Victory after Long Fight to Save Bangladeshi Indigenous Villages and Forest
January 20th, 2010
The indigenous Khasi people of Bangladesh have won a significant victory after a long struggle to protect the forest on which they depend for their survival. The indigenous community organized against rampant logging from a local tea estate owner who had secured permission to log the forest allegedly through his political connections. Thousands of trees and many Khasi villages will be saved as a result.
The Oblates have been supportive of the efforts to protect the forest, with Fr. Joseph Gomes, OMI working closely with the Khasi people. APRA (Adibasi Poribesh Roskhya Andolon or Save Indigenous Environment Movement) of BAPA (Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon or Bangladesh Environment Movement). Fr. Gomes was joined by Sharif Jamil, National Coordinator, APRA, Joint Secretary, BAPA in successfully arguing on behalf of the Khasi people before a government panel charged with investigating the logging controversy.