Crucial Problems of the Indigenous Peoples of the Madhupur Forest, Tangail, Bangladesh

01. Indigenous Peoples are living at Madhupur area for at least two centuries. They are the original inhabitants of the area.

02. Bangladesh Govt. refuses to recognize the rights of the indigenous people to the ancestral and traditionally occupied lands and natural resources in the Madhupur Jungle.

03. The Indigenous people of the Madhupur Forest area try to preserve the environment in the area by preserving the local species such as (Sal (sorea robosta) and other native trees and medicinal plants, wild birds and animals) but FD has destroyed the forest for personal gain with the help of outsiders and wealthy thieves. Guni, Chief Conservator of Forest was sentenced to 12 years last month when a fortune was discovered in his house.

04. The Indigenous population of Madhupur are victims of Government plans to plant foreign trees on their crop lands, plans to evict the people and establish the National Park, Eco Park, Firing Range of Air force etc. Five times the BD government has planned to evict the Indigenous People with the help of the ADB. WB, etc. The ADB funded social forestry Project is designed to relocate mainstreams population in the adivasi (IP) inhabited area, virgin forests destroyed and give to influential persons.

05. At least 6000 false forest cases have been filled against innocent people. Corrupt officials file the cases and the legal structure is completely corrupt. The last two Conservators of Forests have been sentence and are in jail for corruption. The court cases go on for years and are completely false and the legal system is corrupt. It is an open plan of the BD Govt. against the Indigenous people with the help of foreign donors. ADB has destroyed the forests with their unsupervised loans. Now ADB is “financing” the development of the unique Sunderbans! The main objective of filling forest cases against the Indigenous peoples is to destroy them socially and economically.

06. In 2003–2004 during the protest against the Eco-Park project implementation, FD and Police filed 28 false cases against 95 innocent IPs in the Courts. Victims are facing those cases and are economically ruined. 25 Garos were shot by the police and Forest Department. One boy died and one is paralyzed for life. Many still have lead in their bodies from the shootings.
07. FD claims that Indigneous People are illegal occupants of the Madhupur Forest. FD/Govt. doesn’t recognize ILO convention article No. 107, rectified article no. 169 and recent declaration of UN on IPs rights. the IP have lived here for centuries.

08. Permanent settlement of the lands of IPs is needed according to the present Bangladesh land laws. There should be a clear demarcation of lands belonging to the Forest Department and the Indigenous people who paid
land taxes for their homestead and low lands to the Hindu Zamindar of
Natore for many years.

09. Under the present situation there is no security for the Indigenous people in Bangladesh. They have been driven out of the country and their lands confiscated by the Governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh many times.

10. There is no system for the Indigenous People for higher education, Govt. jobs such as local Govt. body, Union Parishod, Upazila Parishod, District Council and Parliament to protect their civil rights and their demands are rare.

11. Donors give and provide economic social and political priority to CHT-approximately for the 600,000 people, but there is no donors that give attention or priority for the Indigenous People numbering over 2 million in the plain lands . Donors fund for the IP development through Bengali led NGOs, which are often, have a negative impacts on IPs development.

12. Religion fanaticism as well as prejudiced cultural policies of the State regime increasingly arrest ethnic and cultural diversity in the country.

From The Indigenous People of the Madhupur Forest (25,000 citizens of

1 comment:

  1. It's true and very sad for us.Tanx Rev. Fr. Homrich for this kind information.