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Follow-up report on Parliamentary Standing Committee summon to IP activists

On 7 September 2005 four human rights and women organisations, namely, Nijera Kori, Karmojibi Nari, Ain O Salish Kendra and Association for Land Reform and Development jointly submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister (PM) expressing their concern over the reports that the government may impose ban on joining international seminars by some leaders of indigenous community, namely, PCJSS Members Mangal Kumar Chakma and Mrinal Kanti Tripura, Chakma Circle Chief Raja Debashish Rai, Ina Hume of London-based Jumma People’s Network and Garo leader of Madhupur Albert Mankin.

In the memorandum, they said that on September 1, some newspapers published reports that the parliamentary standing committee on Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs has brought allegation against four leaders of indigenous community for tarnishing the image of the country by making objectionable remarks against Bangladesh’s independence and sovereignty, its army and unity of Chittagong Hill Tracts at a conference of the UN Council of Aboriginal Affairs at its headquarters in New York from May 16-27. Quoting Article 39 of the constitution, the leaders of rights organisations said if the government wants to restrict the freedom of speech and movement of the leaders of the marginal community, it will be tantamount to opposing the constitution and undermining the values of democracy.

The signatories to the memorandum were Khushi Kabir, co-ordinator of Nijera Kori, Shirin Akhter, chairperson of Karmojibi Nari, Shamsul Huda, executive director of Association for Land Reform and Development and Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain O Salish Kendra.

It is mentionable that the meeting of the Parliamentary Satnding Committee ob CHTAM is yet to be convened.

Source: PCJSS

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