Expressing concern over the deteriorating condition of minority rights, American lawmakers have urged Bangladeshi Government to protect fundamental human rights of the religious minorities in the country.
In a ‘dear colleague’ letter, addressed to the Secretary of State, John Kerry, lawmakers Tulsi Gabbard and Aaron Schock said that promoting a stable and democratic Bangladesh is important to US economic, political and security interests in the South Asia region.
“Under domestic law, the Bangladesh government is obliged to enforce minority land rights, provide restitution for illegally seized land, and protect religious and ethnic minorities against violence and discrimination,” they said.
A copy of the letter was distributed on Tuesday night during the annual Congressional reception of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) at the Capitol Hill, wherein Bangladesh was the focused issue of discussion.
“To date, the Bangladesh government has taken no significant steps to compensate individuals, primarily Hindus, who lost their land under the 1974 Vested Property Act. Moreover, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission has been largely ineffective, thereby denying fundamental rights to indigenous people in that region,” said the letter.