France encourages BD to document genocide

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 13 Apr 2017, 22:59:03

France encourages BD to document genocide

French Ambassador in Dhaka Sophie Aubert has encouraged Bangladesh to carry out research and document the 1971 atrocities to get Genocide Day recognised internationally.

Replying to a question on Thursday, she said it is "very important" to have documentation and then place it in the relevant UN system for recognition.

The ambassador was delivering a lecture on her country’s foreign policy at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), a government think tank, in Dhaka.

For the first time this year, Bangladesh nationally observed Mar 25 as Genocide Day commemorating those killed by the Pakistani occupation forces on that night in 1971. Bangladesh is also lobbying with the United Nations for the global recognition of the day.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India said New Delhi that supported Bangladesh in the war also agreed to support Dhaka in its effort to obtain international recognition for the 1971 genocide.

The French ambassador said she has nothing to make comment on her country's behalf since it is a new issue. Referring to Armenian experience, she, however, said when the UN recognised the Armenian genocide, then France also recognised that.

On the night of Mar 25 in 1971, the Pakistan army launched Operation Searchlight, a brutal and barbaric military assault on an unsuspecting population to crush the Bengali movement for rights and justice that had turned into a fight for freedom in the face of persistent denials.

After nine months of the bloody war, Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation on the world map on Dec 16. Over three million people were killed and a quarter of a million women and young girls were raped.

During her lecture, Aubert focused on the history and current economic model of her country.

She also pointed out the challenges that France is currently facing including the jihadist threat.

In recent years, France has come under several attacks from the terrorist groups including those linked to the Islamic State.

The ambassador said France was facing an "ideological threat" as it is a secular country.

"But I am confident that we will overcome the jihadist threat even though we will have some hard time and huge challenges to face," she said.

"In France we are convinced that we will be successful, because it’s not the first time that my country is at war and we have always been able to overcome our wars, to become more confident and stronger and to expand our values and to strengthen our country having first the respect of our motto: liberty, equality, fraternity.”

"This is what will guide us to prepare a better future," she said.

BIISS Director General Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman chaired the event, which was also attended by officials, former diplomats and academics. – source

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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