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    মূলপাতাEnglishElection Manifesto 2024: More safeguards for minorities, end of intolerance

    Election Manifesto 2024: More safeguards for minorities, end of intolerance

    With the determination to make the nation smart, defined as free from dogmatism and anchored in harmony, Awami League has announced its manifesto for the upcoming 12th National Parliamentary Election.

    With the determination to make the nation smart, defined as free from dogmatism and anchored in harmony, Awami League has announced its manifesto for the upcoming 12th National Parliamentary Election.

    The manifesto, with the slogan “Smart Bangladesh: Visible Development, Increased Employment,” was announced by Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (December 27, 2023) at the Pan Pacific Hotel Sonargaon in Dhaka.

    The manifesto focuses on the plans and commitments for ethnic and religious minorities. It outlines the steps the party will take for the communities if it returns to power.

    The manifesto not only addresses the next five years but also the vision of developing a prosperous Bangladesh by 2041. In this long-term vision, the lives, traditions, culture, history, and aspirations of ethnic and religious minorities are integrally linked with the development of Bangladesh. The manifesto outlines a clear path for these communities during this extended period, including specific steps to be taken.

    The President of the Awami League stated that discriminatory behavior against ethnic and religious minority communities will be eliminated. Prioritized efforts will continue to improve their living standards.

    Currently, Bangladesh is home to over 30 lakh people from approximately 45 ethnic minority groups. Their lives, traditions, culture, and history are deeply intertwined with Bangladesh. The Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, recognized equal rights and dignity of all communities, including ethnic and religious minorities, in the Constitution of Bangladesh. In line with this, Awami League continues to eradicate discriminatory behavior against these communities and prioritizes various initiatives to protect their lives, properties, places of worship, autonomy, and improve their living standards.

    In Bangladesh, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others can freely practice their religions, as affirmed by the leader of the Awami League.

    Development and Progress

    Measures have been taken to protect the land, homes, places of worship and other assets of religious and ethnic minorities.

    Various programs, including social safety schemes, are being implemented to integrate the people of ethnic minority communities into mainstream development.

    Special provisions and opportunities continue for the education and employment of children of underprivileged ethnic minorities and tea garden workers.

    Educational and health services for ethnic minorities have been expanded to remote areas, and other infrastructural facilities, including roads and electricity, have been improved.

    The government encourages the preservation of the diverse customs and traditions of ethnic minority communities.

    To ensure greater political representation and social inclusion, the government has taken positive steps to increase the participation of ethnic minorities in decision-making processes.

    Various clauses of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord have been delegated to the Regional Council and District Councils, allowing development activities to be planned and implemented, considering local, geographical, and socio-economic contexts.

    Special measures have been taken for the development of tourism, food processing, small and medium industries, and traditional cottage industries in the three hill districts. High-value spice cultivation, coffee and cashew nut farming, cotton cultivation, and solar energy initiatives are being implemented for the public’s benefit.

    Grants for the development of temples, crematoriums, pagodas, and churches continue, along with ongoing programs for the overall welfare of Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian communities through respective religious welfare trusts.

    Awami League’s Commitment

    Article 23A of the Constitution stipulates that the state will adopt measures to preserve and develop the unique local culture and tradition of the ethnic sects and communities. Initiatives to uphold this constitutional provision will continue.

    During the tenure of the Awami League government, the Vested Property Act was amended, and measures were taken to resolve issues related to vested properties. Obstacles in the implementation of the law will be removed.

    A National Minority Commission will be formed, and a special protection law for minorities will be enacted to safeguard the interests of minority communities. Awami League will continue to take necessary steps to ensure the safety and livelihood of religious and ethnic minorities, and underprivileged communities.

    During the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, religious and ethnic minorities faced brutal attacks and discrimination. Many from these communities were killed, numerous women were raped, and their homes, lands, and businesses were occupied and looted. Awami League will complete the judicial process for these inhumane incidents and prevent their recurrence.

    Awami League will maintain its policy of ending terrorism, discriminatory behavior, and human rights violations against religious and ethnic minorities. It will ensure the protection of their lives, properties, dignity, and equal rights in all spheres of state and social life.

    Priority will be given to the balanced development of underdeveloped areas, including slums, chars, haors, and coastal regions, and to improving the quality of life of their inhabitants.

    Neglected Communities

    A portion of Bangladesh’s population consists of Dalits, Harijans, and Bede communities. These communities are neglected, isolated, and overlooked in society. Awami League is committed to implementing programs to improve their living standards and integrate them into the mainstream.

    Social safety programs for the development of the living standards of the Bede and other underprivileged communities will continue. Vocational training will be provided to enhance their skills, enabling them to engage in income-generating activities and integrate into mainstream society. Cash assistance and housing programs for underprivileged communities will be expanded nationwide.

    Hijra Community

    The Hijra community forms a small part of Bangladesh’s total population. Throughout history, this community has been isolated and neglected. Awami League government has taken various programs to ensure the fundamental rights of the Hijra community and integrate them into mainstream society.

    The manifesto states that Hijras will be included in mainstream society, and their fundamental rights will be protected. Social justice will be ensured, along with improvements in education, housing, living standards, and social security.

    Awami League’s election manifesto also says that cash assistance and housing programs for the Hijra community will be expanded nationwide.

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