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Beginning of the End to Ethnic Cleansing?

Source: News Bharati      Date: 7/2/2012 6:16:41 PM

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- Dr. Richard L. Benkin

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In Bangla Desh, Hindus who are religious minority there, are facing ethenic cleansing at the hands of Jihadi extremists. The Human Rights groups world over are trying to provide immidiete relief as well as seeking solutions to the grave problem.

Dr.Richerd Benkin is one such activist who is engaged in such efforts.

He has written this report for News Bharati.

Philosopher Edmund Burke is thought to have said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  Evil has been triumphing in East Bengal, taking its Hindus from a third of the population to less than eight percent, while the evidence is still being kept from those “good men.”  Getting the facts to people in power is the first step in knocking down the wall of silence and that of inaction which follows from it.

The process began on May 25 when I met with Bangladeshi Ambassador Akramul Qader at his country's Washington embassy; and Bangladesh had better take notice.  Our meeting went as I expected. I told Mr. Qader that I could provide Bangladesh the benefits they requested of me last year in Dhaka, but would not as long as Hindus are being persecuted there.  He insisted—often in ridiculous fashion—that there was no persecution, leading to an angry exchange.  Qader finally retracted his denial but claimed he knew of no incidents since those occurring "at the time of elections years ago [and that] all the perpetrators had been punished.”  His tactic surprised me since practitioners of ethnic cleansing at least try to seem credible. "Well then let me enlighten you," I said and presented evidence that the supposedly “pro-minority” Awami League government remains as complicit in anti-Hindu ethnic cleansing as its rival BNP.

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Forced to admit that violence long-ago was not the end, he mentioned the “incident” in Satkhira—an anti-Hindu pogrom outrageous enough to send hundreds of students into the streets of Dhaka; but called it the work of a few "religious fanatics" who he claimed have been arrested.  “Not so,” I countered and cited ongoing murder, rape, beatings, arson, land grabs, religious desecration, and more; and so he challenged me to send him evidence.  Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, because I also sent it to US Senators and Members of Congress, who now hold documented evidence of anti-Hindu violence in this supposedly “moderate” Muslim country.  One of them, Congressman Robert Dold, has already raised the issue in Congress.  Now that the facts are circulating on Capitol Hill, will they be equally dismissive of US lawmakers who control foreign aid and tariffs on Bangladeshi goods?

Have Bangladeshis reached a point where they are flailing about for denials, no matter how ridiculous?  Are they overconfident or desperate?  Judge for yourself.  I finally told Qader that "you don't go from a third of the population in 1965, to a fifth in 1971, to between seven and eight percent today simply through 'voluntary emigration'" His response: "Yes, it can because they cannot find suitable matches for their children, so they go to India where there are more Hindus."

“You’re kidding, right?” I replied.  He wasn’t.

But he was confident that disinterest in the lives of Hindus will allow these deadly actions to continue with impunity.  As decent human beings, we must prove him wrong.

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