Bangladesh: 5th AGM of Kapaeeng Foundation held successfully in Dhaka

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    On 25-26 January 2013 the 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Kapaeeng Foundation (KF) took places at the CBCB Center in Dhaka. Total 50 participants attended this meeting and amongst them 30 members of KF organizational representative and 20 members from the Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights Defenders Network, Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s Network and Indigenous Youth Network as observer. The AGM adopted four years strategic plan (2013–2016), an annual work plan, and the gender and finance policies of the organization. In this AGM, the new executive committee has also formed and approved for two years.
    The inaugural session of the AGM chaired by the chairperson of KF Mr. Rabindranath Soren, and the Vice Chancellor of ASA University of Bangladesh and Advisor of the KF Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman attended as chief guest. Besides, advisor of KF Mr. Mangal Kumar Chakma, Deputy Director of ALRD Ms. Rowshan Jahan Moni, Director of Ain O Salish Kendra Mr. Nur Khan Liton also delivered speech in the session as special guest. Vice chairperson of KF Mr. Dipayon Khisa delivered welcome speech in this session while coordinator of KF Mr. Mong Sing Neo gave an overview on the implemented activities of KF. This opening and inaugural session conducted by Mr. Uzzal Azim, the treasurer of the KF.
    At the first session of the AGM, a report of the KF activities was presented by the executive member Ms. Mahati Rema which facilitated by General Secretary of KF Ms. Chaitali Tripura. The overall report said that the programmes and activities of KF have been growing and competing with the demand of indigenous peoples of Bangladesh. It has made significant achievement in 2012. The programmes and activities include systematic documentation for making database on human rights violation, research and policy advocacy initiatives, sending of delegation of journalist and human rights activists to conduct onsite inquiry of particular human rights incidents, organising protest against violations including violence against indigenous women, lobby and campaign program for promotion and protection of human rights of indigenous peoples including indigenous women, capacity building of indigenous communities and their organisations, legal support to the human rights defenders etc.
    The overall report also stated that continuing human rights violations by state and non-state actors, marginalization of indigenous communities and other abuses on the Indigenous Peoples have been intensified in 2012. These include rape and sexual assault against women and children, killings, arson, gabbing of lands, unlawful arrest and torture, and structural forms of discrimination based upon ethnicity, religious affiliation and gender. The government has expressed its intent to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, but has taken inadequate steps to prevent the violation of human rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    The representatives and observers provided comments and inputs on this overall report and finally adopted the report. They representatives and observers shared their experience on human rights situation, such as the challenges of the data collection, campaign, report and information sharing at the local level.
    The second session reviewed the finance and gender policies of the organization and facilitated by Uzzal Azim. Finance manager Hiran Mitra Chakma and Coordinator Mong Sing Neo placed finance and gender policies respectively for discussion, further inputs and suggestions from the representatives and observers. After being accepted few changes, the finance and gender policies were unanimously adopted.
    Third session discussed the strategic plan for 2013-2016 and work plan for 2013 which approved and adopted by the AGM. Binota Moy Dhamai presented the strategy plan while Hiran Mitra Chakma shared the work plan for 2013. KF member James Ward Kokshi facilitated this session. Group workshops were conducted on the strategic planning and received feedback, comment and suggestions. The AGM adopted the strategic plan for 2013-2016 and future work plan.
    The fourth session was for the formation of the new executive committee. A 9-member new executive committee was formed through a democratic selection process. On behalf of out going executive committee, Uzzal Azim placed a panel of the new executive committee to the house for approval and the AGM adopted it unanimously. Mr. Rabindranath Soren was re-elected as chairperson and Ms. Nishi Dewan was elected as general secretary. Besides, Ms. Chaitali Tripura and Ms. Mahati Rema were elected as vice chairperson and treasurer respectively. In the AGM, the memberships of 5 persons who remained long time detached from the activities of KF were postponed and applications of 3 persons for new membership have been approved.
    The closing session chaired by the newly elected executive committee chairperson Mr. Rabindranath Soren and addressed speech as a guest were the general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum Mr. Sanjeeb Drong and programme officer of Oxfam-Bangladesh programme Mr. Saikat Biswas. On behalf of newly elected executive committee, general secretary of KF Nishi Dewan spoke in the closing session while Chaitali Tripura conducted the session. At the end, a cultural program performed by the indigenous artists and members of KF and its networks.