Name: John Tripura
Year of Birth: 24/03/1988
Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defender
I would like to introduce myself as a true struggler ever since my childhood and organizer of Indigenous youth and Students as well as Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defender in Bangladesh. I am from “Chittagong Hill Tracks” (CHT), and I belong to ‘Tripura indigenous Community” in Bangladesh. I have completed my “Masters in Law” from Eastern University, Bangladesh. Coming from a middle class indigenous family, I had to go through certain hardship in perusing my higher education in Law. The major reason why I chose to study law is because I have witnessed how indigenous peoples are often being exploited in our country, which led me to grow with interest in knowing more on human rights and their protection. During my student life and even till date I have been working with various social groups and playing crucial roles that largely involve team work, negotiation, motivation and organization of different programs.
However, on the other hand we have been seen very few prominent and progressive democratic minded people to talk about the issues of indigenous peoples in a national platform. So due to that reason I have created this Blog to speak up for the unvoiced people and to bring the real stories of the most vulnerable and vandalize communities to the world citizen’s.
The Chittagong Hill Tracts, combining three hilly districts of Bangladesh, namely: Khagrachari, Rangamati, Bandarban, with an area of 5,093 square miles. It is inhabited by several indigenous groups such as the Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Mro, Bawm, Pangkhu, Khyang, Khumi, Chak, Lushai, Tanchangya, numbering approximately 500,000 people. Being the minority in our nation, the indigenous people are continuously being exploited, violating the Basic Human rights, such as: murders, rape and gang rape, torture, looting, extortion, ransom demands, imprisonments without trial, burning of villages, destroying and looting of Buddhist places of worship, forcible eviction and seizure of land, arbitrary arrests and hitting, forced conversion to different religion, forced marriage of indigenous women, forced exile of indigenous population to India, many more. The political conflict is still unresolved; the promises made by government are not being fulfilled, constant military interferences in a liberal country; how long will such brutal act be continued? It is ironic that the indigenous people are numerically small and have very weak voice in a national and international forum.
I got involved in Human Rights activities since 2011 both plain lands and Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) of Bangladesh. In the course of my career, I have successfully implemented several Human Rights issues involving a high level of coordination and networking as well as intensive communication with different domestic and international stockholders. By doing different kinds of activities I am keeping my communication with different NGOs, Civil Societies, HR organization, IPs organization and specially the indigenous peoples living in different parts of Bangladesh.
In addition to that, I have also got the opportunity to become a part of an international charismatic movement called “Jesus Youth” back in 2007, after attending a conference in India. in 2008, I finally decided to attend one month intensive “Jesus Youth Fulltime Volunteers’ Training” in Thailand, where I was able to develop my interpersonal skills based on leadership, communication, public speaking, team building, group building and discover my strengths.