27 prominent citizens demand to ensure the protection of minority and indigenous communities

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Hill Voice, 22 November, 2023, Special Correspondent: The mutual distrust between the two main political parties and non-confidence to the electoral process of the opposition parities left the common people in conflict every five years when elections are imminent. A constant unwanted interference of foreign states is added a new dimension this year. We want an end to this unbearable situation.

On Wednesday (November 22), 27 eminent citizens of the country made this demand in a press release signed by Saleh Ahmed, General Secretary of Sammilita Samajik Andolan.

The statement added, due to the weakness of democracy and idealism in the country’s politics along with the gapes among the political parties; anti-liberation war communal sections, looters and dishonest circles have gained influence in society and politics. Mainly, due to the weakness of the electoral system in the country, there have been various destructive incidents even in the recent past, especially, loss of human life, killing, arson, vandalism, looting, destruction of transport including trains, buses, launches; and oppression, torture, rape on minorities and indigenous and innocent people. Even there have been painful incidents like expulsion from the country.

There is no sign of guarantee of escaping the previous incident in future. In the meantime, news of vandalising religious institutions of minorities in many places of the country has been published in several medias. More recently, various organizations have demanded to be cautious about communal evil force and take special measures in minority-inhabited areas. We think that the Election Commission should play more vital and neutral role to uphold the non-communal spirit of the great liberation war. The normal life of the people of all the communities in the country should be ensured. All forms of communalism should be severely punished. Our appeal to the political parties is not conflict or violence, but for compromise and discussion.

On behalf of the conscious civil society of the country through this statement, we call upon everyone to be aware for the sake the development, progress and stability of the country.

Signatories of the prominent citizens are – Advocate Sultana Kamal, former advisor to the caretaker government, Rasheda K. Chowdhury, former advisor to caretaker government, Ramendu Majumder, Presidium Member, Sammilita Samajik Andolan, Dr. Sarwar Ali, Trustee, Liberation War Museum, Professor Syed Anwar Hossain, President, Sammilita Samajik Andolan, Dr. Noor Mohammad Talukder, President, College University Teachers Association, Kajal Debnath, Presidium Member, Sammilita Samajik Andolan, RM Debnath, Economist, Dr. Asit Baran Roy, politician, Mesbahuddin Ahmed, President, National Labor Alliance, Dr. Fauzia Moslem, President, Women’s Council, Khushi Kabir, human rights activist, Advocate Rana Das Gupta, General Secretary, Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikyo Parisad, M. M. Akash, Professor, University of Dhaka, Robayet Ferdous, Professor, University of Dhaka, Abdullah Al Mamun Chowdhury, Professor, Rajshahi University, Dr. Zobayda Nasreen, Professor, University of Dhaka, Saleh Ahmed, General Secretary, Sammilita Samajik Andolan, Parvez Hashem, Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme Court, Dr. Selu Basit, researcher and cultural activist, AK Azad, Chief Organizer, Anandan, Zahirul Islam Zahir, Organizer, Khelaghar, Jahangir Alam Sabuj, Social Worker, Alak Das Gupta, cultural activist, Abdur Razzak, labor organizer, Salim Reza, Convener, Culture Manch; and Atulan Das Alo, President, Bangladesh Chatra Maitri.