Buddhist community in Bangladesh yesterday called upon the Myanmar government to stop the ongoing atrocities on the Rohingyas.
Expressing solidarity with the Rohingyas, around 100 people from the community, including monks, students and professionals, formed a human chain under the banner of Bangladesh United Buddhist Forum in front of the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
Amid a dramatic increase in the number of refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar's Northern Rakhine state, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday said in the last two weeks an estimated 2,70,000 Rohingyas have sought safety in Bangladesh.
Leaders of the Buddhist forum yesterday said Buddhism teaches peace. Hatred cannot solve anything, they added.
They urged the Myanmar government and its people to take the path of nonviolence to solve the ongoing crisis. They also sought intervention of humanitarian organisations for putting pressure on Myanmar to stop the oppression.
Ashok Barua, chief coordinator of the forum, said, “We have gathered here to condemn and protest the killing and oppression on Rohingyas…We want an end to this atrocity.”
He said the country's Buddhist community will submit a memorandum to the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka tomorrow. They will also send a copy to the UN's local office and other organisations.
Ashim Ranjan Barua, president of Bangladesh Buddhist Federation, said, “What they [Myanmar government] are doing is completely opposite to Buddhism.”
“The cruelty of the Myanmar government made Buddhists living in Bangladesh ashamed,” he added.
Prof Tripti Rani Barua, executive president (women chapter) of the federation, said hatred cannot defeat hatred, but kindness and affection can.
Ashin Jinarakshita, a monk at a Buddhist meditation centre in Ashulia, and Supto Basun Barua, vice chairman of Bangladesh Buddhist Welfare Trust, also spoke.
Meanwhile, expressing grave concern over the Rohingya issue, minority community leaders yesterday urged the government to take necessary measures so that no one can use the issue to destabilise the country's communal harmony.
Leaders of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad made the call when they met Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader at his Dhanmondi residence yesterday.
“We are very much concerned about what is going on in Myanmar. But a vested quarter is trying to spread communal hatred centring the issue using social media. We urged him that the government should take steps in this regard,” Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of the Parishad, told The Daily Star.
Rana Dasgupta said they have formed a pre-polls coordination committee comprising religious and ethnic minorities and placed a five-point demand on August 4.
“As part of our meeting with political parties, we met Obaidul Quader. Besides our demands, we also discussed contemporary issues,” he said.
Parishad leaders Prof Nim Chandra Bhowmick, Kajal Debnath, Nirmol Rozario and Nirmal Chaterjee, were also present.