Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNB) – Noting that Bangladesh is proud of its cultural heritage where communal harmony plays a significant role, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid on Thursday said the present government is working relentlessly to conserve and promote the heritage of ethnic minority communities.
He made the comments at a seminar titled ‘Importance and challenges of protecting heritage of small ethnic groups in promoting national culture’ arranged by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) at its auditorium.
The seminar was attended by scholars, government and military officials, students and representatives of different small ethnic groups.
“Currently, there’re 50 listed ethnic tribes in the country. The Cultural Affairs Ministry is considering building infrastructures in the three districts of Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) to preserve the cultural heritage of local ethnic communities,” the state minister said.
He also said the ministry has a plan to establish cultural exchange centres in those three districts.
Khalid said the government is working to fully implement the CHT Peace Accord and has taken all kinds of initiatives to promote the cultures of ethnic minorities.
Prof Dr Syed Anwar Husain, Bangabandhu Chair Professor of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), presented the keynote paper at the programme exploring different aspects of the ethnic culture.
He also highlighted how these groups are contributing to enriching the cultural diversity of Bangladesh.
“Development of their (small ethnic groups) cultures could bring unity in diversity ultimately promoting and strengthening national solidarity,” Prof Anwar said.
BIISS Director General Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman said the active participation of small ethnic groups is important for the successful implementation of Vision 2021. “Understanding cultural diversity will surely help Bangladesh prevent racial and ethnic divisions,” he added.
Chattogram Hill Tracts Development Board Chairman Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, Rangamati Science and Technology University Vice-chancellor Dr Pradanendu Bikash Chakma and acting Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Secretary Md Mesbahul Islam, among others, spoke on the occasion.