The Bangladesh Hindu Boudhdho Christian Oikyo Porishad, USA chapter and probably HRCBM ( I am not sure) arranged a seminer today at the Midtwon Grand Ramada Plaza at New York, reports The Daily Ittefaq and daily Janakantha.
Bertil Linter of FEER was the key note speaker, while Columnist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury was the special guest.
Braving the inclement weather and sub-zero temperature, a significant number of expatriate Bangladeshis gathered outside the Ramada Plaza and protested the seminer as they deem it to be anti-Bangladesh in nature, reports Ittefaq.
As per Janakantha, some supporters of BNP gathered outside and gave extra weight to the seminer which was already overflowing with audience.
Bertil Lintner reportedly stated that nobody protested the content of his article, middle east funded hospitals in Coxs Bazar was making Bangladesh an al quida heaven, Bangladesh was a den of ISI activities and Bangladesh should pay for it and he was everwhelmed by the support/love/respect he recieved from people of Bangladesh as shown by the seminer. He also mentioned that Bangladeshi people are threatening to rape his wife and his daughter over email.
Abdul Gaffer Chowdhury declared that if he was healthier, he wouild have taken arms against this fundamentalist and cruel government.
A cross section of mainstream society attended the meet including a local congresswoman (Who apparently didn’t make any speech), a famous poet ( Who protested Gaffar Chowdhury’s call to arms), local humanist/secular organizations, local Jewish community leaders etc.
A notable organizer of this meeting was Mr Bidyut Sarker, who is a leading proponent creating a separate Hindu republic breaking a portion of Bangladesh. He raised that issue again in that seminer.
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Some Observations:
1. Bertil Lintner is supposed to be reporter only or a neutral journalist. Why he has to take a side in Bangladesh’s foreign policy towards India and Pakistan?
2. Does Gaffer Chowdhury ( With his close relations to AL and Sheikh Hasina) understand the implication of attending such meeting and make such statements? Forget about Bangladesh, won’t it make him a liability to Sheikh Hasina also?
3. What is Bertil Lintner upto with this hoopla? Why Bidyut Sarker is being patronized by This Bertil Lintner or Gaffer Chowdhury?
4. Grrand Ball room ar Midtown Ramada Plaza is supposedly an extremely costly venture. Oikyo Porishod and HRCBM has a good flow of fund, it seems.
5. With all the recent media campaign, memo to congress to stop importing Bangladesh garments and recent INS registration requirement for Bangladesh are certainly not positive developements for Bangladesh. In this background, How would this seminer help Bangladesh? Can Gaffer Chowdhury, Bertil Lintner or their sympathysers answer this?