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Bangladesh Buddhists, Hindus condemn Taliban action

DHAKA (March 4, 2001): Buddhist and Hindu groups in Bangladesh have severely condemned the breaking of statues, including two giant Buddhas, by Afghanistan's Islamic Taliban militia.

The Bangladesh Bouddha Nagorik Forum and Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Parishad, that represent the Buddhists and Hindus, Saturday condemned the Taliban government for demolishing the relics and 2,000- year-old Buddha statues.

Forum member secretary Prasenjit Barua, in a statement, expressed his anguish on the destruction and said his forum was very concerned about the act.

Barua said the Taliban is directly violating the human rights enshrined in the U.N. charter through its acts and hurting religious sentiments of the Buddhist community around the world. He urged the UN and other global forums to pressurize the Taliban and prevent the razing of the statues.

Prem Ranjan Dev, president of the Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Parishad said in a separate statement the Buddha statues were mankind's assets. "No civilized people can't carry out such act," said Dev. He said these "barbarous" acts not only hurt the Buddhist community, but was also a blow to the Hindus.

"We are urging the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and other global bodies to take action against the people involved in these destructive activities," Dev added.


Updated: 3-3-2001

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