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Foreign Minister pays tribute to ’71 ‘Biranganas’ at the London Summit

Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has set example by bringing to justice the perpetrators of sexual violence and crimes against humanity during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.

The Foreign Minister said this today at a 3-day Global Summit on ÔEnding Sexual Violence in Conflict’ that started  here on 11 June. In his Statement the Foreign Minister apprised, 43 years ago, 200,000 Bengali women were subjected to crimes against humanity of horrendous proportions, including widespread rape, sexual torture, enslavement and forced pregnancy by occupying military forces and their auxiliary forces in 1971. Bangladesh has taken the bold step to break the cycle of impunity and bring the offenders to justice in a domestic war crimes trials.

In a video statement given at the Summit, Mahmood Ali reiterated the present government’s political commitment to say ‘no’ to rape and other forms of sexual violence as well as impunity to crimes against humanity and work closely with the UK and all other global stakeholders including UN Peacekeeping Operations in closing the impunity gap in justice.

Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali and State Minister Shahriar AlamForeign Minister of Bangladesh was invited to the Summit by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Actress Angelina Jolie Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. A 5-member delegation to the Summit comprising Bangladesh High Commissioner in London and senior officials from the Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Armed Forces Division, Foreign Office and the Islamic Foundation assisted the Foreign Minister in the Ministerial meeting.

Earlier, at a dinner  meeting The Foreign Minister briefed British Parliamentarians on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent successful visits to Japan and China and the new horizons of economic and investment cooperation with these two Asian powers for funding mega projects in Bangladesh to the tune of US$ 10 billions specially in the infrastructure and power sectors.  Referring to the 16 January 2014 European Parliament resolution Bangladesh, the Foreign Minister also apprised the Group that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stands by her open invitation for dialogue with the BNP provided the latter dissociates itself from Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.

The British Parliamentarians appreciated the post-election briefing by the Foreign Minister and expressed their strong interest to work  closely with the Government of Bangladesh in its new term on a number of issues of mutual interest including Bangladeshi Diaspora in the UK, common cultural links between the Bangladesh and Britain, Bangladesh-UK trade and economic cooperation,  Bangladesh’s political and economic relations with its neighbors and reaffirmed their support on the question of the War Crimes Trials to end impunity while expressing their concerns on death penalty.

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