With an aim to familiarize the indigenous community members with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFii) and other different UN mechanisms, a full day long national level preparatory meeting took place in the capital’s Shyamoli area on 7 May 2014. The program was organized by Barrister Raja Devasish Roy and Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, in cooperation with Maleya Foundation and Centre for Integrated Programme and Development (CIPD).

[In the photo above, Barrister Raja Devasish Roy, current acting chair of UNPFii, is seen delivering his presentation, while Rabindranath Soren, Chairperson of Kapaeeng Foundation sitting beside him;]

[Photo: Maleya Foundation]

Nirupa Dewan, an honorable member of Bangladesh National Human Rights Council [NHRC] and indigenous Chakma woman herself, inaugurated the program which was divided into different sessions. 

In one of the sessions, Barrister Raja Devasish Roy, current acting chair of UNPFii, delivered a power point presentation on ‘overview of the UNPFii’ focusing on the mechanism’s mandate, objectives and functions.

In the concluding session, a statement to the UNDP Bangladesh country director was prepared and signed by all the attending participants, highlighting the issue of UNDP’s role in promoting peace, good governance and development in relation to the rights of the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh. 

A good number of indigenous participants from across the country took part in the day-long event; they, among many, are: Rabindranath Soren, Lalit C. Chakma, Prashenjit Kabil Chakma, Alexius Chicham, Adv Susmita Chakma, Binota Moy Dhamai, Mangal Kumer Chakma, Lina Jesmin Lusai, Andrew Sholomor, Dipujjal Khisa, Gidison Pradhan Suchiang, Sudatta Bikash Tanchangya, Prof. Gones Soren, Pallab Chakma, Jashaswi Chakma, Pragati Chakma, Sudipta Chakma, Hiran Mitra Chakma, Sohel Hajong, Ripon Banai, Helena Hiramon Talang, Moni Rema, Chandra Tripura and Mong Ching Than. 

[The photo shows a section of the audience;] [Photo: Maleya Foundation;]