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Bangladesh’s defends UNHRC vote and lashes out at the West

Photo of Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister, AK Abdul Momen

Addressing a virtual press conference on 5 April, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister, AK Abdul Momen, defended their vote against the UN Human Rights Council resolution by claiming that it was “politically motivated” and stating that “Sri Lanka has done its own investigation”.

As the Daily Star notes, this vote comes despite the country itself being a victim of genocide. In 1971 Pakistan crackdown on Bengalis calling for self-determination and killed an estimated three million people, with an estimated 200,000 women raped and millions forced to flee due to the conflict. Despite this history, Bangladesh voted alongside Pakistan in favour of the Rajapaksa regime.

The UN Human Rights Council resolution passed by 22 votes in favour to 14 votes against and 11 abstentions. It mandates the collection and preservation of evidence that may be used in a future war crimes tribunal.

 Former and current UN officials and international lawyers have criticised Sri Lanka's proposed domestic commission due to a history of previously failed commissions. In a joint statement, they decried the commission as a "meta-investigation" and stated it “would be laughable were it not for the seriousness of what is at stake”.

Courting Myanmar

Photo of Myanmar's military parade 2021

In this press conference, he further addressed why Bangladesh’s defence attaché joined Myanmar’s armed forces during their military parade on 27 March, less than a week prior to the violent coup. In his statement, he insisted that “there was no harm for the Bangladesh defence attaché to join”.

High ranking-government from Myanmar also joined the Bay of Bengal Initiative of the Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-operation (BIMSTEC) summit which was chaired by Sri Lanka and in which a representative of Myanmar’s military junta was in attendance.

Thus far over 600 peaceful demonstrators have been killed in Myanmar, this includes children as young as one-year-old. In response to these disturbing scenes, international leaders have issued a harsh condemnation and imposed sanctions on the military regime.

Responding to a question on Myanmar Moment made an oblique reference to Western countries and stated:

"They did not do much when the Rohingya faced genocide in 2017 and before. Now, they are very vocal against the military. We have seen how genocide was committed during Suu Kyi's government."

Read more here.

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