Panchthar, 3 October 2016
Communities in Panchthar district urged the state and the development projects to respect their lands and sacred places. They expressed their concerns on3 October 2016 in a interaction organised by Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP). After the programme the communities also formed a 12-members defenders group under the leadership o Birkha Bahadur Waiba.
The defenders groups claimed to promote and protect the rights of indigenous and local communities respecting the provisions of ILO Convention 169 and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). There are various development projects running in the lands and territories that cripple the rights of indigenous and local communities. The issues they have been focusing are pertaining to occupation of lands of indigenous community by the Nepal army, Kabeli 'A', 'B1', Hewan Mountain and Tamor hydro-project. Similarly, encroachment of sacred places and grave yards of indigenous communities by the park constructed under the funding of the District Development Committee (DDC). In the district there are also other project failed to respect the rights if indigenous and local communities.