Bangladeshi Buddhists Call for Peaceful Solution to Rohingya Crisis
Members of the Bangladesh United Buddhists’ Forum (BUBF)—a representative body of the Bangladesh Buddhist community—reached out to the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, on 10 September to submit a memorandum calling for an end to the ongoing atrocities against Rohingya Muslims and a peaceful solution to the crisis in Maynamr’s Rakhine State. They called upon the government of Myanmar to follow the non-violent teachings of the Buddha, and urged the governments of both Bangladesh and Myanmar to resolve the crisis through diplomacy.
“The Rohingya are facing attacks, murder. and persecution in Myanmar. . . . We strongly protest and condemn it,” said Ashok Barua, chief coordinator of the BUBF. (BenarNews) He later stated: “I call upon the Myanmar government and its people to deal with the ongoing matter in non-violent way.” (The Daily Star)
Two days earlier, on 8 September, the BUBF held a demonstration in front of the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka, where around 100 monks, students, and Buddhist leaders formed a human chain in front of the press club. Those present expressed concern for the security of Bangladeshi Buddhists because of rumors that extremist groups were spreading on social media linking Buddhists in Bangladesh to attacks on Rohingya Muslims.
“We have gathered here to condemn and protest the killing and oppression on Rohingyas. . . . We want an end to this atrocity,” said Barua. “Many of our peace-loving Buddhists feel insecure for such revengeful attitude of few people.” (The Daily Star).
Barua further added that the people of Bangladesh did not support any violent activities, and urged the government of Myanmar to find a non-violent solution. “We always support peaceful coexistence,” he said. (Daily Sun)
“What they [the Myanmar government] are doing is completely opposite to Buddhism,” said Ashim Ranjan Barua, president of the Bangladesh Buddhist Federation, who participated in the human chain. “The cruelty of the Myanmar government [has] made Buddhists living in Bangladesh ashamed.” (The Daily Star)
Meanwhile, leaders of the Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad (Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council) urged the government of Bangladesh to draw up measures to prevent the violence in Myanmar from spilling over into Bangladesh.
“As part of our meeting with political parties, we met Obaidul Quader [general secretary of the Awami League, the ruling party in Bangladesh]. . . . We are very much concerned about what is going on in Myanmar. But a vested quarter is trying to spread communal hatred centering the issue using social media. We urged him that the government should take steps in this regard,” said Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of the parishad. (The Daily Star)
In the city of Chittagong, home of 25 Buddhist temples, police have tightened security measures at all Buddhist monasteries. “We have been asked [by the higher authorities] to be alert . . . after the violence erupted in Rakhine. We have been talking with the authorities of different monasteries to know their present condition,” said Abdul Warish, district commissioner (Northern District) of the Chittagong Metropolitan Police. (The Daily Star)
Some 200 additional police personnel have been deployed at the monasteries, but according to Noor E Alam Mina, superintendent of police of Chittagong District, there is a manpower shortage: “We could not deploy forces at all the monasteries due to manpower shortage; however, we have asked the local authorities to remain alert round the clock.” (The Daily Star)
Apart from the demonstration in the capital, many other Buddhist organizations across the country have protested against the Rohingya persecution. Bangladeshi Buddhists strongly hope that the Rohingya issue will be resolved quickly and peacefully.
We want an end to this atrocity (The Daily Star)
Buddhists reach out to Myanmar embassy (The Daily Star)
No fishing in troubled waters (The Daily Star)
Stop atrocities, Bangladesh Buddhists urge Myanmar (The Daily Star)
Bangladesh Buddhists urge Myanmar to stop violence on Rohingyas (Daily Sun)
Bangladeshi Buddhist: Not responsible for Rohingya crisis (The Daily Observer)
Nationwide protests rage against persecution of Rohingya Muslims (Prothom Alo)
Rohingya Refugee Arrivals in Bangladesh Surge to 270,000 (BenarNews)
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