officials in the police and district administrations are still loyal to the four-party alliance and the government is facing problems in functioning properly for them.

"The pro-BNP-Jamaat officials are desperate enough to allow BNP hooligans to set fire to the houses of indigenous families in Naogaon."

Badsha, a lawmaker from Rajshahi-2 and politburo member of Workers' Party of Bangladesh, was speaking as the chief guest at the discussion on 'Separate land commission for the indigenous people and role of media' at the GDRC auditorium in the city.

Ashtha Network, a Rajshahi-based NGO with assistance from Oxfam GB organised the discussion with Ganesh Mardi, president of the NGO, in the chair.

Jatiya Adivasi Parishad President Anil Marandi, General Secretary Rabindranath Saren, Public Prosecutor Rabiul Haque, language movement veteran Mosarraf Hossain Akhunji, Rajshahi Rakkha Sangram Parishad Convener Zamat Khan, Rajshahi University teacher Dr Sujit Sarker, Rajshahi Blast Coordinator Abdus Salam, indigenous leaders Naren Pahan, Sabin Munda and Harendranath Singh and journalist Hasan Millat also spoke.

The speakers demanded the government constitute a permanent land commission to protect the land rights of the indigenous people in the plain land.

The indigenous people must be brought to the mainstream for proper development, they said.

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