192 US-Bangladeshis issue statement against six Congressmen's letter
Dhaka, June 16: As many as 192 Americans of Bangladeshi-origin issued a joint statement rejecting statements by six US Congressmen about the human rights situation in Bangladesh as untrue.
The government news agency BSS said that the Congressmen claimed that the minority community in Bangladesh is in a scary situation during the current government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"We, the undersigned Bangladeshi-Americans, request that the Congressmen retract the false information contained in the letter," said a joint statement by prominent Bangladeshi-Americans comprising minority community leaders, academics and anti-war crime campaigners.
The statement also said, "This 'false information' contained in the US Congressmen's letter to the administration of US President Joe Biden - will not only undermine the credibility of the Congressmen's position on minority rights in Bangladesh, but will also jeopardize the safety and security of the undersigned Bangladeshi-Americans."
Bangladeshi Americans, meanwhile, pointed out that the congressmen's statement ignored the violence that followed the October 2001 parliamentary elections in which "massive violence against Hindus took place during the coalition government led by the winner, the Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Dal (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islam."
They said, the Congressmen's statement contains fabricated information about the persecution of the Christian population in Bangladesh under the current government.
President of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad Rana Dasgupta earlier said, "Congressmen's claim that the Hindu population has halved during Sheikh Hasina's regime is a lie."
He fears that some vested interests responsible for minority oppression may be trying to win the 2024 elections in Bangladesh by misinforming US lawmakers.
The top leader of the Bangladeshi Christian community, Cardinal Archbishop Patrick D'Rosario rejected the demands of the congressmen and said that the current government has always supported the Christian community and is with them.
The Bangladesh Buddhist Federation said in a statement that the Congressmen's statement did not specifically mention the Buddhist community in Bangladesh. However, there are reasons to deny the allegations mentioned in the letter.
"We want to emphasize that the same groups responsible for violence against Hindus and other minorities are also responsible for killing foreigners and blogger-activists and carrying out bombings across the country," they added in the statement.
The expatriates, who have been actively fighting for minority rights in Bangladesh for decades, have demanded the withdrawal of 'false and misleading information' from the Congressmen's letter for the safety, security and well-being of Bangladesh's minorities.