Canada Condemns Communal Riots In Bangladesh

Activists of Bangladesh Jammat-e-Islami shout slogans during a rally in Dhaka. Photo: Reuters
Activists of Bangladesh Jammat-e-Islami shout slogans during a rally in Dhaka. Photo: Reuters

Condemning the ongoing communal riots in Bangladesh, Canadian federal government Friday urged the South Asian country to reverse the growing communal divisions and resolve the conflict peacefully.

More than 60 people were killed and hundreds of houses vandalized since the riots began late February.

The attack started hours after Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami party was sentenced to death on charges of crimes committed during the war of independence that separated the country from Pakistan in 1971.

“Canada is deeply concerned by the escalating and deadly violence that has injured thousands and claimed the lives of scores of Bangladeshis. We urge all parties to end the violence, to work toward peacefully resolving the conflict and to reverse the growing divisions in Bangladeshi society,” John Baird, Canada’s foreign minister said in a press release.

“We also call on authorities to protect the rights and the lives of all Bangladeshis,” said he.

Minority communities in the country including Buddhists and Hindus are being attacked and their houses and temples are being burned.

The minority community leaders said that the attack was coordinated and wide spread.

“We condemn in the strongest terms senseless attacks on civilians, most notably those on minorities in their homes and places of worship. Canada has welcomed Bangladesh’s commitment to pluralism and religious freedom, and we encourage further efforts by the government and all parties to promote peace and tolerance throughout the country,” said Baird.

“In the lead-up to parliamentary elections, we call on all parties to respect the rights to freedom of expression and of assembly and urge everyone to exercise these rights in a peaceful and democratic manner.”

Speaking to the BBC Saturday, Bangladeshi Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan said that culprits won’t go unpunished.

“We are fully committed to protecting the minorities. We have taken enough measures so that these people are not attacked in the future. We have also provided sufficient relief,” Mohiuddin Khan told BBC.

Source: International Business Times

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