Fifteen indigenous peoples and civil society organisations and traditional leaders, elected public representatives and rights activists of Bangladesh on Wednesday submitted a concern letter to the World Bank on its proposed funding of the Chittagong Port – Thegamukh connectivity project in Bangladesh. They raised serious concerns about lack of meaning engagement of indigenous peoples in the project aimed to carry out feasibility studies. They pointed out that the proposed project will affect land issues in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), including resolution of land disputes that have been unaddressed since CHT Peace Accord 1997, along with impacts on forest, environment and cultural sites. They have thus recommended to continue appropriate studies and consultations only for certain aspects of the project and to suspend any further step with regards to the Land Route until such time as the provisions of the CHT Accord are faithfully and fully implemented. They have also called on for meaningful consultation with indigenous peoples in the project area in compliance with the World Bank’s safeguard policy.
See the full letter submitted by Kapaeeng Foundation here.