Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Sottobani
London: Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar & Limehouse constituent of Tower Hamlets where majority Bangladeshi resides submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM) titled ‘Political Intimidation in Bangladesh’ on Wednesday 20 December for a debate in the UK House of Commons. EDMs allow MPs to draw attention to a cause. In this case the MP who is known to be a friend of the Bengali community and Bangladesh wants to draw attention to situation of minorities of Bangladesh which remains unsatisfactory. He has been informed by Bangladeshi minority groups that their communities continue to face systemic harassment, threats to their well-being, livelihood and property. As the election is less than a year away, the minorities face even greater threat of political violence. Past experiences suggest that the political leadership dominated by the majority community have used threat of physical violence to manipulate minority votes.
The motion submitted read, ‘That this House is deeply concerned that despite the best efforts of the Bangladesh Government minorities continue to face systemic harassment and threats to their well-being, livelihood, property and are denied freedom of religious worship in Bangladesh, the experience previous elections shows that there were attempts to use the threat of physical violence to manipulate minority vote; this House calls upon the Government and political parties in Bangladesh to put a consolidate effort to ensure the unacceptable and cynical targeting of minorities for political gains, does not recur,’