Dhaka, July 19 (UNB) – State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Friday strongly condemned the false allegation made by a Bangladeshi to US President Donald Trump saying that the government will look into it why Priyabala Saha did so.
“I had answered various questions of various countries and NGOs both from home and abroad related to human rights several times in the full house of the UN Human Rights. Persons like respected Rana Dasgupta were also there. But I did never see anybody asking questions with allegations made by Priya Saha,” he said while making comments on the incident.
Shahriar said the government will listen to her allegations and look into them.
The State Minister mentioned that President Donald Trump knows that false allegations are conveyed to him and the US administration gets information through its Embassy in Dhaka routinely. “We remain in touch always.”
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Priya Saha’s allegations have no basis as no such incident has taken place in the country.
In the video clip that went viral on social media on Friday, Priya Saha was heard telling Trump: “Sir, I'm from Bangladesh … 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians are disappeared. Please help us - for the Bangladeshi people. We want to stay in our country.”
She also said there are 18 million minority people. “My request is, please help us, we don’t want to leave our country, just help us stay. I've lost my home, they've burned my home, they (have) taken away my land, but no judgment (is) yet taken please, please …”
Trump was heard asking her, “Who took the land and home?” In reply, she said the Muslim fundamentalist groups. “Always they're getting the political shelter, always.”
At one stage, Trump extended his hand and held her hand. They kept their hands on each other for a few seconds.
“I’ve watched the video conversation between Priya Saha and Trump. It’s completely a lie,” the Home Minister told UNB.
About criticisms of various communities while criticising Priya Saha, State Minister Shahriar said, “This is also not correct.”
Disapproving Priya Saha’s claim, he said such behaviour from a person who is engaged in various levels of society is not acceptable.
The State Minister said Bangladesh is a shining example of religious harmony and many do damage to it for personal interest or without understanding the matter properly. “Everyone should refrain from carrying out such activities.”
Meanwhile, Molla Azad Hossain, acting Superintendent of Pirojpur Police, also dismissed the allegation made to the US president.
He said no such incident took place in Pirojpur and there is no authenticity of her allegation. “If anyone tries to harm the religious harmony here, the law enforcers will take strict measures to prevent him/her.”
Priya Saha is one of the organising secretaries of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad.
'Bangladesh doing something remarkable'
Meanwhile, US Ambassador Earl R Miller, while visiting a Buddhist temple at city’s Merul Badda on Friday afternoon, appreciated Bangladesh’s religious harmony.
Miller, who was sworn in as US Ambassador to Bangladesh on November 13 last year, shared his experience of meeting religious leaders from across the country.
"I now have enough perspective after being here for eight months and traveling so widely to recognise that Bangladesh is doing something remarkable," he told reporters.
The US envoy also said, "Everywhere I have gone, I have received the same message, be it from Imam, priest and someone in the temple that no country can succeed unless it works together."
He said it is the lesson that his country and the world can learn from.
Talking to UNB over phone, General Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad Rana Dashgupta said he is not aware how Priyabala Saha went to the USA and reached Trump.
He said she was not among the three persons who represented Oikya Parishad at the ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State.
“I’ve nothing else to say,” he said, declining to comment on her allegations.
The second ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State was held in Washington DC. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen attended the meeting.
Delegates from 106 countries with about 40 Foreign Ministers attended the meeting at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State.