Bangladesh missions abroad observe first Genocide Day, demand UN recognition

Bangladesh missions abroad have observed the Mar 25 as the Genocide Day demanding recognition from the United Nations as International Genocide Day.

Published : 26 March 2017, 06:09 PM
Updated : 26 March 2017, 06:09 PM

For the first time this year, Bangladesh nationally observed Mar 25 as Genocide Day commemorating those killed by the Pakistani occupation forces on that night in 1971. Bangladesh is also lobbying in UN for the global recognition of the Day.

Bangladesh embassy in Washington, Bangladesh High Commission Singapore, Bangladesh Embassy in Copenhagen, Bangladesh Embassy in Bangkok, Bangladesh Embassy in Tashkent, Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, Deputy High Commission in Karachi, Bangladesh’s United Nations Permanent Mission in New York, and Consulate General in New York in separate statements said they had observed the day in a befitting manner.

Discussion and screening of the documentary on the day were the highlights of the observance.

The systematic genocide of the innocent and unarmed people of Bangladesh by the then Pakistani military regime left over three million dead, a quarter of a million women and young girls dishonoured.

“… Indeed, the genocide by the Pakistani army in Bangladesh was and is one of the worst holocausts in human history,” Bangladesh Ambassador in Washington Mohammad Ziauddin said at a discussion at the chancery on Saturday evening.

He urged the UN to recognise the day as “Genocide Day”.

On the night of Mar 25, 1971, the Pakistan Army launched 'Operation Searchlight', a brutal and barbaric military assault on an unsuspecting population to crush the Bengali movement for rights and justice that had turned to a fight for freedom in the face of persistent denials.

Bangabandhu was detained that night. Before he was picked up, he had proclaimed independence.

The undisputed leader of the Bengalis had effectively announced the nation’s independence at the historic Mar 7 rally at the Racecourse grounds when he thundered: “Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram (This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle for our independence).”

After nine months of the bloody war, Bangladesh emerged on the world map on Dec 16, surfing through an 'ocean of blood'.

Bangladeshis live in European countries also raised their voice demanding international recognition of the day.

Denmark Awami League observed a candlelight vigil and demanded that the day is recognised by the UN. President Iqbal Hossain Mithu and General Secretary Dr Bidduth Barua were present, among others, said a statement.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher