Vol. 5 Num 1046 Sat. May 12, 2007  

Political will needed to solve indigenous people's problems
Speakers tell Bapa roundtable

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for political will to solve the problems of indigenous people including the problems prevailing in forest areas of the country.

They said many projects have been taken by the forest department with the assistance of international donor agencies since 50s where the views of indigenous people were not considered at all.

Rather those who opposed the projects were harassed by false cases, and even lost their lives, they added.

The roundtable titled 'Eco park, indigenous people and environment: Madhupur experience' was organised by Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) at Women's Voluntary Association auditorium in the city.

Vice-president of Bapa Prof Kazi Modina presided over the roundtable where its General Secretary Mahidul Haq Khan delivered the welcome speech.

Prof Modina called upon people to work unitedly for the welfare of the marginal groups and proper maintenance of environment.

Prof Khondokar Mokaddem Hossain of Dhaka University (DU) and Prof Farida Khanam of Bangladesh Environment Network presented keynote speech at the roundtable.

Indicating the political solution of indigenous people's problems, Prof Akmal Hossain said it needs changes in state policy after preparing a set of recommendations.

Prof HK Arefin, ASM Atikur Rahman and Dr Mahbuba Nasrin of DU, Executive Director of SEHD Philip Gain, Sanjeeb Drong, Zakir Hossain, Pavel Partho, Dr Abdul Hai Majumder and Mihir Biswas also spoke on the occasion.