1971 Bangladesh Genocide to be raised at UN

Bangladeshi flag Bangladesh independence day

The United Nations will raise the 1971 issue of the Pakistani genocide in Bangladesh at the international forum, the visiting UN Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng said on Friday.

He said the issue would be raised even though some countries may oppose it. Adama made the statement when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office yesterday.

The PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim later briefed journalists.

Bangladesh observes March 25 as National Genocide Day and is trying to get international recognition for it.

Hasina recalled that the Pakistani occupation forces launched the genocide in Bangladesh on March 25 in 1971.

Over three million people were killed, while two lakh women were raped by Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators during the Liberation War, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took the initiative to rehabilitate those who were victims of rape during the Liberation War.

The press secretary said the PM and the UN under-secretary general also discussed the Rohingya issue at the meeting.

He said Adama described Myanmar's atrocities on Rohingyas as genocide and renewed the UN's support to Bangladesh on the issue. "The perpetrators of the genocide must be brought to justice," he said.

Adama also urged the international community to mount further pressure on Myanmar to bring back its nationals from Bangladesh as it cannot solve the Rohingya crisis alone.

He said the UN wants repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland in the Rakhine state and for a peaceful and inclusive society to be established.

Adama also highly praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for providing shelter to over one million Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

Hasina said Rohingya refugees have outnumbered the locals of Cox's Bazar. "As a result, the locals are suffering a lot," she said.

Highlighting various steps for the welfare of the Rohingyas, Hasina said the government was developing an island as temporary shelter for them.

She thanked the international community for extending a helping hand.

While talking about terrorism and militancy, the PM said a few incidents took place in the country, but the government tackled those with an iron fist.

She said the government is exchanging views with a cross-section of people, including teachers, students, public representatives and religious leaders, to create mass awareness against the menace of terrorism and militancy.

Adama mentioned outstanding leadership of three female leaders in the world -- Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, German Chancellor Angela Markel and New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern.

"You're a symbol of women empowerment," he said to Hasina while praising her for ensuring women empowerment in the country.

The UN secretary-general hoped that Bangladesh will achieve sustainable development goals like MDGs under Hasina's leadership.

He also remembered Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman terming him a man of peace. "You're materialising Bangabandhu's dream," he said to the PM.

About the massacres in two mosques in Christchurch of New Zealand, Hasina said the members of Bangladesh National Cricket Team narrowly escaped the carnage.

Both Hasina and Adama praised the steps taken by the New Zealand premier after the massacre that left 50 people dead and many injured.

Chief Adviser to Save and Serve Foundation Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari, MP, PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin were present at the meeting.

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