Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh slams minority leader’s allegations to Trump

‘I've watched the video conversation between Priya Saha and Trump. It's a complete lie,’ says Minister for Foreign Affairs

SM Najmus Sakib   | 20.07.2019
Bangladesh slams minority leader’s allegations to Trump

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh strongly protested Friday against ‘false allegations’ made by a Bangladeshi minority leader to U.S. President Donald Trump, saying the government will look into the matter.

Trump met in the Oval Office earlier in the week with 27 survivors of religious persecution from 16 countries, including Bangladesh, North Korea and Myanmar.

They included Priya Saha, an organizational secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council, a non-profit organization established to protect the human rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh.

In a video clip that went viral Friday on social media, Saha is heard speaking to Trump.

“Sir, I'm from Bangladesh…37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians are disappeared. Please help us -- for the Bangladeshi people. We want to stay in our country.”

She also said there are 18 million people from minority groups in Bangladesh.

“My request is, please help us. We don’t want to leave our country. Just help us stay. I've lost my home. They've burned my home. They (have) taken away my land, but no judgment (has) yet (been) taken. Please, please.”

Trump is heard asking her: “Who took the land and home?”

In reply, she said Muslim fundamentalist groups.

“Always, they're getting the political shelter. Always.”

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam dismissed the allegations, saying such behavior is not acceptable.

“I've watched the video conversation between Priya Saha and Trump. It's a complete lie,” he said.

Alam said on his Facebook page that the government would “listen to her complaints and look into the matter”.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan also dismissed Saha’s allegations, saying such claims have no basis.

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