Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Clashes, protests stir Bangladesh
Bangladesh (MNN) ― Deadly political unrest in Bangladesh continued to escalate over the weekend.
Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in Dhaka at the end of last week, demanding capital punishment to the war criminals, and a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami. The date last week had historic significance.
On March 07, 1971, the Independence leader of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibar Rahman asked people to make the Bangladesh free from Pakistan. On March 26, 1971, Bangladeshis started the liberation war against Pakistan. Horrors and crimes against humanity followed.
This month's uproar is blamed on the verdict of a tribunal, which was supposed to help Bangladesh come to terms with its bloody birth in 1971. However, the verdict seems to have provoked an outcry louder than any other heard in their 42 year history.
It's not likely to die down soon. Shahbagh demonstrators staged rallies in Uttara, Chittagong, and Ashulia on March 10 and had plans to strike again on March 16.
Over 50 people have been killed, and many houses have been burnt in the rallies. Transportation has become difficult in the major cities. Some persecution of minority religious groups has occurred.
So far, all Compassion-assisted families and Compassion staff members are safe and unharmed. As a precaution, Compassion Bangladesh temporarily suspended project activities of 20 centers last week. Re-opening is dependent on whether or not the turmoil settles down over the next few days.
All staff members have been instructed to be on emergency alert. Additionally, due to the difficulties, the staff of Compassion Bangladesh has enough to do without having to be concerned over the safety of visitors. For the time being, they won't be hosting any Tours or Vision trips.
Every child who participates in a Compassion program is given the opportunity to learn about Jesus and discover how to develop a lifelong relationship with God. This good news is modeled and shared in age-appropriate and culturally relevant ways. Community transformation results.
Please pray for the protection of Compassion-assisted families and Compassion staff members throughout Bangladesh.