Genocide Day Observed in the Netherlands

The Hague, 25 March 2017: Embassy of Bangladesh in The Hague observed Genocide Day together with Embassy officials, family and the expatriate community. The Genocide Day was duly observed today at the Embassy premises with due solemnity and fervour. At the outset, one minute silence was observed recalling the valiant martyrs of the Genocide committed by the Pakistan Army in 1971 followed by recitation from Holy religious scripts. The Messages of the Hon’ble President and the Hon’ble Prime Minister issued on this occasion were read out to the audience.


in discussion session, among the leaders of Netherlands Awami-League Mr. Mostafa Zaman, Mr. Joynal Abedin, Mr. Allauddin Molla delivered their brief remarks and stated that the atrocities of the Pakistan Army was nothing less than the genocides perpetrated on the Jews during the second world war or the genocides in Rwanda or Cambodia. The Pakistani army had unleashed one of the worst atrocities on unarmed Bangalees in the name of “Operation Searchlight”. Pakistan army started killing innocent Bangalees on March 25, 1971, in Rajarbagh, Dhaka University and Pilkhana areas, which continued across the country until December 16.


To describe the background of the genocide they mentioned that the Pakistani ruler had been discriminating Bangalees in every aspects since beginning of the 1947 partition. Finally, after the overwhelming victory of the Awami League in national elections held in December 1970, the Pakistani ruler came out of their shell. It is obvious that this genocide was pre-planned; clearly, there was a determination to crush Bengali resistance through a short and extremely sharp application of terror, mass murder, and forcible expulsion.


H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of Bangladesh in The Netherlands recalled with heavy heart that on the night of 25th March in 1971, the Pakistani forces launched the “Operation Searchlight” which was a brutal and barbaric military assault on an unsuspecting civilian population aimed at crushing the movement of Bengalis for establishing their rights.  Pakistan army carried out the history’s most barbaric genocide on Bangalees as their leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proclaimed Bangladesh’s independence to free the nation from Pakistani subjugation. Mentioning that in 1971, the Pakistan army adopted the scorched earth policy Ambassador Belal stated that no village, street, area were spared from their cruelty. The 1971 genocide included targeted elimination of individuals on the ground of religion, race and political belief. The intellectuals were killed brutally.


Further he mentioned that the Pakistani rulers and their allies could not forget the pain of their defeat in 1971. They thought that Bangladesh as an independent country would be a failed state. But Bangladesh now has emerged as a role model of development drawing the attention of the global community. As a consequence of meeting all three criteria- Per Capita GNI, Human Asset index (HAI) and Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) recently Bangladesh has been recommended by UN for graduation from LDC status. With Bangladesh’s rise as a ‘developed paradox’ is a much discussed and analyzed concept in the annals of developments economics today. Ambassador Belal attributed this success to the resilient people of Bangladesh who are blessed to have a visionary leader like Hon’ble  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He urged all to uphold the glorious history of the liberation war of Bangladesh and share it with the next generation. So that our history remains intact and it cannot be distorted. He further added that as a peace loving nation, Bangladesh supports ‘the Genocide Convention’ and ‘the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court’. Ambassador Belal added that the Embassy is engaged deeply with the tribunals in The Hague like International Criminal Court, ICJ, PCA to prevent this kind of genocide happening again.


Later, a short documentary was displayed, the documentary portrayed the brutality of Pakistani Army so vividly the audience felt as if they were present in the actual killing fields of 71 where hundreds of thousands of innocent, unarmed Bangalis were brutally killed and dumped. The story of the documentary deeply touched the viewers. At the end, a special prayer was offered seeking divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs of the genocide.

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