Dhaka, Jul 20 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Political Advisor HT Imam on Saturday strongly condemned the allegations made by Priya Saha to US President Donald Trump on the atrocities over minority communities in Bangladesh.
Mr Imam termed Priya Shah’s allegation, made during a meeting with US president Donald terms, as baseless. Ms Saha, a citizen of Bangladesh, recently alleged to the US President that minority community members are being oppressed in Bangladesh.
In a video clip that went viral on social media on Friday, Priya Saha, one of the organizing secretaries of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, was heard telling Trump, "Sir, I am from Bangladesh.... 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians are disappeared. Please help us - for the Bangladeshi people. We want to stay in our country."
She also said there are 18 million minority people of Bangladesh. My request is, please help us, we don't want to leave our country, just help us stay. I have lost my home, they have burned my home, they (have) taken away my land, but no judgment (is) yet taken please, please....Trump was heard asking her, "Who took the land and home?" In reply, she said the Muslim fundamentalist groups. Always they are always getting the political shelter, always.
In a reaction to the allegations, HT Imam said such type oppression might have taken place during the rule of past BNP-Jamaat government. The present government gave protection to the minority members. So the allegation of torture on minority members is baseless now.
"I had answered questions of various countries and NGOs both from home and abroad related to human rights several times in the full house of the UN Human Rights. Persons like respected Rana Dasgupta were also there. But I never saw anybody asking questions about allegations made by Priya Saha," he said.
State minister for foreign affairs Bangladesh M Shahriar Alam also said that the government would listen to her allegations and look into those. The state minister mentioned that president Donald Trump knew that false allegations are conveyed to him and the US administration gets information though their Embassy in Dhaka routinely. We remain in touch always.
Disapproving Priya Saha's claim, he said that such behavior from a person who engaged in various levels of society was not acceptable. The state minister also said,"Bangladesh is a shining example of religious harmony but many do damage to it for personal interest or not understanding the matter properly. All should refrain from carrying out such activities."
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said, "Priya Saha's allegations have no basis as no such incident has taken place in the country." "I have watched the video conversation between Priya Saha and Trump. It's completely a lie," he told.
Meanwhile, Molla Azad Hossain, acting superintendent of police in Pirojpur, also dismissed the allegation made to the US president. He said, "No such incident took place in Pirojpur and there is no authenticity of her allegation. If anyone tries to harm the religious harmony here, law enforcers will take strict measures to prevent him/her."
US Ambassador in Bangladesh Earl R Miller, while visiting a Buddhist temple in city Merul Badda on Friday afternoon, appreciated Bangladesh's religious harmony. Miller, who sworn in as US Ambassador to Bangladesh on 13 November last year, shared his experience meeting religious leaders from across the country and praised the religious harmony.
I now have enough perspective after being here for eight months and traveling so widely to recognize that Bangladesh is doing something remarkable, he told mediapersons. The US envoy also said, "Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve received the same message, be it's from Imam, priest and someone in the temple that no country can succeed unless it works together."
He said, "It is the lesson that his country and the world can learn from."General secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad Rana Dasgupta said,"He is not aware how Priyabala Saha went to the USA and reached Trump."
He said that she was not among the three persons who represented Oikya Parishad at the ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State.
I have nothing else to say, he said, declining to comment on her allegations.
The second ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State was held in Washington DC. Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen attended the meeting.
Delegates from 106 countries with about 40 foreign ministers attended the meeting at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State.