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155th Anniversary of Santal Revolution

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Land commission for indigenous people of plain land demanded

Staff Correspondent
Indigenous people of the plain land yesterday demanded establishment of a separate land commission like the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Commission to address their land-related issues.

Rampant violations of land rights of the ethnic communities is a major problem, they said at a day-long programme marking the 155th anniversary of Santal Revolution, also known as Santal Hul.

The indigenous people first revolted against the British rule in 1855 and also took part in the Liberation War along with the Bangalees to achieve independence and economic freedom, but they are still deprived of their rights, speakers said at a discussion on the occasion.

Bangladesh Adivasi Adhikar Andolon organised the programme at the National Planning and Development Academy auditorium in the city, with Col (retd) Shawkat Ali, deputy speaker of parliament, as the chief guest,

“The indigenous people are still deprived of their land rights. They are continuously being displaced from their homesteads,” said Prof Ganesh Soren, an indigenous community member, in his keynote paper.

He also said the government should take steps to provide legal support to the indigenous people in their land disputes.

Rashed Khan Menon MP, president of the Workers Party, said the Santal rebellion has always served as a source of inspiration during all democratic movements, including the liberation war.

But the indigenous people of the plain land, including the Santal, are still fighting for their land rights, he said, adding that a separate land commission can be formed to settle their land disputes.

Justice Gholam Rabbani inaugurated the daylong programme presided over by veteran columnist Syed Abul Moksud.

Prof Mesbal Kamal, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Adhikar Andolon, and Prof Dalim Chandra Barman also spoke.

Tanko movement leader Kumudini Hajong was honoured with 'Sidu-Kanu-Fulmoni' award at the programme.

A cultural programme was also held in the evening.

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