The Hague, 25 March 2017: In observance of the Genocide Day, Bangladesh Embassy and the Bangladeshi community in the Netherlands organised a discussion meeting titled, “We shall not forget you”. The discussion meeting was organised on 25 March at the Embassy conference room. It was participated by members of the embassy and the Bangladeshi community in the Netherlands.
At the start of the program one-minute silence was observed to pay respect to the martyrs killed brutally by the Pakistani Army and their local collaborators in 1971. The messages on the Day sent by
the President and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh were read out in the meeting. After the message was read out a Documentary film titled, “Genocide in Bangladesh and killing fields” was screened. The film captured the tragic scenes of the killing fields where unarmed and innocent Bangladeshis were taken and brutally killed by Pakistani occupation forces during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. The documentary film touched the participants in the meeting. The ten-year-old Prima, a Bangladeshi girl shared her ideas and conception of the Day with the participants and expressed her determination to make Bangladesh a strong and independent country, so that all can be proud of it.
The keynote paper was presented by journalist Bikash Chowdhury Barua of European Bangladesh Forum. In his key note paper Bikash Chowdhury compared the brutality of 1971 by the Pakistan army and their local collaborators, such as Jamat e Islami, Razakars, Al Shams with the genocide committed by the Nazis on the Jews during the second world war and also with the genocide in Rwanda, Cambodia and Burundi. Journalist Bikash Barua said, even after 46 years of independence, the anti-liberation forces are active today and trying to destroy the secular Bangladesh. He called upon the people not only to be vigilant against such forces, but also to fight them back collectively.
Another speaker, cultural activist Tanbira Talukder in her presentation narrated the shocking heart-touching stories of the family members who became victims of mass killings and genocide in 1971. She called upon all for their cooperation and joint efforts to avoid such inhuman incidents in the future. Describing the stories of Shaheed Azad’s mother, Shaheed mother Jahanara Imam and Birangana Rama Chowdhury she said, ‘war has not yet finished’.
Bikash. Roy, Secretary of EBF shared his horrific experience of 25 March night, the attack of Pakistani soldiers on the innocent people in the name of Operation Searchlight. On that fatal night he was with his parents in Ramna Kali mandir in Dhaka. He described how the Pak army demolished the famous Ramna Kalibari Mandir where more than 200 Hindu families were living and killing of many Hindus of the mandir vicinity on that night.
Bangladesh ambassador in the Netherlands, Sheikh Mohammad Belal in his speech paid rich tributes to the martyred Bangladeshis who lost their lives during the liberation war and also to the founder of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman. Ambassador Belal underscored the need to maintain a close contact with the International Criminal Court and Permanent Arbitration Court in the Netherlands. Reiterating the statement, “war has not yet ended” the ambassador severely criticized the false propaganda against the great liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 by infamous Pakistani writer, Junaid Ahmed in his book, “Myth Behind the Creation of Bangladesh”. He underscored the need for preserving the interviews and statements of the witnesses of the brutality of Pakistani forces through archive to create attention of the world population. At the end of the program, special prayers were offered for the departed souls of the martyrs killed in the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh. (Courtesy: Bangladesh Embassy, Netherlands website)