Attacks on the Buddhist Community:
INGOs are Deeply Shocked, Demand Independent Judicial Probe
Dhaka, October 4, 2012. About 40 international non-governmental organizations of the INGO Forum Bangladesh have expressed deep shock and concern at the unprecedented and inhuman brutality with which the Buddhist community in Ramu and a number of other areas were recently attacked including absolutely unacceptable destruction of the sacred religious temples and deities. They demanded fully independent and unbiased judicial investigation into the incidents and exemplary punishment against those to be found guilty in the due legal process.
In a media statement the Forum members said, “working in Bangladesh has always been a matter of pride and satisfaction for us for the way the religious, cultural, ethnic and other diversities have been glorified in social behavior and mutual relationships”.
“We know how deeply cherished are secularism, equal rights, justice and peaceful coexistence as the core values and spirit of Bangladesh’s history, particularly the Liberation War. We also observe on a daily basis how strongly these are endeared as inseparable elements in the lives of the people at large”, they said.
“The cowardly acts of violence, premeditated as they reportedly appear to be, are absolutely inconsistent with these core values of Bangladesh which make us particularly concerned. We call upon the Government to ensure that justice is done through a fully independent, high-powered and credible judicial investigation as early as possible. There is no alternative to exemplary punishment against those who will be found guilty”, the statement added.
“We express our heartfelt solidarity with the affected families and the Buddhist community in general, and request the Government to take immediate measures to ensure fullest possible restoration of the damaged temples and relics. The affected individuals must also be compensated and rehabilitated as early as possible”, the statement said. They also called upon all stakeholders to make every effort immediately to restore peace in the affected areas and promote and sustain the sense of mutual respect, equality and justice.
On behalf of INGO Forum Bangladesh,