Tue, 30 May 2023

Dhaka [Bangladesh], May 24 (ANI): European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) organized an international conference on the recognition of Bangladesh's Genocide at Dhaka University where leaders expressed firm determination to continue efforts to draw the attention of the world community to the 1971 genocide.

At the conference on Monday, EBF leaders expressed firm determination to continue efforts to draw the attention of the world community to the 1971 genocide and urged them to stand with the victims of atrocities conducted by the Pakistani army during the Liberation War of Bangladesh, according to local media.

The conference was addressed by the members of the visiting European fact-finding delegation comprised of politicians, university teachers and senior researchers, political analysts and human rights activists.

The conference was organised at Dhaka University's Abdul Matin Chowdhury virtual auditorium in collaboration with Amra Ekattor and Projonmo 71, both partner organisations of EBF.

Speaking at the conference, the leader of the European Fact Finding team and former member of the Dutch parliament Harry van Bommel reiterated that Bangladesh will get global recognition of the genocide that took place in Bangladesh in 1971.

He added that even if it took 100 years to get global recognition of the Armenian genocide, I hope it will not take that long in the case of the Bangladesh genocide. 'We want to have it within a few years, not even decades' Bommel said.

Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor Dr Md Aktaruzzaman said that during the Liberation War of Bangladesh, the University of Dhaka was the epicentre of genocide and the students and teachers of the university were the first victims of genocide.

Greeting the organisers and contributors of the conference, Aktaruzzaman sincerely pledged that the University of Dhaka will always stand with them and cooperate for achieving recognition of the 1971 genocide.

The conference was also addressed by the British political analyst Chris Blackburn, Prof Antonie Holslag of Amsterdam University, and Chief coordinator of Amra Ekattor Hilal Fayazi, Bikash Chowdhury Barua and Ansar Ahmed Ullah, both from EBF.

Genocide researcher and founding secretary of Projonmo 71 Tawheed Reza Noor said Projonmo 71 is working to achieve recognition of the genocide and ensure justice.

"According to the 1948 genocide conversation, genocide means destroying, harming and distorting a targeted group of people or community with a systematic plan. And the genocide conducted by Pakistani military forces during the Liberation War of Bangladesh was planned killing of Bengali people," said Pradip Kumar Dutta, a genocide researcher.

Besides, Secular Forum President Shahriar Kabir, Trustee of Liberation War Museum Mofidul Haq, genocide researcher Lieutenant Colonel Birpratik Sazzad Zahir, freedom fighter and former chief of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Haroon Habib, Chairman Trustee Board 1971 Genocide Torture Archive and Museum, Dhaka Professor Muntasir Mamun, Director of Centre for Genocide Studies of Dhaka University Prof Sheikh Hafizur Rahman Karjon, a British human rights activist who lives in Julian Francis and writer and member of a victim family Engineer Pradip Kumar Datta. TawheedReza Noor, Genocide Researcher and founder secretary of Projonmo 71 and a member of the victim family addressed the meeting through Zoom from the US. It was moderated by a board member of Amra Ekattor Mrinal Sircar.

The conference got wide print and electronic media coverage in Bangladesh, Netherlands and the UK. The hall was jampacked and there was no space room for the participants. Many participants were found standing at the entrance as there was no more vacant space in the auditorium. A good number of students were also seen among the participants.

Earlier on 21 May 2023, there was a program titled 'Meet the Press' by the visiting European delegation at the National Press Club in Dhaka. Chaired by the President of the club Farida Yasmin the program was addressed by the sitting MP Ms Aroma Datta as chief guest.

It was addressed among others by the leader of the visiting European delegation former member of the Dutch Parliament Harry van Bommel, genocide expert Prof Dr Antonie Holslag, British political analyst Chris Blackburn, EBF leaders Bikash Chowdhury Barua and Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Chief coordinator of Amra Ekattor Hilal Fayazi. The Chairperson of Amra Ekattor Mahboob Zaman chaired the program.

This session also witnessed a jampacked hall with press members, both print and electronic, as well as, online.

Later, in the evening there was a TV talk show on the leading channel - ATN Bangla. Harry van Bommel, Prof Antonie Holslag, Ansar Ahmed Ullah, and Chris Blackburn took part in the talk show at the studio in Dhaka, while Projonmo Ekattor leader Asif Munir joined virtually. The one-hour-long bi-lingual talk show was telecast at 10:50 pm on 22 May 2023. Celebrated journalist, JI Mamun, anchored it.

After the TV talk show the visiting delegation gave the interview at the Daily Star office in Dhaka. The interview is yet to be published. It was an interview with the delegation head Harry van Bommel, while other members were present.

The first two day-long programs were very successful. The attendance of the participants and the press members was very impressive. (ANI)

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