Parbatya Chattogram Jana Samhati Samity founding president Manabendra Narayan Larma was a national and revolutionary leader who fought throughout his life for establishing the rights of people, observed speakers at a meeting in Dhaka on Tuesday.
MN Larma also struggled for a secular and inclusive Bangladesh and initiated a unified ethnic minority peoples’ movement in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, they added.
He struggled for the hill people and began the struggle for autonomy and right to lands, they observed.
Social and political leaders came up with their opinions at the meeting at Dhaka University.
The programme was organised in commemoration of the life and works of MN Larma on his 37th death anniversary.
Political leaders, teachers, civil society members and students paid tribute to the revolutionary leader during the programme organised by the National Committee to Observe 36th Anniversary of Death of MN Larma at Women’s Voluntary Association auditorium at Dhanmondi in Dhaka.
Addressing the discussion through videophone, Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon said that MN Larma was actively involved in the nation building process and stressed the need for constitutional recognition for ethnic minorities.
Oikya NAP president Pankaj Bhattacharya said that MN Larma struggled throughout his life against the destruction of existence of hill people and tried to establish a humane, socialist and non-communal society.
Communist Party of Bangladesh leader Ruhin Hossain Prince said that Bangladesh was a multinational state and each of them had the right of self-determination which was the true spirit of independence war. ‘He vehemently opposed the “Bangalee” identity in the Constitution. The hill people born in the country can never be Bangalees. We have to continue our struggle for the rights of indigenous people,’ he said.
Presided over by journalist Abu Sayeed Khan and moderated by Dhaka University teacher Robaet Ferdous, the discussion was addressed, among others, by Parbatya Chattogram Janasamhati Samity vicepresident Usatan Talukder, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong and Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha executive director Rokeya Kabir.
Manabendra Larma along with his eight followers was assassinated by a group of derailed members of defunct Shantibahini on November 10, 1983.