George Lyngdoh for delegation to visit distressed indigenous communities in Bangladesh

Shillong, Sep 17: Congress MLA from Umroi, Geroge B. Lyngdoh on Friday urged the state government to select a delegation of MLAs to visit Bangladesh to show solidarity with the indigenous Khasi, Garo and Jaintia communities living there.

Taking up a Zero Hour Notice on reports of atrocities against Khasis and other tribes in Bangladesh, Lyngdoh also said that during the visit they will also communicate with the authorities.

The Congress legislator said that he brought this discussion to stand in solidarity with the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo friends and families who are living in Bangladesh and who got separated due to partition.

“Even if we are separated by letter, the spirit of fraternity with our brothers and sisters of our community is still strong. We are citizens of two different countries but the feeling of oneness has not diminished till date,” Lyngdoh stated.

He also said that this issue is very delicate and needs to be handled diplomatically through proper government channels.

“We urge the state government to take pro-active steps to convey our concerns for our Khasi, Jaintia & Garo poplulace in Bangladesh to the Government of India,” he added.

In his reply, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that as per media reports Khasis and Garo communities residing in Maulvi  Bazaar and other areas are under tremendous pressure of being evicted from their rightful land in the name of afforestation drive being conducted by the Social Forestry Department in Bangladesh.

Sangma said that as per reports, it appears that on August 24, 28000 betelnut trees belonging to the Khasi and Garo communities were destroyed and on August 27, three Khasi youths were attacked on their way home.

The Chief Minister said that the incidents against the indigenous communities in Bangladesh, is a matter at the external affairs department but as a state they had also taken the initiative of forwarding a memorandum to the government of India.

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