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Santu Larma

Santu Larma former guerilla leader and the Chairman of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti or PCJSS.

Human rights groups denounce Bangladesh government's attempt to ban indigenous leaders

Several human rights organisations jointly submitted a memorandum to the prime minister (PM) yesterday expressing their concern over press reports that read the government may impose ban on joining international seminars by some leaders of indigenous community.

The organisations are Nijera Kori, Karmojibi Nari, Ain O Salish Kendra and Association for Land Reform and Development.

The leaders of indigenous community who may face the bar are Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council Members Mangal Kumar Chakma and Mrinal Kanti Tripura, Chakma Circle Chief Raja Debashish Rai, Ina Hume of London-based Jummo People's Network and Garo leader of Madhupur Albert Mankin.

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 letter are 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.


The Daily Star
An English daily news paper in Bangladesh

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