Dipujjal Khisa
Country/region: Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh
Conflict: Ethnic conflicts
Organisation: Maleya Foundation
Field of work: Indigenous Peoples Rights, Non-violent conflict transformation, Indigenous peoples’ self-determined development, Women empowerment.

Dipujjal Khisa has grown up during the time of the movement for the rights to the self-determination of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peoples in Bangladesh. His father is an ex-combatant which compels him to grow up in remote areas of the CHT region with his parents. During this time, he flew to India for his basic education and got a bachelor degree and completed post graduation in Non-government Organization Management. The decades long armed-struggle for the rights to the self-determination of the CHT peoples in Bangladesh has ended with signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, 1997 popularly known as Peace accord, and created an environment for peace and development in the CHT.

After the Peace Accord, he repatriated from India and joined the Hill Tracts NGO Forum (HTNF), an association with CHT NGOs. During this times, he engaged in development activities with the “adivasi (indigenous peoples) development approach” in CHT that aimed to establish a peaceful environment where the people of the region can live with their rights and in dignity. The approach has been shaped by focusing on the areas of self-governance, communal ownership over land and resources, culture and territorial identity based on the values and vision of all sections of the local people. After that he joined the Maleya Foundation, an indigenous peoples organization in Bangladesh, and continued to work with the adivasi development approach.

Dipujjal has been involved in the South Asia Local Capacity for Peace Network since 2005 and started promoting the Do No Harm approach and conflict sensitive development in CHT. He is also an advocate for the indigenous peoples rights specially on environment and biodiversity issues at local, national and international level. As a peacebuilder and practioner of conflict sensitive development and conflict transformation tools, Dipujjal Khisa is presently engaging with various local, national and international civil society organizations and networks in order for establishing peace in the region. He is also one of the core members of the Maleya Foundations’ Conflict Transformation and Peace Building team.