Santu Larma addressing a press conference on Saturday. Photo: Prothom AloThere has been no remedy to the violation of human rights of the indigenous communities, said president of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples’ Forum Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, popularly known as Santu Larma.”The state’s irresponsibility and hostility towards them have broken all previous records. The existence of the indigenous people is threatened,” alleged Santu Larma while addressing a press conference at a hotel in the capital on Saturday.The press conference was organised on the occasion of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August.The leader of indigenous people said the government claims that the country has seen a wave of development, but millions of people, including ethnic people, poor farmers and labourers, are being washed away by this so-called development, he added.He said the government did nothing despite in landslides killing 131 people and affecting 20,000 families in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.Santu Larma said around 15000 people were starving in Sajek of Khagrachhari, 10000 tonnes of rice was needed, but the government remains indifferent.Santu Larma announced various programmes to mark 9 August. He said educationist professor Muhammed Zafar Iqbal will inaugurate the main event at Central Shaheed Minar while civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon will attend it as chief guest. Functions to mark the day will be organised in the districts where the ethnic people live.Oikya NAP president Pankaj Bhattacharya alleged that an attempt was on to wipe out the existence of indigenous people from the country. He terms this attitude as a collapse in the spirit of democracy and the spirit of the liberation war.Researcher columnist Syed Abul Maksud said, “Not only indigenous people, no one is in fine, except pro-Awami League people. The country does not only belong to the pro-AL people. We fought together to liberate the country.”Professor of Dhaka University Mesbah Kamal said the state does not recognise the existence of indigenous people. The election commission declares regional political parties will not be allowed to participate in the election, he said, adding that in the neighbouring country such parties participated in the elections and formed the government.Kamal called upon the EC to allow all parties including Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity to participate in the election.Indigenous Peoples’ Forum member secretary Sanjib Drang moderated the press conference addressed by human rights activist Numan Ahmed Khan, and organising secretaries of indigenous peoples’ forum Saktipad Tripura and Rabindra Saren.
jahangirnagar universityA faction of Jahangirnagar University teachers on Monday staged a token ‘sit-in’ programme in front of vice chancellor’s office demanding academic council election for unelected and date-expired posts, reports UNB.The teachers under the banner of ‘Shommilito Shikkhak Shomaj’ also demanded the election of Jahangirnagar University Central Students’ Union (JUCSU) after ensuring congenial atmosphere on the campus.They took up positions in front of the VC’s office at 11am and staged the ‘sit-in’ until 1pm.Leader of the anti-VC alliance, professor Kamrul Ahsan said, “According to the university act, VC is compelled to hold elections of different unelected posts. VC professor Farzana Islam earlier decided to hold the elections within 6 May after discussing with the authorities. But, now she is delaying process by showing cause of her sicknesses.”Addressing the function, convener of the teachers’ unity and president of Jahangirnagar University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) professor Ajit Kumar Majumder said they want that the university authority would ensure the congenial democratic atmosphere on the campus and would follow the university acts.”We are not demanding the resignation of JU VC,” he added.Professor Jamal Uddin Runu, JUTA secretary professor Sohel Rana, professor Shamsul Alam Selim, professor Koushik Saha, professor Farid Ahmed, professor Khabir Uddin, professor Kamrul Ahsan and professor Mafruhi Satter, among others, spoke at the programme.Another faction of teachers backed by the VC – ‘Bangabandhur Adarsher Shikkhak Parishad’, termed the demands as inhuman and illogical.JU VC professor Farzana Islam has been on leave since 6 March due to illness.
Dogs rescued from floodwater wait to be transferred to a shelter after torrential rains pounded Southeast Texas following Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey on Sept. 3, 2017 in Orange, Texas.Author Peter Zheutlin never wanted a dog, let alone a rescue. He had always believed, as a lot of people do, that rescue dogs are damaged goods.Now Zheutlin can’t imagine life without a dog, and he’s become so driven by the issue of stray dogs that he’s written two books about it. He tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins the number of stray dogs has “cascaded out of control” in some parts of the U.S.“People are often very often surprised when I tell them that the picture … of dogs running on highways and so forth, this is not just a third world problem — that exists here in the United States,” says Zheutlin, author of the new book, Rescued: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things. There are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates about 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year.While Zheutlin makes the case for adopting dogs that are abandoned, he also acknowleges there is no easy answer to the problem. He says the supply of stray dogs greatly outweighs the demand.In Houston, Texas, alone, there are more than 1 million stray dogs, according to the city’s pet shelter, BARC. After Hurricane Harvey hit this summer, thousands of dogs were rescued from floodwaters.“These shelters, they’re dealing with an incredibly difficult problem where they may have a shelter that can hold 100 dogs, and every week a hundred more strays are coming in,” Zheutlin says. “And where do they go?”The no-kill movement has contributed to the population growth, as the number of dogs and cats that are euthanized has decreased from 20 million to 3 million each year. As NPR previously reported, there are nearly 14,000 shelters and pet rescue groups in the U.S. that acquire almost 8 million animals each year.Stray dogs also present safety issues when they roam in packs, causing traffic accidents, attacking residents and spreading disease. WHO estimates nearly 55,000 people die from rabies every year.Spay and neuter laws that vary by state have also driven the increase of abandoned dogs, especially in more rural, southern states.“The South still has a lot of work to do with spay-neuter laws, and getting people to feel that pets are more companions and parts of their family than yard dogs or that kind of thing,” Laurie McCannon, director of Northeast Animal Shelter in Massachusetts, told NPR in 2015.Several city and local governments have adopted mandatory spay-neuter ordinances, but Zheutlin points out that the stray animal issue is low on the priority list for some cash-strapped cities.“This problem has escalated to the point where it would take decades of a concentrated spay-neuter program in a city like Houston to begin to reduce the numbers,” he says. “The shelters are not often high priorities for governments either when they’ve got competing demands from the school department, the police department, the fire department, parks, sanitation. Who speaks for the dogs?”According the ASPCA, approximately 1.6 million dogs are adopted from U.S. shelters each year, but 34 percent of dogs obtained as pets still come from breeders.Many adopted dogs come from difficult circumstances, Zheutlin says, which means they could suffer from separation anxiety, barking and a lack of socialization skills. Critics of the no-kill movement say some dogs are just not fit for adoption.“At some point, you begin to adopt out animals that have serious health issues or serious temperament issues that you should not,” Patti Strand, director of the National Animal Interest Alliance, an organization that represents dog breeders, told NPR in 2014.While rescue dogs can present challenges, rehabilitation programs have led to an increase in the percentage of animals adopted, according to the ASPCA. Zheutlin suggests obtaining references before working with a rescue organization.“Those organizations work hard to make sure these dogs are socialized and ready to be placed in a home,” he says. “In the vast vast majority of cases they are so ready to be loved, and to love back dogs, I think, draw us out of our own heads and [can] help us to live more in the moment.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share