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March 25 to be observed as Genocide Day

Parliament on Saturday unanimously adopted a resolution to observe March 25 as Genocide Day condemning Pakistan for committing genocide on the unarmed Bangalees on this day in 1971.

The House also proposed that the governm

ent take a move to seek international recognition in observing the day worldwide, recalling the genocide by the Pakistani occupation forces.

After a general discussion on the motion placed by Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal lawmaker Shirin Akter, the House with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair passed the resolution by voice vote.

Taking part in the discussion, lawmakers also blasted BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for raising question about the number of martyrs of the country’s Liberation War in 1971.

They said the BNP chief should be put on trial for her statement slurring the martyred freedom fighters and the Liberation War.

Taking the floor, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that she supported the proposal to observe March 25 as Genocide Day.

“The proposal should be accepted unanimously to make Bangladesh free from stigma,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, came down heavily on those who still speak in favour of Pakistan.

“Those, who forget the genocide, have no rights to live in the country. They should go to Pakistan,” she said.

Describing the Pakistani attack on various parts of the country, the premier said they staged mass killing of the Bangalees and set thousands of villages on fire.

“Media across the globe published the news terming the incident genocide,” she added.

“The footages displayed in the House are a portion of that incident.
Pieces of information are still available across the globe,” she added.The premier said local collaborators, Jamaat-Shibir men, helped the Pakistani occupation forces in carrying out such heinous acts, including rape and looting.

Blasting the BNP-Jamaat for making the war criminals ministers and awarding them national flag for their vehicles, she said her government tried the notorious criminals.

“As we assumed office, we have been able to execute the court’s verdict against the war criminal,” she said.

The premier said a section of individuals are still supporting Pakistan and writing books slurring the country’s war of independence.

Pointing finger to former major general ZA Khan, the premier said she felt ashamed of promoting him to the major general post.

“That man wrote that Bangladesh’s independence was a part of the conspiracy of RAW,” she said.

“Some black sheep were born in the country who support Pakistan. It is our misfortune,” she said.

Placing the motion, Shirin Akter said the coward Pakistani army carried out the genocide by attacking unarmed sleeping Bangalees during their planned Operation Searchlight.

She proposed that the House declare March 25 as Genocide Day and said the government should take initiatives to get international recognition in observing the day worldwide.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed proposed that March 25 should be observed as the National Genocide Day as the United Nations already approved December 9 as International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

He also proposed observing December 1 as freedom fighters day.

AL lawmaker Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir supported both the proposals of Tofail Ahmed.

Tofail also condemned BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for raising question about the number of martyrs of the liberation war.

Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim demanded that trial of the 195 Pakistani prisoners of war, who were charged with war crimes should take place in the international court.

Opposition Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad said, “It is my biggest regret that I could not participate in the Liberation War.”

“But I took initiatives to honour the freedom fighters,” he said.

The former dictator also lauded the role of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman saying that he could not have become the army chief if the country was not achieved independence under the leadership of Bangabandhu.

Speaking on the motion, opposition leader Raushan Ershad wanted to know why the government has taken a move to make a fresh list of freedom fighters.
She also asked the government to remove the confusion over the proclaimer of the country’s independence.
Fifty-four lawmakers and ministers, including Amir Hossain Amu, Matia Chowdhury, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, Rashed Khan Menon, Hasanul Haq Inu, AFM Mozammel Haque, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Qamrul Islam, chief whip ASM Feroz, deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, Faruk Khan, Abdul Matin Khasru, Dipu Moni, Ali Ashraf, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Bazlul Haque Haroon, Abdul Mannan, Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu, ATM Abdul Wahab, Sagufta Yasmin, Jatiya Party lawmakers Kazi Firoz Rashid and Ziauddin Ahmed, Workers Party of Bangladesh lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal lawmaker Moin Uddin Khan Badal, Tarikat Federation lawmaker Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary, Bangladesh Nationalist Front lawmaker SM Abul Kalam Azad and independent lawmaker Tahjib Alam Siddique also spoke on the proposal. The discussion continued for over six hours.

Source: Daily Sun, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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