Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Khasi People Continue to Protest Destruction of their Forest May 20th, 2009


The Khasi people of Sylhet, supported by the Oblates there, have been fighting the cutting of the forest on which the people depend for their living. These efforts are also critically important for protecting area ecosystems.

On May 9th, the Khasi people staged a large public gathering to protest the continued logging as well as tea plantation expansion plans by a powerful landowner.

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Tea Estate Expansion Threatens Bangladeshi Khasi People and Forest March 15th, 2009

joseph-gomes-in-the-sylhetIn early January 2009, the Zhimai Tea Estate Authority cut-down a number of trees in the Pan-zoom of Zhimai. Thousands of trees have been demarcated to be felled and construction of labor-quarters has begun in an expansion of the tea garden. This activity threatens displacement of the indigenous Khasi people of Zhimai Punji, and directly interferes with their livelihood, which depends on the betel plant which grows on tall trees. Apart from the destruction of the land & livelihood of the Khasi, the tree felling severely affects the bio-diversity, and overall environment of the hills & forest of Sylhet Division, Bangladesh.

Fr. Joseph Gomes, OMI has been working with the Khasi people and APRA (Adibashi Poribesh Roskhya Andolon), the movement administered by BAPA, a national Bangladeshi environmental organization, for the protection & conservation of Bangladeshi forests.

Read report on the forest destruction (Download PDF)

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