Saturday 3, June 2023

Bangladesh urges UK parliament to recognise 1971 genocide

Time Digital Report: Bangladesh has urged the UK parliament to adopt a motion recognising the genocide committed on Bangladeshi soil by the invading Pakistan army 51 years ago in 1971.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK, Saida Muna Tasneem, made the call at a high-profile commemorative event on the 51st anniversary of Bangladesh Genocide Day jointly organized by Bangladesh High Commission, London in collaboration with University College London (UCL) on Saturday.

"In April 1971, Sir Peter Shore, MP, who was chair of the UK's Foreign Affairs Committee, moved a motion in the UK parliament condemning atrocities committed in erstwhile East Pakistan, followed by another motion, supported by over 233 cross-party members, calling for the end of genocide in East Bengal and the recognition of Bangladesh," she said.

The high commissioner called on British parliamentarians to take a fresh motion for international recognition of 51 years of Bengali genocide and pledged to work with British parliamentarians and academicians towards increasing publications on Bengali genocide in the British and the international genocide journals.

Rami Ranger, chair of Conservative Friends of India and a member of the UK's House of Lords, spoke at the event and expressed his support for the establishment of a Bengali genocide memorial in the UK as well as its international recognition.

High Commissioner for India to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar referred 25 March 1971 genocide as the darkest chapter of Bangladesh's independence struggle and a massive crackdown against Bengali nationalists.

Chair of the Department of Liberal Studies at Texas A&M University Joann Digeorge-Lutz noted that there were very few publications on the genocide in Bangladesh, but more and more of these should be published in the international genocide journals.

Director of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh Professor Dr Meghna Guhathakurta, whose father Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta, a Dhaka University teacher, was killed by the occupation forces in March 1971, described the brutality of Pakistani forces, calling for international recognition of the genocide.

Eminent organiser of Bangladesh's Liberation War Movements in the UK Sultan Mahmud Sharif, representative of Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in London Jasmina Sarajlić and UCL research fellow Bayes Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.

A documentary on the genocide was screened. Diplomats, academics, and members of the British-Bangladeshi Diaspora participated in the event, paying their respects to the Father of the Nation and the martyrs who were killed in the March 25 genocide and during the nine-month glorious liberation war.

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