Indigenous Peoples in Asia to Celebrate the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples

The UN General Assembly first marked 9 August as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in 1994, as part of the first year celebration of the first UN Decade for Indigenous Peoples. For 21 years, the indigenous peoples have been gaining landmark achievements at the global level with the establishments of the establishment of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2000, the appointment of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, the establishment of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) in 2007 and the adoption of the Outcome Document of the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples in September 2014.  Despite the achievements at the global level, many indigenous peoples in Asia remain subjected to exploitation, systematic discrimination, militarisation, conflicts and untold suffering from the widespread violation of human rights in their respective countries. Thus, the indigenous peoples’ organisations across Asia will carry out the following activities to promote and assert their rights, and commemorate the 21st International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. 

In Malaysia 

 Indigenous Peoples’ Network of Malaysia/ Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), the umbrella organisation of 87 grassroot indigenous organisations in Malaysia, will organise a 3-day programme under the theme of “Territorial Domain: Indigenous Peoples’ source of life and heritage” from August 7-10, 2015 at Bidayuh National Association Hall in Kuching, Sarawak. The programme will bring together representatives of the Network from Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak as well as the public around Kuching. The activities planned in the programme include a seminar on indigenous territories, cultural presentations, photo and handicraft exhibition and traditional sports activities featuring common games and activities from indigenous peoples of the three regions. Other highlights include the launching of the JOAS children network, the annual gathering of JOAS youths and a meeting of JOAS women network. 

In the Philippines 

 National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations in Philippines/ Kalipunan ng Mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU) and its allied organisations, in cooperation with other indigenous peoples organisations and support groups, will conduct a series of activities throughout the month of August under the theme of “Sulong Katribu! Assert Indigneous Peoples Rights, Resist Plunder and Intensifying Repression.” 

The scheduled activities are:

  • August 3: Forum on the Situation of Mining and the Indigenous Peoples in Quezon City August 3-7: International Solidarity Mission in Mindanao
  • August 7: Forum on the Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Metro Manila
  • August 8-9: Pangiyak Ki!(Shout Out Mindanao) and Youth Cultural Exchange in Davao City
  • August 10: Lobbying in the House of Representatives
  • August 11: Legislative forum/ Congressional Committee Hearing on Large-scale Mining and Dams, and the Indigenous Peoples
  • August 11: Submission of the 2nd batch of petition to the House of Representatives
  • August 12: Lobbying in the Philippine Senate
  • August: Sub-national coordinated discussions and actions on FPIC in the Cordillera Region

 In East Timor

Covalima Youth Center/Centro Juventude Covalima (CYC/CJC) will organise a cultural dance competition for indigenous children and screenings of indigenous peoples’ rights and issues related videos  in three villages in Fatumea sub district from 7-9 August 2015. The objectives of conducting those activities are to promote and transfer the uniqueness of indigenous cultures to younger generation and to raise communities’ awareness about indigenous peoples rights and issues. 

In Indonesia

The Alliance of Archipelago Indigenous Peoples (AMAN) will hold the peak event to commemorate the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9, 2015 at Mount Batur Bali, in Bali. The theme of the year is “Ensuring Indigenous Peoples Health and Well-being” putting the spotlight on the issue of indigenous peoples’ access to healthcare services. 

In Vietnam 

Center for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas (CSDM) will organise a meeting of representatives from different ethnic minorities in Yen Bai Province at Hanh Son Commune on 9 August 2015. In the meeting, the representatives will share and exchange information and success stories of indigenous peoples from Asian countries asserting and lobbying for recognition of their collective human rights. The meeting will be followed by cultural exchange activities from different ethnic minority groups. 

 In Thailand

The Network of Indigenous peoples of Thailand (NIPT) will organise a three day programme from 8-10 August 2015 at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. The activities planned include the conduct of the Second National Assembly of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Thailand, public forum on “the Strength of Council of Indigenous Peoples” and academic seminar on “National and International Policies on Indigenous Peoples.”

 In Myanmar 

Myanmar Indigenous Peoples/Ethnic Nationalities Network will commemorate the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples for the first time in Myanmar by organising a meeting of representatives of network members, Ethnic Affair Minister and other key stakeholders. The objectives of the meeting are to promote and strengthen the network as well as to call for the government and other key stakeholders to recognise and respect the indigenous peoples’ collective rights in Myanmar. The meeting will take place at  Summit Park View Hotel in Yangon on 9 August. 

In Nepal 

NGO Federations of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities (NGO-FONIN) will organise two parallel discussion programs – one on the outcome document of World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) at S.R Banquet, Dhumbarai Anandanagar Marga and the other on the indigenous peoples’ land rights at Intdreni Food Land in Kathmandu on 6 August 2015 from 8:00am to 3:30 pm. 

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) in cooperation with other indigenous peoples’ organisations, academicians and activists will organise a rally in Kathmandu to call for the constituent assembly of Nepal to ensure indigenous peoples’ rights in the new constitution on 9 August 2015 at 10:30am.

In Northeast India

Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) in collaboration with Naga Students Federation, Karbi Women Group, Tai-Ahom Cultural Club, Rengma Nagas of Assam, Indigenous Women Forum of North East India and the inhabitants of Yampha village and the adjoining areas will organise a forum under the them of “Indigenous Peoples as Custodians of their land and its ecosystem” follow by cultural exchanges activities at Yampha village on 9 August 2015 at 11:00am. 

Borok Indigenous/Tribal Peoples Development Centre (BITPDC) will organise a seminar to discuss on the proposed amendment to Land Acquisition bill 2015, Forest Act 2006, amendment of Sixth Schedule and article 280 of India constitution followed by the indigenous food festival and cultural exchange from 6-7 August 2015 at Tripura Tribal Aaea Autonomous District Council (ADC), Khumulung, Tripura.  

In Central India

Adivasi Mahila Maha Sang, together with “Surv Yuva Manch Jashpur, Jan Sangarsh Samiti Jashpur, Adivasi Vikash Parishad Jashpur, Surv budhijivi Manch Jashpur and Chhattisgarh Bachau Andulan Much Chhattisgarh will commemorate the “ International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples Day” on 9th August 2015.The programme will start with the Rally at 10:00 a.m. from Balram Munch Bus Stand followed by gathering at Ranjita Stadium, Jashpur. 

 In Bangladesh

Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF), the national platform of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh, will organise a press conference on 5 August 2015, 11:00 am, at Hotel Sundarban in Dhaka and public meeting, rally and cultural programme on 9 August 2015 from 10:00 am at Central Shahid Minar in Dhaka. Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Prof. Mizanur Rahman will commence the programme while honourable Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mr. Rashed Khan Menon MP will be present as chief guests. President of BIPF Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma will preside over the event.

Bangladesh Indigenous Student Action Forum will form a Human Chain to demand land rights of indigenous peoples on 4 August 2015, 10:00 am, in front of the National Musuem, Shahabag, Dhaka.

Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples will organise a discussion and cultural programme on 6 August 2015, at 10:00 am, at Senate Bhaban, Dhaka University. Convenor of the Parliamentary Caucus Mr. Fazle Hossain Badsha MP will preside over the event.

ALRD and Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum with other 11 organisations will organise a discussion meeting on 7th August 2015 at 3:00 pm, at CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka.

Garo Student Union (GASU) will organise a Candle Lighting event on 8 August 2015 at 6:00 pm at Central Shahid Minar, Dhaka.

Kapaeeng Foundation, a national level human rights organisation for indigenous peoples in Bangladesh and Action-Aid Bangladesh, will organize a discussion programme on “Adivasi-led Tourism and Development: the Role of the government” on 12 August 2015 at 10:00 am, at CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka.

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) will undertakes two-day long Adivasi Mela (Indigenous Fair) from 9-10 August 2015 at Bangla Academy premises in Dhaka.

The IPOs and CSOs will also organize programmes, such as, public meeting, cultural event, exhibition, sports, etc. marking the Day at different districts and upazila (sub-district) levels.

  • Jatiya Adivasi Parishad will organise public meeting, rally, human chain and cultural programme in Joupurhat on 9 August 2015, at 10:00 am, in Thakurgaon on 9 August at 10:00 am, at Nachol in Chapainawanganj on 9 August, at 10:00 am, in Rajshahi (Public Library) on 11 August, at 10:00 am and Dinajpur (press club) on 13 August 2015, at 10:00 am, in Pabna on 8 August, 10:00 am.
  • Adivasi Chatra Parishad (ISC) will organise a rally and gathering at the premises of Central Library, Rajshahi university on 7 August, at 10:00 am, at at Satmatha Morh, Bogura on 9 August, at 10:00 am, at Satkhira sadarion Satkhira on 9 August at 10:00 am.
  • Sylhet Division Celebration Committee will organise a rally, discussion meeting and cultural activity on 9 August 2015 at 10:30 am, at Central Shahid Minar.
  • Rakhaine Community will organise a rally, discussion and cultural programme at Kalapara in Rutuakhali district and at Taltala in Barguna district on 9 August 2015 at 10:00 am.
  • Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Chittagong chapter will organise a public meeting, rally, and cultural programme at Central Shahid Minar on 9 August 2015 at 10:00 am. Public Prosecutor, Advocate Ana Dasgupta will commence the programme.
  • Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Cox’s Bazar chapter area will organize a public meeting, rally, and cultural programme on 9 August 2015 at 11:00 am, at Cox’s Bazar Cultural Centre. Member of Central Committee of Bangladesh Communist Party Mr Ruhin Hossain Prince will be present as chief guest.
  • Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Savar area will organize a public meeting, rally, and cultural programme on 14 August 2015, Friday, at 2:00 pm, at Elahi Community Centre, Ashulia Savar, Dhaka.
  • Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, CHT chapter, will organise a public meeting, rally, and cultural programme at the district headquarters of Rangamati, Bandanban and Khagrachari district on 9 August 2015, at 10:00 am.

Many Indigenous Peoples Organizations will also organize public meetings, rallies, and cultural programmes in Dhaka, Satkhira, Modhupur, Patuakhali, Netrokona, Kolmakanda, Rajshahi etc.



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