Medical &Health

Bangladesh to seek UN recognition of 1971 genocide

DHAKA, March 23, 2017 (BSS) - Bangladesh will reach out to UN seeking recognition of 1971 genocide while the government declared March 25 as "genocide day", Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq said here today.

"The letter is ready . . . it will be sent to the United Nations by this month," he told newsmen at a briefing being accompanied by Liberation War Affairs Secretary Mahmud Reza Khan and concerned officials.

Huq added: "A delegation will go to the UN this month with a proposal for observing March 25 as Genocide Day globally while the foreign ministry, through the Bangladesh embassies and high commissions across the world, will campaign to get international supports in favour of our proposal."

The UN General Assembly in 2015 declared December 9 as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

But the minister said no genocide took place on December 9 "but here in Bangladesh we witnessed one in March 25 of 1971" and "so, we will propose UN to shift the Genocide Day to March 25".

Parliament earlier this month unanimously adopted a resolution declaring March 25 as Genocide Day, coinciding with the anniversary of Pakistani troops' crackdown on unarmed people of what it was called East Pakistan on that night 46 years ago.

Bangabhaban organized a special programme to mark the Genocide Day inside the presidential palace as the country is set to observe for the first time the occasion.

The media briefing was told that a two-day photography exhibition will be held near the Independence Monument at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan reminding all the atrocities committed on March 25, 1971.

A discussion meeting and cultural function will also be held to mark the observance of the day at the venue while identical programmes will be staged at district and upazila levels across the country.

The Pakistani army launched their infamous "Operation Searchlight" on March 25 night killing overnight at least over 20,000 people alone in Dhaka while officially three million people were killed in the subsequent nine-month Liberation War.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence as the crackdown began on that night, minutes before the Pakistani military commandos invaded his 32 Dhanmandi residence and arrested him to be flown to Pakistan where he languished in captivity until the December 16, 1971 victory.

The country observes the March 25/26 night as black night as the Pakistani junta preferred to gouge Bengali voice declining to hand over power to Bangabandhu-led Awami League which won the last general elections in united Pakistan in 1970.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)