1 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/04/2014
BANGLADESH
Elections in Bangladesh: strikes and violence push Christians and Hindus not to vote
by Sumon Corraya
Christians, Hindus and Buddhists speak of nationalists threats not to go to the polls . The opposition led by Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP) began a new 48-hour strike today. The aim is to disrupt the parliamentary elections tomorrow and unleash chaos in the country. Polling stations and vehicles set on fire in Dhaka, Dinajpur and Feni .

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Christians , Buddhists and Hindus fear for their safety ahead of nationwide parliamentary elections scheduled for tomorrow. What especially worries minorities are the violent strikes recently organized by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP) of Khaleda Zia who are bringing the entire country to its knees . Today, the BNP launched 48 hour general strike in response to the refusal of the government led by premier Sheikh Hasina's Awami League to invoke a neutral party as a guarantor of the vote.

Many Christians state they will not vote like Buddhists and Hindus members of religious minorities. "I will not vote - explains Joachim Costa a Catholic of 55 - the elections will not be free and fair and we already know who will win ." The woman explains that people are afraid to go to the polls because of the constant threats of the opposition party . Even the Hindus will not go to vote . Raton Das , 42, told AsiaNews that the elections " are for a single party and it is useless to vote. Unfortunately there is no alternative". The population is discouraged by the contrast between the government and opposition, which instead of dialogue has taken the hard line of constant protest. The man explains that the streets there are even campaign posters to attract people to vote , "usually the campaign should take place in a festive atmosphere ."

Since January 1, BNP supporters have blocked roads, railways and waterways and in recent days there have been numerous incidents of violence and clashes with the police. Acts of guerrilla warfare, including the explosion of rudimentary bombs and the burning of automobiles, took place in Dhaka, Narayanganj , Bogra , Lakshmipur , Jhenaidah , Pabna , and Comilla . In Dinajpur ( North of the country ), two people died in a blaze of a truck set on fire by supporters of the BNP . Yesterday at Feni ( on the border with India ), five polling stations were set on fire .

According to the population , the now rampant and systematic violence is the worst the country has ever experienced in 40 years since Independence . Tensions rose after the opposition leader Khaleda Zia rejected an offer  from Prime Minister Hasina to join the oversight committee for the voting format of all parties. In 2013, over 500 people were killed in violence related to politics.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/27/2013 BANGLADESH
More bloodshed in Bangladesh: 8 dead and 300 injured in clashes with police
by Sumon Corraya
12/11/2012 BANGLADESH
General strike sets Dhaka on fire. Two dead and almost 300 injured
by Nozrul Islam
12/02/2013 BANGLADESH
A 131 hour strike. Catholic activist : People victim of political conflict
by Sumon Corraya
12/27/2013 BANGLADESH
Christians enjoy peaceful Christmas in Bangladesh but terrorism continues to cast its shadow
by Nozrul Islam
06/28/2010 BANGLADESH
Some 200 people arrested during protest march against the government in Dhaka
by William Gomes

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.