• Friday, Dec 13, 2019
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Govt calls Priya's allegations to Trump 'blatant lies'

  • Published at 01:14 pm July 20th, 2019
Bangladeshi minority leader Priya Saha-US President Donald Trump
Screenshot of a video of Bangladeshi minority leader Priya Saha speaking to US President Donald Trump, which went viral on social media on Friday, July 19, 2019

A press release issued by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday strongly condemned Priya's action

The government has termed the complaints made by Bangladeshi national Priya Saha to US President Donald Trump, on minority persecution in Bangladesh, as "blatant lies".

“The government of Bangladesh strongly protests against all the blatant lies told by Ms Priya Saha to President Trump and condemns her remarks in the strongest possible terms,” a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

The release further said there was an ulterior motive behind Priya's "absolutely false and concocted stories", and they were targeted to malign Bangladesh.

The press release was referring to a viral video clip that showed Priya, one of the organizing secretaries of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, pleading Trump to save the 18 million people of minority groups in Bangladesh from persecution.

"37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians have disappeared," she said. "My request is, please help us, we do not want to leave our country, just help us stay. I have lost my home, they have burned my home, they (have) taken away my land, but no judgement (has) yet (been) taken please, please...” 

When Trump asked her who had taken her land and home, Priya was heard saying it was the Muslim fundamentalist groups.

“They [the Muslim fundamentalists] are always getting political shelter, always," she said.

Also Read - Government condemns Bangladeshi minority leader’s allegations to Trump

Priya told this to the US president while participating in the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held at the US Department of State in Washington, DC from July 16 to 18, Saturday's press release mentioned. 

It said that Bangladesh is a beacon of religious freedom and communal harmony, where people of all faiths have been living in peace for ages.

The humane attitude and generosity of Bangladesh government have been commended by whole world when Bangladesh decided to temporarily shelter more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, it mentioned.

The press release also said that Bangladesh government would expect that organizers of such a big international event would invite responsible individuals who would objectively contribute to promote the true spirit and value of religious freedom.

On Friday, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam strongly condemned the allegations, saying that even though he had faced countless questions from countries and NGOs, both at home and abroad, about human rights, he had never seen anyone asking questions with the allegations that Priya made.

 “I have watched the video conversation between Priya Saha and Trump. It is a complete lie,” Shahriar Alam said. 

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Priya Saha's allegations had no basis as no such incident was taking place in the country.

General Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, Rana Dasgupta, said he was not aware how Priya Saha had gone to the US and approached Trump.

He said she was not among the three persons who were representing the Oikya Parishad at the ministerial meeting.

However, he declined to comment on the allegations made by Priya.