It's worst genocide since World War II (watch exclusive videos)

by Priyo Australia | June 22, 2010 7:26 pm

The mass killing during the Liberation War of Bangladesh was the worst genocide since World War II, speakers said in a conference yesterday and also urged international community to recognise the “Genocide.”

The Pakistan Army and its local auxiliary forces killed 3 million people and raped more than 200,000 women in nine months, the conference said in its resolution.

The MSSK Trust, Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 and South Asian People’s Union against Fundamentalism and Communalism jointly organised the conference titled “The International Conference on Peace, Justice and Secular Humanism” at Osmani Memorial Auditorium.

In the resolution titled “Dhaka Declaration”, the conference also called on international community for extending support to the process that Bangladesh government has initiated to try the war criminals.

The resolution was adopted at concluding session of the conference following daylong discussions attended by delegates including human rights activists, lawyers and experts from 11 countries.

The resolution said the trial of war criminals in Bangladesh would discourage the culture of impunity and urged international community “to unite against the culture of impunity to prevent genocides and war crimes from recurring.”

Countries affected by terrorism and regional extremism were also urged to support the proposed regional taskforce, a taskforce proposed by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, to combat religious extremism and terrorism.

The resolution also emphasized strict measures to check money laundering for what they said, “fundamentalist organisations across the world are using different NGOs, Banks and various financial institutions to finance militancy and terrorism through money laundering.”

Building a domestic and regional secular humanist network by civil societies and governments across the world was also urged upon.

The conference also called upon Pakistan to take effective measures to curb and eliminate religious militancy, repeal anti-Ahmadiyya laws and blasphemy laws.

Earlier, during its inauguration, speakers from home and abroad urged all countries to form an inter-continental network based on secularism.

“Religious fundamentalism in many forms and faces has become a great problem. There is no time to lose. With cooperation from all we must cut it out globally before it is too late. Otherwise humanism will be in jeopardy,” said Prof Kabir Chowdhury, president of the advisory committee of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee.

“If there are Muslim fundamentalists in Pakistan, there must be Hindu fundamentalists in India. If there is Hindu fundamentalists in India, there is no way to resist Muslim fundamentalists in Bangladesh,” said former speaker of India PA Sangma.

Former speaker of Nepal Daman Dhungana said that democracy couldn’t be achieved without overcoming religious extremism.

“Individually it is tough to overcome this, but globally it can be done,” he added.

Prof Shafaraj Khan from Pakistan, Prof Maxim Dubayev from Russia, terrorism expert Chris Blackburn from UK, Cecilia Wikstrom, member of MEP, Sweden, Parvin Najfgholi Ardalan, human right activist from Iran and Attorney William Sloan also spoke in the inaugural session. Journalist Shahriar Kabir conducted the programme.

Speakers also discussed Jamaat-e-Islami’s link with international terrorist organizations.

“Trial of war criminal is necessary for strengthening the foundation of democracy. It is a matter of great shame that collaborators were reinstated in Bangladesh politics,” said Dr Peter Custers from The Netherlands in his speech during inaugural session.

He also mentioned that European countries politically support this effort of war crimes trial and suggested taking assistance from international lawyers.

“It’s never too late for justice. Time is always now. It is always the right time to punish crime against humanity,” said William Sloan.

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