British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Gibson on Sunday expressed his ‘sadness’ over the violence and the number of ‘senseless and unnecessary’ deaths that had taken place across Bangladesh over the past few days.
In a statement the High Commissioner said, "I deplore the cruel and unwarranted attacks on places of worship and private property.”
He called upon all parties to resolve their differences through constructive and peaceful dialogue so that Bangladesh’s democratic ‘credentials and stability’ do not get undermined.
He said, “Bangladesh has struggled hard and at great cost to achieve its independence and create a tolerant state where every citizen can live without fear of religious persecution and follow their individual faiths.
“This great achievement risks being undermined by the callous and unacceptable actions of a few,” the statement added.
The High Commission said: “While every citizen has the right to mount a peaceful protest, intimidation and imposition of strikes disrupts the lives of all citizens and hampers the operation of legitimate business. This is sending a negative signal to the international community and those wishing to invest in Bangladesh."
He further said that, “The UK will continue to call for all parties to exercise restraint, moderation and respect for the rule of law; and to resolve their differences through constructive and peaceful dialogue.”
“To continue to subject the country to unnecessary disruption and violence risks undermining Bangladesh’s democratic credentials and stability,” he said.
The Jamaat-e-Islami has been running riot across Bangladesh since Feb 28 when International Crimes Tribunal-1 handed down deaths penalty to one of its leaders Delwar Hossain Sayedee for his crimes against humanity, including rape and murder, during the 1971 Liberation War.
The Jamaat is enforcing 48-hour shutdown starting from Sunday followed by the main opposition BNP’s shutdown on Tuesday to protest against what it said ‘police firing’ at the protesters during the Feb 28 shutdown called by the Jamaat. Around 40 people including policemen were killed in the violence.