• Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Priya Saha defends her controversial White House remarks in YouTube video

  • Published at 08:14 pm July 21st, 2019
Screenshot of Priya Saha speaking in a YouTube video

She said minority people are disappearing everyday despite secular government

Priya Saha, in a YouTube video, has explained her controversial White House remarks about minority oppression in Bangladesh.

Priya, in the video posted by her human rights organization Sharee, said she came to know about the disappearance of 632 people per day in Bangladesh during her research with Professor Abul Barkat of Dhaka University.

Referring to the unrest after the Liberation War of Bangladesh, she said: "The government of Bangladesh has been trying its level best to create a secular Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."

Despite all the efforts, the minority are disappearing every day, she added.

"Fundamentalists torched my village home on March 2, which injured Muslims and Hindus alike," she said on the YouTube video.

Priya said her family and relatives are being targeted by miscreants ever since her White House remarks went viral on the social media.

Priya Saha's White House controversy

Priya Saha, participated in the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held at the US Department of State in Washington, DC on July 16-18.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also attended the meeting.

Delegates from 106 countries, including about 40 foreign ministers, took part in the meeting at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state.

A video clip, that later went viral on social media, showed Priya, one of the organizing secretaries of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, pleading to Trump to save 18 million people of minority groups in Bangladesh from persecution.

She alleged that 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians had disappeared from the country, persecuted at the hands of fundamentalist Muslims groups, who enjoyed political support.

PM disapproves immediate legal step against Priya

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has disapproved a planned government initiative to expose Priya Saha to sedition charges ahead of obtaining her explanation about her comments during an interaction with US president Donald Trump, road transport minister Obaidul Quader said yesterday.

“The prime minister last night sent me a message saying no legal action needs to be taken hastily,” Quader, also the general secretary of ruling Awami League, told a media briefing at the party’s Dhanmondi office, reports BSS. He also said Saha must make a public statement explaining what she actually wanted to tell Trump. 

Quader said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque was set to lodge a sedition case against Saha but he already conveyed the premier’s message and talked to law minister Anisul Huq and home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal in this regard.

Quader had previously said that Saha should be given a chance to explain herself. He also termed Saha's remarks as "absolutely false."

The foreign ministry suspected that she was led by an “ulterior motive” while the home minister said “we will certainly ask her (about the remarks) when she returns” from the United States.

The law minister, meanwhile, said Saha made utterly false allegation to gratify her personal desires and she should be ignored but “I think we should not give so much importance to this Priya Saha”.

“We should highlight the truth and ignore her. I think it is not right to term such small matters as ‘seditious offence’, but it is up to judiciary and judges to decide,” he told newsmen on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of a judges training programme.

When asked about chances of any group’s backing behind such blatant lies against the country, the law minister said it was not an impossible proposition but it was matter of investigation.

HBCUC, meanwhile, tended to disown Saha’s comments with one of its senior leaders saying the comments she made were of her own and she did not represent the Council in the meeting with the US President.

Joy slams US embassy over Priya Saha comment 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ICT Affairs Adviser and son Sajeeb Wazed Joy has come down hard on the US Embassy over the issue of Priya Biswas Saha.

Sajeeb Wazed wrote on his Facebook page yesterday afternoon alleging that "the US Embassy is the one that had an ulterior motive here." 

"They picked Priya Saha because they knew she would make this outrageous statement," he said. 

When contacted the US Embassy in Dhaka declined to make any comment on the statement made by Joy, who resides in the US.

“We do not have any comment on this,” a US Embassy official said Sunday.  

Joy said: "Fortunately for us, President Trump and his administration have a very different policy of non intervention in foreign affairs. They are also not so stupid to believe such a ridiculous claim."