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‘Tribal people left in lurch with hollow promises'

Special Correspondent


‘The land from the tribal is being forcibly acquired'

‘Forest rights to tribal people is not being given'


PANAJI: Tall promises have been made by year after year but have miserably failed in implementing those has failed especially when it comes to constitutional demands of tribal people, said tribal leader advocate Babuso Gaonkar .

The former MLA was speaking on Saturday at Goa's human rights performance with respect to tribal people at “Human Rights: Goa Audit”, a workshop held under the chairmanship of J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of India and former Chairman on National Human rights Commission. The workshop was held at International Centre Goa on Saturday morning.

Mr. Gaonkar spoke about frustrations among the Goan tribal people as they were yet to get political reservation.

Mr. Gaonkar enlisted issues which resulted in violations of the tribal people's rights. The land from the tribal was forcibly acquired. Giving forest rights to tribal people was intentionally ignored. Posts in various government departments were mysteriously de-reserved on one or the other pretext. Nominations of tribal people, representations of tribal people on various State corporations, the Commissions, and government funded bodies had been intentionally delayed. Goa was yet to constitute a “Tribal Welfare Council” which was the main body to be constituted to oversee the welfare of the tribal people.

Mr. Gaonkar said tribal hamlets were destroyed and “in all such cases there is a breach of human rights and therefore, human rights protection bodies have to play a vital role to redress the hardships, difficulties, and atrocities on tribal people.”

Shanti Maria Fonseca, lawyer and writer, accused the government and private sector of exploiting labour class through exploitative contractual work system.

Environmental activist Zarina Da Cunha said the mining mafia in the State was trampling rural people's rights to live peacefully.

Albertina Alemida, lawyer and activist, said: “Many State agencies in Goa do not acknowledge human rights violations and living in denial of existence of the problem ostensibly for the sake of good image (for Tourism), therefore, any solution is not expected either.”

President of Disability Rights Association of Goa Avelino de Sa he said the State government has left much to be done in protecting the rights of the differently-abled people of the State.

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